Diana Nicholson

Sector Leader, Financial Services

Melbourne, Australia

Diana Nicholson is a senior partner in the Mergers and Acquisitions practice. Diana has a broad commercial practice and acts on public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, primary and secondary capital raisings and has a strong corporate governance and corporate advisory practice.

Diana is particularly noted for her strategic acumen, technical expertise, project management skills and commercial nous. She has practiced across many sectors but has particularly deep industry experience across financial services, infrastructure, industrials and health.

Diana has held a range of management positions with King & Wood Mallesons, from Partner in Charge of the Melbourne Office to Board member. Diana chairs the firms partner admissions process.

Diana is a member of the Takeovers Panel and an Acting President, a trustee of Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust and a director of Care Australia.

Recent matters include:

  • Sale of NAB's MLC wealth business to IOOF - Diana led the successful KWM deal team charged with managing a highly complex and strategically critical deal for NAB - the $1.4bn sale of its MLC wealth business. Diana and her team co-ordinated parallel sale processes and demerger plans - with ultimately a successful sale to IOOF.
  • Equity Capital Markets deals - Diana is a leading adviser in hybrid securities and equity capital markets, applying a nuanced grasp of markets' dynamics and detailed knowledge of the regulatory landscape to deliver strategic solutions.   Diana advised NAB on all aspects of its $2.385bn NAB Capital Notes, convertible subordinated notes that create additional tier 1 capital for NAB, including the option for holders of NAB Convertible Preference Shares II (CPS II) to re-invest their maturing CPS II into the new notes. This follows $4.925nb aggregate placement/ SPP raisings at this time last year. Current projects include the neutralisation of NAB's 2021 H1 DRP and am on market buyback.
  • NAB 86400 acquisition - Diana led the KWM team advising NAB on the highly-strategic project to accelerate its digital growth combing UBank and 86 400. The two-phase execution entailed taking of a sizeable minority stake in digital bank 86400 in late 2020, followed by the acquisition of the remaining shares by scheme of arrangement. Diana oversaw all aspects of the deal, including structuring, specific data and technology considerations, securitisation and capital requirements, banking regulatory and competition approvals.
  • Australian Business Growth Fund - Diana acted for the Commonwealth Government, NAB, ANZ, CBA, Westpac, HSBC and Macquarie to establish the Australian Business Growth Fund. ABGF's purpose is making longer term equity and equity-like investments in SMEs - to support innovation and growth by providing patient equity capital. Diana successfully managed to bring a together large group of stakeholders with diverse interests to create this new-to-market fund, initially with seed capital of $540 million.
  • Financial Accountability Regime - Diana is a leading authority in relation to the Bank Executive Accountability Regime and is working with a range of institutions in relation to its more broad reaching successor the introduction of the Financial Accountability Regime.

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