Judo names next CEO

Chris Bayliss appointment ceo chief executive

Judo Bank has promoted its next-in-line Chriss Bayliss to chief executive and managing director after founding CEO Joseph Healy announced he will depart from neobank.

Bayliss, who is currently Judo’s deputy CEO and chief relationship officer, will succeed Healy on 19 March, with the current CEO stepping down after nearly nine years at the helm.

The soon-to-be ex-CEO will, however, stay on to support Bayliss in an advisory role until late June.

The outgoing Healy, who became the neobank’s founding CEO in 2015, was recognised by Judo chair Peter Hodgson as a “visionary”.

“[He] recognised that SMEs were being underserved by our Australian banks,” Hodgson said.

“Under Joseph’s leadership, Judo has changed Australia’s banking industry for the better, and reawakened the industry’s appetite to lend to Australian businesses. He is leaving a great legacy.”

Bayliss, a natural successor to Healy as deputy CEO, is considered by Judo to be “strongly aligned” to its purpose and vision.

“Since the very beginning, Chris has been a key leader in building our bank,” Hodgson said, with Bayliss among Judo’s co-founders. He has served in a number of executive roles at the bank since 2016, beginning as chief operating officer and chief financial officer, and most recently holding the CRO and deputy CEO positions.

“He has worked tirelessly and with clear purpose and drive across every corner of Judo as it has grown in both strength and size.

“In each of these roles, he has applied his 40 years of business and retail banking experience, which has played an enormous part in building the bank we see today – a bank on a clear path to becoming a scale player in the Australian financial landscape”.

Under Healy’s guiding hand, Judo – one of the last of Australia’s original independent neobanks to still be operating indepedently – has grown from a fledgling start-up to a respected and established SME lender.

The company today boasts more than 3,700 SME lending customers, 35,000 term deposit holders, a $9 billion loan book, a $6 billion deposit book, and more than 540 employees.

Judo hit profitability for the first time in 2022 and, at the end of the 2023 financial year, reported a $108 million NPBT and a net interest margin of 3.5 per cent (a NIM significantly outperforming all of the big four banks).

A veteran banker with nearly four decades in the financial services sector, Bayliss was a core member of Judo’s founding executive team in 2016.

Prior to joining Judo, he served at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore as global head of personal banking, where he was recognised for overseeing a company-wide strategy consolidation across the 40 countries in which SC operates.

Between 2010-2012, Bayliss was executive general manager of NAB retail banking, and had prior stints in the UK at Barclays, HBOS, Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank, as well as the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ).