Tyro appoints new tech chief; challenger banks, Heritage and BankVic, announce heavy-hitting exec tech recruits; and major changes at the top ranks of Australia’s chief financial and competition watchdogs.
– Payments fintech Tyro has appointed Paul Keen as its next Chief Technology Officer (CTO), replacing outgoing CTO Dave Coombes.
Keen currently serves as Global VP of Engineering at Nuix, an Australian analytics company. Tyro chief executive Robbie Cooke praised his latest senior tech recruit as “a passionate technologist… recognised across Australia for having developed high-performing teams and driving innovation.”.
Keen has also served as Acting CTO and Head of Group Architecture and Engineering at Qantas, CTO of Airtasker, CIO Dick Smith, and other senior tech roles at Westfield, and ninemsn.
Tyro CEO Robbie Cooke added: “We are thrilled to welcome Paul to the team… As a technology business, this role is critical to Tyro’s success, and we look forward to working with Paul to deliver amazing results for our customers.”
Keen said: “I’ve always admired Tyro – one of Australia’s original fintechs that has taken on the banks and made a huge difference to Australian businesses.
“I am looking forward to joining this dynamic team as they enter the next chapter in their growth story with further product innovation and tech excellence to best serve customers.”
Keen commences at Tyro on 15 August.
– Heritage Bank has appointed Mikhail Lopushanski as its new Chief Information Security Officer.
Lopushanski joins Heritage after more than a decade in the public sector, serving as Chief Security Officer at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) over the last 10 years.
Heritage chief executive Peter Lock said Lopushanski’s experience and insight will prove “invaluable” for the challenger bank as it grows its information security, data security and digital defence capabilities.
Lopushanski, a native of Canada, said he “was looking for the next challenge and I have been selective about where I wanted to work”.
“I wanted a dynamic Australian organisation with close ties to the community and a financial institution. With the potential merger, Heritage is a dynamic organisation. It’s certainly what I was looking for.
“Heritage has done a lot in regards to security but it is an ongoing journey. We always need to be proactive in this space to protect our members.”
Lopushanski has already commenced his role, based in Brisbane.
– National Australia Bank (NAB) has appointed Joao Facchin Alves as Executive of a newly formed Emerging Technology and Engineering Acceleration team – part of its wider architecture team.
Alves, who quietly announced his move on LinkedIn, formerly served as Global Head of Hybrid Integration Platform Architecture at HSBC in London.
Prior to this, he served as Vice President for Technology Infrastructure at Goldman Sachs in Brazil.
Speaking to online publisher, iTnews, NAB said: “Joe has been enabling enterprises to leverage open technologies since the early days of commercial Internet, and most recently with the Kubernetes-based cloud native stacks.”
– The Federal Government has nominated Catriona Lowe to serve as Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a five‑year term.
Lowe is currently on the board of the Australian Energy Regulator.
She has previously held a range of roles focused on consumer advocacy, including with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, the Consumer Action Law Centre, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the ACCC.
Lowe is set to replace Delia Rickard (who will move across to the financial services industry dispute resolution scheme AFCA) in the Deputy Chair role; however, with Lowe’s term set to begin only on the 27 January next year, the Government has proposed extending Rickard’s term.
Rickard has served as the competition regulator’s Deputy Chair since 2012.
– BankVic has found its next Chief Information Officer, with Equipsuper’s current tech chief, Shane Kuret, announcing he will step into the role.
The move follows the departure of former BankVic CIO Scott Wall in June, joining fellow challenger institution, Bank Australia as Chief Transformation Officer.
Adrian Theuma, who served as Acting CIO in the interim, will become BankVic’s Head of Data and Development.
Kuret most recently served more than two years as Head of Technology at superannuation fund Equipsuper. Prior to this, he was GM for Technology at former industry super fund-owned bank MyLife MyFinance, and before this as GM for Strategy and Architecture at ME Bank.
Equipsuper has since appointed Shane Collister as its interim Head of Technology as it seeks a permanent replacement for Kuret.
As BankVic CIO, Kuret will report directly to chief executive Anthony De Fazio.
– Peak fintech industry body, FinTech Australia, has appointed former Federal Government adviser Nick Kavass as its first Policy Lead.
As Policy Lead, Kavass will coordinate with policy partners and members to help formulate and progress FinTech Australia’s policy agenda. Among Kavass’s priorities include: payments policy, the ongoing rollout of the CDR, regulation of Buy Now Pay Later companies, regulation of crypto assets and government support for the fintech community during turbulence in the venture capital market.
Kavass brings nearly a decade of public sector experience to the role, including as part of the Federal Treasury and ASIC. Most recently he served as a policy adviser to the former Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar.
FinTech Australia General Manager Rehan D’Almedia said: “This is an exciting and key appointment for the organisation. With a new government in power, we’re looking to step up the rigour of our policy support for our members and build on the extensive groundwork that the organisation has laid over the past few years.”
“Nick’s experience at two key agencies that interact with the ecosystem — Treasury and ASIC — make him invaluable in helping us articulate our policy agenda.
Kavass said he was “honoured” to take on the role, noting he has “interacted with the peak body over the years on policy matters, and it has served as a key voice in shaping the government’s stance on important regulatory issues”.
– Travel insurer Cover-More Group, part of the wider Zurich Insurance Group, is on the hunt for a new Chief Technology Officer to support its Group CIO function.
The new CTO will report to Group Chief Information Officer Conor Breslin, who joined the team in October 2021, replacing CIO Nicki Doble.
The new CTO will lead the development Cover-More’s technology strategy and build out architecture skillsets across core services and platforms.
– Resolution Life Australasia has appointed Tim Tez as Chief Executive.
Tez joins from medical indemnity insurance business, Avant Mutual, where he currently serves as Chief Executive.
Prior to this, he spent three years at AIA Australia as Chief Health Insurance Officer and as CEO of AIA’s Health Insurance arm.
Clive Cowdery, Executive Chair of the Resolution Life Group said: “We are pleased with the development of the Australasian business and are certain that with Tim’s expertise, experience, and leadership, Resolution Life will continue to grow as the leading in-force specialist life insurer in Australasia.”
Tez succeeds Megan Beer, who is set to relocate to London to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the wider Resolution Group from February next year, replacing the retiring John Hele.
As group COO, Beer will oversee the development of global operations, including plans for acquired businesses.
– Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has appointed Adam Rowse as Chief Customer Officer, Business and Agribusiness.
Rowse is a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry in Australia and abroad, including serving 14 years in London at Barclays Bank.
At Barclays he was Head of Business Banking, including agribusiness, and the Head of Physical Banking, overseeing more than 1,000 branch locations and thousands of employees.
Prior to joining Barclays, Rowse spent more than a decade at NAB where he rose from the trainee banking program to take on senior leadership roles at the bank before departing for London in 2007.
Bendigo Managing Director and Chief Executive Marnie Baker said the executive appointment was an important step in bringing the business and agribusiness banking divisions together to better support the bank’s customers and grow their businesses.
“We are pleased to appoint someone of Adam’s calibre to the role of Chief Customer Officer Business and Agribusiness. His experience and understanding of the global banking landscape will help us to execute our transformation strategy and continue to grow our business as we become a bigger, better and stronger bank.”
– The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has appointed Natalie Cameron as its new Lead Ombudsman for Banking and Finance.
Cameron moves into the position from her current role as AFCA’s Lead Ombudsman for Investments and Advice. She has been acting in the Banking and Finance role since January.
“Natalie brings to this role a wealth of experience in law, financial services and dispute resolution. She has already made an outstanding contribution as a Lead Ombudsman, both in Investments and Advice and as Acting Lead Ombudsman in Banking and Finance,” AFCA’s Chief Ombudsman and CEO, David Locke, said.
The Lead Ombudsman for Banking and Finance is a key national role, with more than half of the 70,000-plus complaints AFCA registers each year coming from this sector, Locke said. “Natalie will have the opportunity to influence practice by working with banks and financial institutions in areas such as financial difficulty and vulnerable customers,” he added.
– MLC Life Insurance has appointed Jane McGovern as Chief Risk Officer.
McGovern currently serves as Group Executive for Risk and Governance at NSW state insurer iCare.
Jane will officially join MLC Life Insurance on 19 September 2022, reporting to Chief Executive Officer, Rodney Cook.
She replaces Acting Chief Risk Officer, Edwina Star, a partner in the Risk & Regulation practice at PWC. Star joined MLC Life Insurance temporarily to fill the vacancy of Darren Robinson, who left the organisation back in March.
– CareSuper has appointed Jean-Luc Ambrosi to the newly created role of Chief Experience Officer, responsible for leading the digital, engagement and customer experience functions within the super fund.
Chief executive Julie Lander said the newly formed experience function would support the fund’s growth ambitions whilst meeting the needs of existing members.
Ambrosi most recently served at TelstraSuper as Executive General Manager Marketing & Digital over the past eight years.
CareSuper has also appointed Ashley McAuliffe as Head of Advice. McAuliffe previously served as Victorian Practice Manager for Mercer Financial Advice.
The super provider has also promoted Christine Nguyen to the position of Chief Risk Officer. Nguyen first joined CareSuper in October 2021 as the Head of Risk.
Prior to joining CareSuper, she was the Head of Enterprise Risk Management at AwareSuper and has previously served in senior risk-related roles at VicSuper, Mercer, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), AIA Australia and PwC Australia.
She assumes the role from former Chief Risk Officer Belinda Ray who left the super provider back in March.
– The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has made two changes to its senior leadership function.
Dr Jonathan Kearns has transferred to Head of Domestic Markets in the Financial Markets Group from Head of Financial Stability Department in the Financial System Group.
Dr Marion Kohler has transferred to Head of Economic Analysis Department in the Economic Group from Head of Domestic Markets in the Financial Markets Group.
These changes follow the appointment of Dr Brad Jones to Assistant Governor, Financial System from Head of Economic Analysis and the secondment of Dr Alex Heath to the Commonwealth Treasury to work on the white paper on employment.
The moves also open two senior positions within the Bank: Head of International and Head of Financial Stability, both of which will be advertised internally and externally.
– HUB24 has appointed Tim Steele as Chief Executive of the newly acquired Class – an SMSF administration technology, legal documents and corporate compliance provider acquired by HUB24 earlier this year.
Steele will report to the Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Andrew Alcock.
“Tim brings a wealth of executive experience in leading teams and working with financial professionals to deliver customer-centric solutions,” Alcock said.
“I am delighted to welcome Tim to Class to lead the business forward as we focus on delivering great customer outcomes and enhancing Class’s already market-leading SMSF documents and corporate compliance solutions.”
Steele most recently served as Group Executive, Retirement and Investment Solutions at MLC after joining NAB in 2016 as General Manager of NAB Financial Planning.
– Suncorp New Zealand appointed Chris Robb to the role of EGM Technology among a number of title and accountabilities changes across Suncorp’s senior leadership.
Chief executive Jimmy Higgins announced the overhaul as a “culture shift right across our business, and a very different way of working together so we can be more responsive in an increasingly dynamic market”.
Tom Hinds, former Strategy and Corporate Affairs Head, is now EGM Strategy & Transformation, whilst Grant Willis, formerly Head of Life, is now EGM Life.
Jane Brewer, formerly EGM Technology and Transformation, will now serve as now EGM Consumer.
Campbell Mitchell – formerly EGM Customer, Brand and Distribution – will now serve as Chief Customer Officer, accountable for all revenue for the general insurance brands, for growing intermediary, broker and partner relations, and for corporate affairs and sustainability.
Sacha Cowlrick, formerly EGM Insurance Solutions, is now EGM Business.
– Westpac NZ has announced the dual appointments of Reuben Tucker as General Manager of Institutional and Business Banking and Dirk McLiesh as Chief Risk Officer.
Westpac NZ Chief Executive Catherine McGrath said the pair will be “integral to driving Westpac in the right direction”.
“Reuben and Dirk are both proven leaders, and I know the expertise they bring from their considerable experience in the finance sector will be beneficial to our business.”
Tucker will join the bank on 1 August, filling the role vacated by Simon Power. He owns the investment and advisory firm, Balthazar & Co, and served around a decade with ANZ.
McLiesh joins Westpac NZ on 15 August. He fills the role vacated by Carolyn Kidd, who left on 27 May after more than six years with the bank. He previously held the position of General Manager Controls & Assurance for Customers, Products and Services at BNZ.
– New Zealand’s chief financial regulator, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko, has formally appointed Margot Gatland as its new Head of Enforcement. Gatland was previously the FMA’s Acting Head of Enforcement.
Liam Mason, FMA General Counsel, stressed the importance of the Enforcement role, which is “responsible for leading all the FMA’s work to enforce the law and prosecute misconduct”.
“Given the importance of enforcement at the FMA, we wanted to test the market to ensure we appointed the best person to the role. We received a high level of interest from both local and overseas candidates. The interest in the role reflects the high regard in which the FMA is held, and we’re delighted that we have the right skills and experience inside the FMA with Margot.”
Gatland has been with the FMA since December 2017, when she joined as a senior solicitor.
– Chair of the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA), Wayne Byres, has announced he will step down from the role at the end of October.
Byres has served nearly eight years as APRA Chair, and is set to end his term 18 months ahead of schedule.
Big four banking chiefs praised Byres’ leadership during his tenure, particularly his macroprudential interventions during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure banks remained well capitalised and reduced bad debts.
“Mr Byres has played a critical role in helping to maintain and strengthen the robustness of Australia’s financial system,” said CBA chief executive Matt Comyn.
“His leadership, experience and perspective over the last eight years, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, have been invaluable in guiding the banking industry through these challenges.”
NAB chief executive Ross McEwan said the outgoing APRA Chair played a “crucial role in promoting stability and trust in the Australian financial system”.
Australian Banking Association (ABA) chief executive Anna Bligh said Byres “provided a steady hand and strong leadership” over the past eight years, “particularly through the very stormy economic waters of recent times. He has made an invaluable contribution.”
Byres is also credited with introducing the superannuation performance Heatmap, which identifies underperforming superannuation funds, as well as developing APRA’s first standards on climate, cybersecurity, and measures to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the Federal Government would undertake “an open and transparent process to select the next APRA chair”.
– The Australian Security Exchange’s (ASX’s) Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Gillian Larkins, has announced she will depart from the organisation at the end of August, opting to pursue “new opportunities elsewhere”.
Larkins served almost four years at ASX, initially as part of the ASX’s Executive Committee as well as heading the Finance and Facilities team.
The ASX praised Larkins’ “dedicated and strategic leadership to overhaul the finance area and bring a more rigorous approach to the financial management of ASX”.
Dominic Stevens, ASX’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, said: “We thank Gill for her service. She leaves ASX with a strong Finance and Facilities team in place, which is well positioned to continue to deliver for our stakeholders.
“She will continue to guide ASX through the next two months of our year-end activities until her departure. We wish her the very best for the next successful phase of her career.”
– The ASX has also announced Dr Ken Henry will retire as a Non-Executive Director on its board and will not seek re-election when his term expires at the 2022 AGM.
Dr Henry has been on the Board of ASX since February 2013 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Nomination Committee.
ASX Chairman Damian Roche praised Dr Henry’s nine-year contribution to ASX: “Ken has been an outstanding director of ASX and brought formidable intellect and insight to the governance and oversight of our company. Few can match his knowledge of economics and public policy, or his commitment to broader social and environmental issues.
“On behalf of all our stakeholders, I thank and congratulate Ken on his service; not only to ASX but to the Australian community more widely.”
– The Financial Services Council (FSC) has appointed Renato Mota, Chief Executive Officer of Insignia Financial and Alison Telfer, Country Head for Asset Management Australia and New Zealand of UBS Asset Management, as Directors to the FSC Board.
The FSC recognised Mota’s more than 20 years of experience in financial services, “with a strength in blending deep strategic insights with hands-on experience in business leadership and execution.
“He has been responsible for leading Insignia Financial’s transformation strategy, including the acquisition of MLC, and a focus on enabling financial wellbeing for Australians through service excellence and technology.”
Telfer was also recognised for his more than two decades’ experience in global asset management.
“She has held a range of roles within the industry spanning through product development, strategy and client distribution to legal and government affairs. Ms Telfer brings these skills in leading UBS Asset Management to partner with clients and industry to create better financial outcomes and positive impact beyond returns.”
FSC Chairman David Bryant added: “Renato and Alison bring to the Board extensive knowledge and experience that further strengthens the FSC’s contribution to the national debate to the benefit of financial services consumers.
“Renato and Alison’s appointment reflects the senior industry leadership the FSC brings to help the Government and regulators solve common public policy challenges.
– The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has announced the appointment of outgoing ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard to its board. The appointment is for a three-year term, effective from 1 August 2022.
“Ms Rickard brings to the board a wide range of skills from a distinguished public service career in consumer policy. She has a deep understanding of the current and emerging challenges facing consumers and financial firms,” AFCA Independent Chair Professor John Pollaers OAM said.
“We will also benefit from her insight into financial inclusion, as we seek to ensure all Australians have access to our ombuds service.”
Pollaers added: “Ms Rickard’s deep knowledge and expertise in the consumer space will ensure AFCA continues to deliver against these goals and keeps an essential focus on ensuring consumer accessibility and inclusion.”
Rickard has served as Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) since June 2012.
– The ASX has announced the appointment of Dr Heather Smith as a Non‐Executive Director, filling the vacancy from the forthcoming retirement of Dr Ken Henry.
ASX Chairman Damian Roche said the latest board appointment, coupled with the appointment of David Curran in March, “continues ASX’s work to renew and strengthen its Board with the right mix of skills, especially in technology, cyber, public policy and financial markets, to support ASX in building an exchange for the future”.
Smith has served more than two decades in the Australian Public Service, including as Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (2017-2020), and prior to this as Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts (2016-2017).”
She has also held senior positions in the departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet (including heading the Prime Minister’s taskforce on Innovation), Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Treasury, as well as the Office of National Intelligence. She began her career at the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1988.
Roche added: “ASX is very fortunate to have attracted a director of the high calibre of Dr Heather Smith. She brings to our Board considerable expertise in public policy, innovation, national security and economic reform. These are areas of great relevance to ASX as we enter a new and exciting phase in our development, re-energised under fresh executive leadership.
“Heather’s deep knowledge of government and the public sector, complemented by her recent board experience, is an ideal blend for ASX, which operates at the heart of Australia’s financial markets, managing multiple stakeholders and regulatory expectations.”
– TAL has appointed Mark Joiner as independent Chair, filling the vacancy from the forthcoming retirement of Duncan Boyle.
Boyle served eight years as TAL board Chair.
Joiner has more than 30 years of corporate and financial services experience, currently serving as Chair of QBE Insurance Group’s Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries. He is also Independent Chair of digital property exchange platform PEXA and an independent non-executive director of Latitude Financial Services.
Joiner said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to contribute to the next phase of development for TAL. I have been impressed by the transformation that has taken place over the last decade to establish TAL as the leading life insurer in Australia and look forward to working with the team to maintain that momentum for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
TAL recognised Boyle’s role in overseeing “the most significant period of growth at TAL in its 150-year history, including the acquisitions of the Australian life insurance businesses of both Suncorp and Westpac, as well as guiding the company through a period of substantial regulatory and industry change”.
– Super provider Hostplus has announced David Elmslie will step down as Chair after 15 years in the role, with former QIC chief executive Damien Frawley to step into the vacancy.
Hostplus Co-Deputy Chairs, Tim Lyons and Craig Laundy, said Frawley’s appointment would “add incredible depth and breadth of experience to the Board”.
“I am delighted to welcome Damien to the Board of Hostplus and look forward to working closely with him to continue to deliver strong performance and better retirement outcomes for our members,” Lyons said
“Damien will no doubt bring valuable perspectives to the Hostplus Board, especially in relation to investments and effectively managing growth in an increasingly competitive marketplace. His depth and breadth of experience across Financial, Government and Not for profit sectors will serve our members very well,” Laundy said.
Hostplus CEO, David Elia paid tribute to departing Chair Elmslie, whom he said “made an enormous contribution to Hosptlus”.
“Throughout his time, he has diligently and faithfully served the Hostplus Board, the Fund, and the interests of all contributing employers and members.”