The newly merged People’s Choice Credit Union and Heritage Bank unveil new CIO; Spaceship announces shake-up of leadership team; and Bank of Sydney chief calls time.
– Ahead of their forthcoming merger, People’s Choice Credit Union (PCCU) and Heritage Bank have appointed Andy Weir as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the amalgamated organisation.
The move was not unexpected, with Weir having served as Acting CIO of PCCU over the last six months.
Recognising his experience in large-scale strategic and digital transformations, PCCU Chief Executive, Steve Laidlaw praised Weir as an “exceptional leader and a strong advocate for our values as a member-owned organisation”.
“Throughout an extensive recruitment process he stood out as the ideal person to guide us through our next, critical phase – bringing together our two IT systems and teams.”
Weir has previously held executive roles with CBA-owned Bankwest (as CIO, EGM Technology and Transformation) and Halifax Bank of Scotland across technology, transformation, change management, integration and retail banking.
Commenting on his new appointment, Weir said: “Technology will be key to the successful delivery of our new organisation’s strategy, as we seek to create leading digital experiences for our members.
“While there’s a significant amount of work to do to bring our technology together, we’re not simply going to merge existing systems, we’ll also create new and improved technology platforms for the benefit of our members. It’s a fantastic challenge.”
The $23 billion merger of People’s Choice and Heritage is set to create Australia’s ninth-largest bank – and the nation’s largest mutual bank – with approximately 720,000 members, 1,900 employees and 95 branches in Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory.
Weir will begin as permanent CIO for the newly merged organisation on 1 March 2023.
– Lendi Group – consisting of online home loan platform Lendi, broker franchise network Aussie, and Domain Home Loans – has appointed Travis Tyler as Group Chief Product Officer (CPO).
Tyler joins from Australian buy now, pay later (BNPL) outfit Zip Co.
Lendi Group Chief Executive David Hyman hailed his latest executive recruit’s wealth of knowledge and leadership skills, entrusting Tyler with growing the organisation’s customer, product and innovation agenda.
“As a group, our mission is steadfast and unchanged in that we are committed to changing the way Australians experience property lending,” Hyman said.
“This involves a growing and heavy investment in both product innovation and technology in order to cement our unique position in market, transforming lending for both customers, our brands and our brokers.”
Tyler has notched up nearly two decades in the banking sector. Prior to Zip, where he also served as CPO, he was Chief Product and Marketing Officer at neobank 86 400 (subsequently acquired and absorbed into NAB’s digital banking arm UBank), and prior to this in various roles at Westpac and St.George Bank.
Tyler commences his new role on 30 January, and will report directly to Hyman.
– Sydney-headquartered global payments group EML Payments has announced Jonathan Gatt will step in as interim Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), replacing outgoing CFO Robert Shore.
Shore, who is due to step down on 16 April 2023, held the CFO role for six-and-a-half years and will work alongside Gatt over the next three months to “ensure a smooth transition”.
Gatt is currently EML’s European Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining EML, he spent 17 years at GE Capital, holding a number of finance roles, most recently as CFO during its transition out of financial services in the US and Europe.
EML said it will conduct an internal and external global search for a permanent CFO.
Commenting on Gatt’s appointment, EML Group Chief Executive and Managing Director, Emma Shand, said the company is undertaking a “new strategic direction… to become an embedded finance leader in four key sectors over the next five years and to streamline the business to be more operationally efficient, driving performance and accountability.”
– The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko has appointed Stuart Johnson to the newly created role of Chief Economist.
In the new role, Johnson will lead a team of economists, research specialists, data analysts and consumer insight experts, delivering on the regulator’s strategy of becoming “significantly more research-driven, [and] data and intelligence-led”.
The FMA recognised Johnson’s more than 20 years’ experience as an economist and behavioural science expert within the financial services industry, spanning banking, insurance and government regulation.
He joins the FMA from London, UK, where he served as Head of Behavioural Economics, Conduct Risk and Customer Experience, at major international banking and insurance firms, including Aviva and HSBC, since 2015.
Samantha Barrass, FMA Chief Executive, said: “This is an exciting appointment for the FMA. In Stuart, we have attracted world-class talent, with international industry experience and credentials, to lead an important new function at the FMA”.
Johnson will join the FMA in early February 2023.
– Bank of Sydney has announced Chief Executive Miltos Michaelas will depart from the organisation in mid-2023 after more than a decade leading the challenger bank.
Michaelas, in his most recently stint, helmed the bank for just over six years, following an earlier tenure as CEO between October 2001 and July 2006.
The long-serving Chief Executive is set to return to Cyprus, citing a wish to “focus on family overseas”.
Bank of Sydney recognised Michaelas’s long-term strategic vision, focused on “driving internal efficiencies and the implementation of automation and digitisation projects”.
“These initiatives will continue to drive better outcomes for the Bank’s people, its customers and its communities in the years to come.”
Bank of Sydney Chair Nicholas Pappas said Michaelas had “shown unwavering dedication and service” throughout his tenure. He added that the outgoing CEO stewarded the bank through “one of its largest transformational periods – the products of which will be continued and sustainable organisational growth”.
– The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has announced Commissioner Sean Hughes will leave the regulator to take up a new executive legal and compliance role at investment group, Vanguard.
Hughes will exit before the end of his five-year term on 1 December 2023, stepping down on 3 February.
He formerly served as chief executive of New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and was previously Chief Risk and Legal Officer at UniSuper, Head of Legal at NAB, and Group General Manager, Compliance at ANZ Group.
ASIC Chair Joe Longo said he was “grateful” for the outgoing Commissioner’s contributions to the corporate watchdog during his tenure.
ASIC said its Commission will “continue to work via a whole-of-ASIC approach, with current members Chair Longo, Deputy Chairs Sarah Court and Karen Chester, and Commissioner Danielle Press, working with the Chief Operating Officer and the Executive Team”.
Hughes has held previous senior positions with ASIC, including a stint from 2008-2010 as Senior Executive Leader for Corporate Governance and Corporations. From 1999-2003, he held a number of senior executive roles, including as Director, Financial Services Regulation.
– Allianz Australia has announced Chief GM Consumer Michael Winter will leave the organisation in mid-2023, citing a wish to “pursue personal interests, and take time off to spend with his family and friends”.
Winter served more than 20 years with Allianz, having joined in 2001. He held a number of leadership roles across the business, including as GM Financial Institutions for six years and Chief GM Retail Distribution for a further six years.
“In January 2021 [Mr Winter] stepped into the newly created role of Chief GM Consumer, in the new Consumer Division, bringing together Allianz’s customer insights, marketing and digital capabilities with distribution channels with great success,” Allianz said in a statement.
“In the meantime, we wish to thank [him] for an outstanding 20-plus years of contribution towards our business. We’ll miss his genuine passion for people – both customers and employees – and warm approach to leadership, which spanned a number of roles during his time at Allianz.”
Winter was appointed to his current position in January last year, under a new operating model that Allianz introduced at that time to focus on its Consumer, Commercial and Workers’ Compensation divisions.
“During this period he also played a critical role in the acquisition and integration of Westpac General Insurance to Allianz.”
Allianz said it is planning “an extensive internal and external recruitment process to find a suitable replacement”.
– The FMA has also confirmed that James Greig, Director Supervision, has left the regulator to pursue “other opportunities”.
Greig joined the regulator in April 2016 as Head of Supervision before being promoted to ExCo as Director of Supervision in January 2021.
The FMA recognised Grieg’s “highly valued contribution, including leading significant work across the FMA to introduce the new Financial Advice regime and notably improving the way we operate in the supervisory space”.
“James was also instrumental in partnering with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to lead and deliver the conduct and culture reviews of banks in 2018 and life insurers in 2019.
“James had significant involvement in the AML/CFT supervision regime, including his leadership of the FMA’s contribution to the mutual evaluation by FATF from 2019 – 2021.”
– Superannuation fund Spaceship has announced major staff cuts, with four members of its team let go from the organisation this week. The individuals were not disclosed publicly.
“We made this decision to accelerate our path to self-sustainability and ensure we are well positioned to navigate the challenges of the current macro environment,” the company wrote in a statement.
“While these changes serve to help Spaceship reduce its operating costs, our strategy and core business remain unchanged, and there will be no impact to the products we offer customers.”
Spaceship Chief Executive Andrew Moore said: “This is not a decision we imagined would be ahead of us when making hiring decisions. We are deeply grateful for everything these team members have done to help build Spaceship, and this is in no way a reflection on their contributions.
“We will be making every effort to provide those impacted with the appropriate support.”
The super provider also announced several changes to its leadership team:
- Katrina Sly, Spaceship’s Chief Financial Officer, will assume a wider operational remit in the newly created joint role of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
- Tom Kildea, a senior member of Spaceship’s risk and compliance and operations teams for more than five years, is appointed as Chief Risk Officer.
- Jason Sedawie, Senior Portfolio Manager, will assume a wider leadership role within Spaceship in the newly created position of VP of Investments.
– Cbus Super has appointed Abha Devasia, currently AMWU National Legal Coordinator, with retiring CFMMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan also set to make his return to the fund.
Devasia and Noonan replace “stalwart” board directors Anne Donnellan and Frank O’Grady, respectively, with both announcing their retirement.
Cbus chair Wayne Swan said the latest board appointees will bring “experience and fresh skills to the Board”.
“Abha is an advocate at heart and I am excited to see her bring her passion for supporting migrant workers and culturally diverse communities to the superannuation sector,” Swan said.
“She has a keen interest in governance through her work at the AMWU, her experience from service on government and NGO boards, and her insights and approach will provide value to the Fund.”
“We are also very pleased to welcome back Dave Noonan to the Cbus Board,” Swan said.
“Dave is one of the nation’s most accomplished super fund trustees and was recognised as AIST Trustee of the Year in 2019.”
“Dave has served as Deputy Chair of the Fund and has a keen understanding of the Fund’s operation and the outcomes it delivers for members. His expert contribution on our investment committee has long been valued by our investment leaders.”
Devasia will commence her term on the Board in January, with Noonan to rejoin the Board in April.
Swan also thanked the outgoing Donnellan and O’Grady “for their years of service and dedication to the Fund”.
“Both Anne and Frank leave big shoes to fill and we thank them most sincerely for their effort and commitment to the Fund.”
– Following news that 120 of its staff have faced the chop – around 40 per cent of its workforce – payments technology company Till Payments has appointed three new independent directors to lead its push to achieve a public listing on the Nasdaq exchange: Matt Davey, Theo Koundouris and Jerry Yohananov.
The three new Till directors replace Chair Greg Miles (a former Westfield executive), John Banfield (Chief Executive at illion), and Edwina Gilbert (Chair of Phil Gilbert Motor Group and director on the Carsales.com board).
Davey is head of US-based ‘blank cheque company’, Tekkorp Digital Acquisition, which is listed on the Nasdaq.
Koundouris is Managing Director of Supabarn, a family-owned supermarket chain that is also a Till Payments customer.
And Yohananov is the Chief Financial Officer of OnDeck Capital Australia, a technology-based small business lender.
Till Payments is currently in the middle of a $70 million capital raise, following on from a successful $80 million Series C round in October which valued the firm at $350 million, the AFR reports.