Movers & Shakers, Financial Services | August – September, 2023

Simon Birch Bupa CIO

Bupa appoints permanent CIO, while regulator APRA seeks new information chief; and member-owned bank Qudos unveils new chief executive.

– Health insurer Bupa has appointed Simon Birch as its permanent Chief Information Officer (CIO) for APAC.

Welcoming the firm’s new tech chief, Nick Stone, Bupa’s recently appointed APAC chief executive, recognised Birch’s “significant experience in transforming the technology environments of large organisations and leading digital uplifts”.

“This will be invaluable for Bupa APAC as we continue to modernise, digitise and personalise healthcare for our customers,” Stone added.

Bupa APAC said its latest executive appointment was made following an extensive internal and external recruitment process.

Birch most recently served as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA’s) Acting Chief Technology Officer.

He assumes the role from Jenny Watson, who stepped in as acting CIO in April 2022 following former information chief Sami Yalavac’s appointment as lead of Bupa’s health services arm.

Yalavac eventually left Bupa at the end of 2022.

Watson will return to her original role as Bupa’s senior technology director, health insurance, adding ‘business services’ to her title.

Birch served just under four years at CBA, most recently as Acting Chief Technology Officer, leading the bank’s engineering, architecture and infrastructure services teams for around 10 months.


– The Federal Government has appointed three new Commissioners to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA’s) current Chief Risk Officer (CRO) for its institutional bank and markets, Simone Constant.

Constant, a former lawyer, was recognised by the regulator for her “extensive experience in financial services and risk management”. She has served as CBA’s institutional bank CRO for nearly three years.

Constant is the former deputy secretary of the NSW Treasury and led the NSW Department of Education’s COVID Taskforce.

Alan Kirkland, currently chief executive of consumer advocacy group CHOICE has also been appointed an ASIC Commissioner, alongside Katherine O’Rourke, who currently serves as first assistant secretary at Treasury.

Kirkland is also a member of ASIC’s Consultative Panel, and was a member of the panel for the Ramsay Review, which recommended the establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and Compensation Scheme of Last Resort.

O’Rourke previously served at ASIC between 2003 to 2017, leading work on fundraising, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and regulatory policy.

All three appointments are effective from 11 September 2023.

ASIC chair Joe Long welcomed the three new appointees, recognising their “considerable experience in areas relevant to ASIC’s strategic priorities”.

“They join the Commission as we embark on a program of work to become a leading data-informed regulator and strengthen our commitment to strong and decisive enforcement of the law.”

ASIC also announced that Commissioner Danielle Press will depart from the regulator when her term expires on 16 September 2023.

Longo praised Press’s “generous, warm and approachable leadership style” which he said has “helped build open and effective relationships across ASIC, among our peers and across industry”.


– Qudos Bank has appointed Brendan Wright as its next Chief Executive.

Wright has been recognised by Qudos for his more than 20 years of decorated leadership experience in financial services spanning retail banking, commercial lending and mortgage broking.

He most recently served as Chief Executive at mortgage finance aggregator broker and fintech platform FAST Group, and has held executive leadership roles within big four bank NAB. He currently sits on the board of Citoplus a broker software solution provider.

Wright will be tasked with overseeing the bank’s current transformation agenda, “reinforcing Qudos Bank as a purpose-led brand, ensuring sustainability and competitiveness into the future”.

He assumes the leadership role from executive chair, Rodney Watson, who steps back to the Qudos board, and Deputy CEO Cindy Hansen.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Brendan to Qudos Bank and sincerely thank Cindy Hansen, our Deputy CEO who has assisted me in leading the organisation during a time of rapid change,” Watson said.

The Qudos Chair confirmed that Hansen will “transition into a key leadership role, continuing her work in the oversight of our strategy and transformation programs”.


– The Bank of Queensland (BoQ) has announced that current Managing Director and Chief Executive Patrick Allaway has been formally confirmed in the role, with the search for a new CEO being “discontinued”.

“This will retain stability and continuity, supporting the seamless delivery of our strategic priorities to build a strong, simpler and cost-effective digitally enabled bank,” BoQ wrote in a statement.

Allaway replaced former MD and CEO George Frazis in December 2022, with the BoQ board at the time calling for leadership renewal at the bank.

Allaway, previously BoQ’s Chair, was originally appointed CEO on an interim basis following Frazis’ departure from the bank, where he served three years. Allaway’s term was earlier this year confirmed until December 2024, with BoQ intending to seek a permanent successor.

Commenting on the announcement, Allaway said: “I am honoured to continue leading BoQ through our transformation to address our structural challenges as a mid-tier bank and deliver a competitive and sustainable model with improved outcomes for our customers, people and shareholders.”

He added: “I recognise that this will not be easy, requiring unwavering commitment to the disciplined execution of our strategic priorities and embracing our integrated risk program to build a better bank.”


– The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has appointed Jane Franks as Chief People Officer (CPO).

Franks will be responsible for the Exchange’s People and Culture function, including leading the organisation’s culture transformation, capability uplift and people strategies to support the organisation’s five-year strategy.

This includes oversight of performance management activities, compensation and benefit structures, HR policies and systems, leadership and talent programs, and diversity and inclusion activities, the ASX confirmed.

ASX Chief Executive and Managing Director, Helen Lofthouse welcomed Franks’ “considerable experience in transforming and reshaping culture and people practices”.

“Her appointment will support us build the capability and culture we need to successfully deliver our new strategy, meet customer and regulator expectations, and support and develop our people.”

Franks joins ASX from healthcare group Blackmores, where she has served as Chief People Officer since 2018. At Blackmores, the ASX said, she led a program to transform capability and culture by establishing new talent, reward and leadership frameworks, improved engagement and leadership indices, and accelerated diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging practices across 13 markets.

Prior to this, she was General Manager, HR for Westpac Group and BT Financial Group, Chief of Staff for the bank’s Retail and Business Bank and Group Head of Employee Advocacy.

Franks will begin her new role from 13 November.


– Last month, the ASX also announced the appointment of a new Chief Operating Officer (COO), with Diona Rae taking up the role.

Rae will be responsible for the Enterprise Customer and Operations function, including project delivery, customer, brand and marketing, digital, and regulatory reporting.

CEO and MD Lofthouse recognised Rae’s “extensive experience in regulatory remediation programs” noting her “proven track record delivering large, complex transformation, technology and risk programs”.

“Her experience in transformation delivery will be invaluable for ASX as we start to move into the execution phase of our strategy.”

Rae first joined the ASX in May 2023 as Program Director, Delivery, with the role providing additional capacity and enterprise focus for ASX’s delivery and regulatory programs.

“Diona will also be responsible for executing our enterprise-wide customer strategy, working closely with our customers to improve our markets, products and services. This includes leading our ‘digital by design’ approach to making customer and people experiences frictionless and easy.”

Before joining ASX, Rae was most recently Executive General Manager, Privacy Program Delivery with Commonwealth Bank, with the Exchange recognising her role in in transforming the bank’s privacy remediation program to satisfy regulatory requirements.

Separately, ASX also confirmed that Clive Triance will commence as Group Executive, Securities and Payments, on 14 August 2023. Triance’s appointment was previously announced on 20 June 2023.

Rae assumed the role on 7 August.


– Cbus Super has announced the creation of new Chief Strategy, Transformation, Operating and People Officer roles for the fund, with super fund appointing a new Deputy Chief Investment Officer.

The new Chief Strategy Officer role will be filled by Alexandra West who expands her current portfolio as Chief Strategy Officer, Investments.

As strategy chief, West will be responsible for enterprise strategy and performance; enterprise positioning; and enterprise advocacy and public affairs.

Natalie Hannemann has been appointed as Cbus’s new Chief Transformation Officer, focusing on operational excellence and boosting business efficiency.

Nancy Day has been appointed Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for all support and enabling operating aspects of Cbus including investment enablement, finance and technology.

Justine Hartman has been appointed Chief People Officer, which Cbus notes is an “elevated title to show the importance of our people being represented on the executive team”.

As well, Alexandra Campbell has been appointed the super fund’s new Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Head of Private Markets, reporting to Chief Investment Officer Brett Chatfield. Campbell most recently led the Infrastructure and Private Market teams.

Cbus CEO Kristian Fok said the “new roles and a re-invigorated business unit model will support the fund’s future development”.

“We’ve had a period of growth through mergers that has increased our member base and our reach into the media, arts, print, energy and electrical sectors.

“We need to continue to be on the front foot about how we evolve Cbus, aligning our operational capabilities so we can set ourselves up for future growth and continued long-term investment performance, and have a strategic focus on the way we work.


– Payments technology firm Tyro has added ‘Managing Director’ to current Chief Executive Jon Davey’s job title.

Davey will also join Tyro’s Board of Directors effective from 1 September 2023.

Tyro chair, Fiona Pak-Poy, said the addition of the Managing Director title to Davey’s remit “recognises his strong performance since taking on the role of CEO in October last year.

“We look forward to the valuable contribution Jon will make to the Board with his deep understanding of the financial services and technology sectors and extensive leadership experience.”

Davey joined Tyro as CEO of the company’s health business in May 2021 following its acquisition of health fintech Medipass. He was appointed Tyro’s Group CEO on 3 October 2022.

Tyro recognised Davey’s role in leading the delivery of key product and customer experience priorities, including the Tyro Go mobile EFTPOS reader, Tyro BYO payment acceptance app for iOS, and Tyro Pro, a payments terminal and digital onboarding service.

“Jon also implemented a new operating model and delivered a cost reduction program that has seen $11 million in annualised costs removed from the business without impacting growth. The delivery of these key strategic priorities generated record results in FY23 culminating in Tyro achieving its first full-year positive cash flow result as a publicly listed company. “


– The Bank of Sydney (BoS) has announced a major executive team change, which it says marks “a decisive leap towards elevated customer experiences, operational efficiency and forward-looking strategies.”

Maria Karavias has been appointed BoS’s new Chief Marketing Officer, focused on “refining customer segmentation strategies and enhancing customer experiences”. Prior to joining the Bank of Sydney, Karavias served as head of a self-owned marketing consultancy business. She has also held key marketing, product and digital positions within News Corp, Westpac, St.George and Woolworths.

Gary English assumes the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the property & procurement, operations, and IT departments, and “harmonising policies, processes, and initiatives to amplify customer and business outcomes”.

English joined Bank of Sydney in 2017 as Chief Risk Officer, and prior to this served at Gateway Credit Union, Challenger, and the Commonwealth Bank.

Stella Grilis will serve as Acting Chief Risk Officer, reporting directly to the CEO.

“In this capacity, she will continue to oversee the Risk function, ensuring the Bank’s risk management strategies meticulously safeguard the interests of customers, employees, and stakeholders”.

Melos Sulicich, appointed CEO of the Bank of Sydney in May this year, praised the latest recruits as “[epitomising] our unwavering dedication to evolving into a pioneering challenger bank renowned for delivering unparalleled service”.

“By fortifying our capabilities and streamlining operations, we strategically position ourselves to foster growth, all while keeping customers firmly at the forefront of our endeavours.”



The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is seeking a new Chief Information Officer, with tech publisher iTnews signalling that incumbent Doug Jenkins will vacate the role.

“Neither APRA nor Jenkins himself would clarify if he has left; but a job posting was made for a CIO this week to lead the technology business unit within APRA’s technology and data division,” iTnews reported.

“The primary objective of this role is to work with key stakeholders to establish, deliver and execute a forward-looking technology strategy, implementation roadmap and architecture that aligns with and enables the broader technology and data transformation and APRA corporate plan,” the APRA advertisement states.

The Sydney-based role is part of APRA’s technology and data division, which was created in February when the regulator combined its enterprise services technology team and core data capabilities teams from the data analytics and insights division.

Jenkins has served as APRA’s CIO since 2015.


One of Australia’s biggest super funds, Australian Retirement Trust (ART) has announced that Bernard Reilly, the super fund’s inaugural CEO, will leave the organisation next February.

It comes two years after ART was formed through the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper, recognised as one of Australia’s largest superannuation mergers.

Australian Retirement Trust Chair Andrew Fraser recognised Reilly’s “incredible legacy, having played an integral role in delivering Australia’s largest superannuation merger to create Australian Retirement Trust back in February 2022.”

“Bern has expertly guided Australian Retirement Trust to deliver merger benefits to our more than 2.3 million members and grow funds under administration to more than $260b. But I think the thing Bern should be proudest of, and a true testament to his leadership capabilities, is the culture he has helped grow across our organisation.”

The Outgoing CEO said the super fund is entering “its next chapter as one of Australia’s leading superannuation funds.

“I’m excited to continue watching the Fund grow as one of its members.”

ART has appointed Egon Zehnder to commence a global executive search for a new CEO.


– ANZ Bank New Zealand has announced that Grant Knuckey will step down as Chief Risk Officer in March 2024.

A long-serving executive, Knuckey has held senior international banking roles in New Zealand, Asia, and the United States.

Prior to starting his current role in early 2020, Knuckey served as CEO of ANZ Americas and before that CEO Japan & Korea.

ANZ New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Antonia Watson recognised Knuckey’s “significant contribution to ANZ over almost 30 years in many different markets, including here in New Zealand”.

“Since commencing as Chief Risk Officer, Grant has played a critical role in steering ANZ through the pandemic, our response to the RBNZ’s section 95 review, and more recently leading our climate programme and the response to current economic challenges.

ANZ is yet to announce Knuckey’s replacement.


– NAB is undergoing a major restructure of multiple divisions within the bank, with FSI employee advocate the Finance Sector Union signalling that more than 200 roles – including, including positions across its technology and operations function – could be scrapped.

“NAB has announced multiple significant restructures within the personal direct lending, technology and operations, and corporate finance and client coverage departments,” the Union said in a statement.

“These proposed changes will result in 222 roles being made redundant and hundreds of colleagues being displaced and repointed.”