Leading industry figures take on new roles

by Antony Field10 May 2021

The finance world is a fast-changing one, and it can be hard keeping track of career moves. Meet the people appointed to new positions in the world of banking, lending and broking.

Will Keall

Marketing outcome owner, Bankwest

Will Keall has recently joined the brand and marketing team at Bankwest as marketing outcome owner for the home buying product category.

In his role, he will be overseeing the development of marketing campaigns promoting Bankwest’s home loan propositions.

Keall says he is honoured to be working with such an established and respected organisation and brand as Bankwest.

“Bankwest is one of Australia’s longest-established financial institutions, having played a significant role in the lives of customers and communities for more than 125 years, and it’s a privilege to be a part of that,” he says.

Keall was previously head of marketing at Sydney-based non-bank lender Resimac, where he was heavily involved in the consolidation of the Resimac and Homeloans brands and was instrumental in the relaunch of Resimac’s direct channel under homeloans.com.au.

He says he is excited to be working in such an innovative and customer-centric organisation.

“There is a genuine customer-first culture at Bankwest, which makes you feel you’re actively contributing to the financial wellbeing of customers. The enthusiasm towards continually improving customer and broker experiences is inspiring.

“There’s a history of innovation, from the drive-in bank branches of the last century to the Bankwest Halo payment ring of today.

“Whether the initiatives are big or small, you can feel the collective drive to deliver simple solutions to the issues that matter most to customers.”

Amanda Liszewski

Lending specialist, Better Homes and Gardens Home Loans

Lending specialist Amanda Liszewski has been appointed to lead Better Homes and Gardens Home Loans.

Liszewski has almost 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry. After starting her career as a stockbroker working for top-tier firms, she transitioned to mortgages. Her career has gone from strength to strength, and she was recognised with a nomination as a finalist in the 2018 Australian Mortgage Awards Young Gun of the Year category.

Liszewski prides herself on achieving premium results for her clients and helping them meet their personal goals.

“At Better Homes and Gardens Home Loans, we believe our clients can ‘expect better’ when looking for the right loan solution, and believe our products and service proposition will deliver a genuine difference,” says Liszewski.

“Every client is unique, and we not only look at how we can help them now but also how we can set them up for the future. Rather than having a transactional approach, the team at Better Homes and Gardens Home Loans are committed to building a relationship with our clients to be able to cater to their unique needs.”

Aligning the business with some of the largest and most reputable developers in Australia is a key initial focus. These partnerships support brokers with genuine referrals as well as allowing for combined solutions to be brought into the market by aligning properties with broader finance solutions.

Liszewski is also passionate about supporting key charities such as KidsWest that share common values and enable a genuine connection with the community that makes a real difference.

The home loans business is expanding its reach. There are opportunities for brokers to join the brand which is part of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network, with offices in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

Steve Sampson

Chief commercial o­fficer,Prime Capital

SME lender Prime Capital has appointed industry veteran and the former head of third party at Bank of Sydney, Steve Sampson, as its chief commercial officer.

Sampson has been involved in the third party broker business for more than 20 years. His remit at Prime Capital is to increase the distribution of the company’s fast and simple loans through the Australian aggregation network.

“We’re delighted to welcome Steve and excited with how his extensive industry and aggregator experience will help us assist more SMEs to find loans where the banks can’t or won’t,” says Prime Capital CEO Paul Scanlon.

“I’ve taken careful consideration in my next career move, and given the difficulties that SMEs experience in obtaining funding, in particular following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Capital offering was something that really excited me. After meeting the team and seeing their passion for this space, my decision was easy,” says Sampson.

Established in 1997, Prime Capital provides specialist mortgage products for SMEs, the self-employed, non-residents, investors, SMSFs and construction facilities. Prime Capital works only with accredited mortgage brokers and has settled more than $2bn right across Australia.

Melanie Cochrane

Non-executive director, SocietyOne

Originally from the UK, Melanie Cochrane completed her Business Studies degree at Brighton University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Cochrane is now a global executive with more than 25 years’ experience in financial services. She has a diverse background in different cultures and in leading B2B and B2C businesses in the US, Australia and Asia.

In her role as American Express general manager, merchant services for the Asia-Pacific, Cochrane delivered double-digit growth and a threefold increase in Net Promoter Scores. Previously, she led the Asia-Pacific’s corporate payments business, as well as the Global Digital Servicing Transformation Program.

Cochrane has led large-scale global digital transformation programs, innovative digital payments, and third party partnerships across Australia and Asia. She’s a true customer champion, delivering advocacy programs such as Amex’s Shop Small.

Throughout her career, she has also driven diversity and inclusion initiatives, including as founding sponsor of the Amex PRIDE network, and as a gender diversity leader.

Cochrane served on the board of American Express Australia Ltd during a critical period of regulatory change and was most recently appointed independent non-executive director to the board at SocietyOne, one of Australia’s leading digital finance platforms.

She brings to the board a true passion for driving change and digital customer innovation, aligning to SocietyOne’s DNA as a truly customer-focused digital finance platform. Cochrane’s financial services experience further supports SocietyOne’s growth strategies.

“I am thrilled to be joining the board, and I look forward to sharing my experience with the team and contributing to their growth journey. It’s a very exciting time for SocietyOne,” says Cochrane.

Mitchell Stanmore

NSW/ACT asset and equipment fi nance BDM, Azora

Home loans, car loans and asset finance lender Azora has appointed Mitchell Stanmore as its new asset and equipment finance business development manager representing NSW and ACT.

Stanmore will be responsible for supporting Azora’s rapidly growing presence in Australia’s small business lending space and helping drive brand awareness and product knowledge to further expand Azora’s broker network. He will work closely with new and existing partners to help deliver on Azora’s promise of delivering fast, flexible and customer-focused outcomes for Australian SMEs.

Stanmore brings extensive knowledge of SME lending and a proven track record in the industry to his new role. Prior to joining the Azora team, he worked in the fi eld for more 10 years in various roles, including business and residential/commercial broker and business development in SME/cash fl ow lending and asset finance. Stanmore was previously a BDM at GetCapital and most recently held the position of partnership manager (NSW/ACT) at aggregator National Mortgage Brokers.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Azora at this time, and I’m very excited about the direction in which we’re heading,” says Stanmore. “Azora’s fresh and common-sense approach to asset finance, supported by its highly flexible lending criteria, fast turnaround times and strong technology backbone is what really drew me to Azora.

“Azora is made up of highly experienced finance industry professionals with ambitious growth plans. Growth in the last six months has been very promising.

“We don’t want to be another run-of-the-mil lender and want to make a real difference. We value our broker relationships and will continue to work closely with them to ensure our product offerings and application and approval processes stand out from the pack. We are constantly evolving”.