New roles for financial services professionals

by Antony Field24 Aug 2021

Check out the latest high-profile moves in the financial services sector as seven industry professionals take up new positions across banks, non-bank lenders and fintechs.

Audette Exel
Non-executive director, Westpac board

Well-known philanthropist Audette Exel will join the board of Westpac Bank as an independent non-executive board director on 1 September, and will also have roles on the Board Risk Committee and the Board Technology Committee.

Exel was a non-executive director of Suncorp for eight years until September 2020. She has more than 35 years’ experience in the financial services sector and is also the founder and chair of Adara Group, a social enterprise and international NGO that helps communities living in extreme poverty.

“We are delighted to welcome Audette to the board,” says Westpac chairman John McFarlane.

“Audette’s extensive business leadership experience, entrepreneurship and deep contribution to philanthropy will bring new insights to the board and complement Westpac’s purpose of helping Australians and New Zealanders succeed.”

Exel says she is honoured to be joining the board of Australia’s oldest company.

“Westpac is hugely important to the lives of so many Australians and New Zealanders and has played an important role in the economic and social fabric of those countries,” Exel says.

Mathew Patterson
Head of broker and insurance, Great Southern Bank

With 20 years’ experience in the banking industry under his belt, Mathew Patterson has joined Great Southern Bank as its new head of broker and insurance. He previously held roles as regional manager for New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and general manager of broker sales at ME Bank. Patterson also spent time at ING, AMP and Citibank.

“It’s very exciting,” Patterson says of his move to Great Southern Bank. “The bank is very well positioned for growth, and I’ve been really impressed. Great Southern Bank is a very values-driven organisation and a very customer-centric organisation. I’m really pleased to be a part of it.”

Patterson prides himself on offering a consistent service that brokers can depend on.

“Brokers want lenders to do the basics well, and I think if you can get the basics right a lot of the time and create a consistent experience so that brokers know what they’re in for when they lodge a deal with the bank, that’s something important.”

Great Southern Bank has recently undergone a major rebrand after being known as Credit Union Australia for 75 years.

Shelley Cotter
Director, LIXI board

ANZ’s head of retail business execution and retail distribution has been appointed to the role of LIXI director.

Cotter takes the place of ANZ general manager retail broker Simone Tilley, who was on LIXI’s board for five years. Cotter joins a board of directors representing a range of companies, including CBA, Westpac, Lendi, Choice and Connective.

LIXI is a member-based not-for-profit company that develops data message transaction standards for the Australian mortgage processing industry.

Cotter has more than 25 years of experience in strategic change and solution delivery in financial services, including roles at ANZ, AXA/AMP, PwC and EY.

“LIXI is important to our industry and for our customer experience, and I am excited to work with the LIXI board and team,” Cotter says.

“Data and automation are critical to delivering an improved experience to all participants in the financial services industry. However, standardisation and simplification are critical as we innovate, and it is only via a collaborative approach that this can be achieved.”

LIXI chair Shane Rigby says he is pleased to have Cotter joining the company’s dedicated group of directors, all of whom are committed to driving efficiencies in the lending industry.

Blake Albones
Head of home lending distribution, MyState Bank

Boasting more than 22 years’ experience in retail banking, mortgage broking, product development and distribution, Blake Albones has joined MyState Bank as its head of home lending distribution.

The industry veteran was the CEO of RateOne Financial Services and prior to that was NAB’s head of broker for Victoria and Tasmania.

Albones’ goal will be to increase the Tasmania-headquartered bank’s presence in Victoria and NSW and strengthen MyState’s renowned broker service proposition, including market-leading loan approval turnaround times.

“It’s very, very exciting,” says Albones. “MyState has always been a trusted and respected brand, especially in the Tasmanian market. It’s a huge opportunity to grow that presence here on the mainland.

“I know brokers inside out and, in my last role as CEO at Rate One, it put me on the other side of the fence, so I can see and understand the frustrations that brokers go through. I’m picking up all those experiences and bringing them to MyState.”

Albones’ appointment follows that of Huw Bough, who recently joined MyState Bank as general manager banking.

Jenna Deutscher
Business development manager, Prime Capital

SME non-bank lender Prime Capital has added Jenna Deutscher to its expanding business development team.

Deutscher has more than six years of experience as a BDM, most recently at the Bank of Sydney. She gained her first experience in the third party space as a loan processor.

Deutscher’s wealth of knowledge across different types of lending means she can provide solution-based options to her brokers.

“I look forward to being able to assist my brokers in an area that is specialised and is a real opportunity to help brokers and their SME clients,” says Deutscher.

“What I like about Prime Capital’s offering is their commitment to fast, simple loans. The SME and commercial market have such a gap, and in the economic environment that we are currently experiencing … more and more businesses will require financial help.”

Prime Capital chief commercial officer Steve Sampson says he is delighted that Deutscher is joining the company’s fast-growing, experienced sales team.

“I have always admired Jenna’s work ethic, her commitment to exceptional customer experience. I know she will be very successful in her new role,” Sampson says.

Barry Saoud
General manager mortgages and commercial lending, Pepper Money

After more than 11 years at Aussie Home Loans, where he was general counsel and head of Aussie products, Barry Saoud has moved to a new role at Pepper Money as general manager mortgages and commercial lending.

He joins at a crucial moment for Pepper, which launched on the ASX in May and has recently priced a huge RMBS deal on the back of rapid growth in the home loan sector.

“Barry is the right person to lead our mortgages and lending division and has extensive executive and senior management experience within the financial services industry,” says Pepper Money CEO Mario Rehayem.

Saoud says: “Pepper Money is a fantastic business with a rich history of helping underserved customers.

“I look forward to working alongside Mario and the whole Pepper team to further grow Pepper and leverage its unique customer offerings.”

Tony MacRae
Chief commercial officer, SocietyOne

Fintech personal loans platform SocietyOne has appointed Tony MacRae as chief commercial officer. He will take charge of SocietyOne’s interactions with brokers, handling third party distribution for the non-bank lender.
MacRae has worked in a number of senior finance roles, including general manager banking at MyState Bank. He was at Westpac for almost a decade, as general manager third party distribution at Westpac and St. George and then as Westpac national general manager for retail home ownership distribution. He also held high-profile roles at RAMS and Virgin Money.

“Joining the passionate and talented broker team at SocietyOne is a great next step in my career, which spans 30 years across broking, sales and distribution leadership, and product and operations management,” says MacRae.

“I look forward to helping SocietyOne grow its already substantial capacity in this area.”

SocietyOne has also hired Tommy Lee as head of broker distribution and Melissa Romeo as a business development manager for Victoria.

Mark Jones, CEO of SocietyOne, says the appointments demonstrate the company’s commitment to brokers and add a wealth of experience and capability to an already highly regarded broker team.