CAFBA reports a "changing of the guard"

by Madison Utley27 Nov 2020

The Commercial & Asset Finance Brokers Association (CAFBA) has seen a “changing of the guard”, with the group yesterday naming a new president, vice-president, treasurer and company secretary.

CAFBA’s two “founding fathers” former president David Gandolfo and company secretary Terry Moody decided not to renominate to allow for new talent and fresh ideas. The men, responsible for the merger of the two state-based associations in 2008, will continue to serve in their role as patrons of CAFBA, providing mentorship and advice to the board – Gandolfo as chair of the CAFBA Advocacy Committee where he can continue using his connections in government to lobby for the industry, and Moody as chair of the CAFBA Education Council.

Now, the men are ready to “pass the baton” to new president Matthew Atkin, vice president Domenic Lo Surdo, company secretary Ian Elkner, and treasurer Sharon Piening.

Atkin has assumed the role of president, after having served as vice-president for the past three years.

“I am very much looking forward to growing the association as the most relevant for commercial finance brokers. There is always so much more to do,” Atkin said.

While the board is scheduled to gather in December for its formal Strategic Review which will set the direction for the association over the next 3 years, Atkin already has some clarity around what’s in store for the group.

“There are a couple of really important things we can continue to build on from what the previous boards have done, while also maintaining relevance through building our education out,” he explained.

Atkin expressed excitement over further professionalising the industry through ramping up the recently launched Education Council and pursuing partnerships with universities and other higher education bodies to make sure young Aussies are aware of the compelling career path of becoming a commercial broker.

Another element of CAFBA’s succession planning – a necessary effort as commercial broking is an “older industry” – is fostering inclusion and diversity within the space.

“We’re starting to see this next group of younger leaders come through, with the Women in Finance forums we’ve got and our young professionals group, CLYP,” said Atkin.

“We now have three women on the board as well, and two people under 40. We’re starting to see this inclusion and diversity, and I’m keen to see it built out. There’s such an untapped pool of talent, with so many different ways of thinking; if we tap into that, we’ll all be so much better off. 

“CAFBA needs to look like the society that we service.” 

To this end, the association has also welcomed new board members, Max McFarlane and Rebecca Mansfield. The former is responsible for getting the Commercial Lending Young Professionals (CLYP) group off the ground, while Mansfield has been heavily involved in the women’s networking forums.

“Much of the strength of CAFBA is the strength of its board, and we are very fortunate to have so much experience and talent available,” Atkin said.

Every board member runs their own commercial finance broking firms, ensuring CAFBA is well-placed to quickly identify issues in the sector; when it comes to liaising with government and regulators, Atkin feels this “on the ground” experience is invaluable.

 Following yesterdays’ Annual General Meeting, the CAFBA Board consists of:

  • President: Matthew Atkin – Atlas Broker
  • Vice-President: Domenic Lo Surdo – Stamford Capital
  • Company Secretary: Ian Elkner – Centrepoint Finance
  • Treasurer: Sharon Piening – The 500 Group
  • Neil Ferguson - Ledge
  • George Karam – BF Money
  • Renee Tocco - Loanezi
  • Mike Steel – RLA Finance
  • Max McFarlane – Skyward Financial
  • Rebecca Mansfield – Loan Market