Our team

INDEPENDENT BOARD

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Stephen Rix
Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman

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Stephen has broad experience at Chairman and Director level with a wide range of financial services businesses, including investment banking, funds management, private equity and foreign exchange. He has extensive experience in compliance, risk and audit committee governance.

Stephen is currently Chairman of the Bennelong Funds Management Group where he is also Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee. Stephen is a non-Executive Director of book publishing firm Allen & Unwin Pty Limited and a trustee of one of Australia's leading private funders of cancer research, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation where he is Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Stephen's previous directorships include Nightingale Partners Pty Ltd, Colonial First State Private Capital Limited and Hopkins Partners Funds Management Limited.

Stephen retired in 2018 as Asia-Pacific Chairman of the Travelex foreign exchange group after 27 years on the board.

Stephen's executive career has encompassed various management roles including Joint Managing Director of the Hambros Australia investment banking group and Chief Financial Officer and Director of Merrill Lynch Australia following a career with Price Waterhouse.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Economics from University of Sydney, is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the AICD.

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Warren Lee
Independent Non-Executive Director

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Warren has extensive experience and a long record of leadership in the financial services industry, including 15 years at AXA in senior management positions within the company's Australian and Asian businesses.

Warren's two most recent executive positions were Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Funds Management Corporation and Chief Executive Officer, Australia and New Zealand for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited.

Warren is a Non-Executive Director of Tower Limited (NZSX/ASX) and My State Limited (ASX).

Warren holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

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Colin Morgan
Independent Non-Executive Director

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Colin is a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Remuneration and Nominations Committee for Bank South Pacific Fiji. Colin has extensive experience and a long record of leadership in the financial services industry.

Colin's two most recent positions were CEO Zurich Group Global Life Asia Pacific and CEO Zurich Life & Investments Australia. Prior to Zurich, Colin held senior management positions in ING as CEO Life & Investments ING Italy and Executive Director ING Advice in Australia.

Colin completed the Executive MBA Program at Mt Eliza Business School, the Senior Executive Program at London Business School and is a Fellow of the AICD.

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Sherman Ma
Non-Independent Non-Executive Director

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Sherman Ma has an extensive record of leadership in the financial services industry, including founding the Liberty Financial Group in 1997 where he is now the Executive Director. 

Prior to Liberty, Sherman gathered financial services experience whilst working in investment banking with the First Boston Corporation (now Credit Suisse), investment management with BlackRock and management consulting with McKinsey & Company. 

Sherman earned an MBA from the Wharton School and won the Management & Technology award for being first-in-program with dual disciplines in Economics and Operations Research at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Wharton Undergraduate Executive Board.  


Leadership

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George Confos
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

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George is a highly experienced financial services and banking executive with a career spanning 30 years, where he’s led large teams and had executive responsibility for both clients and products. Most recently, George was the Executive General Manager Client Solutions at Commonwealth Bank. Previously George held a variety of senior leadership roles in business and institutional banking, including Executive General Manager Client Solutions, Group Executive Institutional Banking and Markets (acting), Executive General Manager Business and Corporate Finance and more.

George has experience with a wide variety of clients from SMEs to large corporates and he has expertise across a range of banking and finance products from commercial lending, leasing, FICC, transactional banking, specialised lending, superannuation and financial markets. George also led significant business and technology transformations at the Commonwealth Bank.

George is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a graduate of Sydney University and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Alex Crammond
General Counsel and Company Secretary

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Alex is an experienced legal, governance and risk professional with over 20 years’ experience in the technology, digital media and telecommunications industries. 

Prior to joining Avenue, Alex held a number of senior legal, risk, governance and transformation roles at Telstra and has extensive experience negotiating vendor software agreements and other complex commercial deals. 

Alex has also driven substantive improvements to ASX 20 Board and CEO Papers by elevating the transparency of risk and providing deeper analysis of trends and customer insights to enable better decision making.

Earlier in her career, Alex was a senior associate at one of Australia’s top legal firms, King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of New South Wales and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Dale Hurley
Founder and Chief Digital Officer

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Dale is a highly creative innovator, technologist, strategist and executor. Dale has the unique skillset to be able to conceptualise a product, identify unique value propositions and deliver products that are innovative and differentiated. Prior to co-founding Avenue, Dale was the founding Chief Technology Officer of CreditorWatch and led the end-to-end product development from conception to the current state, providing a third alternative in the credit reporting industry in Australia. Dale was responsible for planning, design, build, deployment and management of the technology at CreditorWatch. Dale contributed to the business strategy and the short, medium and long term agenda for CreditorWatch by analysing competitors, overseas credit bureaus and other industries for product inspiration. Prior to CreditorWatch Dale was a Management Consultant at Accenture and IBM.

Dale holds an MBA with distinction, with specialisations in Innovation and Business Consulting from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Charles Sturt University.

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Jacqui McPherson
Chief Information Officer

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Jacqui has over 20 years’ experience in business and technology consulting, large scale transformation programs and start-up organisations.

Prior to Avenue, Jacqui has held senior executive and CIO roles in Banking and Financial Services (CIO for Xinja), Government (CIO for NSW Treasury and Service NSW) and non-for-profit organisations.

As Xinja CIO, Jacqui led the design of the Bank’s Target IT Operating Model which covered selection of material outsourcing arrangements, vendor IT risk and compliance assessments and design of the Bank's security control framework to meet regulatory and prudential requirements.

Jacqui has experience across all areas of technology including IT delivery and transformation; operations; solution and architecture design; data governance; information security; risk management and regulatory compliance.

Jacqui has demostrated experience in building high performance teams with a culture of innovation, collaborative work practices and agile delivery.

Jacqui holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting & Finance) from University of Technology Sydney

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James McCusker
Chief Credit Risk Officer

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A chemical engineer-turned-banker, James has over 20 years' commercial banking experience working with customers of all sizes across Australia’s many sectors. During his time in banking, James has covered roles from credit analysis and origination to workout and recoveries, credit decisioning, portfolio management, and reviewing and rewriting credit policies. Leadership positions include Head of Health and Aged Care portfolio and Regional General Manager in the Commercial Banking sector.

Since leaving Westpac in 2018 James has been working with emerging tech, early-stage and high growth businesses to review and clarify their strategy, leading to insights on stakeholder management, risk management, financial modelling and enterprise valuation.

James has an MBA from Melbourne Business School and graduated in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney with 1st class honours.

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Ji Hee Moon
Head of Strategy

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Ji is a senior legal, risk and compliance professional with extensive experience in the financial services industry, with a particular focus on business and corporate banking products and transactions.

Immediately prior to joining Avenue, Ji held a number of senior compliance and risk roles at Westpac Banking Group including the role of Chief Compliance Officer for Westpac Business Bank and Head of Business Risk for Westpac’s Specialist Finance division. She was the General Counsel and Company Secretary of a major fleet leasing company where she led a legal team across Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to that Ji was an inhouse lawyer at GE Capital and National Australia Bank where she worked on a wide range of business and commercial banking transactions.

Ji started her career in one of Australia’s top legal firms, Minter Ellison and she also worked in one the of major global law firms, Ashurst, both in Sydney and London.

Ji holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons) / Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) from the University of Sydney.

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Nicole Karagiannis
Chief People Officer

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Nicole is an experienced People Leader with over 15 years' experience in the private, public and for purpose sectors. Having worked in large and small teams, Nicole has implemented a number of people initiatives that have made a positive impact on organisational cultures. Prior to joining Avenue, she led the People & Culture team for Disability Services Australia and was accountable for the Business Partnering, Talent Acquisition, Learning and Development, Payroll and Work Health and Safety teams. Prior to this, she worked with Calvary Health Care as a Director, People & Culture for its Private Hospitals, implementing a number of initiatives across the employee Journey. Nicole’s earlier roles included a People & Culture position with Westpac Banking Corporation. Nicole understands the importance of getting the balance right between people and compliance and for creating a safe culture for team members to do their best work, and innovate while applying industry regulations and standards. 

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Graduate Diploma in Organisational Coaching and Leadership. Through her passion for coaching and leadership, Nicole works with others to create great work environments that unlock people’s potential and drive sustainable business success.

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Katherine Lowe
Chief Risk Officer

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Katherine Lowe is a strategic and results-focused financial services professional with 18 years of banking and finance experience, including senior leadership experience in major domestic and international banks. Katherine has specific experience spanning across risk, compliance, strategy and implementation projects. As the Head of Risk and Compliance for Westpac Retail and Premium for over 2 years she was accountable for the business unit’s risk, compliance, conduct and financial crime matters, incorporating approximately 6,000 employees delivering products and services to nearly 7 million customers across the branch network across all states and territories. Further, as the Head of Controls for Citibank’s Retail Distribution arm, Katherine was responsible for the first line risk function across all sales and distribution channels of the consumer bank.

Prior to commencing her risk career, Katherine held strategy and business development roles focused on product innovation and project delivery and started her career as a small business owner building and managing a highly successful pizza delivery restaurant chain in South Africa.

Katherine holds a Bachelor of Arts, Economics Honours (University of South Africa), Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (FINSIA) and a Certificate of Executive Leadership (UNSW).

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Peita Piper
Chief Product and Operations Officer

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Peita is a creator of digital products and businesses and has more than 20 years’ experience within banking, telecommunications and Australian commodities. Peita was a founding member of UBank, joining at conception with six other leaders. Peita was instrumental in defining the UBank strategy, operating model, governance structure and executing the delivery of these strategic plans. Peita defined the customer journeys for UBank's products, including digitising the deposit and mortgage acquisition and fulfilment processes. In her final role as the Head of Product and Analytics, she reported to the CEO and worked with the other heads of business to run the digital bank.

Prior to Avenue, Peita worked for the Australian Wool industry (AWI) where she was responsible for conceptualising and delivering 'WoolQ', a digital platform that has revolutionised the wool growing and selling system in Australia. Peita also has a background in management consulting, working for Accenture where she delivered corporate strategy and transformation, operational and organisational strategy, business architecture and process design programs of work within the telecommunications and media industries.

Peita has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney.

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Michael Cant
Acting Chief Financial Officer

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Michael is a highly accomplished financial services and banking professional with extensive experience across retail and business banking, superannuation, funds management and insurance. 

Prior to joining Avenue, Michael had a successful career at Commonwealth Bank holding a wide variety of senior leadership positions across the Group. Most recently Michael was the EGM Group Strategic Development. Prior to that, as the EGM Corporate Banking Services, Michael was responsible for leading the mid-market corporate banking business. Michael also held the role of EGM Retail Products and Customers, where he was responsible for leading the Retail Bank product portfolio. Other roles included Chief Financial Officer for the Wealth Management division and General Manager Distribution at Colonial First State.

Earlier in his career Michael was the Managing Director of Australian Casualty & Life – a wholly owned insurance subsidiary of AXA Australia – and before that held the role of CFO and Chief Actuary.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University, is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and has undertaken the Harvard Advanced Management Program.

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