UBank founder named CEO of Australia’s newest bank

A leading financial services executive has been appointed CEO of a newly-licenced Australian bank.

Tyro Payments today announced that Gerd Schenkel will join Jost Stollmann as Tyro’s new CEO to help build what the group is calling a “nextGen banking institution”.

The decision follows a proposed new leadership structure to the board from current CEO Jost Stollmann to accommodate Tyro’s ambitious growth plans.

“When someone of Gerd’s talent becomes available you grab the opportunity with both hands,” Mr Stollmann said. “Now that Tyro has a bank licence and $100 million in new capital, Gerd joining the Tyro team as new CEO is the last piece needed to deliver very strong growth in the years ahead.”

As full-time executive director Mr Stollmann will continue to raise Tyro’s profile in Australia, while supporting Mr Schenkel in his role as CEO. As the company’s largest shareholder and as a board member, he will also continue playing a significant role in defining Tyro’s strategic direction.

Mr Schenkel has more than 17 years’ experience in Australian banking and technology related businesses. He founded Australia’s first home-grown digital deposit and mortgage bank, UBank, in 2008 which now has around $20 billion in customer balances.

Most recently, as executive director and founder of Telstra Digital, he grew this new channel to 500 million customer contacts per annum.

Mr Schenkel said that he was attracted by the unique opportunity to build a new kind of organisation with Mr Stollman and the entire Tyro team, delivering “frictionless banking and access to debt” for Australia’s SMEs and growth companies.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead Tyro as we continue to build Australia’s newest bank,” he said.

“Tyro is a new kind of company with a uniquely attractive culture; it’s a technology company that happens to be a bank, not the other way around.

“Australia needs a viable and strong banking sector which is customer centric and technology literate, delivering fair, transparent and smart banking.”

Tyro currently serves more than 16,000 small businesses and processed $8.6 billion of transactions in the 2016 financial year.

The company's chairman, Kerry Roxburgh, said Jost Stollmann identified Mr Schenkel as the ideal new CEO, and the board was happy to endorse that choice after an exhaustive selection process involving an independent search firm.

“Jost’s decade managing Tyro has been outstanding, culminating in the company’s strong 2016 financial results,” Mr Roxburgh said.

“The board is delighted Jost will continue as full-time executive director and board member, helping achieve the company’s ambitious growth plans, while fighting for Australian SMEs and inspiring the Australian spirit of entrepreneurship.

“We are similarly impressed by Gerd Schenkel’s experience and industry knowledge, and regard his appointment as a coup for Tyro.”

[Related: One major bank could 'disappear', says CEO]

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