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Peer-to-peer lender appoints new CFO

SocietyOne has announced that it has appointed Westpac’s former head of finance for commercial banking as its new chief financial officer.

On Monday (14 January), Virginia Marshall – Westpac’s former senior head of finance, consumer bank, and previous head of finance for commercial banking –  commenced a new role as chief financial officer (CFO) of the peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne.

Ms Marshall takes on the role of CFO following the ascension of the lender’s former CFO, Mark Jones, to the role of CEO last year.

The new CFO and current CEO had previously worked together at Westpac.

Speaking to Mortgage Business about the appointment of Ms Marshall, the SocietyOne CEO said: “I got to know Virginia at Westpac. During her time there, she had been in New Zealand doing digital transformation and driving business change, and when she came across to work for me in Australia, she went in as, effectively, the CFO of the business banking team in Westpac. 

“While there, she did a great job of clarifying what the key performance measures were and getting the organisation focused on execution.” 

Mr Jones said that these skills were particularly attractive to SocietyOne, as it is “driving a digital transfusion agenda” and working to ensure it is “focused on [its] key performance indicators”. 

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Ms Marshall will now be responsible for the finance function of the peer-to-peer lender, as well as its “performance management, setting the annual plans, making sure the funding of the vehicle is in place and the monitoring and management of the investment to make sure we make the right investments and that they deliver”, according to the CEO. 

Mr Jones said that the new CFO is a “good fit” for SocietyOne, adding that she has a strong “can-do attitude” and a way of “figuring out what needed to be done and getting it done, which is important in a start-up”. 

The CEO added that the business had been undergoing a period of rapid growth in recent months, highlighting that each month between August and December 2018 had been “record breakers” for the lender and that 2019 had started with “really good momentum”.

He concluded: “Our focus has been on getting the right people, such as Virginia, as well as having the right credit assessment processes and making it easier for our customers to deal with us. These are now bearing fruit, and we look forward to it continuing in 2019.”

[Related: P2P lender confirms new CEO, eyes growth path]

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