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SME lender terminates CFO

Axsesstoday’s chief financial officer has been terminated by the lender’s newly appointed chief executive, who is now on the hunt for a permanent replacement.

Joanna White, the recently appointed chief executive of publicly listed non-bank SME lender Axsesstoday, terminated chief financial officer and company secretary Joe Flanagan last week.

In a disclosure to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Ms White said she appointed Julia van Graas to the role of interim CFO until a permanent replacement is found.

Ms Van Graas is the co-founder of Spiique, which provides interim leadership to organisations.

Melanie Leydin has been appointed by Axsesstoday’s board as company secretary.

The new CEO, who was previously the managing director of business lending at Commonwealth Bank, reiterated that the lender is keeping its impending equity raise on hold.

Ms White replaced Axsesstoday’s former CEO and co-founder, Peter Ferizis, who resigned in September last year, after which the lender went into voluntary suspension ahead of a strategic review.

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The non-bank lender ran into some challenges last year, reporting to the ASX in October that a change in its bad debt provisioning methodology, combined with an increase to its impairment recognition to begin at 180 days past due (instead of 30 days), had “inadvertently triggered a breach of its financial covenants” with its senior lenders.

Changes to Axsesstoday’s corporate structure, through the introduction of new entities within the group, were also approved without the consent of the banks.

Further, $2 million in funding “in business loans through one of these new entities” was secured outside agreed terms.

Axsesstoday reported a 131 per cent increase in full-year revenue to $49.2 million and a 93 per cent rise in profit to $7 million in the 2018 financial year.

[Related: Non-bank lender names new general manager]

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