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Mr Small, who had worked in the finance industry for over 35-plus years and had been a well-respected and prominent chief financial officer (CFO), passed away on Tuesday (28 November) following a short battle with cancer.
The Sydney-based industry leader was a well-respected and internationally experienced CFO, chief operations officer, director, and mentor.
The chartered accountant (ANZ) and FINSIA fellow was most recently the CFO at business lender Shift, a position he had held for over three years.
Prior to this, Mr Small was the group CFO and group director at Pepper Money for nearly 10 years. He had also held roles as group CFO for Altium Capital in London and was a finance director at Credit Suisse, among other senior finance positions.
Colleagues and friends from the industry have remembered Mr Small as a professional and exceptional CFO, a positive person, and a compassionate and caring individual.
Speaking to Mortgage Business, Shift chief executive Jamie Osborn said: “Cameron was a genuinely wonderful person who earned the admiration of many within our industry.
“He was not only a valued colleague and friend to many of us at Shift but also highly respected throughout the industry for his expertise and his warm and approachable demeanour.
“Cameron’s influence on the Australian financial services industry was substantial and enduring.
“Cameron will be remembered as a consummate professional, known for his strong ethics and purposeful approach.
“Our thoughts and support are with Cameron’s family, friends, team, and former colleagues at this time. He will be truly missed.”
Mario Rehayem, the CEO at Pepper Money, also paid tribute to his friend and colleague, stating: “It is with a heavy heart that we hear the devastating news of the passing of our esteemed former colleague, Cameron Small, following his brief battle with cancer. It is truly a sad day for all of us at Pepper Money.”
Remembering the life of the former Pepper group CFO and group director, Mr Rehayem said Mr Small was “an exceptional individual who made a significant impact on our organisation during his 10-year tenure at Pepper Money”.
“His passion, professionalism, and unwavering commitment to excellence were truly inspiring,” he said.
“Cameron was not only a valuable senior executive member, but also a dear friend to many of us and he will be greatly missed.”
Speaking on a personal note, the Pepper CEO said he would remember his friend for his “positive attitude, his love for his family, and his willingness to go above and beyond to help others”.
“His contributions to our team and the legacy he leaves behind will forever be cherished,” Mr Rehayem said.
“Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
Patrick Tuttle, board director of Shift and chairman of COG Financial Services - and a close friend of Mr Small - had worked with him at several companies over the past three decades.
He told Mortgage Business: “If I have to sum up Cameron in words, which will never be enough, I’d say he was fiercely intelligent, a very strategic thinker, always on top of his brief, didn’t suffer fools, but also extremely loyal to his team and business colleagues.
“On a personal level, he was a great friend. We first shared an office while working for Price Waterhouse in London way back in 1994–96. I then convinced him to join Pepper as CFO back in 2011 where he led the finance and treasury functions for nearly 10 years. He was a key player in Pepper Group’s global expansion and our first ASX listing back in July 2015.
“More recently Cameron has been instrumental in successfully building out the finance & treasury functions at Shift Financial.
“He’s the best CFO I’ve ever worked with, hands down.”
He paid tribute to his friend as a family man who “had a wonderful relationship with the love of his life Fiona” and his two sons.
“It’s impossible to put into words how much we will miss him,” he said.
Mr Small is survived by his wife Fiona and his children Oscar and Max.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, 6 December at 10.30am at The Kings School Chapel, 87-129 Pennant Hills Road, North Parramatta 2151.
The funeral service will be followed by a wake at Thomas Memorial Pavilion (on the JS White Oval).