Wednesday, 26 September 2018 15:59

Stone & Chalk gets new chairman and board

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Leona Murphy, Stone & Chalk new chairman Leona Murphy, Stone & Chalk new chairman

There have been changes at the top of Australian-based Asian fintech innovation hub Stone & Chalk, with the appointment of a new chairman and new board members.

Leona Murphy, who has already served for three years on the board, moves up as chairman, replacing Craig Dunn, whose three-year term as chairman was set to expire.

New board appointments include:

  • Anthony Eisen (executive chair and co-founder of Afterpay; Melbourne-based)
  • Aris Allegos (chief executive and co-founder of Moula; HO in Melbourne, S&C resident in Sydney)
  • Debra Taylor (chief operating officer of OpenSparkz; S&C resident in Sydney)
  • Carol Trotman (chief operating officer of WordFlow; S&C resident in Sydney)
  • Ron Arnold (managing general partner at IAG Firemark Ventures & Firemark Singapore, S&C corporate partner)
  • Kylie Rixon (chief revenue officer of ANZ Digital and Wealth; S&C corporate partner)
  • Richard Kimber (chief executive and co-founder of Daisee)

Stone & Chalk says the appointments have been made as the company prepares for its next phase of growth, transitioning out of “start-up” mode to “scale-up” mode itself.

The new board members join Ian Pollari, who remains on as a director after joining at Stone & Chalk’s inception, and who is global co-lead of KPMG’s Fintech practice and head of KPMG’s Banking Sector in Australia.

Of the final board composition, six of Stone & Chalk nine directors have successfully founded start-ups, five currently hold senior positions with fintech businesses in Australia, and three have senior leadership positions with corporate partners of Stone & Chalk.

Nearly half are women, and all have extensive financial services experience.

“It’s well-known that boards with greater diversity across factors, such as industry background and experience, achieve higher revenue growth, profitability and shareholder returns than those without,” said Stone & Chalk chief executive Alex Scandurra.

“As we head into our next phase of rapid expansion, we are confident that the team we have selected possesses the perfect balance of experience, skills, and perspectives to take us to the next level and beyond.”

All new directors will stand for election at the annual general meeting in November.

Scandurra said  Murphy would bring a vast range of relevant experience as she steps up to the new role, including 20 years in financial services, 10 years in C-Suite roles in Top 20 ASX-listed organisations, and multiple board positions across public, private and member-based organisations.

“Leona was a natural choice to step into Craig’s very big shoes, given her demonstrated leadership and business success across a variety of relevant industries and business types.

“She has more than proven her commitment to fostering and accelerating the development of our world-leading portfolio of fintechs during her tenure on our board over the last three years. She’s been instrumental in supporting the development of Stone & Chalk's strategy, and continually exemplifies our core values of honesty, transparency, and integrity.

“Leona will be integral in helping to shape and guide our approach as we move into our next ‘ramp up’ phase, cementing our position not just as the natural centre of gravity for fintech in Australia, but as a destination for leading fintechs from across the globe.”

Commenting on Dunn’s departure, Scandurra, said; “I will forever be grateful to have served as CEO alongside someone with the wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion for supporting Australian fintech as Craig Dunn has had these past three years.

“He has been incredibly generous with his time during his tenure, and remains dedicated to our higher purpose of building Asia’s leading fintech ecosystem. I look forward to a continued personal and professional relationship, with Craig remaining within the family as a Stone & Chalk global ambassador.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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