The policy head who helped Uber to launch in Australia has been appointed CEO of the association representing fintechs disrupting Australia’s traditional financial services industry.
Brad Kitschke has been appointed as CEO of FinTech Australia.
First formed in early 2016, FinTech Australia is a not-for-profit industry association which advocates on behalf of, and connects and promotes, some 243 financial services technology (fintech) companies.
These companies are using innovation and technology to deliver improved and new financial services, both for businesses and consumers.
Mr Kitschke has an extensive career in public policy and public affairs, including working as the Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Uber from 2014-2017 and Executive Director of the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) from 2010-2012. At ASGA, he was a leading voice in the retail industry as it tackled the challenges resulting from online retail and an anti-competitive regulatory landscape.
Mr Kitschke thanked FinTech Australia’s board for the opportunity to lead the rapidly growing fintech industry, which has grown from around 100 companies in 2014 to just under 700 companies by mid-last year.
“It is a tremendous honour to be able to lead an organisation which has been able to achieve so much to advance the fintech cause in a relatively short period,” he said.
“FinTech Australia has established itself as a credible and consistent policy voice, along with a fantastic connector and promoter of the fintech community through events such as the Intersekt fintech festival and Finnie awards.”
Mr Kitschke said he hoped to replicate Uber’s success during his time at the helm of Australia’s fintech industry.
“Uber was able to achieve rapid success and market penetration because it delivered better, technology-based solutions and when the opportunity arose we worked closely and collaboratively with regulators and policy makers. There is no reason why fintech outcomes can’t be the same,” he said.
“There is an established and deep dialogue in Australia between fintechs and government. This is a platform I look forward to using to advance the interests of our members and grow Australia as an international fintech force.”
Mr Kitschke said one of his priorities would be to drive FinTech Australia’s ongoing advocacy to introduce an open banking framework.
“FinTech Australia has had a major policy win through the government’s open banking announcement on 10 May but there is still an incredible amount of work to be done,” he said.
“I will be ensuring that our members’ voice is heard in the creation of a secure and seamless open banking framework over the next 12 months.”
Mr Kitschke said he was also looking forward to promoting the Australian fintech industry as a genuine alternative to established financial industry players, in the wake of revelations in the Financial Services Royal Commission.
“The fintech industry is delivering new and exciting services in financial advice and lending – which are areas which have been examined to date by the Royal Commission,” he said.
“I’ll be looking at opportunities to promote this industry, both here and abroad, to both customers and investors. I will also be continuing our ongoing and important role to connect this industry so that we can help business collaboration and the sharing of innovative ideas.”
FinTech Australia Chair Stuart Stoyan said Mr Kitschke was an outstanding candidate for the CEO position and the organisation was lucky to have him onboard.
“Brad’s pedigree as a successful public policy leader will be a huge asset for FinTech Australia as we seek to take our industry to the next level,” he said. “We also highly value Brad’s previous industry association and government experience.”
“On behalf of the FinTech Australia board and the team, I welcome him onboard.”
Mr Stoyan also thanked Sarah Worboys for her work as FinTech Australia’s interim CEO since March. “Sarah has been an exemplary leader of the FinTech Australia team during a time of transition and change and I wish her well in the next stage of her career,” he said.
Photo caption: New FinTech Australia CEO Brad Kitschke and FinTech Australia chair Stuart Stoyan