Revolving Doors…

By Colin Kerr, Senior Associate, Executive Accounting & Finance | U&U

July 2020 was a surprisingly busy month for CFO movements, continuing the trend from June 2020. There were some big roles changing hands / coming onto the market – with NSW taking the lion’s share of activity. Last month Victoria was highly active – perhaps unsurprisingly we have not seen as much activity for Victoria in this month’s analysis.

The next few weeks for NSW will help determine the level of future activity – if we can keep NSW’s COVID-19 numbers under control and more people head back to the office, I am sure we will see an increase in activity – especially in the interim market. Clarity over Jobkeeper and the end of school holidays have also added to the “positive” sentiment.

Big roles of interest this month include the following:
  • Michael Rowland is the new CFO at Westpac. Michael has a strong financial services background (CFO ING Australia and senior finance roles within ANZ Bank). He is currently a Partner in KPMG’s consulting practice.
  • Gary Thursby, who was acting CFO at Westpac, will move across to be acting CIO – before leaving the business in early 2021.
  • Cochlear are in the process of looking for a new CFO following Brent Cubis’ resignation. Brent will be with Cochlear until the end of the year. I anticipate this will be a much sought-after role in CFO world.
  • Sadly, Paul Koppelman has resigned from Nine Entertainment for personal reasons. Graeme Cassells the current Group Financial Controller will take on the acting CFO role.
  • AMP Capital had a bad month with four senior executives leaving the business – including interim CFO Adrian Williams. Adrian is replaced in the CFO role by Aideen O’Donovan.
Other CFO movements of note this month are listed below:
  • Jason Murray started as the new CFO of FlexiGroup. Jason has deep financial services industry experience and is replacing outgoing CFO Ross Aucutt.
  • Timing is everything. Alex Kathestides’ role at Iugis was made redundant due to the relocation of the head office to the UK. Alex finishes in a couple of weeks. He has no time to rest as he will be starting shortly as the new CFO at Next Athleisure / Glue Stores.
  • Staying within the retail sector – Bob Kennedy has landed the CFO role of major furniture and homewares retailer Freedom.
  • Geoff Greenberg is the new CFO at Swift Media. Swift are relocating to Sydney from Perth. George Nicholls has chosen to remain in Perth and has therefore resigned as CFO. He will stay to ensure a smooth transition to Geoff.
  • Yellow Brick Road (YBR) has appointed Stephen McKenzie as CFO. Stephen has been with YBR since 2018 serving more recently as their Chief Operations Officer.
  • Experienced property CFO – Ben Priestley has a new role as CFO of Crown Group Holdings. Ben is taking over from Cameron Champion.
  • Staying within property – Lana Murray is the new CFO at premier development company – Roche. Lana is moving from Fraser Property Group and is replacing Ian Craighill.
  • Global medical devices business ConvaTec has a new Australian Finance Director. After over 20 years with Boston Scientific, Reaz Ali has moved across to ConvaTec.
  • Global leader in e-commerce marketing, Rokt, has a number of new finance staff. Michael Gordon (ex CFO of Greenlit Brands) started earlier in the year as CFO and Laura Mineo (ex Goldman Sachs) also joined as Deputy CFO.
  • Ex CEO of Sandstone Technology, Julian Blackley has a new CFO role having recently joined another digital commerce platform – Ultra Commerce.
  • The Y NSW are looking for a new CFO following Jenny Woodward’s move to civil engineering business Douglas Partners.
  • Ryan Rubinstein has been confirmed as the permanent CFO at Cover-More Group. Ryan has been with the business for over 7 years and had been the interim CFO for a couple of months.
  • Iain Bartram was interim CFO at Jaxsta and has just been appointed CFO at First Wave Technology.

If there are any moves that have been missed which you think would be worth sharing or wish to discuss your own next move, please contact Colin via [email protected]


Colin Kerr, Senior Associate, Executive Accounting & Finance | U&U Recruitment Partners

Colin recruits interim and contracting roles in the Accounting and Finance space. This includes the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role and their direct reports (Financial Controller, Finance Manager, Management Accountant, Financial Planning & Analysis), as well as any other finance roles that sit in a corporate head office – tax, internal audit and treasury.

Colin has two decades of experience in accounting and finance recruitment in Sydney. A qualified Chartered Accountant, he began his career with PwC in their audit team in London. After a secondment to PwC Jakarta for three years, Colin moved to Sydney in 1997 and his career in recruitment began.

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