Danielle Szetho is stepping down as CEO of FinTech Australia

Alan Tsen, CEO of FinTech Victoria and member of FinTech Australia’s Blockchain Working Group, with FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho. (Source: supplied)

Danielle Szetho, the inaugural CEO of industry group FinTech Australia, is leaving after almost two years of successful lobbying for change in Australia’s financial industry landscape.

Sarah Worboys, a former chartered accountant now active with startups, will be interim CEO. More recently she was head of strategy and operations at Melbourne-based peer-to-peer invoice financier Timelio.

Szetho, a former Fairfax Media product manager, was the driving force behind the not for profit industry body, establishing the annual the Finnie awards, arguing successfully for equity crowdfunding and getting the federal government to make fintech a priority.

During her tenure, membership at FinTech Australia, whose aim is to make Australia one of the world’s leading markets for Fintech Innovation and Investment, rose to 200 from 52.

“I’ve really enjoyed growing FinTech Australia from a startup to where it is today, and now it is time to hand over the organisation to a new CEO as the sector matures and the organisation scales to the next stage of growth,” she says.

“I’m looking forward to having a good rest and time off to travel before I delve into the next stage of my career, and I’ll be working with our Policy leads and Board in the next few weeks to ensure they are supported through the transition until the new CEO can take the reins.”

In an email to members of FinTech Australia, Danielle Szetho wrote:

It has been an honour and a privilege to have served Australia’s fintech industry as its inaugural industry association CEO since June 2016.

With the support of the board, our team and our incredible community, FinTech Australia has grown from being little more than an ambitious idea to an industry association that has successfully driven the fintech agenda across the nation.

We started with 52 founding members — today we have well over 200, with strong connections across a broad range of regulators and policy makers. We’ve also built a strong international network to support our fintech community’s expansion and growth.

Among our big policy wins have included:

  • The creation of an ASIC Regulatory Sandbox;
  • Bringing Equity Crowdfunding to Australia;
  • Removing the double-taxing of GST for Digital Currencies, and bringing Digital Currency exchanges under Australia’s AML/CTF regime;
  • Reducing the barriers to entry for the establishment of new Digital Challenger Banks;
  • Establishing the Consumer Data Right which paves the way for an Open Banking regime in Australia; and
  • Establishing steps toward a self-regulatory framework for the unsecured Small Business fintech lending industry.

I have enjoyed every minute I’ve spent understanding our members’ challenges and arguing our case to government.

I’m also proud of what our tiny team has delivered to promote and connect the fintech community through our Intersekt fintech festival and the Finnie awards.

I’ve really enjoyed growing FinTech Australia from a startup to where it is today, and now it is time to hand over the organisation to a new CEO as the sector matures and the organisation scales to the next stage of growth.

I’m looking forward to having a good rest and time off to travel before I delve into the next stage of my career, and I’ll be working with our Policy leads and Board in the next few weeks to ensure they are supported through the transition until the new CEO can take the reins.

FinTech Australia has now begun the search for a new CEO, while at the same time appointing Sarah Worboys as interim CEO from March 19 while the recruitment process is underway. I warmly welcome Sarah to the team.

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