Top Australian fintech hub Stone & Chalk is getting a new chair in a major board overhaul

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  • Stone & Chalk is getting a new chair and almost an entirely refreshed board.
  • The fintech innovation hub says it is part of a transition from start-up to scale-up mode.
  • Stone & Chalk start-ups and scale-ups have secured over $255 million of direct equity investment in less than three years.

  • Stone & Chalk, Australia’s fintech startup hub, has had a major overhaul of its leadership as it moves out of start-up mode to scale-up.

    Asia’s largest fintech innovation hub has announced the appointment of a new chairman and suite of new board members.

    Leona Murphy, who has already served for three years on the board, will replace Craig Dunn as Chairman at the hub’s AGM in November.

    She brings a background of 20 years in financial services, 10 years in C-Suite roles in top 20 ASX-listed companies, and multiple board positions across public, private and member based organisations.

    “I’m delighted to have been given such an exciting opportunity, and am deeply impressed by the exceptional quality of our new Board,” she says.

    “It will be my pleasure to help guide Stone & Chalk’s transition into its next phase of growth alongside such a passionate Board and management team.”

    Stone & Chalk is Australia’s centre of gravity for fintech, home to 600 residents in more than 100 full-time startups, and supported by 27 local and international corporate partners. It has played a central role in the rapid development of Australia’s fintech sector over the past four years.

    The hub’s CEO Alex Scandurra says she was a natural choice to step into Craig Dunn’s very big shoes.

    “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,” says Scandurra.

    SuppliedLeona Murphy

    “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.”

    Scandurra thanked Craig Dunn.

    “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 says.

    “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.”

    Here’s a full list of the new board appointments:

    • Anthony Eisen (Executive Chair and co-founder of Afterpay; Melbourne-based)
    • Aris Allegos (CEO and Co-Founder of Moula; Melbourne-based HQ, Stone & Chalk resident in Sydney)
    • Debra Taylor (COO of OpenSparkz; Stone & Chalk resident in Sydney)
    • Caroline Trotman (COO of WordFlow; Stone & Chalk resident in Sydney)
    • Ron Arnold (Managing General Partner at IAG, Firemark Ventures & Firemark Singapore, Stone & Chalk corporate partner)
    • Kylie Rixon (CRO of ANZ Digital and Wealth; Stone & Chalk corporate partner)
    • Richard Kimber (CEO and co-founder of Daisee)

    The recruits will also join Ian Pollari, who remains as a director after joining at Stone & Chalk’s inception. He 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 its nine directors have successfully founded start-ups, five currently hold senior positions with leading 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,” says 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.”

    Together with its 142 alumni, Stone & Chalk start-ups and scale-ups have secured over $255 million of direct equity investment in less than three years, and have directly created 500 new jobs in the areas of fintech, cyber security, insurtech, data science, and connected devices.

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