Changing of the Guard: FinTech Australia Appoints Stuart Stoyan as Chair as Founding Chair Simon Cant Decides to Step Down

Stuart Stoyan, the founder and CEO of Melbourne-based company MoneyPlace – the second fully licensed marketplace lending platform, has become FinTech Australia’s new chair following the departure of founding chair Simon Cant.

Stoyan has agreed to be FinTech Australia’s acting chair until June 2018 when new board elections will be held. Stoyan was a member of FinTech Australia’s founding committee in 2015, is currently a member of the Federal Treasurer’s Fintech Advisory Group and was also founder of the Fintech Census.

FinTech Australia has quickly become the leading voice advocating on behalf of Fintech innovation in Australia. In a bit over two short years, FinTech Australia has led the charge to reform finance, create a better industry for both consumers and businesses while burnishing Australia’s reputation globally. Cant led the founder of FinTech Australia and authored an initial “Fintech call to action” that made the case to government that innovations in finance needed to become a national priority.

At the Australian Treasurer’s invitation, Cant led the development of FinTech Australia’s initial reform priorities agenda in January 2016 which helped to guide the Australian Government’s suport Australian Fintech Policy and the establishment of the Treasurer’s Fintech Advisory Group.

Cant commented on his departure stating;

“It’s been an honour to lead the launch of FinTech Australia and, with the support of a committed team led by Danielle Szetho and a dedicated group of Fintech founders as my board colleagues, guide its rapid growth over the last two years … we’ve grown our membership base, to just under 200 members, and have delivered major programs including the national Finnies awards and the EY Fintech Australia Census,” said Cant. “We have also delivered our annual Collab/Collide summit which last year attracted over 800 attendees and was held as part of the Intersekt fintech festival, which in itself attracted over 1500 delegates at various events over a week in Melbourne.”

Cant added that FinTech Australia had advanced the Fintech agenda significantly in the last two years with the majority of its reform priorities either enacted or the subject of major policy development initiatives – a significant accomplishment that puts to shame many other developed nations.

Some of the Aussie advancements include:

  • The creation of a Fintech regulatory sandbox
  • Enactment of Retail crowdfunding;
  • The removal of goods and services taxation from digital currencies and bringing digital currency exchanges within the oversight of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre;
  • Reform of venture capital (VC) legislation to improve Fintech access to venture capital;
  • A commitment to mandated comprehensive credit reporting; and
  • A major policy review around open data and open banking.

“It’s been an amazing journey to date and I am sure the organisation’s evolution will continue under Stuart’s able guidance, supporting the continuing growth and maturity of the Fintech industry,” stated Cant. “I would also like to thank the support of my fellow board members of the current and previous board, including Stuart, in volunteering their time to help grow our community and industry.”

Cant pointed to the growing portfolio at his VC firm Reinventure and the everyday demands of managing these investments as his reason to leaving his leadership role. Cant stressed he would be staying on the FinTech Australia board and would continue to advocate for the Fintech community. He expects to continue with many of his representative duties including as a member of the Treasurer’s Fintech Advisory Group.

“I’d like to be the first to thank Simon for his leadership of FinTech Australia,” Stoyan said. “He has been pivotal in helping guide the organisation from being little more than an idea to the strong organisation that it is today.”

Stoyan expects to continuing to grow the Fintech industry, including open banking reforms and seeking Fintech access to the New Payments Platform.

“I expect that 2018 will be an incredibly enriching and exciting one for Australia’s fintech industry and therefore it is a fantastic time to be FinTech Australia’s chair.”

Stoyan, who recently called 2017 a turning point in Fintech, has shared his priorities for FinTech Australia for the coming months, which include:

  • Pushing for Australia’s proposed open financial data framework to be established in a way which empowered customers and brought a new wave of Fintech innovation and competition to the financial services industry.
  • Ensuring Australia’s Fintech community has the opportunity to leverage the benefits of the $1 billion New Payments Platform, which is expected to launch in mid-February.
  • Continuing to advocate strongly for initiatives to increase access to suitable talent for the Fintech industry, including through improved science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training and a skilled visa policy.
  • Strongly prosecuting the need for, and benefits of, increasing competition and choice across Australian financial services, including through the introduction of challenger bank licences.C

Commenting on the competition issue, Stoyan said:

“The fact of the matter is that Australia continues to have one of the most concentrated banking industries in the world and we are keen for ongoing government and broader industry reforms to open up the benefits of competition. We will be working with the various government inquiries into competition in financial services, along with the Australian Government’s Royal Commission, on this issue.”

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