Fintech Australia makes new leadership appointments

As Australia’s second highest funded industry raising more than $6 billion since 2020 but only $330m last year in fintech startup funding, FinTech Australia is committed to support and propel the industry through its next stage of growth.

Fintech Australia elected Sarah Gorman the organisation’s new Chair, with outgoing chair Simone Joyce moving to an Advisory role. The peak advocacy group also promoted current general manager Rehan D’Almeida to CEO, with Audacity Ventures’ Brian Collins taking on the Deputy Chair role.

Gorman is a founding team member and investor of Melbourne-based DAS (Digital Agriculture Services) and currently serves as Head of Growth and Marketing at the Agri-Fintech, which she has helped build and scale since its inception in 2017. Gorman was appointed Deputy Chair of Fintech Australia’s board in November 2023 and is an active member of the startup ecosystem. A three-time founder, influence expert and strategist, she has more than two decades of experience spanning advisory, entrepreneurship, narrative and investment, both in Asia Pacific and globally.

Collins is a fintech founder, fund manager and executive who most recently oversaw AWS’s fintech work across the Oceania region. He now runs Audacity Ventures, which in addition to providing support services to fintech founders has also partnered with Euphemia to build one of the first dedicated fintech funds in the region.

Incoming FinTech Australia Chair Sarah Gorman said: “I am driven by a genuine desire to help shape the future of Australia’s fintech industry as it enters its next wave of evolution and growth, and fully echo the view that with the right support, these organisations can provide the foundation for Australia’s digital economy and continue to be a driver of growth and productivity in Australia.”

“We’re talking about a multi-billion industry in Australia alone. It’s hard to think of organisations that don’t interact with the Fintech ecosystem in some way, shape or form, and what’s more, today’s fintechs aren’t just solving local financial issues, they are leveraging their expertise to tackle global challenges such as climate change and inequality. All while grappling with a changing technology landscape that encompasses issues around data trust, privacy and crucially, artificial intelligence.”

Gorman’s appointment comes as Paypa Plane founder and global CEO, Simone Joyce, ends a highly successful tenure as Chair. Joyce was appointed to the role in 2020 and has recently moved to New York to globally scale her business. Joyce will continue to advise the organisation on key industry issues, including informing its direction on payment-related policy matters.

“It has been a great honour to serve this industry as Chair of FinTech Australia – and see the industry grow. I look forward to shifting my focus to the growth of Paypa Plane both in the US and in Australia” Former FinTech Australia Chair and founder of Paypa Plane Simone Joyce said.

“It’s well known across the industry that FinTech Australia’s board is an extension of its team. Its members and Chair are incredibly active in supporting the organisation and Rehan’s team in delivering for the industry.”

The new CEO appointment, approved by FinTech Australia’s board, recognises Rehan D’Almeida’s record in growing the ecosystem in Australia and globally for the benefit of its members since assuming the General Manager role in 2021.

During his tenure, Fintech Australia has grown to encompass over 400 members and corporate partners, delivering more than 30 submissions to the government on fintech-related policy in the last year alone. Its flagship events, Intersekt Fintech Festival and The Finnies hit record numbers, while new initiatives such as The Banking Reverse Pitch, Fintech for Net Zero and CDR Summit have attracted a global audience.

Commenting on the appointment, D’Almeida said: “It’s an incredible honour to be recognised as FinTech Australia’s CEO — my career has grown alongside the industry. We’ve seen FinTech Australia reach new heights in terms of engagement with both members and policy-makers, all with a small dedicated team. Crucially, that’s translated into commercial success for the sector. According to the last FinTech Australia, EY Census, over 81% of fintechs have hit profitability and are growing revenue — up from 77% in 2019.”

“We face new challenges ahead as the FinTech industry continues to navigate complex regulatory frameworks and steers towards helping society address larger challenges such as climate change. But it’s an exciting time for the sector, and it’s bigger and more vibrant than ever before.”

Highlighting Simone Joyce’s record, D’Almeida said: “We are incredibly grateful for Simone’s contributions over the past three years. Her work has helped steer FinTech Australia into the strongest position the organisation has been in since its formation in 2016.”

“Sarah’s appointment yet again raises the bar in terms of the expertise and experience we have contained in our board. I look forward to working closely with her as we continue to grow FinTech Australia and its role in driving the overall growth of the fintech industry.”

“Similarly, Brian’s appointment is important at a time when the industry is increasingly focused on unlocking critical funding for large, mid and early-stage fintechs alike”.

Confirmation of board:
FinTech Australia’s board now consists of the following members:
• Sarah Gorman, Head of Growth & Marketing at DAS, appointed Chair
• Brian Collins, Principal at Audacity Ventures, appointed Deputy Chair
• Christian Westerlind Wigstrom, co-founder and CEO of Monova, Treasurer
• Kellie Morton, Chief Legal Officer & Director at Birchal
• Vinnie D’Alessandro, Chief Product Officer at Change Financial.
• Dominic Pym, Co-founder of Up and Co-founder and Director of Euphemia
• Michael Saadat, International Head of Public Policy at Block
• Harry Godber, Head of Strategy and General Counsel at Flare
• Cathryn Lyall, Partner, Seed Space VC and Co-Founder Seed Money