The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia has divulged details surrounding the sudden departure of its CEO.
Following weeks of speculation about a growing rift between former MFAA chief executive Siobhan Hayden and the board, the association announced on Wednesday that Ms Hayden had stepped down from the top job, effective immediately.
“The association is bigger than one person. We have a very clear direction with where we are heading and a competent management team that will be able to take us on that journey during this period,” MFAA chairman Cynthia Grisbrook told The Adviser.
The MFAA’s initial announcement revealed little about the reasons behind Ms Hayden’s departure, only referencing “strategic differences” with the board.
Asked to elaborate, Ms Grisbrook said, “As we have said, Siobhan did resign due to strategic differences with the board and with respect to her privacy I really would prefer not to elaborate on that.”
“It was a decision that was agreed by the board unanimously and mutually with Siobhan herself. There is no great conspiracy theory to it,” she added.
The MFAA will now be led by Stephen Birchgrove, Evan Thomas and Stephen Hale.
“These guys have been working with the board and Siobhan over the last 18 months and are very aware of what is going on and how the organisation runs,” Ms Grisbrook said.
“The board is in no hurry to appoint a new CEO. We are fortunate the lead executive team [is] highly experienced. In time, we will consider both internal and external candidates for the role. The CEO appointment is an important one and obviously we want to make the right decision.”
Ms Grisbrook said the MFAA’s strategy will take five key directions – advocacy and influence, a profession enabler, people and culture in the industry, IT and technology and broader industry issues.
“Our focus over the next two weeks in particular is getting the MFAA in a position to work with either side of government,” she said.
“The board has also been heavily involved with ASIC in recent months. It’s business as usual.”
[Related: MFAA boss steps down]
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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