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Anja Pannek named MFAA CEO

by Annie Kane12 minute read
Anja Pannek named MFAA CEO

The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia has named former PLAN CEO Anja Pannek as its next CEO.

The board of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) has confirmed that Anja Pannek will be the association’s next chief executive officer (CEO), taking over the helm from 5 September. 

Ms Pannek will take up the position from outgoing CEO Mike Felton, who will retire from full-time work next month. 

The incoming CEO has extensive experience in the broker and mortgage distribution space, having held a range of leadership roles at several aggregation and lending companies. 


She held the position of CEO in PLAN Australia from 2016-22 and most recently moved into the position of group executive, lending solutions and strategy at the Loan Market Group following its acquisition of the aggregation company.

The new MFAA CEO also has extensive banking experience, having worked as the chief financial officer (CFO) of Challenger’s white label mortgage management division (which encompassed the PLAN, Choice and FAST aggregation businesses) and played an integral role during NAB’s acquisition of the brand. 

She was the head of finance for third-party mortgage distribution at NAB between 2011-13 and was the CFO for NAB’s personal banking division between 2013-16 before taking on the leadership role at PLAN. 

‘The perfect fit

Announcing the new appointment, MFAA chair Rose De Rossi said Ms Pannek’s experience in commercial roles both with – and alongside – the broker channel made her the “perfect fit” for the position. 

“This is a unique role, in that it requires industry knowledge and commercial expertise, as well as strength in strategy, advocacy and communications,” the MFAA chair said. 

“Anja’s experience as a CEO, a CFO, and as a leader in aggregator businesses made her the standout candidate among an exceptionally talented field,” Ms De Rossi said. 

“The board agreed that Anja’s long experience within the sector will allow her to hit the ground running in this role, and we found her vision for the industry closely aligns with the MFAA’s strategy, particular in terms of continuing the mortgage broking journey from an ‘industry’ to a ‘profession’.

“Anja is also a brilliant communicator and presenter, as you would expect from someone who has been in leadership roles for more than 20 years,” Ms De Rossi added. 

Commenting on her new position as MFAA CEO, Ms Pannek said she is “excited” to begin the role with the MFAA. 

“I am thrilled to lead one of Australia’s pre-eminent industry associations, and I’m looking forward to working on behalf of members to help continue to strengthen and grow this wonderful industry,” Ms Pannek said. 

“Over the course of my career, I have worked for both large and small businesses within financial services, and I am looking to bring fresh ideas and genuine understanding of the challenges our members face every day, as well as the commercial acumen the role requires.” 

The incoming CEO also joined industry leaders in paying tribute to Mr Felton’s leadership, stating: “As someone who has worked in the sector for over 20 years, and also served as president of the MFAA Aggregator Forum, I have an intimate understanding of the challenges we face as an industry, and the incredible leadership shown by the MFAA in responding to years of regulatory scrutiny. 

“I’ll be looking to continue the work that the current leadership team have done in successfully representing the interests of our members,” she said. 

Retiring MFAA CEO Mike Felton welcomed the appointment of his successor, noting Ms Pannek’s “proven track record” and thorough understanding of the industry. 

“Anja is an outstanding appointment for the MFAA who has excelled in previous leadership roles within our industry, and I am delighted to hand the baton over to her as my successor,” he said.

“Anja has an exceptional working knowledge of our industry and the issues brokers face and is well known to the MFAA team, given she held the role of president of the MFAA Aggregator Forum for many years, and has worked in various businesses within the channel,” he added.

The outgoing CEO added: “I have every confidence that Anja will be an amazing leader for the team, and I am looking forward to spending time with her over the coming weeks as we transition and conduct a thorough handover.”

The MFAA said that the board “could not be happier” with Ms Pannek’s appointment, noting that there was “plenty of time for Anja to get her feet under the table” before she formally commences on 5 September.

“We’re all looking forward to working with her,” Ms De Rossi said. 

[Related: Q&A: Anja Pannek, CEO, PLAN Australia]

anja pannek ceo plan


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