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SME lender enlists former Treasury secretary to board

by Tas Bindi5 minute read
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Former Treasury secretary John Fraser will join the board of an SME lender that is currently seeking authorisation to label itself a bank.

The latest to join the board of Judo Capital, which is hoping to receive its full banking licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority by the end of the calendar year, is former Treasury secretary John Fraser.

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Mr Fraser’s new position on the board — chaired by former chief risk officer at ANZ Bank Peter Hodgson — as an independent non-executive director will be effective from 1 October 2018.

The incoming board member had resigned from his position as Treasury secretary in July after three and a half years and was replaced by now Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s former chief of staff, Philip Gaetjens, who was recommended to the Governor-General by Malcolm Turnbull prior to the Liberty Party leadership spill.

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Mr Fraser, who was previously an investment banker at UBS, will be joining former federal small business minister Bruce Billson and former Westpac treasurer David Fite, who were recently appointed to the board.

Last month, the SME lender had announced finalising its first round of equity raising at $140 million, claiming that the capital would enable it to service “starved SMEs”.

Judo — which offers SMEs business loans, lines of credit, equipment loans, finance leases and home loans — could raise a further $150 million to $200 million in capital in the first half of next year.

The lender had also recently announced partnering with Temenos, whose software will power Judo Capital’s lending platform.

“Judo has created a fully cloud-based, API-centric technology ecosystem and the Temenos Cloud was a perfect fit, allowing Judo to be focused entirely on its customers rather than managing IT systems,” the announcement read.

Judo had also selected BankSight and Microsoft to develop a cloud-based API service fabric and “customer-centric application ecosystem”.

BankSight’s CRM and Deal Builder solution will allow Judo and partner brokers to manage the life cycle of an SME opportunity, from initial lead to application to final decision. The lender’s platform has also been built so that it can respond fast to emerging open banking laws.

Judo had previously claimed that while it is keen to take advantage of the latest in technology, it is not defined by it. Rather, it views technology as an enabler of its “relationship-centric” proposition.

Alex Twigg, co-founder and CIO at Judo Capital, said: “With the big banks’ shift to industrialisation and centralisation, SMEs have lost the human interaction and tailored service that they so deserve and crave. Judo’s mission is to bring back the craft of relationship banking, powered by the best of modern technology.”

[Related: Lender raises $140m to secure march into SME space]

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Tas Bindi

Tas Bindi

AUTHOR

Tas Bindi is the features editor for The Adviser magazine. 

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