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Wisr chair to quit to protect business

by Josh Needs11 minute read

The chair of the non-bank lender will retire from the board to ensure the company is not “negatively impacted” by his relationship with the former chief executive.

ASX-listed lender Wisr has announced that its chair John Nantes will not seek re-election at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in November and will retire from the board following the close of the AGM.

Mr Nantes joined Wisr’s board in 2016, first as a non-executive director and then as executive chair.

In a statement issued yesterday (12 October), the lender confirmed Mr Nantes’ decision was “driven by a desire to ensure that the company and its business is not negatively impacted by perceptions related to Mr Nantes’ familial relationship with Wisr’s former CEO, his brother Anthony Nantes, whose employment with the company was terminated in August 2023”.


Following the termination of his brother’s employment, Mr Nantes requested a leave of absence “in the interests of good and transparent governance and to allow for the efficient deliberation on and management of issues associated with Anthony’s tenure as CEO and his termination”.

Wisr has now confirmed that while the chair will return from his leave on 21 October – and will resume his normal board duties – he will retire following the AGM in November.

Following his retirement, interim chair Matthew Brown will assume the role of chair permanently. He had taken up the position on an acting basis when Mr Nantes stepped away for his leave of absence.

Mr Brown said: “The Wisr board notes with gratitude that John has taken this step in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

“We commend him for conducting himself in an exemplary manner and observing best governance practice in recusing himself from deliberations relating to the termination of the former CEO’s employment, and now for further demonstrating his commitment to good governance and the best interests of shareholders, by stepping down to avoid any potential market unease regarding his family association with the former CEO.”

The lender also praised Mr Nantes for his work over his seven-year tenure, during which its “operating revenue has grown from $1 million to $92 million and its loan book from $8 million to $931 million”.

Mr Nantes stated: “I can retire knowing Wisr is in great hands, with strong leadership in place for the next stage of growth.

“I look forward to following the company’s progress, as a shareholder.

“I wish to thank Wisr’s loyal staff, fellow board members, shareholders and funders for being on the growth journey with the company during my tenure.”

Anthony Nantes terminated

In August when John Nantes’ brother Anthony Nantes was terminated as CEO, Wisr stated it was due to him being unable to perform his role at the “level required”.

At the time of his termination, the company issued a statement: “The Wisr board had formed the view over recent months that Anthony was unable to perform the role of CEO to the level required by the board and as such the board took action in terminating his employment agreement.”

Wisr’s then chief financial officer Andrew Goodwin was subsequently appointed to the role of CEO.

[Related: Former Wisr CEO faces court, new CEO appointed]

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