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Wisr appoints CRO to prepare business for ‘industry changes’

by Reporter6 minute read
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The fintech lender has appointed a former Commonwealth Bank executive to its newly created role of chief risk and data officer.

ASX-listed marketplace lender Wisr has announced the appointment of former Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) general manager of unsecured risk, Joanne Edwards, to the newly created role of chief risk and data officer, effective 13 January 2020.

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According to Wisr, the new role was created to enable the lender to place greater focus on “credit risk optimisation and data analytics” while also helping it prepare its business for industry changes, which include open banking and comprehensive credit reporting (CCR).

Wisr CEO Anthony Nantes welcomed Ms Edwards’ appointment.

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“This is a fantastic appointment and real coup for Wisr,” Mr Nantes said.

“Joanne is a widely respected leader of multiple disciplines ranging from credit risk, product management through to data and analytics and strategic project delivery.

“To have someone of Joanne’s calibre join Wisr after almost a decade in Australia’s leading unsecured lending bank is a truly exciting opportunity for the business, our stakeholders and customers.”

Ms Edwards added: “Access to credit and credit availability is fundamentally important to people’s lives, and it can be absolutely life-changing.

“Wisr’s purpose-led model is completely different from anything that I’ve seen in the consumer lending space,“ she said, adding that its vision to bring financial wellness to all Australians and reinventing what a consumer lending company can be really “spoke” to her.

It is this purpose-led model and culture that was a deciding factor in joining,” she said.

Mr Nantes noted that in her new role, Ms Edwards would work closely with Wisr’s chief operating officer, Mathew Lu, to “maximise” the lender’s data and analytics capabilities and the scalability of the credit business.

The Wisr CEO added that the new appointee would also be charged with maintaining the lender’s adherence to compliance and responsible lending practices.

“2020 will see substantial changes coming to the financial services space, and Wisr is primed to take advantage of those changes while creating sustainable growth in line with risk appetite,” Mr Nantes said.

Ms Edwards, who managed the CCR integration program at CBA, said she believed that Wisr is “ahead of the game and well positioned” to adapt to industry reform in 2020, adding that she is impressed that the lender's platforms aim to genuinely help customers pay down their debt and develop financial confidence and capability”.

She concluded: “A business that genuinely focuses on helping everyday Australians access smarter, fairer credit, and then provide tools and products to encourage them to pay that credit down faster is a very disruptive model, and particularly in the current environment is a company that can really grow.

“I’ve been impressed by the compelling vision that the company has, and what the team has achieved in a very short period of time. I’m very excited to be bringing my expertise to Wisr and continue the company’s vision to deliver better outcomes for all Australians.”

[Related: AFG appoints WA sales manager]

Wisr appoints CRO to prepare business for ‘industry changes’
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