FinTech Australia’s CEO steps down but will continue to help Aussie fintechs from Asia

Danielle Szetho, ex-CEO of FinTech Australia (source: LinkedIn)

In the wake of announcing her resignation as CEO of industry association FinTech Australia, Danielle Szetho has flagged her intentions to continue supporting and championing Australian fintech companies from Asia.

 Sarah Worboys, formerly of the Startup Victoria Female Founders committee, will step in as interim CEO for FinTech Australia, whose chair Stuart Stoyan thanked Szetho for her “outstanding and dedicated efforts”. He added: “For the last 20 months, Danielle has been the heart and soul of Australia’s fintech community. Danielle’s energy and passion has been central to Australia developing into one of the world’s leading fintech ecosystems.

The search is now on for a permanent replacement for Szetho, who – in a statement released by FinTech Australia – said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to have served Fintech Australia as its inaugural CEO for nearly two years.

“With the support of the board, our team and our incredible community, we have turned FinTech Australia from being little more than an ambitious idea to an industry association that has successfully driven the fintech agenda across the nation, resulting in real, positive change in areas such as Crowdfunding, Digital Currency regulation and Open Data,” she said

“We started with 52 founding members – today we have well over 200, with strong connections across a broad range of regulators and policy makers. We’ve also built a strong international network to support our fintech community’s expansion and growth.

“I have enjoyed every minute I’ve spent understanding our members’ challenges and arguing our case to government, and I’m proud of what our tiny team has delivered to promote and connect the fintech community through our Intersekt fintech festival and the Finnie awards.”

In a post on LinkedIn, Szetho said that FinTech Australia, as a relatively new industry association, had been on the same startup journey” as the founders it represented and had “graduated[d] from scrappy startup to something resembling a well-oiled growth machine”.

She also revealed that the decision to step down as the CEO of Fintech Australia was a “personal one”.

“Catalysed by my partner’s study visa running out this month (sadly the new Temporary Skills Shortage visa skills list hasn’t yet evolved to include Blockchain professionals – and it really should), we discussed our options and have decided to take our next steps up toward Asia,” she said.

“Through my work at FinTech Australia, it has become impossible for us to ignore the tremendous opportunity that exists for Aussie fintechs, investors and financial services players in the Asian region, both in terms of growth opportunities from increasing financial inclusion, and new emerging “leap-frog” mobile technologies.

“Our gold-standard regulatory framework stands Australia in excellent stead to take a regional leadership role, if we can move to take this opportunity quickly. I am very much hopeful for an opportunity to continue to put my skills, networks and experience to good use in supporting and championing our Australian fintech community from there, ideally from the investor side – and after a lengthy holiday, of course.”