We are pleased to announce the appointment of Bianca Bates as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Cuscal.
Bianca joined Cuscal in July 2014 as General Counsel and Company Secretary before pivoting her career to pursue more commercial responsibility and deeper relationships with our clients in her role as Chief Client Officer.
Whilst Bianca will continue in her current role, her title will change to Chief Client Officer & Deputy CEO in recognition of her expanded role of being Craig Kennedy’s delegate when he is unavailable.
In addition to leading our Product and Service teams, Bianca will take a more leading role in Cuscal’s engagement with industry bodies, regulators and shareholders.
Commenting on the appointment, Cuscal Managing Director Craig Kennedy said: “From the feedback that I have received from our Board, Shareholders, Clients and Staff over the past six years, I am confident that Bianca will continue to excel in her new expanded capacity as Chief Client Officer and Deputy CEO.
Please join me and our Board of Directors in congratulating Bianca, as she continues to advance her career at Cuscal.”
Bianca has held several senior roles during her time at Cuscal, including Acting General Manager, Product & Service, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Acting General Manager Shared Services and Head of Client Services.
She has over 20 years’ experience in financial services within large public and private US and Australian companies. Prior to Cuscal, she worked in senior legal and compliance company secretariat roles with Genworth, GE Capital and DLA Phillips Fox.
A gradual increase in the number of senior female appointments in recent years has helped Cuscal to hit its target of 40% of senior leadership roles to be held by women.
In May this year Helen Mediati, Cuscal’s General Counsel and Company Secretary was appointed to Cuscal’s Leadership Team. This followed the appointment of Bianca Bates to the role of Chief Client Officer, earlier the same month. Cuscal’s Managing Director, Craig Kennedy, says it has been a deliberate part of Cuscal’s long-term strategy:
“Cuscal is a payments company which straddles the worlds of technology and banking, both industries which struggle with gender diversity and female leadership.
We knew that having greater gender balance in our leadership would help make us a stronger, fairer, better company, so we have been working towards a goal of greater senior female leadership for a few years now. Three out of seven of my Leadership Team are now women (43%) and this ratio is consistent throughout leadership positions at Cuscal.
We know there’s still some way to go, for example our diversity at Board level isn’t what we would like it to be, but we’re pleased to hit this target and now need to maintain or improve it.”
Cuscal has employed a range of initiatives to improve diversity, female employment and leadership at Cuscal which include:
- Creating a Women’s Initiative Network three years ago and then a Diversity and Inclusion Council
- Mandating that recruiters include at least one suitably qualified female applicant for each role
- Trialling blind resumes in the project and technology division
- Reviewing our flexibility policies to ensure consistency in application
- Extending paid paternity leave from one week to four weeks.
As of May 2018, Cuscal’s ratio of male/female employees was:
- Board: 13% female, 87% male
- Leadership Team: 43% female, 57% male
- All employees: 40% female, 60% male
Pictured L to R: Bianca Bates, Craig Kennedy, Helen Mediati, Christie Welsh
Cuscal has appointed Bianca Bates to the role of Chief Client Officer, as part of Cuscal’s Leadership Team. This role replaces the role of General Manager, Product & Service, which Bianca has been acting in since February 2018.
Commenting on the appointment, Cuscal Managing Director Craig Kennedy said:
The Cuscal Board has confirmed Bianca’s appointment after an extensive search for the right candidate. I’m delighted that Bianca was successful and will continue her career at Cuscal after her success in previous roles over the past four years.
The change in title reflects our commitment to partnering with our clients and delivering a great client experience. Bianca brings significant experience in financial services and our business to this role, including, crucially, a great understanding of the needs of our clients.
Bianca has held a number of senior roles at Cuscal since she joined, including Acting General Manager, Product & Service, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Acting General Manager Shared Services and Head of Client Services. She has over 20 years’ experience in financial services with large and complex US and Australian companies, both public and private. Prior to Cuscal she worked in senior legal and compliance company secretariat roles with Genworth, GE Capital and DLA Phillips Fox.
Cuscal has appointed Robert Bell as General Manager, Product and Service. He will assume responsibilities on January 9 and will succeed Adrian Lovney who recently left to be CEO for NPP Australia.
Robert joins Cuscal from Big Sky Building Society where he has held the role of CEO for two years. Prior to that he held multiple senior level roles at ANZ, across Australia and Asia Pacific.
Commenting on the appointment, Craig Kennedy, MD said
“I am delighted that Robert is joining Cuscal – he brings with him both a client perspective, and extensive leadership experience in financial services across Australia and Asia Pacific.”
Cuscal CIO, Brian Parker, has taken on a new role as General Manager, Emerging Business. In Brian Parker’s new role his focus will be on exploring emerging business opportunities, and translating these into deliverable opportunities for clients. Brian will also continue to be the executive lead responsible for the successful end-to-end implementation of the NPP for Cuscal and its clients.
Hemant Kogekar has been appointed as Cuscal’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the next 12–18 months. Hemant has worked with Cuscal over the past four years as a consultant and advisor and has over 15 years’ experience as a C-level IT executive in major Australian companies including Suncorp, Citibank and Franklins.
Commenting on the restructure, Cuscal Managing Director, Craig Kennedy said:
“The payments industry is currently seeing rapid innovation including the growth of digital payments, emerging concepts such as blockchain, and the rise of non-traditional players. This means that we are operating in an extraordinarily dynamic environment.
To make sure we remain at the forefront of payments innovation, while continuing to deliver a reliable service to our clients we have decided to create a distinct focus on emerging business opportunities in payments. We are confident this will give the best result for us and our clients.”