James was appointed CEO of Liberty in 2016 having previously held the role of COO. Under James’ leadership the business has expanded to offer mortgages, commercial, motor and personal loans as well as insurances. It has also invested in a number of businesses as it evolved into the diversified Liberty Group. Over the past two years the loan mortgage protection business ALI Group, wholesale aggregator network National Mortgage Brokers, and marketplace lender MoneyPlace have all become part of the bigger Liberty Group. In addition, small business lender Moula is also a well- established partner of the group. James works with the Board and the executive management team to oversee and implement Liberty’s business strategy, operations, technology and distribution, in Australia and New Zealand. He joined the team from State Street Corporation where he previously held positions in Institutional Finance in Sydney, Boston, London and Zurich. James has an MBA from INSEAD Graduate Business School in France, a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University, Australia, and a Bachelor of Business from the Australian Catholic University, Australia.
Simon Dennis opened by saying that data tells us that 80% of SMEs can’t get money from a bank. Run those numbers of 1.2m SME customers there’s a lot of people commercially that’s a huge problem.
Matt Leeburn said that conflicts of investment partnerships often happen. Most partnerships don’t work out in the end as a good article in the Harvard Business Revie points out. You must be truly aligned for it to work otherwise it won’t work.
James Boyle said a top difficulty with partnership is how they play out if a partner wants to team up with a competitor? He said the best solve was if you get the partnership right the co-dependency should become so deep that they come to us anyway.
Richard Williamson, on another note, said that China showed the way forward on fintech with Ant Financial having 400m clients and the largest credit bureau in China. Now the banks are coming to Ant to use the bureau. It’s a business they’re doing a fundraise. It’s leapfrogged the banks in so many ways.