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MFAA Appoints New CEO

Following an extensive search, the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce Anja Pannek has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Association. Ms Pannek replaces the retiring Mike Felton, who has led the Association since 2016.

An experienced leader in financial services, Ms Pannek has a proven track record of leading successful businesses within the third-party channel, particularly in her most recent long-term role as CEO of PLAN Australia.

Ms Pannek has worked across aggregator businesses and within mortgage distribution for major financial services firms over the past two decades, including leadership roles with Loan Market Group, PLAN Australia, NAB, Advantedge and Challenger Limited, giving her an exceptionally strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the Australian mortgage and finance broking industry.

MFAA Chair Rose De Rossi said Ms Pannek was the perfect fit for the role, given her expertise in commercial roles and experience within - and alongside - the broker channel.

“This is a unique role, in that it requires industry knowledge and commercial expertise, as well as strength in strategy, advocacy and communications. Anja’s experience as a CEO, a CFO and as a leader in aggregator businesses made her the standout candidate among an exceptionally talented field,” Ms De Rossi said.

“The Board agreed that Anja’s long experience within the sector will allow her to hit the ground running in this role, and we found her vision for the industry closely aligns with the MFAA’s strategy, particular in terms of continuing the mortgage broking journey from an ‘industry’ to a ‘profession’.

“Anja is also a brilliant communicator and presenter, as you would expect from someone who has been in leadership roles for more than 20 years,” she said.

Ms Pannek said she was excited to begin the role with the MFAA, paying tribute to the previous leadership.

“I am thrilled to lead one of Australia’s pre-eminent industry associations, and I’m looking forward to working on behalf of members to help continue to strengthen and grow this wonderful industry,” Ms Pannek said.

“Over the course of my career, I have worked for both large and small businesses within financial services, and I am looking to bring fresh ideas and genuine understanding of the challenges our members face every day, as well as the commercial acumen the role requires.

“As someone who has worked in the sector for over 20 years, and also served as President of the MFAA Aggregator Forum, I have an intimate understanding of the challenges we face as an industry, and the incredible leadership shown by the MFAA in responding to years of regulatory scrutiny. I’ll be looking to continue the work that the current leadership team have done in successfully representing the interests of our members,” she said.

Retiring MFAA CEO Mike Felton has welcomed the announcement of Ms Pannek’s appointment to the role, citing her proven track-record and thorough understanding of the industry.

“Anja is an outstanding appointment for the MFAA who has excelled in previous leadership roles within our industry and I am delighted to hand the baton over to her as my successor. Anja has an exceptional working knowledge of our industry and the issues brokers face and is well known to the MFAA team, given she held the role of President of the MFAA Aggregator Forum for many years, and has worked in various businesses within the channel,” Mr Felton said.

“I have every confidence that Anja will be an amazing leader for the team, and I am looking forward to spending time with her over the coming weeks as we transition and conduct a thorough handover.”

Ms De Rossi said she was extremely pleased with the orderly leadership transition.

“My fellow MFAA Board Members and I could not be happier with Anja as our new CEO, and it is great to be appointing our new leader on schedule, with plenty of time for Anja to get her feet under the table. We’re all looking forward to working with her,” Ms De Rossi said.

Ms Pannek will formally commence in the role on 05 September 2022.

Taken from MFAA. 

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