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MFAA CEO Mike Felton announces retirement

The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) has announced today that CEO Mike Felton has informed the Board of his decision that, due to the finalisation of the extremely successful regulatory reform agenda, the conclusion of an extended period of external scrutiny, and the attendant strength of the mortgage broking industry, the time is right for him to retire from the MFAA.

Mr Felton’s tenure leading the MFAA was focused heavily on industry advocacy, bookended by the ASIC Review of Mortgage Broker Remuneration in 2016 and the MFAA’s advocacy surrounding the 2022 Review.

MFAA Chair Rose De Rossi said Felton had led the Association through the industry’s most challenging period with professionalism, dedication and great determination.

“During his time with the MFAA, Mike has unrelentingly championed the Association’s advocacy efforts on behalf of brokers and the industry, which not only had a significant influence on the policy outcomes achieved for broker businesses and the customers they serve, but also allowed the industry to lean into scrutiny and thrive in a sustainable manner,” Ms De Rossi said.

“Over the past five-and-a-half years, Mike has led the MFAA from the front with great passion and effectiveness. He guided the industry through its response to the ASIC Review, the formation of the Combined Industry Forum and its associated reforms, and the industry’s responses to various subsequent challenges. This included an incredibly successful response to the Royal Commission and now the 2022 Review outcome. It was fitting that it was Mike who was the one to receive the news about the cancellation of the 2022 Review from the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing.

“At the same time, Mike never lost focus on helping mortgage broking to progress on our journey from an industry to a profession. Under his leadership, our professional development and learning programs have continued to be enhanced.

“Mike has also successfully guided the industry through an enormous period of change. From the existential threat of the Royal Commission to individual member concerns, Mike has left no stone unturned in his efforts to help our 14,000 members to succeed.

“Mike has worked incredibly well with the Board over the years, and he will leave the industry and our Association in a strong position. We have now emerged from years of regulatory examination to a future with growing membership, a strong financial position and a stronger reputation as an industry, which is reflected in record market share mortgage brokers originate. We are sad to see Mike leave us as CEO, but we wish him all the very best for his retirement,” Ms De Rossi said.

Mr Felton said he had been brought into the role with a focus on guiding both the MFAA and the mortgage broking industry through a period of unparalleled regulatory scrutiny and change, and that the time was now right for him to retire.

“My work with the MFAA began with the ASIC Review of Mortgage Broker Remuneration and following years of regulatory reviews and a Royal Commission, my family and I had planned for me to retire at the conclusion of the 2022 Review of Mortgage Broker Remuneration. Now that this is no longer proceeding, the time is right for me to pass on the baton and retire from full-time business life,” Mr Felton said.

“It has been a tough and challenging six years, but our industry finally has some certainty about the future, and it is a future full of promise and possibility. Our Association is growing, our industry’s market share is growing, and all the other metrics we use to measure the health of the MFAA and the industry are very strong.

“I have worked in many interesting and personally fulfilling roles over the past 40 years, but without a shadow of a doubt, I view the last five-and-a-half years as the highlight of my working career.

“My gratitude goes to the MFAA Board members who had the foresight to invest in defence and reform for the industry, and for backing the team and I in some of the difficult decisions we have had to make. My deepest thanks also goes to my talented MFAA staff and Executive team, who have worked tirelessly and highly effectively to represent the interests of our members every day. And finally, thank you to all our members for your trust and tremendous hard work in implementing changes that have strengthened and grown our industry.

“During our ‘Don’t Kill Competition’ campaign in 2019, I was called into the Treasurer’s office down in Melbourne and advised that the Government would not be implementing the Royal Commission recommendation to abolish trail. This was a defining moment for our industry, for the MFAA and one that I have personally cherished. After a further three years of strong MFAA advocacy, I had a feeling of déjà vu as I was called into Minister Michael Sukkar’s Melbourne office in March this year to be advised of the cancellation of the 2022 Review.

“Now that this period of examination and review is complete, the time is right for me to leave the Association while we are in a strong position. I will certainly miss this vibrant, growing industry and our wonderful members, but I am looking forward to spending quality time with my family over the coming years.

“Whilst I am announcing my retirement, I will continue in the role through to the Spring, working with the Board as they conduct a search for my replacement, to ensure a smooth transition. My focus will also remain on our active discussions with Government and regulators on important outstanding matters such as clawback, channel conflict/discharges, and lender turnarounds which continue to be ongoing strong areas of advocacy for the MFAA,” Mr Felton said.

The Board has begun an external search for a new CEO to continue to lead the organisation and execute a strategy of delivering value for our members. The Association’s experienced executive team will support the CEO transition.

Taken from MFAA

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