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CUA’s Rob Goudswaard named Australia’s top Financial Services Executive

ceo magazine awards group photo

The CEO of Australia’s largest credit union CUA, Rob Goudswaard, has been named as Australia’s Financial Services Executive of the Year at a gala awards night hosted by The CEO Magazine in Sydney.

Mr Goudswaard was also ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges in the major award category – CEO of the Year – when the CEO Magazine’s 7th annual Executive of the Year Awards were announced last night at the International Convention Centre. The event celebrates the contribution of the CEOs, managing directors and senior management who drive Australia’s leading organisations.

Mr Goudswaard, who joined CUA almost four years ago with more than 30 years’ banking experience in Australia and overseas, was humbled by the acknowledgement.

“I’m a firm believer in taking the time to celebrate people who do good things. I was incredibly humbled just to be recognised as a finalist in both categories, alongside such a strong group of leaders, so to walk away with two awards was a very proud occasion,” he said.

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to my fellow finalists for all of their achievements this past year.”

CUA Chief People Officer Tracey Lake said the team at CUA were incredibly proud to see Mr Goudswaard recognised as the Financial Services Executive of the Year.

“This is a real testament to Rob’s leadership and the contribution he makes to CUA, which has seen the organisation win a string of awards in the past year – including the Mozo Experts’ Choice Award for Australia’s Best Credit Union,” Ms Lake said.

Other key measures of success including CUA’s Net Promoter Score, have reached record highs, with the organisation achieving the 3rd highest NPS in the banking sector by the end of June 2018, (as measured by Colmar Brunton).

“Rob has spearheaded growth across many areas of CUA’s business including asset and lending growth, increased employee engagement and culture, operational efficiency and an increased commitment to community and social causes,” Ms Lake said.

“He has also been a great champion for diversity, which has seen CUA recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality over four consecutive years. And he’s a passionate advocate for CUA’s involvement in new international collaborations and increasing CUA’s digital capability.”

One of these collaborations, with Silicon Valley based Pivotus Inc., has seen CUA collaborating with international banking leaders from the US and The Netherlands to develop new innovations that deliver digital banking with a human touch. The first of these innovations - a chat-based mobile app called iM CUA, which connects members with their own dedicated personal banker – will shortly be rolled out to CUA members following a successful trial.

The organisation has also invested in increased digital capability through its mobile banking app, streamlined online account opening in under five minutes, real time payments through the New Payments Platform and digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

In a challenging regulatory environment, Mr Goudswaard has engaged with industry bodies, politicians and key influencers to create change, so member owned banking organisations can continue to compete and maintain relevance. Last month, he joined a delegation of CEOs from Australia’s largest member-owned organisations, travelling to Canberra to welcome the first stage of draft legislation to deliver much anticipated mutual capital reforms.

“While this award personally means a lot to me, ultimately the credit for these achievements and this award extends much further – to our CUA Board, our executive team and the more than 900 team members who work at CUA and strive to achieve our vision and live our purpose each and every day,” he said.

The other finalists for the Financial Services Executive of the Year were Dr Michelle Deaker (OneVentures), Angus McDonald (Cover Genius) and Libby Roy (PayPal Australia).

The CEO of the Year was awarded to Mark Nielsen (Talent International) and the runner-up was John Winning (Winning Group). The other finalists were Rob Atkinson (ARN), Stephen Canning (JCurve Solutions), Giuseppe Porcelli (Lakeba Group), Shelley Sullivan (ModelCo), James Thornton (Intrepid Group), Justin Wang (Property Investors Alliance) and Steven Wright (BIG4 Holiday Parks).