Australian Ethical appoints new Chief Customer Officer and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer

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Marion Enander (left) and Maria Loyez

Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ASX: AEF) has appointed a new Chief Customer Officer and Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer. The leading ethical fund manager, which achieved gender parity at Board level in 2018, now has full gender equality in its senior management team as well.

Maria Loyez joins as Chief Customer Officer from Volt Bank with more than 20 years’ international and strategic commercial experience, while Marion Enander steps into a newly created role as Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer.

Both roles will report into John McMurdo, Australian Ethical Chief Executive Officer. McMurdo said: “I think it’s particularly significant that Australian Ethical is one of just 20 ASX 300 companies to achieve full gender equality at both Board and C-Suite levels. These appointments underline our focus on delivering market-leading investments while maintaining our fundamental commitment to doing it the right way, which includes embracing diversity and inclusion at every level.

“Even before the world was gripped by the pandemic crisis, Australians were beginning to seek us out in record numbers because they understand that what they do with their money is not disconnected from the world we live in. Our challenge is to continue this phenomenal success, especially as others seek to replicate what we do,” he continued.

“And so, I’m delighted with Maria and Marion’s appointments. I’m certain their experience, knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to grow Australian Ethical into one of the most impactful and trusted fund managers in Australia.”

Ms Loyez, who in 2018 was named as Marketing Professional of the Year by Women in Finance, joins Australian Ethical from Volt Bank where she was Chief Customer Officer. With more than more than 20 years’ international and strategic commercial experience, previous roles include Chief Marketing Officer at SocietyOne, Chief Marketing Officer at OFX (formerly OzForex) and lead marketing roles with Virgin, AMP and Optus. At Australian Ethical, Ms Loyez will be responsible for delivering a compelling member experience and enhancing a customer-first mentality across all physical and digital channels.

Ms Loyez said: “With its recent stellar investment performance, Australian Ethical challenges – and dispels – the myth that ethical investing is just about doing the right thing. Its history is rooted in a desire to create a better future for everyone and I couldn’t be more excited about helping to grow the business and ethical investing.

“I’m especially looking forward to engaging with its customers and not just delivering but exceeding their expectations.”

Ms Enander, who has been consulting on strategy at Australian Ethical since 2019, has extensive Australian and international experience in strategic leadership and change management roles in financial services. Previous roles include General Manager at Perpetual and Director at Credit Suisse in London together with various strategy consulting roles.

In addition to championing and driving strategic initiatives, Ms Enander will focus on facilitating idea generation and creative thinking as Australian Ethical increases its focus on product and service innovation.

Ms Enander said: “In just the past 12 months, we have seen some quite seismic shifts in Australians’ ethical behaviours and expectations. People are much more aware of the positive impact their money can have while still delivering competitive returns. “To compete in what is becoming a fiercely contested market, Australian Ethical must continue to embrace innovation as it has done for over 30 years ago when it first began pioneering ethical investing.” Australian Ethical recently announced record funds under management and net inflows and was named one of Australia’s top performing super funds during the COVID crisis by leading research houses SuperRatings and Chant West.

McMurdo said: “Australian Ethical has long embraced the value of diversity and how it helps companies be agile, flexible as well as think quickly and differently. The challenges of the past few months have only served to underline the importance of different voices, perspectives and experiences.

“Australian Ethical’s established culture of asking open questions, being curious and sharing experiences will be key to thriving in a new normal and delivering the results our customers want for themselves as well as people, planet and animals.”

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