by George Nott

AFG seeks new CIO as transformational Vogel departs

Aug 28, 2017
CareersCloud ComputingDigital Transformation

Australian Finance Group (AFG), one of the country’slargest mortgage broking groups, is seeking a new chief information officer to replace the departing Jaime Vogel.

Vogel is leaving AFG to become CIO at membership organisation the Royal Automobile Club of WA (RAC).

“I’m leaving AFG with an immense amount of pride in the company’s growth and the IT team’s achievements over the last five years. From our all-in-cloud initiative, the acceleration of our product development, through to lifting our investment in innovation from 16 per cent to over 60 per cent of our IT budget today,” Vogel told CIO Australia.

“With a solid foundation set, it’s a great opportunity for someone new to step in, take the reins and shape the future. I will dearly miss the team at AFG however I’m ecstatic about the opportunity to join the team at RAC and commence work on a similar business transformation,” he added.

The successful candidate will report to CEO David Bailey, who replaced co-founding CEO Brett McKeon in March.

“Being an industry leader means a lot of what we do has never been done beforehellip;We are looking for a new CIO to lead us in meeting these challenges and sharing the benefits of working in one of the country’s leading financial services providers,” the ASX-listed AFG said in a statement.

Innovation focus

Vogel joined AFG in 2012 from Commonwealth Bank of Australia where he was responsible for the CommSec wholesale and advisory services systems and infrastructure.

His time at AFG has been transformational and he has led the migration of 80 on-premises applications to the cloud with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle Cloud and other providers.

Around 90 per cent of the company’s applications now run via SaaS, which allowed the company to shut down its two underutilized data centers in May last year.

AFG spends around 60 per cent of its IT budget on innovation projects – as opposed to support and enhancements – up from the 16 per cent when Vogel joined the company.

The outgoing CIO also grew the IT team from around 20 to more than 30, many of whom are developers focused solely on creating new products.

In June, the company won technology platform of the year at the Australian Broking Awards.

“I am very disappointed to see Jaime leave AFG but at the same time excited for the opportunity he is pursuing,” AFG CEO David Bailey told CIO Australia. “Jaime has made a significant contribution to AFG and we wish him every success in his new role.”

Tech backbone

AFG boasts a loan book of more than $127B and processes loans for 10,000 customers a month, working with 45 banks and lenders. The company said it had invested $70 million in technology tools and initiatives since it was founded.

“On a daily basis our IT teams work with every aspect of the business; solving problems, planning improvements, educating and evolving the business to ensure AFG continues to lead the industry. The tools we develop drive our own business and also the businesses of our members,” the company said in the listing for the Perth-based role.

“There is no doubt that information technology is our backbone and forms the strategic foundations of all we do.”