by George Nott

Former Telstra digital chief takes CEO spot at fintech player Tyro

Oct 19, 2016
Telecommunications Industry

Former head of Telstra Digital Gerd Schenkel is taking a CEO role with fintech company Tyro.

Schenkel left the telco in April, after transforming the company’s digital channels which now account for more than half of all customer transactions. During his time there he launched customer apps, a crowd sourced query platform and live chat service, overseeing $350m in capital investments which produced around $300m in annual operating cost savings.

Prior to his five year stint at Telstra he founded Australia’s first home-grown digital deposit and mortgage bank UBank within National Australia Bank, which as of last year held $16.8b in deposits and $3.4b in mortgages.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead Tyro as we continue to build Australia’s newest bank,” Shenkel said. “Tyro is a new kind of company with a uniquely attractive culture – it’s a technology company that happens to be a bank, not the other way around.

“Australia needs a viable and strong banking sector which is customer centric and technology literate, a Tyro delivering fair, transparent and smart banking.”

Shenkel replaces his fellow German Jost Stollman, who has served as CEO for the last decade. Stollman, Tyro’s largest shareholder, will remain as full-time executive director.

Tyro, which received investment from Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes in 2009, provides credit, debit, EFTPOS card acquiring, Medicare and private health fund claiming and rebating services as well as a transaction and deposit account integrated with Xero cloud accounting. The Sydney-based company serves around 16,000 customers and is Australia’s only independent EFTPOS banking institution.

Stollmann said Shenkel’s appointment was a “coup” for the company, adding: “When someone of Gerd’s talent becomes available you grab the opportunity with both hands”.

Shenkel will begin at Tyro’s Clarence Street headquarters at the end of October.