Meet the Founders

FEW founding members are an exclusive group of successful executive women who have achieved senior positions across financial services. They are committed to helping senior managers and future leaders progress in their careers based on merit, to ensure a positive progression for women.

Founding members will lead the direction of FEW by:

  • Ensuring women progress via merit, so quotas become a thing of the past.
  • Setting quantifiable goals each year to monitor career progression of members.
  • Changing behaviours that prevent women from progressing in their next career move.
  • Changing organisational attitudes about why women don’t progress and what to do about it.
  • Being the voice of feedback for members to speak on their behalf about what they really want.



Judith is the Founder of FEW, Managing Director of Financial Recruitment Group, and Chairman of Eon Mentis. She has held several management positions within major financial institutions in Australia and overseas and has over 20 years' experience in Executive Search within the financial services industry.

Judith has successfully placed hundreds of candidates over the years at Senior to MD level. Judith has a high profile in the industry and has been a mentor to some of Australia’s most successful executives.

She is a key note speaker on various subjects, such as How To Be A T10p, Stakeholder Management, Building your Internal and External Brand to name a few.

Judith has completed her MBA in Human Resource Management and is also a member of the Financial Planning Association.


Julie was formerly Director, Equities IFM Investors, and responsible for IFM’s Equities business and sales strategy with a key focus to work with existing clients, along with a mandate for further expansion of the equities offering in Australia and New Zealand.

Originally from New York, Julie has worked in the financial services sector for over 15 years with extensive experience establishing and developing new regional operations in the US, Europe and Asia in leadership roles in funds management, superannuation and investment banking consultancy and sales.

Julie led Vanguard Investments Australia’s Institutional business from February 2013. Prior to Vanguard, she established FTSE’s business in Australia in 2007 and was responsible for FTSE’s ongoing development and expansion in the Australian and NZ financial marketplace including the establishment of FTSE’s partnership with ASFA, delivering the FTSE ASFA Australia Index Series – the first industry-standard after tax benchmarks for the Australian market.

Before joining the FTSE Group, Julie established the Asia Pacific office as Asia Pacific Director for StarMine Corporation, a US Headquartered equity research analytics firm and worked as a Senior Manager at Nextera, an investment banking consultancy. She began her career in institutional sales, research and broker relations for Thomson Financial Services.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), a Bachelor of Business (Honours), Applied Finance and Investments, is a Senior Associate of FINSIA, and a founding member of Financial Executive Women (FEW).


Sally was appointed General Manager -Business Management in October 2014 and is responsible for managing all business improvement initiatives, management assurance and performance metrics for the Business Banking at NAB.

Sally joined NAB in May 2012 and has 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, joining NAB from CFS/CBA where she worked for 8 years as a Program Director and National Sales Manager. She has also held a range of senior operational, people and change management roles at AXA Australia.

Sally is a registered psychologist a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Psychology) and holds a Diploma in Financial Planning. She is an advocate for promoting diversity in the workplace and is a regular spokesperson on how flexibility helps leaders achieve high performance. She is also a foundation member of Financial Executive Women (FEW) and non Executive Director of Autism Awareness Australia.

Sally is married to Rod, they have two young children, Rory and Georgia and Sally has two step daughters Amy & Jess. She is also an author with her first book “Stepmother Love” published in April 2014 by Simon & Schuster.


Amelia was formerly the Director of Horizons, an internationally acclaimed ‘centre of excellence’ that recruits, educates, and develops aspiring financial planners for the AMP network. It is also a major financial planning practice with planners located in capital cities around the country.

In the 11 years that Amelia has been employed at AMP, she has made a significant contribution to its strategic direction by leading a diverse range of large, complex, business transformation and technology-driven change projects. These have included the rollout of the COIN financial planning software across 800 practices; the transitioning of AMP Financial Planning and Hillross planners to an industry leading fee-based model; and the embedding of a new organisational structure across the financial planning business.

Immediately prior to her role at Horizons, Amelia was the Director of Financial Planning Advice & Service’s Director’s office, where she was responsible for developing the 2012 Strategic Plan, driving cultural change, and ensuring adherence to the operating model. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Computing Science degree from the University of Technology, Sydney.


Heather Dawson is a business leader, speaker and Head of Sales and Distribution for Australia and New Zealand at Morningstar. A native of the Midwest of the United States with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry in the US and Australia, Heather has also served as a Partner and Sales Leader at Mercer and Managing Director for Retirement Services at Russell Investments. She began her career at the global financial services firm, Principal Financial Group, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Heather is a Certified Teacher with the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, founded at Google and based in San Francisco, and also served as Co-Producer for the inaugural Conscious Capitalism Australia Summit in Sydney Australia. A graduate of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, she holds a professorial certificate in executive coaching from the Institute of Coaching and Coaching Psychology, is an alumnus of Chief Executive Women (CEW) and a Founding and Advisory Board Member of Financial Executive Women (FEW).


Cathy is Executive Manager, Superannuation – Customer Distribution with Suncorp Life and is responsible for managing the distribution of all of Suncorp’s superannuation services to customers.

Prior to joining Suncorp she was General Manager, National Distribution for Perpetual’s Private Client business. Before this Cathy held senior business roles within organisations including Perpetual, Australian Wealth Management (now part of IOOF), Citibank, Snowball, Colonial Bank, Sealcorp Holdings (now part of St.George/Westpac), Rothschild, and AMP.

With over 25 years’ experience in senior management roles across the financial services sector, Cathy has worked with dealer groups, funds management organisations, platform providers, trustee companies, and banks. Her roles have focused on marketing, product development, research, online, communications, public relations, business development, and distribution management. Cathy has a deep understanding of clients’ needs and sees this as central to building a successful business.


Linda joined Colonial First State (CFS) in March 2010 and is currently Executive General Manager for CFS. Prior to this Linda was the General Manager, Marketing and Distribution at CFS, responsible for marketing and distribution activity across the CFS business which includes retail investments, platforms and corporate super.

Before joining CFS Linda held a number of roles in the superannuation industry including Managing Director of Superannuation at Russell Investments. She has been responsible for providing a range of services including investments, consulting, administration, trustee services, member services and communications to some of Australia’s largest corporate and industry superannuation funds.

Linda has also worked for the Australian Government in the Insurance and Superannuation Commission and for ASIC as a special adviser. Linda is an advocate for investors with a passion for financial literacy, she is a member of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Advisory Board and the Macquarie University Business and Economics Facility Advisory Board.

Linda is a current member of FSC’s Superannuation Board, and chairs the FSC’s Governance Sub-Committee. She was also a Director of ASFA. Linda was a recipient of the IFSA Industry Excellence Award in 2009 and has worked in the superannuation industry for more than 15 years.


Barbara is Head of Retail Sales and Marketing at Hunter Hall Investment Management Limited, a leading Australian-domiciled global equities manager and one of Australia’s largest dedicated ethical fund manager. The company was founded in 1993 and today manages over $1 billion.

Barbara has over 25 years experience working in financial services industry and has held senior positions at AXA, ING, BT and Permanent Trustee, the last 15 years working closely with financial planners, licensees and research houses. Barbara was previously Head of Account Management at AMP Capital and has spent 10 years as a senior member of AXA’s sales team, including Head of Investment Sales.

Barbara is an accomplished leader / manager and sales professional with an impressive track record of growing wealth management businesses through third party distribution.


Leanne is General Manager, Retail Sales at ME Bank. Leanne has a wealth of senior management experience in the banking and wealth sectors. During her 25 years in financial services she has established a track record in successfully embedding a high-performance culture and leading national teams to deliver growth. Leanne is an accomplished financial services

Leanne has 25 years' experience in financial services. Her previous roles include: roles prior to ME Bank include: Head of Distribution, Super Solutions at Westpac/BT, and General Manager, Workplace Solutions at NAB/MLC. She has a strong background in the superannuation industry and has previously sat on ASFA’s Member Advice & Engagement Committee. In her spare time, Leanne sits on the Board of Aftercare, an NGO that provides mental health recovery services, and is a founding member of Financial Executive Woman, providing career sponsorship and mentoring.

Leanne is currently completing a Juris Doctor Post Graduate law degree.  She has a Post Graduate in Management (Marketing) from Melbourne Business School, holds a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Economics and Marketing and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Melissa is the Head of Financial Planning for NSW Central for AMP Financial Planning. Melissa is responsible for working with 150 practices, supporting 280 Financial Planners in NSW in the areas of Sales Management, Business Planning, Coaching and Recruitment. Melissa’s focus in this role is to lead, motivate, coach and mentor the regional team to continue to build a high performance culture.

Melissa has been with AMP for 13 years where she has held a number of senior management roles across financial planning and human resources. Prior to this, Melissa held senior Human Resources roles in Ansett & TNT. Melissa has a Degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources and has completed the Strategic Leadership Development Program within AMP.


Angela joined GE in March 2012 as the Managing Director of GE Capital Insurance for Australia and New Zealand. Recruited to steer the business to deliver on a growth agenda, including a re-product diversification roadmap.

Angela has over 11 years of insurance experience, prior to joining GE, Angela held the position of Head of Insurance for Citibank Australia. During her time there she led her team in doubling revenue and profit over three years while improving retention and customer satisfaction.

In 2011, Angela was nominated for Insurance Executive of the Year at 2011 AB&F awards and the Citibank Insurance team were finalists for the AB&F 2011 General Insurance Product of the Year.

Prior to joining Citibank in October 2008, Angela spent over eight years with Insurance Australia Group (IAG) in the direct insurance business (NRMA, SGIO, SGIC brands). She held various senior management roles within IAG including managing the direct commercial insurance business, delivering significant organic growth over three years in the role.

GE Insurance has 2 legal entities: Hallmark Life Insurance in Australia and Hallmark General Insurance in Australia and New Zealand. Hallmark is governed by a Board of Directors with an independent Chairman. Sub Committees of the Board include the Board Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee, Board Remuneration Committee and Investment Committee.

Angela holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology, Sydney, is accredited Certificate IV in Financial Services (General Insurance) and has successfully completed the AGSM General Manager Program in 2007. Angela is also a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is on the Boards of Financial Services Council and the Insurance Council of Australia.


Lauren has almost 20 years’ experience leading teams in the development and delivery of solutions and services for Australia’s largest networks of financial advisers. Lauren joined AMP in 2003 and in her current role as Head of Practice & Adviser Integration she is responsible for the effective transition of financial planners and practices to AMP. Her previous roles at AMP have included responsibility for financial planner professional standards, managing the distribution channel’s planner marketing and communications and leading business improvement initiatives. She has extensive experience and success in start-up operations and in coaching and mentoring individuals and teams to recognise their potential and achieve and sustain high performance.

Lauren has completed studies and qualifications in Arts, Project Management and Management. She is a Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).


Pene is Chief Operating Officer for the Financial Planning Association and has had wide ranging experience at an executive level for the past 16 years.

Previous roles include Chief Financial Officer and Director positions with various commercial property companies such as Cameron Brae and BIS Shrapnel. Pene is a member of CPA Australia and began her career as an accountant and financial controller.

Her current role at the Financial Planning Association covers all elements of the association – from finance to member engagement and from staff retention to IT. Pene is passionate about opportunities for women in finance and is a keen advocate for mentoring and career development.


Nicole is the Head of Financial Planning for Greater Melbourne and Regional Victoria for AMP Financial Planning. Nicole is responsible for working with over 150 Financial Planning Practices in the areas of Business Planning, Succession Planning, Recruitment, Sales Management & Coaching. Her team philosophy is that by helping Practices be the best they can, they will in turn help their Financial Planners secure the financial future for more Australians.

Prior to joining AMP, Nicole spent over 17 years at the National Australia Bank where she held a number of senior roles within the Retail Bank including Head of Franchise Management, Regional Executive, Retail and Head of Contact Centres.


Connie is group chief executive of OneVue – a wholesale provider of digital self-managed super fund (SMSF) solutions. Connie is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the company and delivering sustainable growth for the group.

As a former senior executive of companies such as Bankers Trust Australia, Rothschild Australia Asset Management and Perpetual Funds Management, Connie has run a number of large projects, gaining strong industry knowledge and an enviable track record of leading teams that deliver.

Her achievements include the establishment of E*TRADE Australia and being appointed senior roles within Westpac Broking and New River Technologies where she gained global IT, operational and business experience. In 2003 she was awarded the Centenary Medal for her contribution to business leadership in Australia. In addition to her work locally, Connie’s career has also included roles in Asia, Canada, the United States and Europe.


Kate Mulligan is Managing Director of King Irving Consulting Group, which specializes in financial services. Kate is a Non-Executive Director of Netwealth and its subsidiaries, including Bridgeport Financial Services and FPSA. She is Chair of Netwealth’s Group Audit Committee and a member of the Group Remuneration, Investment, and Compliance and Risk Management Committees.

Kate has more than 26 years’ experience in Financial Services business and law. She was Managing Director of Westpac’s Advance Asset Management from 2003-6, where she grew funds under management (FUM) from $2 billion to $7 billion in three years, and more recently, built a funds management business for a diversified financial services group up to almost $1 billion in FUM.

Previously, Kate was a Senior Associate with National Law firms Allens and Herbert Smith Freehills, specializing in financial services and corporate law. Kate holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts, having finished 5th in her graduating year for law and represented Australia in the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition that year. She holds a current legal practicing certificate. She has chaired the Disclosure and the Retirement Incomes Committees for the predecessor to the Financial Services Council, and is a published author on trusts law. In her spare time, she is an avid dance enthusiast, taking hip hop classes with Sydney Dance Company, and has an ongoing passion for aviation shared with her husband Richard.


Danielle is the Chief Executive Officer of Equipsuper, a profit-for-member fund that manages $5.0 billion in assets on behalf of 53,000 members.

Danielle has more than 18 years of experience in financial services. Before her CEO appointment in May 2010, Danielle held diverse positions at UBS Global Asset Management and most recently as Managing Director and Deputy Head of Australia. In other roles, she gained experience in economic analysis, portfolio management, strategic planning, risk management, sales and client services. While at UBS, her focus was primarily on large industry, corporate, retail, and government superannuation funds. Her international experience with UBS included roles in Chicago and Singapore. Danielle started her career at the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Danielle currently serves as a director on the board of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Furthermore, she is the president of the charity Australian Support Dogs. Danielle’s educational credentials include a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) degree from the University of Western Australia.


Linda is National Sales Manager – Investments at Zurich Financial Services Australia. Prior to commencing her role in November 2014 Linda was National Sales Manager Investments at Colonial First State, where she was responsible for driving Colonial First State’s investment sales into the adviser market, as well as leading the Investment Sales Business Development team. Linda joined Colonial in 2010 from Russell Investments, where she was the National Account Manager. Linda has almost 20 years’ experience in the industry, in both financial advice and funds management where she has had various roles from Business Development Manager, Research Manager, National Accounts and most recently, Regional Manager for Colonial First State.

Linda holds a Bachelor of Economics from Flinders University of South Australia and a Diploma of Financial Planning through Deakin University.


Alexandra has been in the financial services industry for over fifteen years. After working at Potter Warburg and Citicorp, Alex took a role at IOOF where she spent almost ten years. During that time she held various distribution and management roles across the dealer group, funds management and platform businesses, before taking a role as National Sales Manager across IOOF’s platform businesses.

Alex currently holds the role of Executive of State Distribution (Retail) at the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. She previously looked after the advice and distribution teams for Bendigo Wealth and until very recently was the executive of the bank’s margin lending business, Leveraged. She has recently been appointed to the board of Homesafe, a subsidiary company of the Bank. Alex holds an Arts Degree from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning.


Sue is Head of Product Solutions, Custom Solutions at Colonial First State. She has been with the Custom Solutions team since April 1998. Sue has held a variety of roles during this time, including Head of IT, National Account Manager and since October 2012, Head of Product Solutions. In this role she is responsible for product offerings and platform functionality for the FirstWrap platform.

Sue has more than 20 years’ experience in the wealth management industry. Prior to joining Colonial First State, Sue worked with Norwich Union (Aviva) across numerous roles, including Navigator platform administration and servicing, superannuation product management, and business analysis & technology development.


Michelle is a senior Program Director and financial services consultant with over 17 years' experience. She has led a range of significant Business Transformation Programs for organisations such as CBA, Macquarie and BT Financial Group including those focusing on regulatory, strategic and cultural change.

Gaining her consulting experience with Ernst & Young, working across Australia, the UK and US, Michelle has developed a reputation for delivering complex programs within tight time-frames and budgets.

Michelle started her career as a paraplanner with Godfrey Pembroke and subsequently managed a range of projects at MLC including building a holistic advice model and rolling out a new advice platform, giving her insight into the wealth management industry from the grass roots to Board level.


Krystyna-Weston1-106x160KRYSTYNA WESTON
Krystyna's career is diverse and spans financial services and wealth management in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments. In recent years Krystyna has extended her portfolio to publishing, digital strategy and social enterprises.

During her career Krystyna has held a number of senior management positions including Director/Founder Manly Social, Director PotrtfolioConstruction Forum, Managing Director Simple Invest, Head of Distribution AMP Capital, CEO ASSIRT Research, National Retail Marketing Manager MBF/Bupa and a number of senior marketing roles at Rothschild and MLC.

Krystyna's industry experience is broad and varied and includes business management and strategy, starts ups, distribution and distribution management, marketing, product management, product development, brand management and wealth management.

Having spent many years in corporate life Krystyna is now engaged in a number of entrepreneurial pursuits and advisory board roles.


Michelle is the Regional General Manager for Melbourne Region with the Commonwealth Bank. Michelle is responsible for the branch network including 148 branches with 2,200 staff.

Michelle has 28 years’ experience in the Financial Services Industry having previously worked in Westpac and BankWest. Prior to joining the Commonwealth Bank Michelle was the Head of the Direct Sales Contact Centers in Westpac and the Director of the Lending Services team in BankWest.

Michelle’s previous roles include senior leadership roles across the Retail Business, Business Banking and Contact Centers – in both service and sales. Michelle’s passion is people and helping everyone achieve their potential and she demonstrates this with her active support of Mentoring programs within the CBA. She has also participated in the Women on Boards program.