CBA has made two leadership appointments to its X15 Ventures subsidiary, including Ben Heap as its first non-executive, independent chairman.
The bank also appointed Jane Martino as its first external portfolio advisor where she will "provide insight and recommendations to X15’s investment committee regarding the funding of potential new ventures."
X15 Ventures launched a year ago. It is funded from CBA's $1 billion annual technology budget, and is a place to support fintechs while incorporating their services directly back into CBA.
More details on X15's strategy are expected when CBA hosts its "bi-annual tech update" in Sydney tomorrow morning.
X15 managing director Toby Norton-Smith said in a statement that the appointments of Heap and Martino “speak to X15 and CBA's commitment to bring the right external experience and challenge from the Australian technology, investment and fintech community, to ensure X15 delivers on its promise.”
Heap is the founder of H2 Ventures and a member of the federal government’s Fintech Advisory Group.
He has also held senior roles at Australasian Wealth Investments, UBS Global Asset Management and the Financial Services Council.
Martino has more than 20 years' experience in entrepreneurial, growth and business management roles, including founding digital platform Shout which was acquired by ANZ Banking Group in 2015.
X15 is currently in the process of looking for more fintechs to invest in, with expressions of interest being accepted until the end of February.
It is expecting to launch at least 25 businesses by 2024.