Ross Smith will be the new Chief Executive Officer of the LLL.
He will replace Allen Kupke, who is retiring later this year. Ross will be only the fifth person to head the organisation since its inception in 1921.
Ross has been CEO of the Anglican Schools Corporation in NSW since 2016. He is also chair of the Glebe Administration Board, which oversees a $220m investment fund for the Anglican Church in Sydney. He was previously chair of the Sydney Diocesan Secretariat.
He said taking on the lead role at the LLL would be ‘a terrific opportunity to put to missional use all of the experience and skills that God has enabled me to develop over time’.
Ross comes from a strong finance and management background, with extensive experience in corporate restructuring and work in mergers and acquisitions in Australia, Silicon Valley in the US and London. His credentials include financial sector roles at KPMG, PwC and McGrath Nicol.
He is keen to get to know the team at the LLL and the wider Lutheran community ahead of setting strategic goals.
‘I’m very conscious that the LLL is the custodian of funds that have been provided by people who are seeking to have their money work in accordance with Lutheran beliefs’, he said. ‘I want to see that deployment of funds with a Lutheran missional approach continue.’
LLL Board Chair Graeme Huf welcomed the appointment and said Ross would bring new insights to the financial institution.
‘The LLL is at the heart of the Lutheran Church in Australia and Ross brings with him great leadership abilities, a strong and proven financial acumen, and a great understanding of how Christianity shapes organisations’, Graeme said. ‘He understands missional purpose and the Board looks forward to Ross’ engagement with our LLL customers, the Lutheran Church and the communities the LLL supports.
‘His professionalism and approach to the LLL CEO position are modelled through his strong personal faith. We are confident that Ross will fit seamlessly into the role and bring the respect and understanding he has gained in his careers in education, business and finance to the LLL.
‘He and his wife Nicole will move to Adelaide in the coming months and are looking forward to becoming involved in the local community. We warmly welcome them.’
Graeme also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Allen Kupke. ‘The LLL would like to acknowledge the dedication, commitment and achievements of Allen Kupke, who will be retiring as Ross takes the helm’, Graeme said. ‘We wish Allen God’s richest blessings for a fulfilling retirement.’
After joining the LLL as an administration manager in 1988, Allen held various roles with the organisation before being appointed as CEO in 2008. Since then he has overseen the growth in LLL deposits from $560 million in June 2009 to $1.28 billion as at June 30 this year. He also guided the LLL through the five-year transition from operating as a Religious Charitable Development Fund to becoming the first charitable financial institution in Australia to be licensed as an ADI (Authorised Deposit-taking Institution) regulated under the Banking Act and by APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) in 2019.
The LLL administers more than 40,000 deposit accounts Australia-wide and provides loans to approved projects of the LCA, such as upgrades to Lutheran schools, churches and care facilities, with surpluses generated supporting the mission of the church.
For more information regarding this announcement, go to www.lll.org.au/CEO.