Executive Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
Mike Felton joined the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) as Chief Executive Officer in 2016.
Mike brings over 30 years’ experience in financial services to the role, having held diverse senior roles in financial markets, treasury, auto and asset finance, and project management.
Over the course of his career, Mike has pursued broad-focus roles in high-change environments in Australia and overseas, in which he has developed and implemented strategies to drive organisational change.
Mike began his career in financial markets working for Standard Bank Ltd, where he held various positions, culminating in the role of Head of Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Trading.
He joined RMB Australia in 1996, where he spent 16 years, initially as Head of Treasury, before transitioning to the role of Chief Operating Officer of a related company, MotorOne Finance. In this role, he was responsible for credit, operations, risk, compliance and treasury.
His more recent roles include General Manager – Pepper Auto Finance and Chief Operating Officer – Pepper Asset Finance. Mike was also a member of the Pepper Executive Team. Prior to joining the MFAA, Mike was working with FlexiGroup as a Consultant Program Director, delivering a number of key projects for the company.
He lives in Sydney with his wife and three children.
Mike holds a Master Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce.
Chief Operating Officer
Evan Thomas joined the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) as Chief Operating Officer in 2015.
Evan brings over 15 years of C-level experience in financial services and health insurance. Having over 29 years experience in Corporate Services including operations and information technology, Evan has has enabled organisational growth by developing strategic vision, strategic plans and leading the strategic execution of numerous large change management transformations across various industries including insurance, financial services, medical & health services and health management.
Evan began his career in health insurance working for ahm and joined the Medibank Group through a merger, where he held various positions including Chief Information Officer, leading many industry innovations and overseeing the implementation of large regulatory changes and several mergers and acquisitions.
Prior to joining the MFAA, Evan was Chief Operating Officer at the Illawarra Credit Union where he led a significant organisational transformation of the Credit Union’s business structure and its people and culture in order to achieve the strategic objectives aimed at restoring customer growth and enhancing customer service, improving staff capability and productivity, reducing operational complexity and strengthening financial performance.
Evan holds an Executive MBA and a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Information Technology and Management from RMIT University. Evan is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and was an Associate Director of Horizon Credit Union in 2008-2009.
He lives in Wollongong with his wife and three children.
Head of Education
Dan Walsh joined the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) as Head of Education in 2018.
Dan brings over 25 years of experience in credit and financial services to the MFAA having held roles in retail banking, risk management, business finance and mortgage broking.
Dan began his career in financial services at the Commonwealth Bank, followed by the Illawarra Mutual Building Society (IMB). He then held client management positions with Scottish Pacific Business Finance where he found his passion for learning and development. In order to pursue that passion, he took on a role as Asia Pacific Risk Management Training Consultant with American Express.
Prior to joining the MFAA, Dan joined Mortgage Choice as Learning & Development Consultant in 1999. This role involved the training of all mortgage brokers and franchise owners across lending, sales, compliance, systems, business development and growth. He was then promoted to National Learning and Development Manager with Mortgage Choice, a position he had held for the past six years. In this role, he was responsible for the professional development of the franchise network and staff of 1200 people. Dan also developed the award-winning Accelerate Program, delivering training and education pathways for new entrants to the industry.
Dan has completed studies in adult education and human resources management and holds a Diploma of Finance and Mortgage Broking Management from Kaplan Professional. He holds accreditations in DISC – personality and personal assessment tool, and EAI – employee attachment inventory.
Head of Marketing and Communications
Stephen is an experienced marketing professional and Managing Director who has worked in consulting and in-house roles covering both consumer and B2B marketing.
Prior to the MFAA, Stephen headed up the two businesses for Ogilvy being Ogilvy Impact and OgilvyEarth. He was the founder and MD of what later became the leading sustainability and responsible brands consultancy globally.
Stephen has managed many diverse projects for clients in the FMCG, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Banking, Retail, Medical & Pharmaceutical and Government sectors. He has developed structured approaches to key issues such as energy efficiency and employee behaviour change and has worked on projects from web based marketing, internal digital networks to social media.
He is also a sought after public speaker with engagements ranging from the Government Leaders Forum, Green Brands, Enviro 2010, Australian Sustainability Conference and appearances at the Macquarie Graduate School.
Head of Legal & Compliance
Naveen Ahluwalia joined the MFAA as its Head of Legal and Compliance in 2021. Naveen brings over 15 years’ experience in financial services to the role, having held diverse senior roles in the financial services industry in the areas of legal, compliance, governance, regulatory affairs and policy.
Naveen began her career in 2005 at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) working on financial crime related enforcement proceedings before moving on to top-tier law firm Ashurst where she predominantly worked on the litigation proceedings resulting from the liquidation of HIH Insurance Group, the largest corporate collapse in Australia’s history.
Leaving Ashurst in 2012 and after a year spent travelling through South America, Naveen moved into the consumer credit industry as General Counsel and Company Secretary with Trans-Tasman debt purchaser Baycorp before then moving into a senior conduct and compliance role with Westpac where she was instrumental in establishing end-to-end conduct and compliance frameworks and policies for the Westpac Consumer Bank. During the Banking Royal Commission, Naveen was seconded to Westpac’s Response Team where she spent 12 months as a subject matter expert assisting Westpac with its Royal Commission response. At the conclusion of the Banking Royal Commission, Naveen took up a role as inhouse counsel with trail-blazing buy-now-pay-later provider Brighte Capital before moving onto the Australian Finance Industry Association as its Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs.
Having owned a small business herself, Naveen is deeply passionate about improving the financial wellbeing of Australians and believes that all Australians and Australian small businesses should have both choice in and access to finance.
Naveen holds a Bachelor of Laws and Arts, with Honours from the Australian National University, holds an unrestricted practicing certificate and has completed courses with Chartered Secretaries Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.