Judo Bank cofounder Joseph Healy steps down as CEO

- February 20, 2024 2 MIN READ
Judo Bank's outgoing CEO Joseph Healy at Intersekt last year. Photo: Fintech Australia
The cofounder of ASX-listed business lending bank Judo, Joseph Healy, is stepping down as CEO after seven years at the helm.

He’ll hand the reins over to the bank’s long-term deputy CEO and chief relationship officer, Chris Bayliss, next month.

The news came as Judo (ASX:JDO) announced its half-yearly results (1H24) to the end of December, posting a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of $67 million, up 24% on the six months to June 30, 2023.

Net lending grew by around $800m to $9.7bn, up 9% while deposits rose 16% in the half to hit $6.9bn. The small and medium-sized business (SME) lender also managed to increase its average gross lending margin on new lending at 464bps in the Dec-23 quarter, up from 390bps in the Jun-23 quarter.

Healy cofounded the fintech in 2016 with David Hornery. Bayliss was part of the OG team. It launched in 2018 as Judo Capital before receiving a banking license in 2019. The bank raised $1.2 billion in funding for a $1.9 billion valuation prior to listing on the ASX in late 2021

Last year at Fintech Australia’s Intersekt conference Healy expressed regret at heading to an IPO too soon, telling other fintechs to remain private for as long as possible.

“I personally wish that we had not become a public company two years ago,” he said last August.

“But you know, we had raised $1.2 billion of capital privately and some of our shareholders were asking when they were going to see some liquidity. So we kind of were convinced that being a public company was a good idea.”

Six months on Judo Bank chairman, Peter Hodgson paid tribute to Healy’s vision in creating a specialist neobank.

“Under Joseph’s leadership, Judo has changed Australia’s banking industry for the better, and reawakened the industry’s appetite to lend to Australian businesses. He is leaving a great legacy,” he said.

“Joseph has successfully led the bank through all its important foundational milestones since 2016… Judo is the first bank to list on the ASX in 30 years, and to reach profitability in three years, making it the fastest start-up bank to achieve this globally”.

Healy, in turn, welcomed his successor.

“Chris brings all that Judo needs for its next phase of growth – a deep history of our business, a passion for customers and our purpose, an unparalleled breadth of experience in all aspects of banking, and outstanding, proven leadership skills which will continue to drive the Judo team and to challenge the traditional banking landscape and deliver more for our SME customers,” he said.

“I extend my sincere thanks to the entire Judo team for their support and commitment to our great business. My time at Judo has been the highlight of my career and I am sure that the best is still to come for Judo.”

Last year Healy and his cofounder published Black Belt: A masterclass for start-ups and entrepreneurs, which shares their key lessons from turning Judo into a successful fintech in an era when many other neobanks failed.