Our people

Board of Directors

Syd Yates - Chairman

Syd Yates OBE

Sydney Yates was appointed Chairman in November 2018.
Mr Yates is an experienced and respected executive and director with more than 30 years’ experience in the banking, finance and investment industries.

Mr Yates retired as CEO of Kina Group in January 2018 after 21 years and was the driving force behind Kina’s transition to Papua New Guinea’s largest diversified financial services group.He successfully listed Kina on the Australian Stock Exchange and Port Moresby Stock Exchange in 2015.

He is currently Director of Kina Funds Asset Management. Beyond his business life, Mr Yates has made a significant contribution to both the broader community and sport in PNG. He is a Director and Chairman of Fundraising of the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association of PNG. Mr Yates was previously Chairman of Bmobile and a Director of Air Niugini Ltd and the Port Moresby Stock Exchange.

Abigail Chang 1

Abigail Chang

Abigail Chang was appointed to the Board in December 2016.

Ms Chang has held executive management positions within the private sector and has seven years of central banking experience in the areas of financial system supervision, regulation, policy development and licensing within the banking, insurance, foreign exchange and superannuation industries.

Ms Chang is engaged at a regional and country level in the areas of national policy development, embedding financial education within national and sub-national education curriculum and digitising Government to Person (G2P) payments. Across these distinct areas of work, she works with a multitude of private and public stakeholders to fund, design, implement and report on financial inclusion programs.

She served as Acting Chief Manager Financial Institutions of Reserve Bank of Fiji until August 2009.

Professor Albert Mellam

Professor Albert Mellam                                           

Professor Albert Mellam was appointed a Director in August 2013.

Professor Mellam is the Executive Director of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum. He was the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea.

Professor Mellam holds Directorship positions on a number of company boards in Papua New Guinea and the region including the Nambawan Super Limited, the biggest Superannuation fund in PNG. He is also a member of many professional organisations, including the Association of Asia-Pacific Business Schools, the Global Development Network and the Australian Institute of Directors.

Professor Mellam has undertaken assignments for the Government of Papua New Guinea and multinational corporations within the Asia-Pacific region, and served as an advisor to several ministries with the Government of Papua New Guinea including the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council’s Vision 2050 Centre.

Professor Mellam holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology from the Australian National University in Canberra, a Master of Science (MSc.) degree from Stirling University in Scotland, and a Graduate Diploma in Knowledge Economics from the Singapore Management University in Singapore. He has held academic engagements in Australia, India, Europe, and the South East Asian region, and is a visiting lecturer with the School of Business and Public Policy, University of Papua New Guinea and an Adjunct Professor of Management at James Cook University, Australia.

Faye - Zina Lalo - Director

Faye-Zina Lalo

Faye-Zina Lalo was appointed to the Board in March 2017.

Ms Lalo is a corporate and commercial litigation lawyer and also serves as a director on other boards of various corporate institutions as well as non-governmental organisations in Papua New Guinea.

Before joining Credit Corp PNG, Ms Lalo practised corporate and commercial law for more than 12 years in PNG in both private legal firms and corporate institutions. Ms Lalo holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of PNG and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Papua New Guinea.

James Byron Kruse - Director

James Kruse

James Kruse was appointed to the Board in May 2018.

Mr Kruse has significant accounting and finance experience with more than 30 years in the public accounting profession and several years in commercial accounting roles both in PNG and Australia.

Mr Kruse recently retired after 15 years as a partner of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in PNG where he headed up the firm’s business services and corporate advisory and insolvency services divisions.

He has extensive experience in the areas of PNG corporate compliance, taxation, business finance, property and business valuations and sales, corporate restructuring, and debt recovery.

Mr Kruse’s experience covers a broad range of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, mining, property, retail and wholesale trade, and service industries in PNG and the Solomon Islands.

Mr Kruse is a Fellow of both CPA PNG and CPA Australia, immediate past president of CPA Australia PNG Branch, and is active in sporting and industry associations and professional bodies. He is a member of the PNG Institute of Directors and a Councillor with the PNG Australia Business Council.

Michael Varapik - Director

Michael Varapik OBE

Michael Varapik was appointed to the Board in May 2018.

Mr Varapik has extensive management, corporate, financial, operations and marketing experience spanning more than 35 years in the private and public sectors. He is currently a Director on the Boards of Comrade Trustee Services Limited, Toea Homes Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Comrade Trustee Services Limited and Waigani Asset Limited.Mr Varapik holds a Bachelor of Technology in Accountancy from the PNG University of Technology, Lae, a Bachelor of Business from Deakin University, Australia, and an MBA from the International Management Centres, Oxford Brookes College, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

A member of the PNG Institute of Directors, Mr Varapik received the Male Director of the Year Award in 2015 from the Institute, for distinguished services to commerce and business. Also, under the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours Awards, he received an OBE for distinguished services to corporate governance and the community.

Mr Varapik is passionate about the development and promotion of corporate governance in PNG.

Richard Sinamoi - Director

Richard Sinamoi

Richard Sinamoi was appointed to the Board in May 2018.

Mr Sinamoi is an experienced executive and director with 19 years’ experience in the superannuation and financial services industry, having worked for the Comrade Trustee Services Limited as CEO until January 2017.

He has served on boards for both commercial entities and charitable organisations, spanning a range of industries from food and beverage, general insurance, trustee services, micro banking and funds management.

He is currently an Independent Director with Paradise Foods Limited, PNG Microfinance Limited, TransPacific Assurance Limited and Executive Director of Kama Kofi Limited.

He holds a Certificate in Business majoring in Marketing from TAFE, New South Wales and Bachelor of Applied Science Systems from the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Senior Executives

Peter Aitsi - CEO

Peter John Aitsi MBE
Group Chief Executive Officer

Peter John Aitsi was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer in January 2018.

Mr Aitsi has more than 30 years’ experience leading a number of PNG’s more prominent companies. He has focused on building successful teams and ensuring they are well supported with strong systems to create productive work environments.

Prior to joining Credit Corporation, Mr Aitsi was Country Manager for Newcrest Mining Ltd in PNG where he represented the interests of Newcrest, providing support to their operations in Lihir, Hidden Valley, Wafi Golpu, and exploration sites in Manus and Simberi.

He has a diverse career background, holding senior leadership positions with the Australian Aid Program, GHD Papua New Guinea, PNGFM, Belleek Chemicals, and Bank South Pacific.

Mr Aitsi has had long-term involvement with a number of key PNG organisations and currently serves on the Transparency International PNG and Coral Sea Hotel Group boards, and is Chairman of PNGFM Ltd.

Danny Robinson - COO

Danny Robinson
Group Chief Operating Officer

As Group Chief Operating Officer, Mr Robinson is responsible for all the day-to-day operational activities for the group across PNG and the offices in Fiji, Vanuatu, Timor and Solomon Islands.

Mr Robinson’s appointment follows his recent success as Executive General manager of Banking at Kina Bank, in Port Moresby.  Prior to Kina Bank, Mr Robinson enjoyed a long and successful career in financial services including senior executive roles with Suncorp across that group’s Retail and Business Banking divisions.

He brings a wealth of experience and an admirable track record in establishing financial services distribution networks in new markets, achieving significant asset growth and delivering excellent customer service outcomes.

Jeff Undah - CFO

Jeff Undah
Group Chief Financial Officer

Jeff Undah was appointed Chief Financial Officer in September 2018.

Mr Undah has 15 years accounting and finance experience at top multinational companies. He has worked across various roles at middle to executive management levels on short and long-term service engagements in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Australia, and PNG.

Prior to joining Credit Corporation PNG, Mr Undah held the role of Financial Controller at Kina Bank. He also spent more than six years at Westpac Bank (PNG) Limited and held various senior management roles including Acting Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary positions.

Mr Undah is a Certified Practising Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of Papua New Guinea.

Karen Mathers - CRO

Karen Mathers
Group Chief Risk Officer

Karen Mathers was appointed as Chief Risk Officer in 2020

This is a newly-created role which encompasses all financial and non-financial risk in the business as well as the compliance functions.

Ms Mathers has more than 20 years in risk management, with experiences at organisations such Shell Company of Australia and Ernst & Young and financial services companies including ANZ and BankVic.

As a member of the executive management team she will lead Credit Corporation’s risk function throughout its PNG and Pacific operations.

Brent St.Hill - General Manager - Property

Brent St. Hill
General Manager Properties

Brent St. Hill was appointed as General Manager Properties in August 2019

Mr. St. Hill has over 15 years of experience in the Property industry with extensive knowledge in multiple facets of property, asset and hotel management, gained by working both nationally and internationally.

Prior to joining Credit Corporation (PNG) Ltd, Mr. St. Hill was the General Manager with the Crown Hotel Port Moresby, and previously was the Group Operations Manager and Regional Manager with Steamships Trading Company, employed within their Coral Sea Hotels subsidiary.

Country Heads

Chris Durman_deepetch

Chris Durman

Chris Durman was appointed Country Head for Credit Corporation’s Timor-Leste branch in January 2016.

He is a strategic executive with more than 40 years’ experience in international banking, finance, and broking for banks and financial institutions, specialising in finance and banking start-ups.

Prior to joining Credit Corporation PNG, Mr Durman held senior positions with PNG’s largest bank – the Bank of South Pacific – in its Corporate and Client Support business units. Mr Durman previously established ANZ Private in Western Australia, was Head of Distribution for ANZ Trustees and successfully designed, launched and managed ANZ Timor-Leste.

Mr Durman currently serves as Honorary Consul of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to Papua New Guinea. He is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and holds a Diploma of Finance and Mortgage Broking.

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Peter Dixon

Peter Dixon was appointed Managing Director of Credit Corporation Fiji in March 2012.

Mr Dixon has more than 36 years’ management experience in Papua New Guinea and Fiji, specialising in finance and management, business and strategic planning, and staff training and development. During this time, he has developed an intimate understanding of local commercial conditions and has established an extensive network of contacts in the local business community.

He previously held the position of General Manager at Bank South Pacific, where he oversaw the operation and performance of the Corporate, Commercial and Business Lending units. Prior to this, Mr Dixon established a management consultancy company, Dedicated Management Ltd, which provided specialised services to the banking and finance sector in PNG, as well as providing corporate governance training.

Mr Dixon is Chairman of the Finance Companies Association in Fiji, a Senior Association Member of FINSIA, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Charles Sturt University.

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Johnny Wilson

Johnny Wilson was appointed Country Managing Director of Credit Corporation Vanuatu in May 2016.

Since joining Credit Corporation, Mr Wilson has led significant asset and NPAT growth and has increased Vanuatu’s client base to more than 1,000 customers.

Mr Wilson previously spent more than 20 years at ANZ Bank (Vanuatu) across several positions, including Branch Manager, Retail Relationship Manager, Senior Relationship Manager and Head of ANZ Signature Priority Banking.

Mr Wilson holds a Diploma of Management from Deakin University in Melbourne.