Latest News

LLL Australia appoints new CEO - Ross Smith

6 August 2020    

The Lutheran Laypeople’s League (LLL) has announced the appointment of Ross Smith as its new Chief Executive Officer. In 2019, the LLL became the first charitable financial institution in Australia to be licensed as an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) regulated under the Banking Act and by APRA.

Mr Smith will replace Allen Kupke, who is retiring, as only the fifth person to head the organisation since its inception in 1921. It is expected Mr Smith will commence his role as CEO in October 2020.

Mr Smith is currently CEO of the Anglican Schools Corporation in NSW, which oversees 14,500 students. He is also Chair of the Glebe Administration Board, which oversees a $220 million investment fund, and was previously Chair of the Sydney Diocesan Secretariat. He comes from a strong finance and management background, with his career shaped by extensive experience in corporate restructuring and work in mergers and acquisitions in  Australia, Silicon Valley and London. His credentials include financial sector roles at KPMG, PwC and McGrath Nicol.

Based in Adelaide, the LLL has a 99-year history of supporting the mission of the Lutheran Church in Australia (LCA). It 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 assisting the LCA mission.

“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. We’re not just an ADI, and I want to see that deployment of funds with a Lutheran missional approach continue,” Mr Smith said.

LLL Board Chair Graeme Huf welcomed the appointment and said Mr Smith 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,” Mr Huf 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.”  

Mr Huf paid tribute to Mr Kupke, as the outgoing CEO. After joining the LLL as an Administration Manager in 1988, Mr Kupke held various roles until he was appointed as CEO in 2008. Since then he has overseen the growth in deposits from $560m in June 2009 to $1.28 billion at June 30 this year. He also guided the LLL through the five-year transition from operating as a Religious Charitable Development Fund to an ADI.


For further information please contact Verity Edwards on 0412 678 942.