Meet the PEXA UK team


James Bawa - CEO UK

James is a highly motivated executive leader with extensive experience in transformational change across financial and property sectors in the United Kingdom.

James was CEO at JN Bank UK, a cloud-based challenger bank which he set up and obtained a new license for and CEO at Teachers Building Society, where he was responsible for re-engineering the society into a specialist lender (also wining “Best Local Building Society 2011-13), Monmouthshire Building Society and Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society.  James has also led transformation in call centres and a challenger bank subsidiary. James has extensive regulatory experience with over 12 years as a panel member of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). James applies a communicative, energetic, participative, and inspirational leadership-style.

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Gary Howard - Chief Transformation Officer, UK

Gary has amassed over 30 years of industry experience, both in Australia with organisations such as National Australia Bank and overseas. His leadership experience extends across Banking, Wealth Management and Technology within specific areas of expertise including Operations, Product Management, Consumer Lending, and large scale technology transformations.

Gary has previously united geographically dispersed teams, instilling an emphasis on customer service, operational excellence, and driving sustainable cultural change.

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Krystle Kocik - Chief Product Officer

Krystle has been with PEXA since 2013 and is PEXA's Chief Product Officer, responsible for the end to end delivery of PEXA's suite of products. She is also on the ground in the United Kingdom, working with UK lenders, land registries and housing solicitors to build the UK's first digital housing remortgaging and completion platform. Krystle has over 15 years' experience in product and digital transformation, both for the property technology and financial institutions industry in Australia and the UK, having worked with Accenture, Westpac, Lloyds Banking Group, ETS Europe and ANZ.

Krystle has also recently completed her management programme at INSEAD Business School in Europe.

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Simon Wright - Chief Operating Officer UK

Simon has almost 30 years’ financial services experience, leading strategy, operations, and customer teams.  He spent the majority of his banking career at CYBG PLC (now Virgin Money UK PLC), where the roles undertaken have created a unique blend of commercial, strategy, operations, payments, distribution (Personal and Business), change and transformation experience. He was latterly Director of Operations and Enablement and also led its Customer Banking Centres. 

A resourceful, authentic and innovative leader, Simon has built a strong reputation for strategy development and delivery whilst developing engaged and committed teams.  Simon joined PEXA in 2021 as Chief Operating Officer in the UK.

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Heather Crichton - General Manager, Industry Readiness

Heather joined PEXA in 2015 and was instrumental in the Australian property industry’s transition to digital settlements, overseeing PEXA’s member operations, training, and customer experience teams which assisted 10,000+ legal and conveyancing firms nationwide.  Prior to PEXA, Heather practiced law and held positions in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within Australia’s legal sector.  Heather has brought her experience to the legal and conveyancing industry in the UK on behalf of PEXA.

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Andrew Lloyd - Chief Customer Officer UK

With over 15 years’ financial services and consulting experience, Andrew led strategy and transformation at Invesco Ltd and spent 5 years at Kearney, leading their retail banking strategy.   Prior to this, Andrew worked for Lloyds Banking Group in a project delivery role and spent 3 years at KPMG in their Risk Consulting function.  He has completed his MBA at Cambridge University. 

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Stewart Moore - Technology Lead, UK

Stewart is responsible for PEXA technology in the UK, and brings over 20 years’ experience in Financial Services, both in Fintech and working for Financial Institutions.

Prior to join PEXA, Stewart was leading the definition and design of the digital Core Banking capabilities for 10x Banking's next-generation cloud-native platform.  Stewart previously spent 8 years at Nationwide as Chief Architect for Banking, Payments and Mortgages, and Head of Transformation; which included replatforming for Mortgages Sales & Originations.  He also spent 10 years delivering technology and banking transformation for Fiserv clients across the UK and Europe.

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Matt Ellis - Chief Risk Officer UK

Matt is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in the UK Financial Services industry.  He spent 19 years with MBNA / Bank of America, where he held senior leadership roles in Finance, HR, Collections, Strategy, and Marketing, before spending 10 years leading Risk and Compliance functions across both the first and second lines of defence. 

Since leaving MBNA, Matt has held a variety of CRO, CCO / MLRO and MD roles, during which he was instrumental in obtaining both a full Banking Licence for a new UK challenger bank and an Electronic Money Institution Licence for a FinTech start-up.

Matt joined PEXA in June 2021 and also currently acts as the local People Experience (HR) Lead. He is passionate about delivering in the right way and is known for the integrity, openness and people focus that he brings to the table.

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Kevin O'Brien


Kevin O’Brien - Programme Manager, UK

Kevin is dynamic senior leader with extensive experience delivering change in the UK financial services sector and is leading the PEXA UK Program.

Kevin brings over 30 years’ experience and knowledge, delivering technical, operational, product and regulatory transformation programmes in the UK’s financial services sector, including Metro Bank, LV=, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays. Prior to PEXA, Kevin was at Metro Bank where he was instrumental in delivering transformation in the Lending division of the bank which included significant system, process and product improvements.

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Dreyer Wentzel


Dreyer Wentzel – Finance Lead, UK

Dreyer joined PEXA in the UK, October 2021 as our Finance Lead.  Dreyer’s career spans 25 years, having worked across a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, R&D, Hospitality, Corporate Travel as well as Audit and Accounting firms.  Dreyer has a passion for tech companies and pursued this path through his career.  Prior to PEXA in the UK, Dreyer was Finance Director a Cordic and CILEX and Chief Financial Officer at iCareHealth UK, after relocating from MYOB in Austalia.

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