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Q&A with DK

Darren Kasehagen

Welcome to Adelaide Bank’s get to know us series.

We sat down with Adelaide Bank’s General Manager, Darren Kasehagen, to discuss his history with Adelaide Bank, why we differ from other banks and how the events of 2020 changed the way we do business.

What is your name and current position?
Darren Kasehagen, General Manager Adelaide Bank.

How long have you been with Adelaide Bank?
I started with Adelaide Bank in January 2007, which makes it now 14 years.

Did the mortgage industry find you or did you find it?
Good question, I guess I found it! I was keen for a change from the Superannuation Industry after finishing my MBA and applied for a role at Adelaide Bank. The rest is history!

What makes Adelaide Bank different to other banks?
Culture. There is most certainly a ‘customer first’ attitude and being a smaller entity, you can really make a difference in your role, regardless of seniority.

What’s something that might surprise people about Adelaide Bank?
Adelaide Bank is a division within the broader Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group. And we are 100% focused on originating mortgages via intermediated channels.

What’s something about Adelaide Bank that surprised you?
I have been here too long to remember if anything did!

Has COVID-19 changed the way the bank does business?
Most certainly it has.

Throughout 2020 we quickly adapted the range of ways that we do business with brokers, our partners and the end customer so that less face-to-face interaction was needed through the implementation of enhanced digital and automated processes.

Looking back on your career, what is your proudest achievement?
It’s probably just seeing the growth and maturity of the division over the last few years, and how the team have worked so fantastically to deliver and execute on a number of challenging but important projects – always with our partners and customers front of mind.

Looking back on your life, what is your proudest achievement?
Being a father to my two sons, Jesse and Oliver.

Finish this sentence - If I wasn’t a Banker I’d be a…
Stockbroker. I like following and studying market supply and demand and throughout high school I always dreamt of working on Wall Street! Grenfell Street, Adelaide is as far as I got!

What are Adelaide Bank’s values? Have they changed over the years?
Our underlying values remain unchanged. We pride ourselves on our commitment to conducting business ethically and to the highest possible standard, all delivered with a personal touch.

Our ambition is to create a culture where everyone in the business feels a sense of ownership and can relate to customer experience on a personal level.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make, so we aim to reduce stress and friction throughout this process.

How does Adelaide Bank support diversity and inclusion within the workplace?
We have a range of company-wide diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives that ensure our business is commercially astute, innovative and socially responsible. At the same time, we’re encouraging an inclusive culture where everyone feels they belong and can thrive.

Our approach is underpinned by our work policies, processes and practices to improve workplace participation in relation to equal employment opportunity. This includes reasonable arrangements to accommodate flexible working and carer responsibilities, as well as workplace adjustments to support access for people of all abilities. Our culture of collaboration and inclusion also extends outside our team to all our stakeholders including our partners and our customers.

How does Adelaide Bank ensure all employees feel included?
We want to create an environment where all our people are valued and supported for the differences they bring so they can do their best work. We seek to create an inclusive work environment, matched with appropriate business policies and practices.

Does Adelaide Bank support women in leadership?
We most certainly do. Our leadership team in fact has more women than it does men! In addition to that, we generally have a representative from our division participating in our Women in Leadership program.

I am also proud that Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is one of only two ASX 300 companies with women in the role of Chair and Managing Director/CEO. Whilst this shows there is much work to be done in driving equal workplace representation in Australian business, it makes those in our organisation proud of the standard we set.

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