Leadership Team

Executing the strategies to deliver our vision

Russell Nelms

Russell Nelms 
Chief Operating Officer

Russell Nelms joined MKM in 2021 as Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for the strategy, operations, and product development of the company. This includes working with the MA Financial Group Executives in building and enhancing strategic partnerships with a particular focus on building trust and credibility through the quality of systems, processes, and customer experience.

Russell has over 30 years’ experience in the areas of strategy, business transformation, project portfolio management, change management, organisation development, and quality/performance improvement.

Before joining MKM, Russell was Chief Transformation Officer at Bluestone. Prior to that, Russell held senior executive positions at several multinational financial institutions and has been instrumental in several significant change programs including St. George’s Business Bank Transformation Program (Sovereign), Westpac’s Transformation Program (merger of Westpac and St. George), AMP’s Enterprise Change Program (merger of AMP and AXA), UNSW’s 2025 Strategy and CBA’s Better Risk Outcome Program. 

Russell holds a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University in the United States.

Richard Balzer

Richard Balzer 
CFO and Treasurer 

Richard Balzer joined MKM in 2021 as Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for all funding and finance aspects of MKM’s operations. This includes working closely with the CEO’s and other executives to ensure the maintenance of trust and credibility in all MKM’s financial interactions.

Richard has had over 25 years of commercial leadership experience, across the financial services, consumer goods, retailing and manufacturing sectors. He is focused on assisting organisations to deliver both strategic and operational results, through the building of quality relationships to ensure the delivery of commercial rigour and financial discipline.

Prior to MKM, Richard has had significant financial services experience in senior roles at Pepper Group and Macquarie Bank. In addition, he has held senior executive positions at several multinational organisations including Coca Cola Amatil, Campbell Arnott’s and KPMG.

Richard has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from University of New South Wales and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant in Australia and New Zealand.

Steven Hindes

Melanie de Jager 
National Sales Manager

With over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Melanie has held senior leadership responsibility across all aspects of mortgage origination, including sales and distribution, business development, back-office operations, credit risk, contact centres, product development and marketing, and played pivotal roles in the start-up of one of Australia’s leading mortgage aggregation businesses, followed by the start-up of the fastest growing mortgage and financial services company in the Middle East.

She has a demonstrated track record leading and developing high performing multi-channel sales and service teams and has successfully executed major business expansions across Australia and the Middle East.

Holly Pickering
Head of Origination & Integration

Holly Pickering joined MKM in May 2022 as Head of Origination and is responsible for the origination transformation of MKM’s operations. This includes working closely with third party vendors and internal operations to facilitate an innovative mortgages origination process that is efficient and effective.

Holly has nearly 20 years of financial services experience and is known as a proactive and dedicated industry professional executing strategic initiatives to a high standard through effective leadership, collaboration and having a creative and engaging edge.

Whilst new to MKM, Holly has extensive experience in mortgages having come from Athena Home Loans as the Director of Credit Risk Strategy and prior to that leading credit capability functions at National Australia Bank. 

With a solid foundation in credit risk and process change delivery, she has experience in finding opportunities to build and maintain a high performing mortgages portfolio through effective change management.