Speakers Profile - Dennis Gentilin


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Travels From:
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In 2001, as a young university graduate, Dennis Gentilin became a member of a FX trading desk at one of Australia’s largest banks, the National Australia Bank. In the years that followed the desk became involved in a trading scandal that resulted in the resignation of the Chairman and CEO, the upheaval of the board of directors, significant financial loss, and incalculable reputational damage. It was in this environment that the true meaning of business ethics was revealed to Dennis.

Despite being publically named as a “whsitleblower” in the incident, Dennis went on to spend a further 12 years at the National Australia Bank in a variety of senior roles across financial markets and corporate strategy. More recently, after much reflection and research, he authored a book in order to share the lessons associated with his experience. Released in 2016, The Origins of Ethical Failures has been shortlisted for the Management Book of the Year Award by the Chartered Management Institute in the U.K.” is replaced with “Released in 2016, The Origins of Ethical Failures won the textbook category in the 2017 U.K. Chartered Management Institute Management Book of the Year Awards.

Dennis now spends his time advising, speaking and contributing to discussions on the topics of ethics, leadership and organisational purpose. He has appeared on the BBC’s Business Matters program and contributes to a variety of blogs, newspapers and journals both in Australia and overseas. He is also the Founding Director of Human Systems Advisory, a for profit social purpose consulting firm that works with organisations to strengthen their “human systems” of governance.

Dennis is an honorary fellow at the Centre for Ethical Leadership and holds degrees in psychology and banking and finance.

"Few whistleblowers get to tell their tale to receptive audiences and to grow and learn from the experience. Dennis Gentilin has, not by blaming others, claiming heroic status or reliving the events, but by placing his experience into a broader perspective that draws on research and practical implications for leaders. His writings and talking about ethical failure provide practical guidance for all leaders and questions why and how otherwise good people behave badly."

Professor Robert Wood, Director, Centre for Ethical Leadership

"Dennis was an engaging keynote speaker and panelist at a recent CAANZ event on business ethics. His personal experience coupled with his research in the area made his insights and contribution invaluable. What is most impressive about Dennis is that he has reflected on his experience in such a way that it does not narrowly or negatively define him, but rather allows him to share the compelling lessons associated with it in a powerful way."

Lee White, CEO, Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)

"Dennis did an outstanding in-house presentation to senior representatives of Australian superannuation funds on how ethical failures come about and how they can be avoided. I appreciate Dennis’ contribution to ACSI’s work on ethical culture and whistleblowing as well as his contribution to the public debate on this important topic."

Louise Davidson, CEO, Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI)

"Dennis possesses a deep academic intellect and interest in business ethics, combined with extensive leadership and change management experience in the corporate sector. This unique blend of skills, competencies and capabilities makes Dennis an engaging and authentic keynote speaker who inspires enthusiasm, reflection and humility through an allocentric view."

Professor Amanda Pyman, Head of Department of Management, Deakin University