Gary Johnston has been made executive manager of Axiss Australia, the financial services division of Invest Australia. Axiss' role is to attract financial services investment in the Australian market.

Johnston has held public office positions in the UK and the US including serving as Australian director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, and in Washington, as the Treasury's senior representative to the Australian Embassy.

Garry Draffin, CEO of Invest Australia, says Johnston's strong international policy background makes him ideal for the job. "His in-depth knowledge of the financial services industry and his global experience will provide Axiss with the leadership to develop its success in positioning Australia as a global financial services centre."

Johnston will be based at the Axiss office in Sydney. He says, "My international experience has given me a clear understanding of the strengths of the Australian financial services sector, and the opportunities to position it for growth. I look forward to working with industry colleagues and their representative organizations here in Australia."

In 2003, Axiss Australia was merged with Invest Australia, the national inward investment agency. Johnston takes over from David Kent who resigned from the top job in March.