Two senior investment managers at the Film Finance Corporation (FFC), Terry Jennings and Chris Oliver, will be the "caretaker" chief executives once Catriona Hughes departs on December 31 as planned.

The government financier is the most influential force in Australia's film industry. Hughes stayed on after her contract expired in July 2002 until a permanent replacement could be found but this has still not occurred. FFC chair Geoff Levy said it would have been an imposition for the board to ask her to accept another extension and he was optimistic a new chief executive would be appointed early in 2003.

Hughes was one of the architects of the FFC and has worked there since its establishment over a decade ago. She has been chief executive since 1997.