Insurance top boss among Queen’s birthday honorees

An insurance top boss with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services sector including a stint as IAG chief is on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2017.

Michael Wilkins has been recognised as an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the insurance industry, particularly for improving corporate responsibility standards and workplace diversity, as well as for building natural disaster resilience and safer communities, The Australian reported.

The retired insurance chief worked as managing director and CEO for Promina Group Limited from 1999 until 2007, when it was acquired by Suncorp for $7.9 billion – one of the biggest takeovers in Australian corporate history. He joined IAG as COO after a six month stint at Suncorp and eventually he succeeded Michael Hawkins as IAG CEO until 2015.

Speaking about the insurance industry, Wilkins said: “It’s a shock absorber for the wider economy. It’s important for growth and for the well-being of the community, because you tend to see people at their most vulnerable.”

Wilkins was a member of the Australian business roundtable for disaster resilience and safer communities from 2012 to 2015 and currently serves as a non-executive director for AMP Limited, QBE Insurance, and Medibank Private Limited.