Insurance Transitions for November

Check out the latest movements and transitions within the industry this month.

AFCA CREATES LEAD OMBUDSMAN POSITION

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has created a new leadership position, Lead Ombudsman– Systemic Issues and Remediation to provide professional and technical leadership for all of AFCA’s systemic issues and serious contraventions investigations, along with overseeing AFCA’s remediation work.

AFCA Chief Executive Officer and Chief Ombudsman David Locke said the new position demonstrates AFCA’s commitment to resolving systemic issues.

“Our systemic issues work gives us the opportunity to help financial firms fix issues that cause complaints and prevent more from occurring. It also helps raise industry standards and prevents harm to consumers,” Mr Locke said.

“The creation of the new position of Lead Ombudsman – Systemic Issues and Remediation demonstrates that we take our role in identifying and resolving systemic issues very seriously.

“In the last 12 months, AFCA has identified and resolved 167 definite systemic issues. We also referred 30 possible serious contraventions to regulators.”

AFCA is also currently recruiting for the positions of Lead Ombudsman – Superannuation and Lead Ombudsman – Investments and Advice, both of which were previously held by Dr June Smith who was promoted to Deputy Chief Ombudsman in July 2019.

AON’s NEW DATA & ANALYTICS HIRE

Aon has appointed Sulav Saha as Managing Principal, Data and Actuarial Analytics, to further strengthen its client and carrier offering across the business by centralising its established teams working across data and analytics.

Leading Aon’s Australian Data and Actuarial Analytics team, Saha will work closely with Aon’s global Centres for Innovation and Analytics, driving the data and analytics strategy for Australia, and bringing the firm’s data and analytics capabilities together into a single team.

James Baum, CEO of Aon Australia, said “We are excited to welcome Sulav to the team. He is a highly accomplished data analytic and change expert with extensive expertise in delivering programs focusing on driving business intelligence, regulatory compliance, revenue and profitability. We have taken the exciting step to bring together our data and analytic capability across the firm into a single specialist team in order to create an enhanced client and carrier offering and further strengthen our operational efficiencies.”

Rob Cusack, Director, Consulting Services, Aon Global Risk Consulting, said: “Data is central to how we operate as a firm. Through this change, we will not only be strengthening our client and carrier offering, but building out our future capability.”

Commenting on his appointment, Saha said, “I am excited to join Aon and work to create pragmatic and innovative client focused, data led solutions.”

Saha has spent the past decade in roles that have seen him work across Australia and the UK. He joins Aon from EY where he built a technology advisory practice focused on financial services. In the role, Sulav led cross competency teams and transformation projects aimed at developing financial reporting, management information, data science and analytics capabilities. He is based in Aon’s Sydney office and started his new role on 4 October.

AFCA APPOINTS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has announced the appointment of Justin Untersteiner as Chief Operating Officer. Untersteiner will join AFCA on Monday 2 December 2019.

Announcing the appointment, AFCA Chief Executive Officer and Chief Ombudsman David Locke said Justin combines considerable expertise in corporate services and operations and has led significant programs at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with great success.

“Justin is currently Assistant Commissioner of Integrated Compliance at the ATO. In this role he is responsible for leading the ATO’s approach on complex taxation and superannuation matters that don’t fit into standard processes and structures,” Locke said.

“Justin has previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer at the ATO responsible for the agency’s budget of $3.5 billion p/a, he has led the ATO’s Corporate Procurement and Tax Management Branch and has led the delivery of the ATO’s strategy and client experience work in the individual taxpayer market with a client base of nine million Australians.

“Justin brings great experience in leading change and new approaches in a large complex national organisation. He is a very impressive individual who shares AFCA’s passion for fairness and access to justice. I am delighted he has chosen to join AFCA at this critical stage in our development.”

Reflecting on his appointment, Untersteiner said “I am thrilled to be joining AFCA at this pivotal time. AFCA’s remit is broad and complex, and the organisation is operating in a rapidly changing context. I look forward to bringing my experience into the organisation and working with the highly committed and skilled staff as we roll out a number of exciting initiatives.”

Locke said: “Justin’s appointment further strengthens AFCA’s senior leadership team. At AFCA we are committed to building a world class ombudsman service that provides effective solutions to financial disputes and that positively influences reform.”

AFCA APPOINTS EGM CUSTOMER SERVICE 

AFCA has announced that Rob Guest has commenced in the role of Executive General Manager, Customer Service and Resolution.

Guest joins AFCA after eight years with Metro Trains as the Director of Customer Experience where he successfully introduced a customer experience strategic plan, delivering significant customer experience transformation and improvements in passenger satisfaction.

Announcing the appointment, AFCA Chief Executive Officer and Chief Ombudsman David Locke said, “Rob has almost 20 years of leadership experience in a diverse career that has seen him work at senior levels in a variety of organisations including Racing Victoria, Luna Park and member-based organisation Australian Human Resources Institute.”

Guest said of his commencement with AFCA that he was motivated by the scope and challenge of operating in the dispute resolution space.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the organisation at such an exciting time.”

Locke said: “Rob brings great experience and ideas to AFCA and will lead the strategic priorities to deliver on our end-to-end customer experience initiatives. We look forward to working with Rob as he transforms the way consumers and small business engage with and access our service.”

GARY DRANSFIELD APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF INSURANCE COUNCIL
The Insurance Council of Australia Limited (ICA) Board has appointed Gary Dransfield, Chief Executive Officer Insurance, Suncorp, as President of the Insurance Council and Chairman of the Board.

The two-year appointment, effective on January 1, 2020, was made during a Board meeting held in Sydney. Dransfield was previously Deputy President, and replaces Richard Enthoven. Sue Houghton, General Manager, Insurance, BT Financial Group, was appointed Deputy President.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan thanked Enthoven for his service to the insurance industry and the ICA Board.

“Richard Enthoven has been a highly effective and engaged leader of the Board for the past two years,” he said.

“The ICA is delighted Gary Dransfield has agreed to take on the role of President. He is a highly regarded industry leader with strong insights into the industry and consumers. We are also pleased Sue Houghton has been appointed Deputy President after almost two years on the Board.”

Dransfield said: “It is a great honour to be elected President of the Insurance Council and Chairman of the Board during this critical time for our industry. We must, as an industry, embrace the Government’s reform agenda and focus on delivering good customer outcomes, including implementing our new General Insurance Code of Practice.”

The ICA Board also appointed a new director, Natasha Fenech, CEO Medical Indemnity and Deputy Group CEO of Avant Mutual, and accepted the resignation from the Board of Georgette Nicholas, Chief Executive Officer, Genworth Australia.

The ICA Board also ratified the membership application of Nib Travel Pty Ltd. The ICA now has 57 member companies.