Transitions: Late September

Broker Buzz brings you the most important transitions from the past month.



Denver Van Gramberg has joined Austagencies as the new Brand and Marketing Manager.

Van Gramberg joins his new team from Brooklyn Underwriting and will be essential to the brand’s national marketing initiatives.

Craig Patterson, Managing Director of Austagencies, says Van Gramberg’s expertise will help out the team deliver in niche areas.

“Denver’s appointment comes at a time in our evolution with our core brand Sura becoming our dominant brand which Denver will lead,” he says.

“In addition, Denver’s work with different distribution channels building compelling propositions will aid our specialty niche segments.”



Dr Nora Scheinkestel has resigned from the Board of IAG as of 16 September.

Scheinkestel joined the IAG Board last year and Chairman of IAG Brian Schwartz thanked her for the hard work and the success she brought to IAG.



Steadfast have announced the retirement of current Steadfast DirectorJonathan Upton, who is retiring on 29 October.

Upton has been involved with the Steadfast Board for more than nine years, but he has decided not to stand for re-election due to his involvement in his own Steadfast equity, which he has run for the last 34 years.

“I have been honoured to serve as a director of Steadfast Group for over nine years and in particular to represent the Steadfast equity brokers pre and post the company’s initial public offering,” he says.

“My decision to step down from the Steadfast Group Board is in line with good corporate governance in light of my interests in Steadfast IRS and the increased shareholding of Steadfast Group.”



Stephen Loomes has been appointed as the new Senior Specialist for Suncorp’s Statutory Portfolio.

Loomes brings more than 34 years of experience to the team and will play a major role in improving the growth and business optimisation of Suncorp across the statutory classes.

Chris McHugh, Executive General Manager of Statutory Portfolio & Underwriting Management with Suncorp, says Loomes’ acquired skills are a huge asset to the team.

“Stephen has a distinct mix of specialist skills having worked extensively in both Workers Compensation and Compulsory Third Party schemes over a period of some decades,” McHugh says.

“Since we combined the CTP and Workers Compensation classes to create the Statutory Portfolio four years ago, Suncorp is uniquely positioned to innovate, realise the benefits of scale and implement best-practice across all schemes.

“Suncorp’s position as Australia’s largest personal injury insurer and our commitment to growing the portfolio is a great asset when it comes to attracting the best in the business, and Stephen is certainly in that category.”



TAL have announced the appointment of Brett Clarke as Group CEO, as of April 2015.

Clarke has more than 25 years’ experience in strategy, finance, sales and distribution, product and marketing and operations across international markets.

TAL Chairman Duncan Boyle says Clarke has been an important member of the senior team, who were instrumental in helping TAL Group become the largest life insurer in Australia.

“The TAL Board has been planning for TAL Group CEO succession transition for a considerable period of time and we are pleased to announce the appointment of a very strong internal candidate in Brett following a comprehensive assessment process which included a worldwide benchmarking exercise using external consultants, Boyle says.

“Brett has been a senior executive with TAL for six years and is currently CEO of the TAL Life business division. Brett has made a significant contribution to TAL and we believe he will be a very successful leader of the TAL Group.”

Effective 1 October, Clarke will become Deputy Group CEO and will be working on the strategy and positioning of TAL before stepping up to Group CEO.