Queensland financial services giant Suncorp has appointed Adam Bennett, a former CBA tech chief, as its next chief information officer.
Bennett assumes the role from erstwhile CIO Sarah Harland, who left Suncorp in March after four years in the role.
Himself a former retail and business banking CIO at CBA, Bennett will offer invaluable expertise to the Queensland-based financial services giant as it mulls the future of its wider tech transformation program in the wake of its faltering core banking modernisation initiative, Project Ignite, and abortive API ‘marketplace’ strategy, which sought to bring its distinct brands and services under a single, integrated customer-facing platform.
Suncorp has been dealt multiple blows to its tech leadership team this year, in quick succession losing not only Harland but also banking and wealth technology head Sharmilia Tsourdalakis. Two months later, Suncorp’s banking and wealth chief Lee Hatton, former head of digital-only challenger UBank, made her run for the door, serving just three months with the Brisbane-based outfit citing challenges of the commute from Sydney.
In a statement, Suncorp acknowledged Bennett’s considerable contributions to CBA throughout his 16-year career at the bank, including key roles in its tech modernisation and transformation programs that delivered “new customer propositions, digitisation of end-to-end processes, risk reduction programs and technology innovations”.
Suncorp chief executive Steve Johnston stressed the “pivotal” importance of technology to the group’s strategy and “operational, product and customer opportunities” being sought.
“I am pleased that an executive of Adam’s calibre is joining Suncorp as we focus on delivering the best possible outcomes for our customers and our people,” Johnston said.
Bennett will have his work cut out for him, with Suncorp considered among the more complex and multifaceted technological ecosystems, with a number of semi-autonomous, discrete brands that do not always lend themselves to a cohesive, whole-of-business technology strategy.
Bennett held a range of technology and banking roles at CBA, most recently serving as head of CBA’s business and private banking division over the previous five years.
He will commence his new role at Suncorp on 1 July.