Movers & Shakers, Financial Services | March – April, 2021

The latter half of March saw noteworthy appointments and departures across Australia’s financial services sector, including ING and prudential watchdog APRA, with AMP also quashing rumours (later substantiated) that its CEO was set to make a hasty departure from the financial services group.


Earlier today, AMP announced that its Chief Executive Francesco De Ferrari is set to step down from the role, with ANZ deputy chief executive Alexis George to take the reins.

The SMH has confirmed De Ferrari will continue to work “in partnership” with the board to lead strategic initiatives, including negotiations with US investment firm Ares for the acquisition of AMP Capital.

Speculation surrounding the potential resignation of AMP chief executive mounted a week ago, with the financial services giant almost immediately downplaying the reports, stressing at the time “no change to the CEO’s position”.

On 25 March, a report surfaced in The Australian Financial Review revealing De Ferrari was set to resign after just two years at the helm of AMP.

AMP countered the report a day later, stating that De Ferrari would remain in the role, with no suggestion of a potential rift between the executive and the board (despite previous reports of disagreements around the sale to Ares).

“The Board and Mr De Ferrari are working together and constructively discussing the future strategy and leadership of the group, post the completion of AMP’s portfolio review. These discussions are ongoing and AMP will provide updates as required,” the company said in a statement.


Following an announcement in mid-March that it will merge its consumer and business divisions, Westpac chief executive of consumer banking, Chris de Bruin, has been appointed to lead the bank’s new super division, almost six months since first joining the big four bank.

Commenting on the appointment, Westpac chief executive Peter King praised de Bruin’s “significant experience running both consumer and business banking functions at a large multinational bank, as well as a strong background in fintech and digital banking, which will be particularly valuable as we better support customers’ needs”.

As a result of the merger, chief executive of business Guilherme Lima left the now-defunct position on 22 March 2021. He served 15 months in the role.


– ING Australia has appointed Ben Stewart to the position of Head of Debt Capital Market (DCM), Australia. Steward will oversee ING’s new DCM business, a division of the ING’s wholesale bank. The new role covers both corporate and financial institution clients for the bank’s on-shore sector teams.


– NAB’s Executive General Manager, Infrastructure, Cloud and Workplace, Steve Day, has reportedly left the role, taking up a new position as VP of Customer Success, APJ, Databricks. Day assumed his new role in early March, his LinkedIn profile states, having served just over three years as NAB’s infrastructure and cloud chief.


– JANA, an investment consultant firm, has appointed Ann-Mary Rajanayagam as Head of Technology and Operations. Rajanayagam began her career as a business analyst for equities with Colonial First State, BT, and NAB. She most recently served at JP Morgan and the New York Stock Exchange in business analyst and program management roles.


– APRA has appointed Margaret Cole a new Member, specifically leading the regulator’s enforcement of the superannuation industry.

APRA Chair Wayne Byres praised Cole’s extensive experience overseas, noting that she will bring to the watchdog “a strong blend of regulatory and private sector experience, with a particular focus on conduct, risk management and enforcement.”

With the appointment of Cole as APRA’s overseer of superannuation, Deputy Chair Helen Rowell will step into the regulator’s insurance division, vacated last year by Geoff Summerhayes. Rowell has served as overseer of the superannuation industry for the past seven years.

The role changes were triggered by the retirement last year of Geoff Summerhayes, who oversaw general insurance, life insurance and private health insurance sectors for the watchdog.

– Integrity Life
has appointed Russell Hannah to the newly created position of General Manager of Distribution and Marketing. Hannah is set to assume the role in early June. He previously served as MLC Life’s General Manager of Retail Distribution and Partnerships.


– ClearView Wealth has appointed Nick Kulikov to the newly created position of Head of Product and Pricing. Kulikov will assume responsibility for ClearView’s current LifeSolutions product as well as the development of the group’s new life insurance solution, to be launched in the second half of 2021. He formerly served as RGA Australia Chief Risk Officer and Head of Research.


Mine Super has appointed Vasyl Nair, currently deputy CEO, as interim Chief Executive following the announcement of Harry Mitchell’s departure from the role. Mitchell served nearly five years as Mine CEO. Nair is expected to lead the super fund until 30 June 2022 while the super fund’s board searches for a replacement.

Mitchell will not stray far from the Mine group, taking on the role of Managing Director of Recreo, Mine Super’s superannuation and investment administration platform.


– Stephen Ford, Chief Executive of Allianz’s Marine & Transit (AM&T) underwriting business has announced he will depart the role at the end of June. Ford served almost a decade in the position, helping to establish Allianz’s marine offering back in 2012.


New Zealand

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has appointed James Greig, FMA Director of Supervision, to lead the Kiwi regulator’s monitoring and supervision of financial advice.

The move marks the FMA’s “shift in the focus on the financial advice sector, from transitional licensing to monitoring and supervising under the transitional regime, as well as full licensing”, the regulator said.


– ASB has appointed current Director Dame Therese Walsh as Chair following the announcement of the retirement of current Chair Gavin Walker ONZM at the end of August 2021.

Walker joined the ASB board in March 2010, assuming the position of Chair in August 2011.

– Honan Insurance Group,
an insurance, risk, and financial solutions provider, has appointed Sue Klose as Non-Executive Director.