Movers & Shakers, Financial Services | November – December, 2020

The Financial Markets Authority's (FMA) Fiona Whyte and Binu Paul
The Financial Markets Authority's (FMA) Fiona Whyte and Binu Paul

November saw a number of key appointments and departures across Australia’s financial services sector, with noteworthy additions to Cbus, IAG, and P&N.


– Cbus, an industry superannuation fund, has appointed Mirella Robinson as its first Chief Information Technology Officer. Robinson previously served as Latitude Financial’s General Manager for Digital, Data Analytics and Technology Delivery, Australia and New Zealand.

– P&N Group has appointed Warren Willis to the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Christine MacKenzie to the position of Chief People Officer (CPO). Willis assumes his role on 7 December 2020, while MacKenzie begins on 4 January 2021. According to P&N Chief Executive, Andrew Hadley, the appointments will be key to the mutual banking group’s transformative five-year strategy.

– Heritage Bank has announced three senior appointments, with:

  • Stuart Walker to take on the newly created role of Head of Payments
  • Jeanne Hii will assume the role of Head of Product
  • and Maribel Reyna Cruz to become Head of Business Performance and Growth.

– IAG has formally appointed Michelle McPherson to the position of Chief Financial Officer. McPherson has served in an interim capacity since April.

– Zurich Life & Investments has appointed several new executives, with:

  • Jacqui Lennon announced as the group’s Head of Customer and Digital, leading Zurich’s proposition development and design
  • Kieran Forde has also been promoted to the position of Chief Distribution Officer
  • Shaneen Marshall has been appointed Head of Strategy. She previously served as TAL’s Integration Insurance Business Director.

Suncorp has made several key appointments, including:

  • Anna Cartwright as EGM Motor Claims, responsible for the end-to-end claims experience
  • Alli Smith has been appointed EGM Home Claims
  • Luke Whenman has been appointed Head of Commercial Property & Specialty Claims
  • and Michael Miller has been named EGM Personal Injury Claims.

All four appointments will report to Chief Operating Officer Paul Smeaton, who joined Suncorp in July.

Bupa A/NZ Chief Information Officer, Sami Yalavac has been named Australia’s 15th most outstanding technology leader in the CIO50 2020 list.

Suncorp’s Executive General Manager Digital Distribution, Katherine Carmody, has taken out the 2020 Executive Leader of the Year at the Women in Digital Awards.


New Zealand

– The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has announced the creation of two new specialist roles, with Binu Paul to serve as Specialist Lead for FinTech while Fiona Whyte (both pictured) will become Specialist Lead for Integrated Financial System.

– Fidelity Life has appointed Melissa Cantell to the position of Chief Executive. Cantell joins Fidelity Life from IAG NZ, where she serves as Chief Operating Officer. She will assume her new role on 25 January 2021.

AMP Capital has appointed Rebekah Swan to the position of Managing Director & Head of Clients for its New Zealand business. Swan currently serves as AMP Capital’s NZ Head of Product and ESG Investment Specialist.


Bankwest Chief Information Officer and EGM Technology and Transformation, Andy Weir is set to depart the organisation on 18 December. Weir has served in the role since 2010. He reportedly announced his decision to leave Bankwest on a LinkedIn post.

The Insurance Council of Australia’s Head of Risk and Operations Karl Sullivan has announced his departure from the role. Sullivan joined the ICA in 2006 as GM Risk. He previously served in senior risk roles at Qantas and the Australian Defence Force.




– Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) has appointed Damien Mu to its Board. Mu currently serves as AIA Australia Chief Executive.

AMP has appointed Kathryn (Kate) McKenzie as an independent, non-executive Director effective 18 November 2020. McKenzie has held executive positions at Telstra, including Chief Operating Officer.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has appointed four new Directors:

  • Frank Costigan, Interim Managing Director, QBE Australia
  • Tracy Green, Group Executive Insurance, RACQ
  • Jarrod Hill, Country President Australia & New Zealand, Chubb Insurance Australia
  • Ralph Ronnenberg, Managing Director, Munich Re Group in Australasia.

– Bank Australia
has appointed Steve Ferguson as Director, following the retirement of Michelle Somerville. Somerville served six years as BA’s Board Director, retiring 25 November 2020.

– Defence Bank has appointed Group Captain Jeffrey Howard and Pam Rebecca its Board for three-year terms. Rebecca has previously served in senior digital, transformation and innovation roles, including at ANZ where she served 25 years.

– Police Bank announced former Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas, has been elected as Director, joining the Board on 26 November. Directors Robert Redfern and David Hudson will also return for another term, while Deputy Chair Raff Del Vecchio will step down after 12 years on the Board.