Westpac and Medibank unveil major exec changes, including new digital-focused roles; CBA appoints first CTO; and the RBA welcomes Lowe’s successor as Governor.
– Medibank has announced a raft of changes to its executive leadership, including two new digital and tech-focused roles.
Rob Deeming (pictured) has been appointed the newly created role of Group Lead – Digital & Ventures.
This dedicated digital role will be tasked with accelerating the insurers’ growth “through the development of digitally led health products and services for our customers and the community”, the insurer said.
Deeming, currently Group Executive, Customer & Brands Group Executive, Customer & Brands, as part of his new role will maintain responsibility for the group digital team.
Medibank has also created a new Group Lead – Data & Technology position, which it is currently recruiting for. The role will “have a dedicated focus on technology, data management and our core platforms.” Kylie Williamson, currently Senior Executive – Core Medibank Customer Systems, will act in the role in the interim. Williamson stepped in as Acting Group Executive – Technology & Operations following the departure of John Goodall in March this year.
Commenting on the changes, Medibank Chief Executive David Koczkar noted the increasing importance of digitalisation on the future of health.
“[As] a result,” he said, “we are introducing a dedicated role to the executive leadership team in this space.”
Koczkar said Medibank will also establish a dedicated customer trust team, to be led by current Company Secretary Mei Ramsay. The Group Lead role adds ‘customer trust’ to its existing legal, compliance, governance, and regulatory affairs functions.
“Customers expect more of the organisations they interact with, and we want to ensure we are meeting this challenge,” Koczkar said.
The health insurer will also establish a new Group Lead – Policy, Advocacy & Reputation role, appointing Medibank veteran Meaghan Telford to the position. The role will oversee government and industry relations, health stakeholders, health policy, reputation and external communications.
Among the other exec team changes include an expanded role for current Chief Financial Officer & Group Strategy, Mark Rogers, who adds procurement to his portfolio.
Milosh Milisavljevic, currently Group Lead – Chief Customer Officer, also takes on an expanded role overseeing marketing, customer channels, customer portfolios, Medibank’s wellness arm ‘Live Better’ and diversified insurance across the Medibank and ahm brands.
Dr Andrew Wilson maintains his role as Group Lead – Chief Executive Amplar Health responsible for Medibank’s direct health services, including oversight of telehealth, in-home care, and investments in primary care and ambulatory care.
Kylie Bishop, Group Lead – People, Spaces & Sustainability, will add responsibility for spaces (property) to the role.
“Our strategy remains focused on delivering for our customers, and these changes will enable us to continue to best meet their needs in the future,” Koczkar said.
Each of these senior leadership roles reports directly to the CEO.
– Bupa has formally appointed Nick Stone to lead the health insurer’s APAC division.
Stone stepped in as Acting Chief Executive for Bupa APAC at the end of March this year, following the departure of former APAC chief Hisham El-Ansary.
He was previously Chief Financial Officer of Bupa APAC, appointed to the role in April 2019, having joined Bupa Australia and New Zealand in September in 2018 as Group Financial Controller.
While a veteran of the oil and gas industries, Stone has previously served in the local health insurance sector. Prior to joining Bupa, Stone was General Manager, Commercial Finance at Medibank; prior to joining Bupa, he was CFO at Marlin Brands, an Australian homewares company.
Bupa Group Chief Executive Iñaki Ereño praised Stone’s “strong leadership over the last few months, successfully guiding Bupa APAC through an important transition period.”
“I know he is deeply committed to growing our business in the region.”
Bupa Australia and New Zealand Chairman, Bryan Mogridge, said: “Nick is a proven leader who knows our business and who has consistently delivered strong results. He has also helped our members through some challenging health and economic conditions in recent times.
“I know that under his leadership Bupa will continue to grow as a healthcare leader in the APAC region.”
– Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has appointed Rodrigo Castillo as the organisation’s dedicated Chief Technology Officer.
Castillo was most recently Chief Information Officer (CIO) of HSBC Americas’ wealth and personal banking arm.
The new CTO role would include oversight of the CBA’s technology architecture, cloud, and infrastructure, and, according to a spokesperson, bring CBA “in line with a modern operating model”.
Castillo will report directly to CBA’s Group CIO and Group Executive for Technology Gavin Monroe.
Munroe recognised Castillo’s extensive experience in “global IT operations management and [support of] critical IT services”.
He added that the pair “will be working closely together to retain CBA as the leading digital bank in Australia”.
– Police Bank has appointed Lyndall Bushell as its first Chief Information Officer.
Bushell most recently served as 86 400’s Head of Enterprise Technology Delivery, supporting the neobank’s technology implementations and development of digital customer experience channels.
Arriving around a year before its acquisition by NAB, she also played a lead role in the ubank integration, including the development of a new customer channel, and updates to internal and external technology systems and security controls.
Bushell was hailed by her new employer for her “wealth of knowledge in tech delivery, IT operations, and change management”.
“In addition to Lyndall’s strong technical capability, she brings with her an enthusiasm for building digital technologies that create better and more efficient member and business experiences, and a passion for leading and supporting strong technology teams,” Police Bank said.
Police Bank Chief Executive Greg McKenna said he was “thrilled that a rising star in the fintech space is joining the team”.
“Lyndall’s skillset will enhance the ability of our technology department to optimise and refresh our digital banking offerings, and her leadership style will empower and guide the rest of the team as we work towards some ambitious transformations.”
– Westpac has announced a major reshuffle of its executive leadership, with Scott Collary appointed Chief Information Officer.
The exec changes were triggered by the forthcoming departure of consumer and business banking chief Chris de Bruin (see Departures).
Collary has served as Westpac’s Group Executive, Customer Services and Technology since early 2022. He was originally appointed Westpac’s Chief Operating Officer in late 2020.
Westpac chief executive Peter King said the new stand-alone technology role would serve to “accelerate” the bank’s tech simplification program, “spearhead[ing] our technology transformation with a focus on streamlining our tech systems across the Westpac Group.”
As part of the changes, Collary surrenders the customer services function, which has been moved to an “expanded shared services team” led by corporate services head Carolyn McCann.
The appointment of a new CIO reinstates a title last held by Craig Bright, who departed Westpac back in October 2020.
Among the other exec changes at the bank, Jason Yetton has been appointed to the newly separated role of Chief Executive, Consumer. Yetton was recently Westpac’s Chief Executive of Specialist Businesses and Group Strategy, a role he has held for the last three years.
Anthony Miller has been appointed Chief Executive, Business and Wealth. Miller was most recently chief executive of Westpac’s Institutional Bank.
Nell Hutton has been appointed Chief Executive Westpac Institutional Bank (IB), promoted from her role within the IB as Managing Director, Financial Markets.
Carolyn McCann, currently head of corporate services, will add a new customer function to her remit, leading an expanded shared services division that includes operations.
Commenting on the leadership shake-up, King said the changes would “sharpen” the group’s focus and support its “next strategic phase”.
The changes take effect from 1 August.
– The Federal Government has appointed Michele Bullock as Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) for a seven-year term. Bullock replaces Philip Lowe after the conclusion of his seven-year term as Governor.
Governor Lowe, who has served in the role since 2016 and concludes his single seven-year term this coming September, praised Bullock as a “first-rate appointment”.
“I congratulate Michele on being appointed Governor. The Reserve Bank is in very good hands as it deals with the current inflation challenge and implementing the recommendations of the Review of the RBA. I wish Michele all the best.’
As Governor, Bullock will be responsible for the management of the Bank under the Reserve Bank Act 1959, and will serve as Chair of the Reserve Bank Board, on the Payments System Board and the Council of Financial Regulators.
Of her appointment, Bullock said: “I am deeply honoured to have been appointed to this important position. It is a challenging time to be coming into this role, but I will be supported by a strong executive team and boards.”
She added: “I am committed to ensuring that the Reserve Bank delivers on its policy and operational objectives for the benefit of the Australian people.”
Bullock will commence in the new role on 18 September 2023, the day following the conclusion of Lowe’s term.
The position of Deputy Governor will be filled by the Treasurer in due course.
– The Federal Government has appointed Dr Michelle Deaker and Professor Ross Buckley, and has reappointed Gina Cass‑Gottlieb as part‑time members of the Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
Each has been appointed for five‑year terms.
Dr Deaker is currently Managing Partner at OneVentures, a venture capital firm focused on the healthcare and technology sectors. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the tech sector.
Professor Buckley is currently a professor at UNSW, specialising in fintech, central bank digital currencies and the Consumer Data Right.
Cass‑Gottlieb is the current head of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC). This will be her third term on the Payments board.
In a statement, the RBA said its latest Board appointments would “continue the high level of skills and experience available to the board that helps maintain a well‑functioning payments system and ensures that it is effectively regulated”.
The Payments System Board was established in 1998 to direct payments system policy for the RBA, and is responsible for controlling risk, promoting payments system efficiency and competition in the payments services market.
– AustralianSuper has appointed Paula Benson as Chief Officer, Strategy & Corporate Affairs.
Chief Executive of AustralianSuper Paul Schroder said Benson will play a key role in supporting the super fund’s next phase of global growth, including delivering fund-wide global strategic guidance, with the goal of growing funds under management to $500 billion within the next five years.
Benson has, since 2020, served as Global Head of Marketing, Brand and Communications at IFM Investors. Prior to this, she was a non-Executive Director at the Victorian Funds Management Corporation and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust among other directorships.
She was also previously Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs at NAB.
“As a very experienced corporate executive, Paula has impressed us with her strategic and innovative approach to corporate and public affairs, and her commitment to delivering positive commercial and societal outcomes for members,” Schroder said.
“Paula’s experience will be important in driving forward our global strategic positioning, advocacy and engagement as we deliver on our purpose of helping members achieve their best possible financial position in retirement.”
Benson will commence at AustralianSuper on 18 September 2023.
– Zurich has appointed Alex Morgan to the role of Head of General Insurance (GI), Australia & New Zealand.
Morgan currently serves as Chief Risk Officer at Zurich Asia Pacific (APAC).
He will be responsible for regional GI strategy as well as consolidating and enhancing Zurich’s underwriting and claims capabilities across the APAC region.
Zurich recognised Morgan’s “wealth of local and regional expertise, having previously led GI Retail (SME) and Cover-More businesses in Australia & New Zealand”. He has also served as Head of Specialty (APAC), Chief Underwriting Officer, Global Corporate (Japan) and Head of Financial Institutions and Management Liability (United Kingdom).
The appointment follows the promotion of Sean Walker to the newly created role of Head of Commercial Insurance (CI) & Chief Technical Officer (APAC).
Walker will join the Global CI Leadership Team and become a member of the Zurich Group Leadership Team.
Justin Delaney, Chief Executive Officer, Zurich Australia & New Zealand said: “I am very pleased to welcome Alex to our leadership team. As the only major composite – life and general – insurer in the market, this is a critical appointment.”
“With a strong understanding of the local market, together with broad global and regional experience, Alex will bring both continuity and a fresh perspective as we seek to further advance our customer offering and competitive position.”
– National Australia Bank (NAB) has appointed Krista Baetens to the role of Corporate and Institutional Banking (C&IB) Executive, Markets.
Group Executive, C&IB, David Gall recognised Baetens’ successful leadership of NAB’s Asia business over the last two years, delivering he said “outstanding leadership and strategic direction across the breadth of C&IB activities in the region”.
“Under her leadership, our Asia business has achieved strong financial and customer outcomes across the breadth of C&IB activities in Asia, including lending, transaction services, financial markets and debt capital markets.”
Baetens, who has served more than 25 years in international banking roles, brings “deep international banking experience, global leadership capability, the strength of her risk management expertise and her proven strategic foresight, make her the ideal person for the role,” Gall said.
Baetens takes over from John Bennett, who is currently serving as Acting C&IB Executive, Markets.
– Citi Australia and New Zealand has appointed Will Langley to the role of Chief Financial Officer.
As CFO, Langley will “steward the company’s local financial operations, and as a member of the Executive Committee, he will play a contributing role in driving Citi’s Australian and New Zealand strategic growth plans”, Citi said in a statement.
Most recently, Langley was the Program Director at ANZ Bank, overseeing the establishment of ANZ Group Holdings Limited, a non-operating holding company (NOHC), as the new ANZ parent company listed on the ASX.
Prior to the NOHC initiative, Langley held a series of senior positions at ANZ including Head of Finance for Institutional Australia and Papua New Guinea and was a member of ANZ’s Institutional Australia Leadership Team.
Prior to joining ANZ, Langley served several years with Westpac Institutional Bank in Singapore and Sydney, the Royal Bank of Scotland in Singapore, Sydney and London, and ING in the Netherlands.
Langley will report directly to CEO Citi Australia and New Zealand Mark Woodruff, and CFO of North & East Asia Cluster & Hong Kong, Mateus Almeida.
– MyState Bank has promoted Tim Newman as General Manager, Lending.
As part of the new role, Newman will oversee for MyState’s lending portfolio, including its broker distribution, retail home lending, and end-to-end lending operations.
Newman was most recently MyState’s Head of Business Transformation
He has held senior leadership positions at Mortgage Choice and ING Australia, in addition.
Commenting on the appointment, MyState Bank CEO, Brett Morgan, said: “We’re thrilled to have someone of Tim’s calibre and expertise take on leadership of our lending portfolio.
“He brings with him an incredibly diverse skill set that will only serve to better the experience for our broker partners, lenders and customers, at a time when they most need an empathetic and human approach from their bank.
“We’re looking forward to seeing all that he achieves in the new role.”
– MLC Life Insurance has appointed Brett Pickett as Head of Group Pricing.
MLC Life said the role will be responsible for delivering on the business’s “bold plan to offer both competitive and sustainable pricing in a move to secure major new partners”.
“The appointment of Brett Pickett to Head of Group Pricing solidifies the strengths of MLC Life in using pricing to provide insights about members’ needs to trustees as well as emerging trends about the way we think about insurance needs to give value to members.”
Mark Puli, Chief Group Insurance Officer for MLC Life Insurance said: “Brett has the actuarial and economic background to help navigate tough, risky and uncertain times, to ensure innovative solutions and pricing that’s sustainable and competitive over the cycle.”
Pickett has notched up more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, including as Head of TAL’s Group risk finance team. He most recently led TAL Australia’s strategic capital and commercial solutions.
– Westpac has announced the departure of its Chief Executive of Consumer & Business Banking Chris De Bruin, following the bank’s decision to separate oversight of its consumer and business banking functions.
De Bruin, who was poached from the Dubai-based FSI Deem in 2021, served just over two years in the role.
Westpac Chief Executive Peter King acknowledged De Bruin’s key role in digitising Westpac’s consumer banking arm, “including the delivery of major initiatives such as the digital mortgage and payment solutions”.
“He’s also driven our branch co-location strategy and strengthened the franchise,” King said.
King added that De Bruin “will assist with the transition to the new structure”.
– NAB has announced that Susan Ferrier, Group Executive for People and Culture, will retire from the bank at the end of October.
Previously serving at KPMG, Ferrier joined NAB in 2019 most recently as Global Head of People.
Group Chief Executive Ross McEwan praised Ferrier for “leading the company’s response to the pandemic”.
“Susan has contributed towards our ambition to drive a high-performance culture at NAB. She has been passionate about our professionalism and consistent approach to supporting customers and colleagues,” he said.
– Westpac NZ has appointed Martin Gaskell to the expanded role of Chief Transformation and Operations Officer.
Gaskell currently serves as Westpac NZ’s Chief Transformation Officer, appointed to the role in February 2022.
Westpac noted that, in addition to overseeing change and transformation activities across the bank, the new Transformation and Operations business unit will encompass a range of operations functions from across the bank. Among these include oversight of customer care, enterprise and mortgage operations, fraud and financial crime operations, card services, transaction operations and reconciliations, vendor and network management, commercial and property services, and business continuity and operations, including protective services.
Gaskell assumes the new role on 14 August 2023.
– ANZ’s New Zealand arm has appointed Astrud Burgess to an expanded role as Group Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – this is in addition to her current responsibilities leading Data, Marketing & Customer Experience in New Zealand.
Burgess replaces Sweta Mehra who has been appointed Managing Director, Australia Everyday Banking, responsible for deposits, credit cards and personal loans.
“[As] Chief Marketing Officer, Astrud will lead the development and delivery of ANZ’s brand strategy, reporting to ANZ New Zealand CEO Antonia Watson and Group Executive, Australia Retail, Maile Carnegie”, ANZ said in a statement.
Carnegie praised Burgess as “a highly regarded executive with an impressive depth of knowledge in marketing and data”.
“Under Astrud’s leadership, our New Zealand business has achieved substantial growth and reinforced market leadership,” she said.
– ASB has appointed Carl Ferguson as the bank’s new Chief Financial Officer.
Ferguson was most recently Chief Risk Officer at the CBA-owned bank. Stepping into the CRO role is Amie Nilsson, currently ASB’s General Manager Customer Assistance and Credit Solutions.
The appointments follow the announced departure of ASB’s long-serving Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jon Raby.
Raby will depart the bank on 11 August 2023 after ASB’s financial statements are released.
ASB Chief Executive Vittoria Shortt recognised Raby’s significant contribution to ASB across his 11-year tenure.
“Jon has been an important part of ASB’s leadership team, and I wish him all the very best for his next chapter,” she said.