Movers & Shakers, Financial Services | March–April, 2023

John Goddall
Medibank's outgoing tech & ops chief John Goodall

Youi appoints new tech chief after nine-month vacancy; the ASX re-establishes dedicated CIO role; and NAB sheds its dedicated strategy and innovation function with appointment of new CFO.

– Youi has found a permanent replacement for its Chief Information Officer role, appointing Steve Nichols to the position.

Nichols replaces Loren Fisher, who joined The Lottery Corporation in June last year.

Youi’s incoming Chief Executive Nathaniel Simpson, whose promotion to the role was announced last month, said Nichols’ appointment is vital for a challenger organisation which leans significantly on its technology backbone.

“In Australia’s competitive insurance market, a challenger like Youi has to be extremely smart about how we use technology and digital solutions to underpin core functions in our business, as well as to make it easier for our customers to interact with us in the way that they want to,” he said.

“Steve’s experience of leading digital transformation projects in major companies and startup environments will be invaluable to Youi,” Simpson added.

Nichols served more than two years at Shell Energy Australia, most recently as CIO and prior to this as Chief Digital and Technology Officer. He was also at telcos nbn co and Telstra Wholesale.

Nichols said he “[looked] forward to joining the Youi team given it is a growing, agile business that is supportive of pursuing technology and digital solutions that are developed through the eyes of the customer”.


–The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has re-established a dedicated Chief Information Officer role, splitting the role off from the current Group Executive, Technology and Data and CIO function.

The move effectively creates a standalone technology division, led by the Chief Information Officer, which the ASX says will help it “deepen its focus on enterprise technology”. The role will focus on building systems resilience across the organisation, as well as the delivery of multi-year technology transformation programs.

The ASX added that the creation of a separate technology division also enables current Group Executive, Technology and Data and CIO, Dan Chesterman “to apply his full focus to leading the customer-facing Technology and Data business”.

The new CIO role will report directly to CEO Helen Lofthouse.

“The change creates a single point of senior executive focus and accountability for delivering ASX’s enterprise-wide technology renewal program, while also providing focused leadership for our Technology and Data business which is charged with maturing ASX’s enterprise data capability and growing ASX’s technical and data products and services”, Lofthouse said.

“It also provides additional scope and bandwidth for Dan Chesterman and the team to focus their efforts on data and technology innovation, and expanding enterprise data capability across data science and analytics, information services, data governance and the ASX data platform.”


The Bank of Queensland (BoQ) has announced that current Executive Chair Patrick Allaway will stay on to serve as Managing Director and Chief Executive of the bank for the next two years.

Allaway was appointed Executive Chair last December following the departure of former MD and CEO George Frazis, with the BoQ board at the time calling for leadership renewal.

Allaway will remain in the role until December 2024, with BoQ continuing the search for a permanent successor to Frazis.

“Mr Allaway’s appointment will provide stability and continuity during this period, enabling the management team to continue delivering BoQ’s priorities, as announced at the December 2022 AGM, of strengthening, simplifying, digitising and optimising BoQ,” the bank wrote in its announcement to the ASX.

Commenting on his appointment, Allaway said: “Our focus is strong financial resilience whilst simplifying our operations and digitising for our future state. We have made material progress in strengthening our capital and liquidity position over the past six months and have maintained quality lending portfolios as we prepare for a more challenging economic environment.

“BoQ has several programs underway to improve the effectiveness of our control environment and organisational efficiency, building a learner more agile and digitally enabled bank.”


– Nathan Goonan, formerly NAB’s Group Executive Strategy and Innovation, has been announced as the bank’s next Group Chief Financial Officer.

Goonan’s appointment as CFO follows the announcement of the retirement of NAB’s long-standing CFO Gary Lennon, who has served in the role for more than seven out of his 15 years with the bank. Lennon will assist Goonan with the handover until his official retirement in October.

Goonan’s responsibilities as Strategy and Innovation head are set to be split between other executives later this year, with the overall role being discontinued.

NAB chief executive Ross McEwan said Goonan “will work over the coming months on the best future model for the teams within finance and strategy & innovation”.

Goonan first joined the executive leadership team in a strategy role in April 2020, appointed to lead the bank’s strategy, innovation, and transformation agenda.

McEwan praised the incoming CFO for his “key leadership role in all our major strategic moves in recent years”, adding that he “led the development of our NAB group strategy”, including stewardship of the bank’s innovation hub, NAB Labs, which was earlier last year folded into the innovation function.

“During his three years on the executive team Nathan has driven a much sharper focus on accountability, performance and execution within NAB and our customers, colleagues and shareholders have experienced the benefits of this,” McEwan said.


– Allianz Australia has appointed Shez Ford as Chief General Manager, Consumer.

As part of this role, Ford will lead the Allianz’s consumer division, which focuses on the distribution of consumer products through its direct and intermediated channels, alongside the insurer’s organisational Centres of Excellence for marketing, digital and customer insights.

Ford, who steps into the role from August this year, replaces current Chief General Manager, Consumer, Mick Winter, who is leaving to “pursue personal interests”. Winter served more than 20 years with Allianz Australia.

Commenting on Winter’s departure, Richard said: “I would like to thank Mick for his outstanding leadership during his time at Allianz, particularly since he stepped into the newly created role of Chief General Manager, Consumer, in January 2021.”

Ford joins Allianz Australia from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) where she most recently held the roles of Executive General Manager (EGM), Wealth and Private, and EGM, Advice and Insurance.

Prior to CBA, Ford spent several years at ANZ Wealth, including a period of time as Head of Insurance Operations.

Allianz Australia Managing Director Richard Feledy said he was “delighted to welcome Ford to Allianz and its Australian Senior Leadership Team”.

“As well as her deep insurance industry experience, Shez understands how to continually deliver great customer outcomes, driven by data-led insights and digital innovation. This expertise is highly relevant as we continue to grow and evolve our business.”


– 1835i Ventures, ANZ Bank’s external innovation and venture capital arm, has appointed Nicole Anderson as its new Venture Partner.

Anderson, who is based out of London, is the first international appointment for the Melbourne-HQ’d firm, and, as part of her role, will focus on the UK, EMEA and Israel markets.

Following a 15-year career in executive leadership roles across a variety of global technology companies, Anderson has spent the last 10 years as a venture capital investor, venture builder and entrepreneur in fintech, sustainability and energy.

She is currently a board member and adviser in the fintech sector.

Justin Greenstein, Chief Executive of 1835i, said that Anderson’s appointment will be key to expanding investment opportunities in burgeoning overseas opportunities in fintech.

“1835i’s mandate is to connect ANZ Bank, one of the world’s top 50 Banks, with the best and brightest in fintech.

“We see Nicole joining us as a strong step in finding those further afield who are doing exciting things in our areas of focus.”


As part of the implementation of its ‘Integrated Commercial’ strategy, Allianz Group has announced the appointment of a new commercial lead for each of its four largest property and casualty commercial insurance markets: Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The commercial leads bring to each market Allianz’s solutions for specialty clients, large corporates, and mid-sized companies.

Phuong Ly has been appointed as Chief General Manager of Allianz Commercial in Australia, reporting directly to Richard Feledy, Managing Director of Allianz Australia in conjunction with Joachim Mueller, chief executive of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

“The appointment of the regional leaders in our core Allianz Commercial markets is an important, concrete step toward realising our new integrated model, which brings together our mid-corporate and large corporate insurance business for the benefit of our clients and distribution partners,” said Chris Townsend, Member of the Allianz SE Board of Management.

He added: “As one face to the market, these leaders will represent the full Allianz offering to companies across the entire commercial spectrum and will drive the effective local delivery of our global capabilities.”


– MLC Life Insurance has appointed Peter Smith as Head of Business Development.

MLC said Smith will “be instrumental in growing the business’s group insurance distribution and executing a new business development strategy focused on the integration of a new group insurance digital capability to help super funds transform the insurance journey for their members”.

Smith previously worked in leadership roles with companies such as Resolution Life, Munich Re, Lockton and MetLife.

“In previous roles, Peter has played a senior leadership role in delivering insurance solutions for funds like Hostplus, Cbus, Rest and First Super, with a strong focus on partner delivery and the total member experience”, MLC said in a statement.

Kent Griffin, MLC Life Insurance Chief Executive Officer said Smith “is a key appointment to our team and shows how focused we are on demonstrating how our total customer experience benefits both trustees and superannuation fund members”.


Australia’s biggest health insurer Medibank has announced that Group Executive – Technology & Operations John Goodall (pictured) will retire after more than six years with the organisation.

Goodall, who joined Medibank in December 2016, has been responsible for Medibank’s technology, property, procurement and operations functions.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank John for his significant contribution to our business over the past six years and we all wish him well in his retirement,” Medibank chief executive David Koczkar said.

Goodall will retire from Medibank in April 2023.

Medibank said it is currently seeking a permanent replacement for Goodall, considering both internal and external candidates.

Kylie Williamson, currently Senior Executive – Core Medibank Customer Systems, will act in the role in the interim.


– Cbus Super has announced its Chief Executive Justin Arter will retire in May this year after its merger with EISS.

Arter was appointed in July 2020 to lead Cbus and its merger-focused growth strategy. The Chief Exec was praised for his role in securing two major mergers that significantly expanded the scale of the super fund – from $56.5 billion in funds under management to more than $73 billion today.

“Since then, he has significantly expanded Cbus’ membership, funds under management and industry footprint, completing a successful merger with Media Super and paving the way for a further merger with EISS Super, which is expected to conclude in May 2023,” Cbus said in a statement.

“I’m enormously proud of the strides the Fund has taken during my tenure and in recent years Cbus has grown strongly,” Arter said. “The successful mergers we have overseen have strengthened the fund’s capacity to invest on behalf of our members and to deliver other important scale benefits for members.”

Announcing a change in strategy, Cbus said: “With industry consolidation now slowing, the Cbus board has shifted the Fund’s attention to organic growth and member retention.”

Current Chief Investment Officer Kristian Fok has been appointed as interim Chief Executive as Cbus considers its approach to the appointment of a new CEO.

Fok has served as Cbus’ Investment Chief for more than ten years, arriving from Frontier Advisers, where he spent 13 years as Deputy Director of Consulting.


– QBE has announced that Group Chief Underwriting Officer Sam Harrison will leave after more than 25 years with the insurer.

Harrison held a number of senior roles at QBE prior to his appointment as Group Chief Underwriting Officer in April 2021. Among these included stints as Managing Director, Insurance, for QBE’s International division and, prior to this, Managing Director of International Markets.

QBE praised its underwriting chief for his “significant contribution” to the company and its many “valued partners and customers”.

“From his early days as an offshore energy underwriter, he came to shape much of QBE’s current approach to underwriting with a strong focus on performance.”

Harrison will remain with QBE for the next few months as it commences an internal and external search for his replacement.

Harrison joins re-insurer The Canopius Group in London.


– Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) chief Prue Willsford is set to depart the organisation at the end of the year after a decade-long tenure.

ANZIIF, a professional association and financial services education provider, praised Willsford’s role in “improving professional frameworks, upholding professional standards and maintaining the industry’s passion for development”.

Willsford played a key role in ANZIIF’s new education model, it said, and oversaw the election of five board presidents, including Jon Fox, Karl Armstrong, Allan Reynolds, Megan Beer, and current board president Tim Plant.

Reflecting on her tenure, Willsford said she had been given “extraordinary opportunities to learn and grow and to make an impact” at ANZIIF.

“I feel strongly that organisations such as ANZIIF benefit from the fine balance of stability and renewal, and, after a decade, it feels like the right time for me to leave ANZIIF in the capable hands of our talented teams,” she said.

“I leave with many achievements that I am truly proud of and the knowledge that ANZIIF is set to fulfil its aims.”

A search for Willsford’s replacement will commence this month.


Aussie fintech Cloudfloat, which specialises in B2B cashflow management, has appointed former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood as Chief Customer Officer.

The fintech said the appointment would support its goal to rapidly scale its payments solution business locally and internationally over the coming 12 months.

Cloudfloat acknowledged Hackwood’s more than 13 years in the digital commerce and payments space, including heading up acquisition and engagement teams for PayPal Australia.

Most recently he has worked with Australian start-ups and scale-ups to support the planning and development of their ‘go-to-market’ plans, content strategies, payments strategy and onboarding new team members.

Founder and Chief Executive of Cloudfloat Aleem Habibullah said he was “thrilled” to have Hackwood join the company, welcoming his “infectious energy and passion for innovation in the payments space, especially for technology that supports SMEs and growth industries, which aligns perfectly with Cloudfloat’s mission and values.”

Hackwood added: “I see Cloudfloat as an organisation that has looked at the system and said ‘it doesn’t have to be this way’ and then built a better service. Payments should not be seen as a cost to the business, which they most often are, they should be seen as a way to generate revenue.”

“Cloudfloat offers fast, nimble access to cashflow. I’m excited to work with an innovative platform offering a ‘payments as a service’ style solution to power organisations that traditionally wouldn’t be able to access cashflow.”



– Bank of Queensland (BoQ) has appointed Warwick Negus as its next chair, replacing Patrick Allaway who will now serve as the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive for the next two years.

Negus joined the board in 2016.

“It’s a great privilege to be elected as Chairman by my colleagues,” Negus said. “BoQ has a rich history and a bright future, and the board is looking forward to supporting management in the coming years. We are focused on continuing to build a world-class experience for our customers and bankers backed by a strong and resilient balance sheet.”