Australian Wealth, Banking & Insurance Digest

Market News: Insurance

Suncorp has reported an increase in underlying profit for its life insurance business of more than 50 percent for the past six months but has flagged that it may still sell the business.

The legislation to create a single external dispute resolution body for financial services, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), has passed through Federal Parliament, with the new organisation slated to start accepting complaints from 1 November 2018.  In addition, AFCA has announced an increase in the cap for disputes for Brokers from AUD174,000 to AUD250,000

ANZ will be the first bank-owned retail superannuation fund to adopt the Voluntary Insurance in Super Code of Practice, which aims to make automatic insurance appropriate, affordable and not to erode retirement income

Gallagher Bassett is set to be a major partner for the 2018 Women in Insurance Leadership Summit

Aon is set to become a Silver Sponsor of Brisbane City Football Club for the 2018 season

HCF and HBF have confirmed they are considering an AUD4 billion merger

Following a strategic review, IAG is considering divestment of its Asian operations

Simon Agar has left his role as COO of Ebix to launch a new Consulting business named Risk IT, which will provide advice on IT within the Financial Services industry

CBL Corporation is considering an Exit Plan for its French construction insurance business 

Colin Fagen and Blair Nicholls have launched a new Underwriting Agency, Blue Zebra, aimed at bringing personal lines back to brokers.  The pair move from QBE, with the new agency being underwritten by Zurich

XL Catlin has launched a new Accident & Health product, Protect and Assist, in Australia.  The new product is designed to help businesses cover staff amid emerging risks and heightened security threats

The Cover-More owned Employee Assistance Program specialist Davidson Trahaire Corsych has rebranded as Benestar, bringing together DTC, Stratos, Prime XL and Springboard Health

iSelect has launched a new Home & Contents Insurance Service, allowing customers to compare and purchase policies

Craig’s Table, a new social enterprise backed by iCare, has opened its doors to injured workers in Girraween NSW

Quantum Underwriting Agencies has expanded its suite of offerings with the addition of Professional Indemnity

Crawford & Company is set to launch its new Workers’ Compensation offering in Australia, to be delivered through its TPA Broadspire

BT Financial Group has announced that it will add AIA Australia and TAL to its current APL for Financial Planners 

Market News: Wealth

AustralianSuper will reduce risk insurance premiums for its members by up to 20 percent and reduce the overall levels of premiums paid by AUD100 million over the next financial year

ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking from David Orth, director of Queensland-based Real Wealth and responsible manager of the Professional Representatives AFSL

Advisers using the IOOF Pursuit platform no longer need to update binding nominations every three years, with non-lapsing binding nominations now available across the entire range of IOOF Pursuit superannuation and pension products

Russell Investments is rolling out a new environmental, social and governance scoring system that aims to identify factors that could materially affect a company's financial performance

Wilson Asset Management has submitted a request for an extraordinary general meeting to remove Aurora Funds Management as the responsible entity of the Aurora Global Income Trust

L1 Capital has appointed a syndicate of broking firms as it prepares to float its Long Short Fund listed investment company.  NAB will lead the IPO, while Crestone, Morgans, Morgan Stanley, Ord Minnett, Taylor Collison and Wilsons will serve as co-lead managers alongside the bank.

Korea-based Mirae Asset Global Investments, a shareholder in BetaShares, has entered an AUD616 million definitive agreement to purchase 100% of fully diluted shares in New York-based ETF provider Global X

LGIAsuper has renewed its custody agreement with J.P. Morgan for 3 years based on a trusted partnership, particularly as it transitions to a public offer super fund

Fidante-aligned Australian equities boutique Lennox Capital Partners is launching a new micro-cap fund, the Lennox Australian Microcap Fund

In response to ongoing scrutiny into the internal governance standards of Australia's asset management industry, the Financial Services Council has commenced its Principles of Internal Governance and Asset Stewardship regime

OneVue has added AllianceBernstein and Franklin Templeton to its Superannuation platform

The Vertium Equity Income Fund has been added to the BT Wrap

BetaShares and Legg Mason have launched two new income-oriented active exchange-traded funds (ETF’s) 

Mercer has announced it will exclude investments in companies that manufacture tobacco products and controversial weapons

First State Super has announced it is investing AUD6.7 million in Stone Axe Pastoral, the NSW agribusiness

Bell Financial Group has announced it is close to opening its first US office

Commonwealth Bank has launched a new “Chatbot”, that will help customers complete more than 200 banking tasks 

Market Moves & Appointments

Matthew Wallis has been appointed State Manager NSW at Synchron.  Wallis is currently Financial Planning Director at Straightforward and will replace Paul Del Grande

Kerry O’Dwyer has announced the advisory group for the Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement group as: Nick Callil, Nerida Cole, Jeremy Cooper, Sally Evans, David Knox, Deborah Ralston, Nicolette Rubinsztein, Ruth Stringer and Ian Yates

Stephen Alcorn has left his role as Head of Institutional Business at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.  As a result the institutional and retail teams are set to consolidate ahead of a review

Mark Leslie has been appointed Product Director at Brookvine Leslie previously worked at AMP Capital.  In addition, Charissa Brooks has been appointed Marketing Director.  Brooks joins from American Express

CLASS has appointed Tom Sargent as Feeds Operations Manager.  Sargent was formerly Head of Client Experience at WealthO2

Paul Harding-Davis has joined Premium China Funds Management as CEO.  Harding-Davis was previously Chief Executive at Premium Wealth Management

Equipsuper has appointed Tania Cumming as Executive Officer – Strategy and Markets. Cumming joins from Energy Australia.  Former Executive Officer, Strategic Marketing and Communications, Geoff Brooks has been made Head of Marketing and Advocacy.  Finally, Craig Plain has been promoted from Product Manager to Head of Product

Neil Lahy, Ritchard Longmire, Andre Roberts and Richard Tsai have joined Invesco Quantitative Strategies to run Australian Equities Portfolios 

Michael Voskresensky has joined Copia as CFO from Mutual Trust, where he spent 12 years

Ronna Ludgate has been appointed General Manager Advice Professional Services at Commonwealth Bank.  Ludgate joins from Suncorp

Rob Plow is set to become Australian Ethical's new COO. He was previously head of strategy and execution.   Plow replaces Mark Shanahan

Peter Weidner and Mark Brandreth have joined Wells Fargo Asset Management.  The pair join from Schroders

Vivienne Toll has been appointed Director of NIBA.  Toll currently works as Head of Workplace Risk at Gallagher

Neil Morgan has been named Group Executive Technology at IAG.  Morgan joins from PwC, from whom he had spent a 12-month secondment with the Insurer

James Baum has been appointed CEO of Aon in Australia.  Baum is currently Managing Director Commercial and Chairman of Aon Broking Pacific and replaces Lambros Lambrou who is set to take a broader role with the business

Rebecca Engel has been appointed General Manager Underwriting Agencies at QBE.  In addition, Dean Cullen has been named General Manager, Specialty, with the Insurer.  Finally, QBE has launched a new team named People Risk, to be headed up by Adam Farr as General Manager while Financial Institutions and Direct Consumer business units have combined as Consumer, Affinity and Banking Partnerships under GM Eleanor Debelle

Kerr Neilson is set to step down as CEO of Platinum Asset Management.  Neilson will be replaced by Andrew Clifford 

Phineas Glover has been appointed Head of Equity Research at Credit Suisse.  Glover joins from Macquarie

Glen Drinnan has announced the appointment of Shane Risby as QLD State Manager, Rob Furnell as VIC State Manager, Maria Rossi as SA State Manager, Sarah Kempton as NT State Manager and Paul Riordan as NSW State Manager at Allianz’s Broker and Agency Distribution team

Whitbread Insurance Brokers has announced the appointment of Michael Giansiracusa as CEO. Giansiracusa has been with the business since 2002.  In addition, former CEO of PSC Insurance Group Gary Seymour, has been appointed Chairman

Meg Long has been appointed Group GM at McLardy McShane.  Long previously worked as COO

Luke Oxenham has left his position as CFO of Genworth Mortgage Insurance

Angus Benbow has been named CEO of Centrepoint Alliance

Lorelle Hillman has been appointed GM of QLD at AIG

Mark Dixon has moved from New Zealand to Melbourne with Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Elayne Grace has been named CEO of the Actuaries Institute, to replace David Bell

Brian Thomas has been appointed General Manager, business and investments, at Eight Investment Partners.  Thomas joins from Perennial 

Emma Brennan has been appointed Head of Human Resources at Vision Super

Warren Chant and Andrea West have departed their roles at Chant West

Garrie Lette has retired from his role as Chief Investment Officer at Catholic Super

Rod Bristow has been appointed CEO of Macrovue, the AMP backed Fintech.  Bristow joins from Infocus

David Frost has been named Head of Strategy and Project Delivery at TelstraSuper.  Frost joins from Guild Retirement Fund 

Global Overview 

Credit Suisse disclosed it is "responding to requests" from governmental and regulatory authorities in regards to potential violations of the US' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other civil statutes

StarStone has announced the launch of its Crisis Management division, appointing James Hannan as Head of War & Terrorism; Andrew Summers as Senior Political Risk Underwriter; and Amy Henry as War & Terrorism Underwriter.  The trio will report to Simon Low, Group Head of Political Risks and Crisis Management

Aspen Re is set to cease underwriting Property Insurance at its Bermudan operation

Swinton has closed 40 branches, with 260 jobs said to be at risk

Generali is set to cut Coal Investments by GBP1.7 billion in a new climate change focused strategy

Joe Hurd has been named Independent Non-Executive Director at Go Compare.  Hurd joins from Facebook

Softbank, the Japanese tech-to-financial conglomerate, is considering taking a USD10 billion stake in Swiss Re

Patrick O’Sullivan has been appointed Chairman of Saga

Christopher Hess has joined Management Consultancy Oxbow Partners.  Hess was previously Business Development Director at Lloyds Banking Group 

Rupert Burgoyne Limited, the High Net Worth brokerage, has been acquired by Seventeen Group

Clear Insurance Management has acquired Robert Alexander