ARAG Services Australia’s Natasha Gale (pictured above, right, and below) has moved up from general manager to chief executive of the underwriting agency. Her predecessor, Antoinette von Wendt (pictured, left), now serves as chief operating officer.
“Natasha has done an excellent job in the last 12 months, and I am excited to have her lead our Australian team,” said Renko Dirksen, speaker of the management board at German-headquartered parent ARAG SE. “We pursue a long-term strategy for our international entities where we believe in setting up local leadership teams in each country.
“Launching in Australia in 2019, under the stewardship of Antoinette, the business has now established itself to the point where we are scaled up to appoint an Australian CEO.”
The former chief, who came from the Dusseldorf office, was in charge of building out the ARAG Group subsidiary a couple of years ago. Read more about her journey here.
Commenting on Gale’s promotion, von Wendt stated: “Natasha has quickly built momentum in the business. Her 20-plus years’ experience in finance and insurance, as well as being a specialist in transformational change, has set her up as the perfect leader to take ARAG the next step in Australia.”
In Australia, ARAG operates as an underwriting agency whose legal expense insurance products are underwritten by HDI Global Specialty SE – Australia. Globally, the group is a leading legal insurer manned by more than 4,400 colleagues.
“I’m excited for the challenge of growing a relatively unknown product in Australia,” noted Gale. “In Europe, legal expense insurance is purchased like we buy health insurance here – that makes the local growth potential for us huge.
“I look forward to continuing our work with our broker partners and local stakeholders. These relationships, along with the continued commitment to this market by head office in Germany and the hiring of strong talent into the team, will be key to driving our local growth.”
Active in 19 countries, ARAG said its global strategy of employing local leadership “now makes sense” for the Australian unit.