TAL announces leadership shift with new CEO and managing director

New technology also released in response to adviser feedback

TAL announces leadership shift with new CEO and managing director

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

TAL has appointed Fiona Macgregor as its new group CEO and managing director, effective October 1, 2024.

Until then, Macgregor (pictured, right) will remain in her current position as chief executive – individual life, collaborating with outgoing CEO Brett Clark (pictured, left) holding his role during a three-month transition.

This leadership change follows Clark’s promotion to CEO and managing director of Asia-Pacific for Dai-ichi Life Group, TAL’s parent company, starting July 1, 2024.

Who is Fiona Macgregor?

Since joining TAL in 2014, Macgregor has held several senior roles, including chief executive – individual life. Her responsibilities included overseeing TAL’s retail and direct-to-consumer businesses, and partnerships with Suncorp and Westpac.

She has over 20 years of experience in financial services, including roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland and as a consultant for major UK service brands. She holds an MA in Business Organisation from Heriot-Watt University and completed the INSEAD Advanced Management Program.

TAL’s new group CEO and managing director

In her new role, Macgregor will steer TAL’s ongoing strategies in the life insurance and retirement sectors, with a focus on enhancing digital experiences for customers and partners.

“Together with our partners, we want to continue to ensure Australians are well-protected and supported in living the life they have planned for themselves and their families. We’ll keep working hard to ensure we deliver products that are relevant and valued, and a faster, better service experience,” she said. “I’m immensely proud of the contribution we make and the help we provide to Australians when they need us most. I feel privileged to have this opportunity to lead the TAL team.”

Commenting on the leadership changes, TAL board chair Mark Joiner highlighted Macgregor’s strong track record of leadership in the business.

“Fiona knows our business well and has a deep appreciation for the needs and expectations of our customers and partners in the evolving life insurance and retirement income markets. The board has been carefully preparing for CEO succession, and we are confident Fiona is the right person to lead TAL into the future,” he said.

He also expressed gratitude to Clark for nearly a decade of leadership: “I would like to sincerely thank Brett for his leadership of TAL over the last nine years. He has built a strong executive team and provided the vision and leadership enabling TAL to grow and go from strength to strength to become one of Australia’s leading life insurers during a significant period of change for the life insurance industry.”

Reflecting on his time at TAL, Clark said: “It’s been a privilege to lead TAL through a significant period of growth and industry change. TAL is a company with a long and proud history in Australia, and I’ve seen every day the difference that we make to the lives of our customers and their families. I’m excited by my new opportunity with Dai-ichi Life Group, and to be able to continue to support Fiona and TAL as part of my CEO role in Asia-Pacific.”

Clark and Macgregor will work closely over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.

TAL introduces real-time alteration quotes for advisers

Aside from making leadership changes, TAL has launched real-time alteration quotes for existing customers, aiming to improve the TAL Adviser Centre (TAC) experience.

Developed in response to adviser feedback, the new system allows advisers to efficiently review and update their clients’ insurance coverage.

David Arthur, general manager of technology delivery at TAL, said the improvement is part of TAL’s ongoing investment in digital enhancements for advisers and their clients.

“We know time is valuable or advisers and their clients. That is why TAL continues to invest in technology to streamline insurance processes, enabling advisers to provide timely and tailored risk solutions, and ultimately enhance the overall experience for both advisers and their clients,” he said. “The goal is to simplify the quote alteration process, so advisers spend less time on administrative tasks and more on what matters most – helping their clients achieve financial security.”

TAL real-time alteration quotes’ features

The new technology provides instant premium calculations, enabling advisers to present cost-saving options to clients. Features include:

  • the ability to decrease the sum insured;
  • reverse indexation;
  • change payment frequency;
  • modify waiting and benefit periods;
  • adjust smoker status;
  • switch cover types;
  • remove benefit options; and
  • cancel coverage.

“We recognise the need to continuously improve the adviser digital experience and will consult with advisers as we make ongoing enhancements. Looking ahead, we will add further functionality in September, including premium projections, increases, and adding cover options – all features requested by advisers,” Arthur said.

Alongside the real-time alteration quotes, TAL has launched the Tech Hub, providing advisers with details about new and upcoming TAC enhancements and resources to maximise digital interactions with the insurer. It also recently achieved a significant milestone in the financial year ended March 31, 2024 – disbursing a record $4.2 billion in claims benefits, which the company claimed to be the highest amount ever recorded by a life insurer in Australia.

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