Major player Suncorp shakes up NZ order with new operating model

by Maryvonne Gray 17 Feb 2016

Major player Suncorp shakes up NZ order with new operating model

Suncorp Group has announced it has a new operating model which will result in an expanded role and new title for Vero New Zealand CEO Paul Smeaton.

The new model, which the company hopes will build resilience and better deliver its customer strategy, will now include three operational business units – Banking & Wealth, Insurance Australia and Insurance New Zealand – and two new functions – Customer Experience and Customer Platforms.

Group CEO Michael Cameron said the move was a logical decision.

“This is the logical next step in achieving the Group’s ‘One company. Many Brands’ strategy and enables the business to meet the needs of its nine million customers while building a more resilient organisation,” Cameron said.

“We will continue to deliver products, services and tools in Banking, Wealth and Insurance across Australia and New Zealand via platforms that create value for our customers. The existing legal entities and governance structures remain unchanged,” he said.

Vero CEO Paul Smeaton will now be CEO New Zealand, taking responsibility for Suncorp’s Life New Zealand business as well as for Vero New Zealand.

Former Vero NZ CEO Gary Dransfield, who was recently appointed CEO Personal Insurance at Suncorp, will now be CEO Customer Platforms and will be responsible for development and operations of the Group’s intermediated channels, branches, contact centres and digital platforms.

Cameron said the idea was to create ‘engaging and simple propositions’ by focusing on customer needs and enabling them to ‘manage their financial journey seamlessly across their choice of channels and brands’.

“The new model aligns the business to the delivery of the customer strategy by creating customer-focused functions supported by leaner shared services,” he said.

“This will enable us to create greater value for our customers, which will support business growth and sustainable returns to our shareholders.”

The new Customer Experience function will use data, insights and forward-looking analytics to inform product innovation and marketing strategies to ensure that Suncorp is at the forefront of satisfying evolving customer needs, Cameron said.

The Customer Platforms function will create ‘dynamic and interactive platforms to allow our customers to access any product and any brand via any channel, including a digital marketplace, he said.

The three business units will each be responsible for ‘product design and manufacturing, claims management, the delivery of industry-leading experiences and end-to-end responsibility for the statutory entities.’

Cameron said: “Our investments in simplification and optimisation programs remain highly relevant as they continue to deliver cost efficiencies.

“Importantly, they are enabling us to improve our customer connections, simplify systems and develop our business intelligence with the security, cost-effectiveness and scalability of the cloud.

“This, together with our high-performing culture, makes realigning the operating model a natural evolution.”

The senior appointments will take effect from 1 March 2016 and comprise the following:
  • Mark ReinkeChief Customer Experience Officer responsible for developing customer strategy, propositions and marketing strategies;
  • Gary DransfieldCEO Customer Platforms responsible for development and operations of the Group’s intermediated channels, branches, contact centres and digital platforms;
  • John NesbittCEO Banking & Wealth responsible for product development and pricing, treasury, the provision of banking and wealth management services, and delivery of the new customer banking platform and Advanced Accreditation;
  • Anthony DayCEO Insurance with accountability for product development and pricing, capital and reinsurance, claims management and operational delivery for Personal, Commercial and Life insurance services;
  • Paul SmeatonCEO New Zealand with responsibility for Suncorp’s Life New Zealand business as well as Vero New Zealand. The New Zealand business will leverage expertise from the Customer Experience and Customer Platforms functions;
  • Steve Johnston – remains Group CFO with added responsibility for Group-wide procurement. Combining the procurement teams and moving them into the Finance function will better leverage the scale of the Group and give an added focus to cost management, the company said;
  • Amanda Revis – currently responsible for human resources, will be appointed Chief People Experience Officer and will have added responsibility for real estate, learning and partnering. The inclusion  of partnering and real estate brings together all people responsibilities including the management and development of work environments, Suncorp said;
  • Anna Lenahan – currently responsible for legal and secretariat, will be appointed Chief Risk and Legal Officer with added responsibility for risk management, compliance and internal audit. Suncorp said the close alignment between legal and regulatory compliance means the Group can realise performance benefits by combining the skills and capabilities that are currently split across two business units;
  • Matt Pancino – will be appointed Chief Information Officer responsible for all technology, digital enablement, cloud and infrastructure, protective services, Chief Data Office, projects and programs and a new innovation labs function. This change focuses on delivering the systems and initiatives required to create, maintain and continuously improve the customer platforms while ensuring stability and security, the company said;
  • Clayton Herbert – will be appointed Chief Transformation Officer with overall responsibility for the smooth transition to the new operating model and other strategic initiatives, including ensuring project benefits are realised and discretionary spend is rebased.
Cameron added: “This is an exciting time for Suncorp. Creating value for our customers is at the core of our strategy and this enhanced operating model enables the Group to deliver on this strategy.”