New ANZIIF CEO: “Collectively we can make a difference”

Former Financial Advice New Zealand chief ready to connect and listen

New ANZIIF CEO: “Collectively we can make a difference”

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) has a new chief executive in the form of Katrina Shanks (pictured), who assumed the post on Monday. Here the former Financial Advice New Zealand CEO talks about her priorities and what she’s looking to accomplish at the professional body.

“ANZIIF has a long and proud history, and I will take the time to dive into our organisation – its achievements, opportunities, and challenges,” Shanks, who is now based in Melbourne, told Insurance Business. “I will look to connect and listen to key stakeholders.

“It is vital we continue to empower and support the insurance sector to continue to provide and develop quality product, service, and advice to customers through the delivery of quality education and professional development.”

In the new CEO’s view, understanding the value proposition for all ANZIIF members is crucial.

“I will listen to members to see how we can further enhance their knowledge, competency, and skills in this fast-changing environment which we operate in,” she said.

An ex-Parliamentarian in New Zealand, Shanks is no stranger to big changes, having helped the financial advice sector in NZ navigate widespread industry reforms in recent years amid a global pandemic.

In a previous interview with Insurance Business prior to her departure from Financial Advice New Zealand, Shanks highlighted: “We’ve got our advisers over the line in the new [financial advice] regime – the most defining achievement for the organisation.

“We provided a lot of tools and assistance, which we believe empowered advisers to be able to get to the end game and get their licence and be confident with their licence. What we did over COVID and the support that we gave our members is something I’d always reflect on.”  

At ANZIIF, Shanks believes her biggest challenge will be ensuring the organisation stays relevant in an evolving technological world.

“The opportunities made possible by artificial intelligence are prospects to be explored,” she said. “This is not only a challenge but an exciting opportunity and will allow for ANZIIF products and services to be delivered in new dynamic environments. This will further support professional standards and professionalism of the insurance sector.”

Meanwhile, lifting the lid on her decision to succeed Prue Willsford, the ANZIIF chief told Insurance Business: “Collectively we can make a difference in people’s lives by increasing their financial health, wealth, and wellbeing. A significant component of this is financial resilience where insurance plays a fundamental role.

“This encompasses the design of insurance products, through to how the industry delivers on its promises at claim time. Insurance ensures people have peace of mind when the unexpected happens. Having the opportunity to be part of this process by ensuring insurance professionals have competency, knowledge, and skill in all parts of the insurance spectrum is why I took this role.”

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