New IBANZ CEO outlines priorities for next 12 months

New IBANZ CEO outlines priorities for next 12 months | Insurance Business

New IBANZ CEO outlines priorities for next 12 months

The Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand (IBANZ) announced Mel Gorham (pictured) as its new CEO in March 2020, replacing Gary Young, who retired after having been in the role for almost 13 years.

Gorham has been in the insurance industry for over 25 years, having most recently spent seven years in various roles at QBE. She says the original plan had been to take a career break, but the lead role at IBANZ presented a strong opportunity to help shape the new environment faced by insurance advisers.

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She says the key focus of IBANZ over the coming year will be to work with government and the Insurance Council on the various new pieces of legislation, and to ensure that they work for both the insurance adviser sector and its clients.

“I’d decided to take a break after having worked with QBE, but it didn’t quite work out that way!” Gorham told Insurance Business.

“IBANZ is a professional association, and one of our key purposes in recent years has been around lobbying the government, looking at the various legislation changes and trying to understand what the impact will be on our members, and also seeing what changes might be necessary for the legislation to achieve its goals.

“We’ve also focused on building the professionalism of our industry and members, and we’ve been operating under our own Code of Conduct for some time.”

Gorham says IBANZ is currently in the process of submitting feedback on several key pieces of legislation, and is routinely working with its members to help them be prepared for the new regime.

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“At the moment, we’re trying to give our members a greater awareness of disclosure, what they need to disclose and when, and how that can come into their business model,” Gorham said.

“We’re in the process of giving feedback on the conditions that the regulators have attached to the licenses, particularly around the record keeping requirements, professional indemnity insurance and rights to review.”

“There’s also some consultation going on around the insurance contract law review, and that’s likely to come back on to the table either late this year or early next,” Gorham added.

“There’s also the Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill, which will have an impact on both insurers and our members, and the review of Fire and Emergency funding. It would definitely be a huge advantage to have a wider pool of funding than just those who pay for insurance, given how much they do across the community.

“Those are our main priorities for the coming year.”