Turnbull has been in the financial services industry for over 25 years, and has largely focused on the New Zealand, Asia Pacific and UK insurance market.
He was most recently managing director, UK digital, UK & international at London-based insurer Aviva Group, and has also held the role of executive general manager, wealth and insurance at ASB Bank.
Tower chairman Michael Stiassny says the board is “extremely pleased to have been able to attract someone of Mr Turnbull’s calibre back to New Zealand.”
“Blair has an enviable CV, achieving outstanding results for the national and international organisations for whom he has worked,” Stiassny said.
“Importantly, he has a proven global track record in large-scale digital and data innovation, and delivering disruptive, customer-focused models.
“The Board is confident that Blair’s considerable expertise - together with his team-centric approach to leadership - are the skills required to successfully complete Tower’s transformation and to drive profitable growth and performance.”
Commenting on his appointment, Turnbull said: “"Tower is a truly unique New Zealand and South Pacific business that I am excited to soon be a part of. My focus will be on continuing to ramp up Tower’s modernisation through leveraging digital and data, being lean and agile in delivery, and championing a culture that is diverse, talent-led and synonymous with innovation.”
Chairman Michael Stiassny also praised current CEO Richard Harding, saying he is an “outstanding” leader who has “worked tirelessly” to transform Tower.
“A traditional insurer at the beginning of [Harding’s] tenure, Tower is now increasingly profitable and a clear challenger brand in the New Zealand insurance industry,” Stiassny said. “The Board is grateful for his efforts and wishes him and his family well in Australia."