Southern Cross Health Insurance appoints seasoned executive as COO

Previous COO to focus solely on group's other business

Southern Cross Health Insurance appoints seasoned executive as COO

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

Southern Cross Health Insurance has announced the appointment of Andrea Brunner (pictured above) as its new chief operating officer (COO), effective April 3.

Nick Astwick, CEO of Southern Cross Health Insurance, highlighted the intensive search for a suitable candidate for the COO role.

“We had a strong pool of high calibre candidates for this critical role. Andrea stood out due to her customer and people driven leadership, a proven track record in operational excellence, and as an accomplished and experienced executive leader in financial services. She is a perfect fit for leadership within our culture,” he said.

Who is Andrea Brunner?

Brunner transitioned to Southern Cross from a role at NZ Rugby as chief people, safety and wellbeing officer, a position she held since 2022. Her professional journey also included a significant tenure at Farmers Mutual Group (FMG), where she occupied senior executive positions, including chief client officer and chief people, marketing & distribution officer.

“Southern Cross is a well-respected, member-driven organisation, and this holds a strong values alignment for me,” Brunner said. “The role enables me to utilise my extensive experience in insurance alongside my passion and interest in health and wellbeing.”

Anthony McPhail steps down from Southern Cross Health Insurance COO role

The role of COO, previously managed by Anthony McPhail in conjunction with his duties as CEO of Southern Cross Pet Insurance, has been transitioned to Brunner. McPhail will now dedicate his efforts fully to the pet insurance division.

Astwick credited McPhail with laying a solid foundation for growth at Southern Cross Health Insurance and expressed optimism for Brunner's tenure as COO.

“We've enjoyed exceptional growth at Southern Cross Health Insurance over the last few years, and I am thankful for the vital stewardship shown by Anthony McPhail. I'm excited he can now concentrate on helping our pets live their best pet life. Anthony is handing the COO position over to Andrea in terrific shape,” he said.

Brunner joined Southern Cross Health Insurance after the appointment of a chief people and strategy officer in February.

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