General Insurance Industry Forum 2021 – 

Insurance in uncertain times

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Held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021

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09:00 AM AEDT - 04:00 PM AEDT



Registrations for this event have now closed.

About the virtual forum

The 2021 Insurance Council of Australia Annual Industry Forum brings together industry experts, regulators, and commentators from related fields to discuss the key issues facing the insurance sector in Australia in 2021 and beyond. The impacts on insurance of a changing climate, changing regulator requirements, and emerging issues such as cyber crime will all be considered as part of this unique industry event.

Hosted by Ellen Fanning from ABC's The Drum, sessions and presenters include: 

9am: The role insurers play in governing and advancing environmental and social issues

  • Dr Martha Carter, Vice Chairman and Head of Governance, Teneo
  • Robin Mellon, CEO, Better Sydney
  • Jacki Johnson, Co-Chair United Nations Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) & Founding Co-Chair Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative

10am: Commercial lines strategic review panel 

  • John Trowbridge, Consultant
  • Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
  • Celyeste Power, Chief Strategy Officer, Insurance Bureau of Canada  
  • Estelle Pearson, Principal & Managing Director, Finity
  • Andrew Hall, CEO, Insurance Council of Australia

11am: Regulators' perspective

  • Helen Rowell, Deputy Chair, APRA
  • Karen Chester, Deputy Chair & Commissioner, ASIC
  • Rhys Bollen, Senior Executive Leader Insurers, ASIC

12noon: President's update

  • Sue Houghton, ICA President & CEO Australia Pacific QBE

12:30pm: Ministerial keynote from Assistant Treasurer, Hon. Michael Sukkar MP

1pm: Break

1:30pm: The social cost of natural perils panel

  • Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM, Commissioner of Resilience NSW 
  • Andrew Coghlan, Head of Emergency Services, Australian Red Cross
  • Anne Leadbeater OAM, Director, Leadbeater Group

2:30pm: Cyber risk panel

  • Ian Cameron, Executive Manager, Cyber Governance, Risk & Compliance, IAG Australia
  • Anne-Louise Brown, Director of Corporate Affairs and Policy, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre
  • Quinton Kotze, Cyber & Technology Product Manager, Chubb 
  • Max Broodryk, Product Leader – Cyber Risk, International Financial Lines, AXA XL

3:30pm: Closing remarks

  • Andrew Hall, Executive Director & CEO, Insurance Council of Australia


Ellen Fanning, Host

Ellen Fanning is an award-winning current affairs journalist. She appears daily and hosts the ABC TV’s program, The Drum, a panel discussion program that focusses on the news of the day. Ellen Fanning was the first woman to host one of ABC Radio’s national current affairs programs. Two years at the helm of PM were followed by several years anchoring AM on ABC Radio and serving as occasional host of ABC TV’s 7.30 Report. Ellen served as the ABC’s Washington correspondent and has been a reporter for the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes and Sunday programs. She was the last presenter of the Nine Network’s prestigious Sunday program and a columnist on legendary The Bulletin magazine. Ellen Fanning has had extensive experience moderating political, business and community events in Australia. As a facilitator her strength lies in her ability to clarify goals, define roles and reach agreed outcomes across both cultural and language barriers.

Andrew Hall, Executive Director and CEO, Insurance Council of Australia

Andrew joined the Insurance Council of Australia in September 2020 from the Commonwealth Bank, where he served as Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs, for seven years. At CBA he was responsible for the management of CBA’s corporate reputation, public affairs and sustainability. He was previously Director of Corporate and Public Affairs for Woolworths Limited for six years, overseeing a similar portfolio and participating as a member of the Management Board. Andrew’s professional career started as a journalist in regional New South Wales in 1994, before moving to Canberra in 1996 where he worked in federal politics for 10 years as a ministerial media advisor. From 2001 to 2007 he was the Federal Director of the Nationals, leading the party as campaign director for federal elections. His expertise in the corporate affairs profession has been recognised with admission to the Arthur W. Page Society, recognition in the International Top 50 Corporate Affairs Professionals (Salt & Shein 2014) and in the inaugural award of Top 50 Outstanding LGBTI Leaders in Australia (Deloitte 2016) for his work in leadership roles, diversity and on the Board of Equality Australia for the marriage equality campaign. He has extensive experience in governance, both in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. He serves on the boards of Rural Aid and The Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Martha L. Carter, Vice Chairman and Head of Teneo Governance - Environmental, Social and Governance panel

Dr. Martha L. Carter is a Vice Chairman and Head of Teneo Governance. She leads Teneo’s corporate governance division, advising CEOs and Boards of public and private companies on corporate governance best practices, activism defense, executive compensation, shareholder engagement, strategy, and other matters that come to the Board. Dr. Carter currently sits on the Advisory Council of the Harvard Corporate Governance Forum and the Markets Advisory Council at the Council of Institutional Investors (CII).  Prior to joining Teneo, Dr. Carter was the Head of Global Research at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Chair and Founder of the ISS Global Policy Board. Under Dr. Carter’s leadership, the research team provided institutional investors with corporate governance research and proxy voting recommendations on more than 38,000 companies in 115 markets. Dr Carter has held positions at NASDAQ, The Federal Home Loan Banks, IBM, and Touche Ross.  She holds a Ph.D. in finance from George Washington University, an M.B.A. in finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and undergraduate degrees in mathematics and French from Purdue University. 

Robin Mellon, CEO, Better Sydney - Environmental, Social and Governance panel

Robin Mellon has combined his love of the environment, passion for sustainability, experience with supply chains, and qualifications in real estate and finance to become one of Australia’s experts on sustainable supply chains. The former Chief Operating Officer of the Green Building Council of Australia, and previous CEO of Australia's Supply Chain Sustainability School, Robin is now CEO of Better Sydney, the Project Manager for the Property Council of Australia's Modern Slavery Working Group and Supplier Platform, and NSW Program Adviser for Better Building Finance. Robin was a member of the Australian Government's first Modern Slavery Advisory Committee, is the Judging Chair for the NSW Sustainability Awards, one of the International WELL Building Institute's Global Advisory, and a member of Waverley's Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee. 

Jacki Johnson  - Environmental, Social and Governance panel

Jacki is an advisor to the Insurance Australia Group on Climate, Sustainability and Resilience. In this capacity she holds the roles of Co-Chair United Nations Environment Financial Initiative. She consults to organisations on incorporating environmental and social commitments into strategy.

In 2019, Jacki retired from her Group Executive role with Insurance Australia Group, other executive roles held included CEO CGU Business Partners, CEO The Buzz (a start-up insurer in 2009), CEO New Zealand and Group Executive People, Performance and Culture. 

Jacki was the founding Co Chair Australia Sustainable Finance Initiative and is a Fellow of the AICD with previous directorships with the Workcover Authority, IAG NZ and other group entities. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Community First Credit Union and member of the CFCU Board Corporate Governance subcommittee. Jacki is also a member of Chief Executive Women and the Academy of Management. 

In 2020 Jacki commenced her PhD Candidature at UOW. 

Jackie holds a BAppSc(OT), EMBA (AGSM) & Grad Diploma Safety Science, FAICD

John Trowbridge, Consultant - Commercial Lines Strategic Review panel 

John Trowbridge has a distinguished career as a consultant, executive, company director and regulator, working predominantly in financial services with an emphasis on insurance-related businesses. He founded Trowbridge Consulting in the 1980s which became a leading actuarial and management consulting firm in Australia and Asia, specialising in insurance and merging with Deloitte in 2000. He has held senior executive positions at QBE and Suncorp and, from 2006 to 2010, he was the APRA Member for insurance. He chaired the Australian Government’s review of natural disaster insurance following the 2011 floods and in 2015 he chaired the Life Insurance & Advice Working Group to recommend reforms in the life insurance industry which came into effect in January 2018. He undertook a review for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand of its prudential insurance regime following the failure of CBL Insurance in 2018.

Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman - Commercial Lines Strategic Review panel 

Bruce Billson commenced his role as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in March 2021.

Bruce brings experience and knowledge to the role of Ombudsman, and an understanding of the issues facing small business, having started his own advisory business in 2016.

Bruce’s political career spans 30 years, including his role as Cabinet Minister for Small Business from 2013-2015. During this role, Bruce was instrumental in the establishment of ASBFEO and the passing of complex legislation to establish the office.

Bruce has shown his dedication to small business through various board appointments, including the Franchise Council of Australia, Deakin University Business School and Australian Property Institute, and more recently through his appointment as Administrator for the City of Whittlesea.

Celyeste Power, Chief Strategy Officer, Insurance Bureau of Canada - Commercial Lines Strategic Review panel 

As Chief Strategy Officer, Celyeste Power advances IBC’s national priorities and initiatives by providing foresight for and strategic management of issues affecting Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry. Celyeste’s previous IBC roles include National Corporate Spokesperson; Executive Director, Strategy and Member Engagement; and Vice-President, Western. Prior to joining IBC, Celyeste honed her political and strategic acumen with the Government of Canada where she held a number of senior roles, including Issues Manager to the Prime Minister. As a consumer advocate, Celyeste works toward maintaining affordable insurance across Canada. As IBC’s Vice-President for Western Canada, she led several successful advocacy initiatives, including a strategy to improve the auto insurance system for Alberta’s 3 million drivers. Celyeste is a people-first leader with a passion for mentorship, diversity and inclusion. She is an active member of The Insurance Supper Club Canada, an organization that supports the advancement of women to senior positions across the insurance industry. Celyeste earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Ottawa and a master of business administration certificate at the University of Toronto. She is now working toward her Chartered Insurance Professional designation. 

Estelle Pearson, Principal & Managing Director, Finity - Commercial Lines Strategic Review panel 

Estelle Pearson is a Fellow and former President of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and has worked in the general insurance industry for more than 30 years. 

She works with a number of insurers on issues relating to their commercial lines portfolios including providing advice on pricing, reserving and strategy. 

She worked closely with regulators and Governments on ‘market failure’ issues following the insolvency of HIH in 2001 and the subsequent liability crisis.  This included advising the Federal and State Governments on reforms to liability insurance and working with the medical indemnity industry on solvency and affordability issues in that market. 

Helen Rowell, Deputy Chair, APRA - Regulators' Perspective

Helen Rowell was appointed as Deputy Chair of APRA in November 2015, and reappointed for a further five-year term from 1 July 2018. Helen joined APRA in 2002 as General Manager, Industry Technical Services and held a number of senior roles, including General Manager, Diversified Institutions Division, General Manager, Policy Development and Executive General Manager, Supervisory Support Division prior to her appointment as APRA Member, with primary responsibility for superannuation, from 1 July 2013. After eight years in that role, Helen became the Member with primary responsibility for general, life and private health insurance from 1 July this year.

Karen Chester, Deputy Chair & Commissioner, ASIC - Regulators' Perspective

Karen Chester commenced as an ASIC Deputy Chair on 29 January 2019.  Karen chairs the Commission Regulatory Committee and represents ASIC on the Council of Financial Regulators.   

Before joining ASIC, Karen was the Deputy Chair at the Productivity Commission having joined as a Commissioner on 2013.  

Previously, Karen was the Global Head of Infrastructure and partner at Mercer. Before joining Mercer, Karen was a Partner at Access Capital Advisers and the CEO of Access Economics. Karen has held directorships on several Australian infrastructure company boards.

Before moving to the private sector, Karen held senior economic policy roles in the Australian Treasury and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Karen has a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Queensland, was awarded an honorary doctorate in Economics by the University in 2017 and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Rhys Bollen, Senior Executive Leader Insurers, ASIC - Regulators' Perspective

Rhys leads ASIC’s Insurers team which has primary responsibility for the supervision of general and life insurance providers. He was previously the Senior Executive Leader of ASIC’s Investment Managers team. Rhys has more than 20 years experience as a regulator, academic and public policy practitioner. Before joining ASIC, Rhys was an Executive Director at the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority, and Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Strategy at NSW Fair Trading. He has previously held senior leadership roles in ASIC’s international strategy, consumer and strategic policy teams. He has also worked in private legal practice. Rhys has a PhD in financial services regulation and Masters degrees in both law and business. He teaches Financial Services and Banking Law at Monash Law School.

Sue Houghton, President ICA & CEO Australia Pacific QBE - President's Update

Sue Houghton commenced her role as CEO, Australia Pacific for QBE Insurance Group in August 2021. Previously, Sue was the Managing Director for Insurance at Westpac and prior to this, the Chief Financial and Operating Officer for the Australian and New Zealand region for Arthur J Gallagher. She has also held senior positions at Wesfarmers Insurance and Insurance Group Australia. Sue is an accomplished and highly regarded senior executive with extensive experience in the financial services sector. Sue is known for her sound judgement, resilience and adaptability as well as for cultivating talent, fostering diverse and inclusive teams and driving performance. Sue has held a number of directorships over her career and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Reading University and in 2012 completed the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD in France. Sue is also a member of the Champions of Change Coalition and an Executive Director of relevant QBE Insurance Group Boards.

The Hon Michael Sukkar MP, Assistant Treasurer - Ministerial keynote

Michael Sukkar was elected to the Federal Parliament representing the seat of Deakin at the 2013 federal election, and was re-elected at the 2016 and 2019 elections

Prior to entering Parliament, Michael spent several years working as a lawyer with the firm Ashurst Australia where he was a Senior Associate, and worked as a Senior Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he specialised in taxation.

In 2019, he was appointed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to serve as the Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer in the Government.  In 2020, he was given the additional appointment of Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing.  He has previously served in the Ministry as Assistant Minister to the Treasurer and on a number of parliamentary committees, including as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence & Security.

Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM, Commissioner of Resilience NSW - The Social Cost of Natural Perils

Shane Fitzsimmons was appointed as the inaugural Commissioner for Resilience NSW and Deputy Secretary, Emergency Management with the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 1 May 2020. He is currently the chair of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), the State Recovery Committee (SRC), Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the National Emergency Medal Committee (NEMC). This appointment followed a distinguished career with the NSW Rural Fire Service of over 35 years. In 1998 he was appointed an Assistant Commissioner with the RFS and held portfolio responsibilities for Operations, Strategic Development and Regional Management. From 2007 - 2020 he was the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service and was also the Chair of the NSW RFS Bushfire Coordinating Committee and the Rural Fire Service Advisory Council. He was also a member of the NSW State Emergency Management Committee and the NSW State Rescue Board (SRB) and was Chair of SRB from 2008 to November 2015.

Anne-Louise Brown, Director of Corporate Affairs and Policy, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre - Cyber risk panel

Anne-Louise Brown is the Director of Corporate Affairs and Policy at the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre. Anne-Louise is a former journalist with a passion for developing innovative and creative public policy solutions in the cyber security space. She is fascinated by the nexus between law, human behaviour and cyber security and how public policy can keep pace with rapidly evolving technology. Leveraging policy ideas that can make a real-world difference is Anne-Louise’s key aim, as is explaining complex concepts in a way accessible to all people. She is co-author of Exfiltrate, encrypt, extort: The global rise of ransomware and Australia’s policy options.

Quinton Kotze, Cyber & Technology Manager, Australia & New Zealand - Cyber risk panel

Quinton Kotze has over 20 years’ insurance industry experience, having started his career in London working in both Company and Lloyds markets.

Quinton has held various underwriting, broking and management roles in the UK, New Zealand and South Africa. 

In his current role, Quinton is responsible for Chubb’s Cyber and Technology insurance underwriting strategy, and is also additionally ressponsible for portfolio management and product and services development across Australia and New Zealand.

Ian Cameron - Executive Manager, Cybersecurity Governance, Risk & Compliance, IAG - Cyber risk panel

Ian Cameron is currently the Executive Manager, Cybersecurity Governance, Risk & Compliance at IAG.  His goal is the ensure that the right policies, procedures, skills and technology are maintained to keep pace with the ever changing threat landscape. Ian has worked in a variety of technology roles specialising in cyber security across the Finance, Logistics and Telecommunications sectors.  Ian also currently provides advice to IAG’s specialist underwriters to assist with the design and distribution of cyber insurance solutions.

Max Broodryk - Product Head for Cyber Risk, AXA XL - Cyber risk panel

Max Broodryk is currently the Product Head for Cyber Risk at AXA XL Insurance, which includes responsibility for AXA XL’s cyber, technology and multimedia products across all client segments and channels in Australia.   Prior to this Max held various product, underwriting, claims, operations and management roles in Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia working for Allianz, AIG and QBE.