By Alice Uribe
SYDNEY--Suncorp Group Ltd. will implement a new operational model and organizational structure, which it says is designed to improve its core insurance and banking businesses and speed up its digital transformation.
The bancassurer said Wednesday, that against the backdrop of a summer of natural disasters and the health and economic impacts of Covid-19, the time was right for a faster-paced transformation.
Suncorp said the Covid-19 impact on its fiscal 2020 balance sheet is expected to be "broadly neutral, excluding investment market movements and bank impairment losses."
"The work we have done over the past 12 months puts us in a strong position to deal with the dual challenges of increasing natural hazard costs and a global pandemic," said Chief Executive Steve Johnston.
"At the same time, Covid-19 has resulted in changes such as the faster adoption of digital channels by customers and new, more innovative and agile internal ways of working. It has changed our perspective on what is possible."
Suncorp's new structure, which is effective from July 1, will see the accountability for the performance of the Insurance (Australia) division assumed by two executives.
A new role of Chief Executive Officer Insurance Product & Portfolio will lead insurance distribution channels including contact centers, digital channels and intermediated partnerships as well as customer strategy and marketing. Current Chief Customer & Digital Officer Lisa Harrison has been appointed to the role.
A second new role of Chief Operating Officer - Insurance will lead all aspects of claims management and operations and some functions. Paul Smeaton, who has led the Suncorp New Zealand business for the past five years, has been appointed to this role.
As a result of the changes, incumbent CEO Insurance (Australia), Gary Dransfield, will leave Suncorp after July 17.
In other changes Clive van Horen, a former Commonwealth Bank of Australia executive, has been appointed to the vacant CEO Banking & Wealth role. Chief People Experience Officer, Amanda Revis, will leave Suncorp, while Jeremy Robson will remain Group Chief Financial Officer and take on additional responsibilities, including Reinsurance and Actuarial, which were formerly part of the Insurance (Australia) business.
Suncorp said that it had finalized its catastrophe reinsurance program for fiscal 2021, with the structure of the program remaining "largely consistent with prior years".
It said new aggregate excess of loss cover purchased for fiscal 2021 will provide 400 million Australian dollars (US$276.1 million) of cover for events in excess of A$5 million once the retained cost of these events reaches A$650 million.
As a result of the lower level of P&L volatility cover compared with FY 2020, the FY 2021 natural hazard allowance is expected to increase by between A$90 million to A$130 million.
An update on the final natural hazard allowance increase will be provided at Suncorp's fiscal 2020 result on August 21.
Write to Alice Uribe at firstname.lastname@example.org