​Suncorp Group reinstates group CIO role in board reshuffle

In an aim to improve its customer strategy, Suncorp has reshuffled its executive board, including reappointing current Business Services CEO Matt Pancino to his former role as group CIO.

Suncorp Group has announced it will be reshuffling its executive board with new appointments in the hope of delivering an improved customer strategy, and drive future profitability and growth.

The announcement comes after CEO and managing director Michael Cameron warned of the upcoming changes during the reporting of the company's 2016 first half results, saying there would be "some realignment of the operating model".

Under the new operating model, Suncorp Business Services CEO Matt Pancino will return to his former role as CIO, and will be responsible for all technology, digital enablement, cloud and infrastructure, protective services, Chief Data Office projects and programs, and a new innovation labs function.

At the same time, Suncorp Bank CEO John Nesbitt will move into the Banking and Wealth CEO role, and will be responsible for the delivery of the new customer banking platform and Base II Advanced Accreditation project; and the group's chief risk officer Clayton Herbert will be appointed as chief transformation officer with the overall responsibility for the company's transition to the new operating model and other initiatives, including ensuring project benefits are realised.

Meanwhile, Mark Reinke, currently the group executive of customer, data, and marketing, will be appointed to chief customer experience officer, who will be responsible for developing customer strategy, propositions, and marketing strategies; and Gary Dransfield, currently Personal Insurance CEO, will move to the Customer Platforms CEO position, and be responsible for the development and operations of the group's intermediated channels, branches, contact centres, and digital platforms.

Other appointments will include Amanda Revis to the Chief People Experience Officer role, and Anna Lenahan to the Chief Risk and Legal Office position. Additionally, Anthony Day will move from Commercial Insurance CEO to Commercial CEO, and Paul Smeaton will go from Vero New Zealand CEO to New Zealand CEO.

The appointments will take effect from March 1, 2016, the company said, adding that the existing legal entities and governance structures will remain unchanged.

As a result of the new operating model, Cameron outlined Suncorp Group will have a customer experience function that will use data, insights, and analytics to help deliver product innovation and marketing strategies, as well as a customer platforms function that will focus on allowing customers to access any product and brand via any channel, including a digital marketplace.

He added that there will be three operational business units: Banking and Wealth, Insurance Australia, and Insurance New Zealand, which will each have end-to-end responsibility for product design, manufacturing, and claims management.

Cameron said the changes are part of the group's "One company. Many Brands" strategy to create a model that will focus on customer needs, including improving customer connections, simplifying and developing business intelligence with security, cost reductions, and cloud scalability.

"The new model aligns the business to the delivery of the customer strategy by creating customer-focused functions supported by leaner shared services. This will enable us to create greater value for our customers, which will support business growth and sustainable returns to our shareholders," he said.

During the half-year results, Suncorp Group outlined it was on track to reap AU$170 million in efficiency benefits by the 2018 financial year from its technology optimisation program. It also reported it achieved net profit after tax of AU$530 million, down from the AU$631 million that was recorded during the corresponding period from the previous year.

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