Plenary Speakers

Desmond Smith

Desmond Smith, Chair Sanlam and RGA, South Africa

Desmond Kent Smith was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 21 June 1947. After matriculating from Indwe High School, he obtained his B.Sc degree (cum laude) at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1973 he qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (London) and completed the International Senior Management Programme (ISMP) at Harvard Business School in 1992.

He joined Sanlam in 1968, where he became Managing Director in 1993. He retired from Sanlam at the end of 1997 and served as Managing Director of the Reinsurance Group of America (South Africa) (RGA) from 1999 until 2005. He is currently Chairman of RGA and Sanlam and holds several company directorships.

He serves on a number of the committees of the Actuarial Society of SA and the International Actuarial Association and is currently the President-Elect of the IAA. He serves on the Financial Services Board’s Advisory Committee on Long-Term Insurance and the Council of the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance.

He served as Chairman of the Life Offices Association of South Africa (LOA) in 1996, 2004 and 2008 and is a Past President of the Pensions Institute of Southern Africa and of the Actuarial Society of South Africa.

He is married and has a daughter and a son.

Seamus Creedon

Seamus Creedon, Consultant - KPMG and Solvency II Project Manager - Groupe Consultatif Actuariel Europeen

Seamus Creedon is current manager of the Solvency II project of Groupe Consultatif Actuariel Europeen (representing all European actuarial associations), leading the contribution of more than fifty actuaries from throughout the European Union to establishing the new supervisory and accounting framework. He is affiliated with KPMG Europe, having been a partner in the firm until 2003, and is a non-executive director of a number of UK and Irish insurers. Before joining KPMG his career was in life assurance and in banking both in the United Kingdom and in Ireland. In addition to full membership of the Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries in Ireland he is also a member of North American actuarial bodies and is vice-chair if the Enterprise and Financial Risks Committee of the International Actuarial Association. While a partner at KPMG, Seamus Creedon was one of the KPMG team who in 2001 carried out the original study of solvency methodologies on behalf of the European Commission

Hazel McNeilage

Hazel McNeilage, Head of Funds Management, QIC

Hazel McNeilage is the Head of Funds Management at QIC. Reporting to the Chief Executive, Hazel is responsible for QIC’s investment management boutiques and client-facing activities. As a member of the Executive Leadership team, Hazel also participates in the development and implementation of QIC’s overall business strategy.

Before joining QIC in January 2010, Hazel spent eight years with Principal Global Investors (PGI) in a variety of roles, including most recently Global Head of Sales, Relationship Management and Client service, based in New York, and, before that, Head of PGI’s Asia ex Japan business, based in Singapore. In that role Hazel oversaw investment management teams in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, and China.

Before that, Hazel was with Towers Perrin in Australia for 14 years in a variety of roles including Head of Asset Consulting for the Asia Pacific. She has more than 30 years’ experience in global investment management, asset consulting, pension/superannuation, and life insurance across the UK, South Africa, Asia, Australia, and the US.

Hazel holds a Bachelor’s Degree (1st class honours) in Mathematics, Economics, and Operations Research from the University of Lancaster, England. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (England) and the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

Cecil Bykerk

Cecil Bykerk, President International Association of Actuaries

Bykerk is President of CDBykerk Consulting and currently serves as Executive Director of three state high risk pools, Montana, Alaska and Iowa. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania. He was Executive Vice President and Chief Actuary at Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, prior to starting his consulting career in 2004.

Prior to his 25-year tenure at Mutual of Omaha, he was Director of the Actuarial Science Program at the University of Nebraska from 1975 to 1979. He will serve as IAA President for 2011. He is also Penultimate President of Society of Actuaries and past member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Actuaries. He is past chairperson of The Actuarial Foundation currently serving on its Board. He was appointed to the Actuarial Standards Board in 2003 moving up to Chair at the beginning of 2006. He served on the Board and as Chair of the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans (NASCHIP) during 1996-1998, returning to the Board for 2005-2008 serving as Treasurer. He served as Chair of the International Actuarial Association’s Education Committee from 1999 through 2004. In addition, he served as Chair of the Nebraska Life and Health Guaranty Association as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations including serving as Treasurer.

During his career, Mr. Bykerk has been actively involved regarding Genetic Testing and Major Medical insurance, having made presentations to various professional, academic and regulatory bodies, and writing articles and white papers. Mr. Bykerk received his bachelor's degree from the University of Denver in 1966, and his master's degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1968.

Pauline Blight-Johnston

Pauline Blight-Johnston, Managing Director, RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia

Pauline Blight-Johnston is the Managing Director of RGA Australia and New Zealand, and Chairman of RGA Japan. In this role she is responsible for growing RGA’s business sustainably and profitably in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Pauline has over 15 years of actuarial and financial management experience in the life insurance industry in Australia and internationally. Before joining RGA, she worked at Asteron Life as Chief Financial Officer and Appointed Actuary. Prior to Asteron, she held positions at Tillinghast and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

An active industry participant, Pauline is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, a Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia. She is currently a Director of the Financial Services Council and has previously served on many committees of the Financial Services Council and the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

Curt Zuber

Curt Zuber, Group Treasurer, Westpac Banking Corporation

Curt joined Westpac Banking Corporation in 1995 and was appointed as the Bank’s Group Treasurer in October 2004. In this role, he is responsible for Westpac’s treasury operations including securitisation, group liquidity, global wholesale funding, capital management and all on balance sheet risk management.

As Group Treasurer, Curt oversees teams located in Sydney, Wellington, Singapore and London. He is responsible for managing the underlying risks associated with the Bank’s asset and liability portfolios, primarily interest rate risk and foreign exchange risk.

Curt is also responsible for ensuring the efficient execution of the Bank's wholesale funding, within the parameters of a prudent liquidity management framework. This role includes maintaining and enhancing the Bank’s wholesale funding franchise through strong relationships with investors in markets across the globe.

Prior to being appointed Group Treasurer, Curt held a number of roles in Westpac’s Group Treasury, including Deputy Group Treasurer and Head of Treasury Risk.

Before joining Westpac, Curt spent seven years at Household International in Chicago and Sydney in various treasury-related roles, including risk management, funding and asset liability management.

Curt has a Bachelor of Arts from the Central College in Iowa and MBA from Loyola University.

John Maroney

John Maroney , International Association of Insurance Supervisors

John Maroney is a member of the secretariat of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) in Basel and supports the Financial Stability Committee and the Solvency and Actuarial Issues Subcommittee. He is also the IAIS's representative to the International Actuarial Association (IAA) and the Vice Chair of the IAA's Enterprise and Financial Risks Committee. Since joining the IAIS in 2009, John has played a key role in the development of the IAIS's policies on systemic risk, identification of possible systemically important financial institutions, preparation of responses to the Financial Stability Board on related issues and planning of IAIS's macroprudential policy and surveillance framework. Prior to joining the IAIS, John gained 30 years of experience in the Australian financial sector, including periods as CEO of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, Principal of Professional Financial Solutions, Partner at Trowbridge Deloitte, CEO of the Life, Investment and Superannuation Association, Australian Government Actuary and various senior management roles at AMP.

Simon Longstaff

Simon Longstaff, Executive Director, St James Ethics Centre

Dr Simon Longstaff is a philosopher whose focus is in the field of applied ethics encompassing the wider community beyond academe. He has been Executive Director of St James Ethics Centre since 1991. Established in 1989, the Centre is an independent not-for-profit organisation which provides a non-judgemental forum for the promotion and exploration of ethics.

One of the Executive Director's roles is to encourage the process of integrating ethical considerations into the strategic thinking of the management community. More generally, Simon encourages and contributes to the active discussion of ethical issues amongst the widest possible audience.

Simon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and won scholarships to study at Cambridge, where he read for the degrees of Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy.

Bernard Salt

Bernard Salt, Partner, KPMG

Bernard Salt is a compelling and entertaining speaker engaged by both the private and public sectors to present a perspective of how social, cultural and demographic change might shape the future business environment.

Bernard is a best-selling author of three popular books on demographic change. He is a columnist with The Australian and Melbourne Herald Sun newspapers. He is a Partner with KPMG and heads a group of researchers providing demographic advice to business. And he is one of Australia's most in-demand corporate speakers having spoken to audiences in all parts of Australia as well as New Zealand, the US, the UK and South East Asia.

Bernard is also one of Australia's most quoted social commentators. He is regular on many radio and television programs including Sunrise, Today Tonight, A Current Affair and many others. He manages to combine an astute observation of human behaviour and change with hard data.

Bernard Salt is an experienced and high-profile presenter who is especially well connected into the business and social issues of the day. His speaking topics consider key issues viewed from a demographic perspective and include the Global Financial Crisis; Workforce Trends; Consumer, Social and Generational Trends and Urban & Regional development.

Barry Rafe , President, Institute of Actuaries of Australia

Barry is an actuary who has spent most of his career as a Management Consultant.

In 2005 Barry was appointed Managing Director of Mellon Human Resources & Investor solutions. Mellon had 400 staff in Australia and were looking to divest. Barry worked with Mellon for two years to restructure and divest the business.

Prior to this Barry was a Strategy Partner with Accenture and had responsibility for their insurance and banking strategy. In this role Barry advised most of Australia’s largest financial services businesses on distribution and product development.

Barry ran the financial services practice at Trowbridge consulting and was involved in some of Australia’s largest financial services deals including as lead actuarial consultant to the National Australia Bank on their acquisition of MLC and CBA on their acquisition of Colonial.

Barry advised the Australian Federal Government on health insurance and the introduction of lifetime health cover.

Barry is currently President of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and chair of the Institute's public policy committee. Barry has facilitated the Institutes professionalism course for new qualified actuaries.

Barry now works as an independent consultant and is currently completing his PhD in philosophy at Sydney University. He is a member of the AAS Advisory Council.

Barry has also been an ASFA Council member and Treasurer of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia.

Peter McCarthy, Partner, Ernst & Young

Peter is an actuary, the Convenor of the General Insurance Practice Committee (GIPC) and a partner of Ernst & Young. Peter has 25 years experience in the general insurance industry. He has advised governments and insurers on a range of matters including actuarial, strategic and operational issues. In addition Peter worked as a senior executive in insurers for over nine years including chief actuary, head of underwriting, product and claims management.

Kent Griffin, Partner, Ernst & Young

Kent is a Partner with Ernst & Young's Advisory practice. He has over 20 years experience in the Insurance and Wealth Management sectors. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Kent was the Regional Chief Financial Officer for AXA Asia Life. Based in Hong Kong, Kent was part of the Regional Executive Committee with oversight of operations across eight countries. Kent has also held positions as a Director of ALM & Economic Capital for the global AXA Group, Chief Actuary, Treasurer and Investor Relations. He is currently convenor of the Risk Management Practice Committee of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.


Yolanda Beattie, General Manager, Honner Media

Yolanda Beattie is general manager at Honner Media and brings sound knowledge of financial markets and strategic communications ability. Yolanda's background is in corporate affairs, communications and marketing in the financial services sector having most recently worked at Insurance Australia Group. Prior to IAG Yolanda spent three years with Macquarie Bank's Real Estate Capital division and was responsible for communications across Macquarie's listed and retail unlisted property trusts and funds. This role encompassed strategic positioning, media relations, equity raising marketing campaigns, corporate action communications, annual report production and issues management. During the time she has worked with Honner Media she has worked on a range of projects including the Institute of Actuaries and SPAA public policy campaigns. Yolanda has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney with a major in finance, economics and marketing, and a Diploma Financial Planning 1 & 3. She is part way through her Masters in Public Policy at Sydney University.

Peter Broadhead, FAS, The Health Reform Transition Office, Department of Health & Ageing

Peter is the acting First Assistant Secretary of the Health Reform Transition Office, which has been established within the Commonwealth Health and Ageing portfolio to oversee the implementation of the National Health and Hospitals Network reforms agreed by COAG (with the exception of WA) in April last year.

His involvement with the current round of reforms began when he was the Assistant Secretary responsible for policy and strategy in the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission from March 2008 to June 2009.

Peter has been a senior executive responsible for a wide range of policy and program areas within the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing since 1995, including at various times aspects of Medicare, activity based funding development, coordinated care trials, health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and aged care policy and programs.

In 2002-3 he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship by the Commonwealth Fund to spend a year in the United States studying aspects of their health sector.

Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Peter spent a dozen years working the Victorian and Tasmanian health departments.

Andrew Boal, Managing Director Australia, Towers Watson

Andrew is the Managing Director of Towers Watson in Australia and is responsible for the management and growth of all lines of business. With over 27 years consulting experience in the superannuation and employee benefits industries, Andrew plays an important role in the development of Towers Watson’s thought leadership in Australia and has co-authored numerous submissions to the government and regulatory authorities on a variety of superannuation matters. He also continues to be involved in managing key client relationships and developing strategic solutions for several major clients.

Michael Barker

Michael Barker, Director, MetLife

Michael Barker operates principally as a non-executive director, including MetLife and the ISPT property trust group. He is also an independent member approving products for NAB’s financial planning dealerships.

Michael was a Director of NatWest Investment Management in London from 1994 to 1996, and prior to this spent eight years as head of the Sydney office of County NatWest Australia Investment Management, designing and implementing quantitative solutions for clients.

Before joining NatWest, Michael spent eighteen years with Aetna Life & Casualty in Sydney, heading the investment operations for Australia and New Zealand, and also as the chief actuary for the first half of this period.

Michael has been active within the actuarial profession, particularly in the areas of education and investment practice. He was elected to life membership of the Institute of

Request your password
Request log in details