Plenary Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath is a former Australian cricket player, and has achieved many milestones throughout his illustrious career. He has taken more wickets than any other Australian fast bowler in One Day Internationals, was the first Australian bowler to play in 200 One-Day Internationals and the first Australian Fast Bowler to play in 100 Test matches. In 2008, Glenn was named as a member of the Order of Australia for "service to cricket as a player" and later that year received the NSW Australian of the Year Award in recognition of his contribution to cricket and his dedication to the McGrath Foundation, which Glenn and his late wife Jane started to address the chronic shortage of breast care nurses throughout Australia.


Naomi Edwards

Naomi Edwards has worked professionally as an actuary, a stand up comedian and as an MC, which makes her well qualified to host this year's Financial Services Forum. Her actuarial career took her from New Zealand to London to Sydney with many stops in between. Her career as a comedian took her from London straight back to a dingy pub in New Zealand, proving that professional actuarial careers should not be lightly abandoned. She is currently based in Tasmania, where she chairs an industry superannuation fund, sits on the board of a retail fund manager and runs a small farm.


Carol Austin

Carol Austin is the Investment Services Director at Contango Asset Management Limited and is currently a Director on the Board of the Future Fund, HSBC Australia and AOFM. Prior to joining Contango in 1999, Carol was the Director of Institutional Business Development at Rothschild Australia Asset Management. Her previous roles include General Manager, Business Development at CFM, Director, Corporate Affairs at BHP, Chief Economist at AIDC and an Economist with the Reserve Bank.

John Brogden

John Brogden is the CEO of the Financial Services Council (FSC). He has previously held the positions of CEO of health insurer Manchester Unity, Chairman of Abacus Australian Mutuals, and Member for Pittwater in the NSW Parliament. At 33, he was elected Leader of the Opposition making him the youngest person ever to hold the role and lead a major political party in Australia. John is the Chairman of UrbanGrowth NSW, Chairman of Lifeline Australia, a Director of NIA Limited (, Chairman of Furlough House Retirement Village and Chairman of The Broken Bay Institute. John is a member of the NAB Advisory Council for Corporate Responsibility. John is also the Patron of Kookaburra Kids, Sailability Pittwater, Bilgola Surf Lifesaving Club and Avalon Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. He holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Sydney.

Jacqui Colwell

Jacqui Colwell is the Chief Risk Officer for Personal Banking at NAB. Prior to her current role Jacqui held the position of State General Manager for NAB Business, Victoria and Tasmania, where she was responsible for over $34 billion in lending and $17 billion in deposits and funds management to Victorian and Tasmanian SMEs. Jacqui has over 25 years experience in the financial services industry, across Australia, predominantly in business and institutional banking. She also has significant experience in risk, previously holding the role of Head of Risk in QLD for NAB. Jacqui has also worked in strategy, finance and retail. Jacqui holds a Bachelor of Economics, and is married with three sons.

Chris Cuffe

Chris Cuffe has more than 25 years experience in building successful wealth management practices and in 2007 was inducted into the Australian Fund Manager’s RBS Hall of Fame for services to the investment industry. Chris joined Colonial First State in 1988, becoming CEO two years later, joined Challenger Financial Services Group Limited in 2003 as Chief Executive Officer and subsequently as Chief Executive of Challenger’s Wealth Management business. In 2006, Chris joined Social Ventures Australia (SVA) as an Executive Director, before becoming Chairman of the SVA Future Trust. Chris is now working in a number of directorships, managing public and private investments and in various roles assisting the non-profit sector.

Ramneek Gupta

Ramneek Gupta began his professional career as a design engineer at PMC Sierra before moving to the hardware design team at TiVo. Ramneek has spent the past decade building a career that spans both venture investing and building startups, working with Citi Ventures, Zappedy and Battery Ventures. An engineer by training, he has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering. Ramneek currently works with Citi Ventures building an investing platform that identifies investment opportunities in leading startups.

Ian Harper

Ian Harper is one of Australia’s best known economists, having worked closely with governments, banks, corporates and leading professional services firms and as a member of the celebrated Wallis Inquiry. In March 2011, Ian joined Deloitte Access Economics as a Partner when Deloitte acquired the former Access Economics. Ian had previously served 16 years in various roles at the Melbourne Business School and was elected Emeritus Professor of the University of Melbourne on his departure. Ian is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Australia.

Steven Münchenberg

Steven Münchenberg is the Chief Executive of the Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) and has over 20 years of experience in public policy in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to his appointment as ABA CEO, Steven was Group Manager, Government Affairs and Public Policy at the National Australia Bank. Steven has also been Deputy Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, CEO of a not-for-profit organisation and worked at senior levels within the Australian Government. Steven has Honours degrees in Science from the University of Adelaide and Law from the Australian National University.

David Parsons

David Parsons is the Manager of Sydney Water’s Emergency Management Program. Prior to commencing at Sydney Water, David served as the District Emergency Management Officer for Central West NSW where he was awarded a Ministerial Commendation for his efforts. Among his many achievements is his establishment of the Water Services Sector Group within the Australian Government’s Trusted Information Sharing Network. David has presented at more than 20 global conferences in the areas of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Business Continuity Management, Crisis Management and Organisational Resilience.

Deborah Ralston

As Executive Director of the ACFS, a not-for-profit consortium of Melbourne, Monash, Griffith and RMIT universities and the professional body Finsia, Professor Deborah Ralston undertakes research, consulting and commentary across the areas of banking, funds management, superannuation and insurance. ACFS maintains an ongoing insurance research agenda through its Insurance Research Reference group, and through joint research publications and events with organisations such as the Insurance Council of Australia and the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research. Deborah’s own research interests focus on the management, strategy and performance of financial institutions. Deborah is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, CPA Australia and a Senior Fellow of Financial Services Institute of Australasia. She was formerly a Director of Heritage Bank 1992-2003 and since 2004 has been a Director of the listed mortgage broking company Mortgage Choice.

Norman Swan

Dr Norman Swan is the host of the Health Report, on ABC Radio National, and Tonic on ABC Television (News24). He has a strong commitment to a coordinated, efficient and safe health care system. Norman was born in Scotland, graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen and later obtained his postgraduate qualifications in Paediatrics. Norman has been Australian Radio Producer of the Year, received a Gold Citation in the United Nations Media Peace Prizes, has won three Walkley National Awards for Australian journalism, including the prestigious Gold, and Australia’s top prize for Science Journalism, the Michael Daly Award, twice. Norman Swan has been the Australian correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal and consults for the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

Mark Thorpe

Mark Thorpe is a Qantas pilot with more than 7,000 flying hours. A First Officer on the Boeing 747-400, Mark has also flown the Boeing 767 and Airbus A330. In 2008, Mark became a member-elected trustee director of the Qantas Superannuation Limited Board. Mark chairs the Stronger Super Implementation Committee, and is a member of both the Investment and Insurance Committees. Prior to joining Qantas, Mark was an Actuary and Superannuation Consultant at Towers Perrin. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Susan Thorp

Susan Thorp is Professor of Finance and Superannuation at the University of Technology, Sydney. Susan’s research focuses on long-horizon wealth management, especially consumer financial decision making. Her publications include studies of risk communication, retirement savings portfolio management, annuitisation and retirement income streams. She is also a member of the Centre for the Study of Choice and the Quantitative Finance Research Centre at UTS, and the National Centre for Econometric Research, QUT.

Tim Trumper

Tim is a Board Advisor at Quantium. His career has been spent mostly in large-scale listed media and internet companies, having served as CEO of Time Warner's publishing operation in Australia and New Zealand, and as Commercial Director of PBL Media. Tim is an entrepreneur with an absolute focus on the data landscape, advising some of Australia’s most progressive companies. Tim, with fellow directors and Chairman Hon. R J Hawke, established The Bestest Foundation. which has raised over three million dollars for disadvantaged children in Australia.

Duncan West

Duncan West has over 30 years experience in financial services, with a particular focus on the insurance industry. Currently a Non-Executive Director of Avant Insurance Limited, The Doctors Health Fund and Lawcover Insurance, Duncan was previously the Executive General Manager of Retail Wealth and NAB, and Chief Executive Officer of both CGU Insurance and Vero Insurance. Having begun his career with RSA Insurance in the UK, before establishing an insurance company in India, Duncan also has broad international experience.

Rob Whelan

Rob Whelan joined the Insurance Council of Australia as Executive Director and CEO in 2010, after a highly successful career as a senior manager in the insurance and banking sectors. He has particularly strong experience in managing corporate affairs and policy functions, working previously for AAMI and Suncorp, as well as extensive general business management experience with companies including AMP, Legal & General and Colonial Mutual. Rob also previously held a number of senior management roles in the healthcare sector. Well-regarded in the financial services industry as a leader in the development of public policy, Rob has worked extensively with regulatory bodies, government and consumer groups.

*Mr Glenn McGrath appears by arrangement with Saxton's Speakers Bureau.