Plenary Speakers


Michael Pascoe* is one of Australia's most respected and experienced finance and economics commentators with four decades in newspaper, broadcast and on-line journalism covering the full gamut of economic, business and finance issues. Michael is seen on Channel 7's Sunrise and news programs, is Contributing Editor for the Sydney Morning Herald and Age sites, is a weekly finance columnist for Yahoo7 and a popular conference speaker, bringing rare humour and plain language to the 'dismal science' of economics. Michael was born and educated in Queensland, starting his career with The Courier-Mail before working in Hong Kong for three years on the South China Morning Post. He joined the Australian Financial Review in Sydney upon returning to Australia and then pioneered specialist finance journalism in commercial broadcasting - first with the Macquarie Radio network, then with Channel 9, Sky News and 7.


Graeme Adams has over 30 years’ experience in general insurance. Graeme is a Principal at Finity, and leads Finity’s Management Consulting Practice.

He started his career at NRMA Insurance (IAG) in 1983 where he had a number of senior roles including General Manager Home, Head of Product and Underwriting and Head of CTP. He has extensive and practical experience in both short tail and long tail insurance.

Graeme’s areas of expertise include; personal lines portfolio management and claims, CTP portfolio management and claims, Business strategy design and execution and operational management.

Tracy Green leads the Australian personal insurance Customer, Marketing and Underwriting teams at Insurance Australia Group. In her role she is responsible for developing deep customer and risk insights, and using this information to deliver products and services to customers that assist in prevention and protection. Tracy has over 25 years experience in the insurance industry in leadership roles across multiple functions,  including distribution, claims, product design, pricing, underwriting, compliance, strategy and customer experience.

  Paul McCarney is the Co-founder and CEO of Data Republic, as well as a  Non-Executive Director for Trade Me (TME.AX) and Cirrus Media (formerly Reed Business Information), and previously a NED at iiNet (IIN/AX). 

An industry leader for over 15 years, Paul is an Investor and Entrepreneur in the Digital Technology, Data and Marketing space. The holder of a patent in multi-attribute matching of buyers and sellers, Paul has consulted to Media, Consulting and Private Equity businesses as a subject matter expert on digital asset strategy, innovation and investment. 

  Simon Reid (BMathFin(Hons)
Group Executive - Technology

Simon is responsible for Quantium's technology area, covering all aspects of Application and Data Engineering, Data Platforms and Production Support. Quantium requires a technology platform that is capable of powering world-leading analytics and Simon leads the team that provides it.

Simon joined Quantium at its inception and has extensive experience developing and integrating technology, analytical and business processes in complex commercial environments. His industry experience includes banking, insurance, telecommunications, industrial and retail.

Kate Mackenzie Kate Mackenzie is manager of investment and governance at The Climate Institute, an independent, non-partisan research and communications group.

Kate worked as a journalist prior to joining The Institute, including 10 years at the Financial Times in London and Sydney. Her roles there included corporate reporter, launch editor of its Energy blog and Asia correspondent for the prestigious FT Alphaville financial blog. She is the author of a paper on Australia's financial system and climate risk, and on the financial implications of climate change impacts to Australian housing.
Vicki Mullen

Vicki Mullen is a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in legal and public policy and regulatory affairs.

Prior to joining the Insurance Council of Australia in 2012, Vicki worked with the Financial Services Council with responsibility for the FSC's Life Insurance Board Committee. She has also worked for IAG as a Senior Manager, the Actuaries Institute, a senior NSW Minister, the NSW Cabinet Office, the NSW Parliament, and a High Court Judge. 

Vicki first worked at the Insurance Council in 2001-2002 on the team responsible for developing the industry's engagement with the HIH Royal Commission.

Estelle Pearson
Estelle Pearson is an Actuary and principal of a leading actuarial consulting firm Finity Consulting.  She has worked in the general insurance industry for more than 25 years with a range of insurers and reinsurers.

Estelle worked for the HIH Royal Commission and recently the Royal Commission into Institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Nicholas Sordon has been an insurance professional for 21 years and is currently a Senior Casualty Treaty Underwriter with Swiss Reinsurance. Nick is responsible for underwriting some of the largest treaty programmes in Australia as well as being involved in non-traditional structured reinsurance solutions

He has been an author, presenter and active discussion partner with clients on a range of emerging risks topics including Nanotechnology, 3D Printing, Autonomous Cars, Cyber Risk and Drone Technology.

In an attempt to achieve a work/life balance, Nick depletes any energy left after work and raising a young family doing Kendo and boxing.

  Win-Li Toh is a Principal at Taylor Fry and co-leads Taylor Fry’s insurance practice. She advises insurers, self-insurers and government clients on various aspects of risk and policy in commercial and personal lines and accident compensation. This includes areas such as scheme transfers, reviews, mergers and acquisitions, pricing and in Appointed Actuary roles. She is also responsible for the production of Taylor Fry’s annual publication ‘Radar – Insights for Insurance Leaders’. Win-Li has over 25 years’ actuarial experience as a consultant in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  

Guy Russell is a business strategy executive in financial services strategy with Accenture specialising in insurance and capital markets. For almost two decades, Guy has held a variety of roles. For the last six years, his work at Accenture has focused on strategy and operational consulting working with various global insurers and leading Australian banks. Using his deep industry knowledge, differentiated points-of-view and rigorous analytics, Guy has worked with organisations to help shape innovative and pragmatic value propositions, business strategies and operating models. These projects have involved leading teams to collaborate as organisations undertake large-scale transformation. Recently, Guy’s work has focused on new technologies such as the Internet of things and the effect on insurance.

Prior to Accenture, Guy worked at Deloitte and Credit Suisse. In addition, Guy held various project roles in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Guy has a degree from York University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He holds an MBA from the London Business School.


Samantha Cockfield is the Senior Manager Road Safety at the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in Victoria, Australia. Samantha has been involved in the road safety field since 1992, beginning her career as an economist working on the development and evaluation accident blackspot programs.

In her positon, Samantha is responsible for the development and delivery of the TAC’s road safety strategy which spans road infrastructure, vehicle safety initiatives and a range of programs designed to improve road user behaviours. She has led the development of several unique behavioural change programs including vehicle safety and young driver campaigns. In her current role she manages an experienced multidisciplinary team of road safety and communications professionals who undertake a broad range of research, analytical program development and marketing tasks.

Samantha’s current challenge is to increase the involvement and ownership of the Victorian community in road safety.


Stuart Bingham is a General Manager in the Diversified Institutions Division of APRA and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. He has had a number of roles in his eight years at APRA and has supervised ADI’s, Life Insurers, General Insurers and Superannuation Funds. He is currently the Chair of APRA’s General Insurance Industry Group.

Stuart has represented APRA on capital and solvency related sub-committees and working groups of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.

Stuart has over 30 years’ experience in the life insurance and wealth management industry and has held a number of senior actuarial and finance roles.  

  Dr Kate Spearritt is Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Partners.

Kate is one of the most experienced diversity and inclusion leaders in Australia, having held senior diversity leadership roles with Hewlett-Packard in Australia and Asia, Coles Group and National Australia Bank.

In 2009, Katie founded Diversity Partners, a specialist consultancy that helps companies to achieve diversity progress and create more inclusive, collaborative and high performing work environments. Under Katie’s leadership, Diversity Partners has built a reputation as a highly respected, client-focused consultancy that offers practical and world-class diversity and inclusion solutions.

  Craig Price leads the Data Science team within Suncorp’s Chief Data Office. His team of data scientists, actuaries and statisticians have a mission of embedding advanced analytics in decision processes across a range of business domains within the Suncorp Group. The team works on diverse engagements such as customer next best action projects, financial crimes analytics, banking credit risk and operational claims processes. His team both champions and is developing Suncorp’s Big Data platform to enable additional value to be extracted from its data assets.
  Mark Valena is an experienced Chief Executive with a proven ability to drive high performance cultures. He came to the helm at GMHBA in early 2008 with over 25 years’ experience in the general insurance sector as a senior executive, consultant and auditor. Mark is stilled in the negotiation and implementation of mergers and business transitions and navigating the complexities of highly regulated insurance markets. Under his guidance, GMHBA has expanded its portfolio to four health insurance brands and diversified to become a health services provider in its home markets. During his tenure as CEO as GMHBA, the not-for-profit has experienced significant enhancements across all key success factors including growth, gross margin and capital held and at the same time continues to enjoy strong member retention and satisfaction and high staff engagement. 

Donna Walker is Executive General Manager, Broker Business at Insurance Australia Group, and Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. She leads the commercial business distributed through brokers and authorised representatives under the CGU brand, with a focus on building mutually beneficial partnerships to deliver sound risk solutions that support businesses and the broader community.

Donna has over 17 years’ experience in the general insurance industry, having worked in a senior capacity across a variety of areas of the business, including leading large scale change programs, pricing frameworks, reinsurance projects and performance monitoring and management information delivery. Prior to her current role, she was General Manager of Claims and Chief Actuary for CGU Insurance, leading the provision of claims services across commercial and personal lines products and actuarial services. 

Donna is a passionate advocate of diversity and supporting work environments that allow people to thrive. 


Fergus Brooks, National Practice Leader, Cyber Risk, Aon Risk Solutions, is a highly experienced information, communications and technology (ICT) professional, who has worked in consulting, solution architecture and commercial roles. He has a deep knowledge and understanding of cyber risk and information security, and as National Practice Leader of Cyber Risk at Aon, works with clients to identify their cyber risk exposures and develop solutions that will secure their ICT infrastructure. A passionate cyber security evangelist, Fergus demystifies technology to ensure that the magnitude of a problem, or the effectiveness of a solution, are clearly understood and not lost in techno-babble.


Alan Greenfield is a general insurance Actuary with over 25 years’ consulting experience. Alan co-founded Taylor Fry in 1999 to provide first-rate actuarial services to general insurers and accident compensation schemes. Alan has been central in Taylor Fry’s expansion into data analytics and providing behavioural insights to government and business.  

Alan was the Actuaries Institute 2015 Actuary of the Year for his pioneering role in developing the ‘investment approach’ to social welfare. The investment approach uses actuarial principles and advanced analytics techniques to help government take a longer-term view of social outcomes.  

*Mr Michael Pascoe appears by arrangement with Saxton Speakers Bureau.

Keynote and Plenary Speakers

   paul mccarney simon reid Kate Mackenzie Vicki Mullen Estelle Pearson nick sordon win-li toh  samantha cockfield mark valena