MLC appoints new insurance GM
MLC has appointed Elio Garino to GM retail insurance operations. He is responsible for driving service and operational excellence across the new business and underwriting, in-force administration and insurance capability teams at MLC Insurance.
“We are delighted to have Elio on board to drive continuous improvement and maintain our focus on the customer experience,” said MLC Insurance EGM Duncan West. “He has a proven track record of building capability and creating operational efficiency to deliver great customer service.”
Elio has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services and has most recently been working in the NAB retail bank. Prior to joining NAB he was GM, financial protection operations, at AXA with overall responsibility for the service and operations areas of AXA’s life insurance business.
Elio succeeds Frank Lombardo who is now chief operating officer for NAB business.
ISN announces new chair
The Industry Super Network (ISN) has announced the appointments of The Hon Steve Bracks AC as new chair and The Hon Peter Collins AM QC as new deputy chair.
Bracks’ first duty as chair was to announce a new proposal by the ISN regarding governance and disclosure arrangements for the superannuation industry.
The proposal recommends universal governance and disclosure standards for the entire super industry, including the disclosure of director information and remuneration, fees paid to material professional and financial service providers, and related party transactions. It also calls for integrity in business conduct, in particular that related party transactions be made at ‘arm’s length’.
Bracks said that industry super funds have always worked in the best interests of members and that this included striving to achieve good governance practices. However, as the system matures, in order to ensure member confidence and trust in super, a system-wide approach was required.
“Improved governance and disclosure arrangements across the super industry are imperative for public accountability,” he said. “It is therefore necessary that the law require a level of transparency and integrity from the system that is consistent with the public interest and that will match the anticipated growth of the industry in future.”
Advance Asset Management adds portfolio manager
Advance Asset Management has added a specialist to their line-up of portfolio managers and appointed Mary Feros as Australian equities portfolio manager.
With over 20 years’ experience in financial services and investment management, Feros will be responsible for the Australian equities component of Advance’s multi-manager business. In previous roles, Feros has overseen multi-billion dollar portfolios that have delivered strong relative performance in a variety of market environments.
“We are delighted to have someone of Mary’s calibre join our specialist investment team. Mary brings with her an impressive track record in the asset management industry and, more specifically, a deep level of research knowledge within Australian equities,” said Patrick Farrell, head of Advance Asset Management.
AMP unveils upgrades to North platform
AMP’s market North platform has rolled out a number of enhancements to improve performance and cement its position as a full-service online platform.
Key features include:
The introduction of family fee aggregation (FFA), allowing up to four family members to take advantage of lower fees by combining account balances. FFA is available for spouses, including de facto and same sex, parents, children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren.
An upgrade of the technology infrastructure that supports the platform, providing a significant increase in capacity to support future growth in North transactions. Early results show a 20% improvement in the average response time across all North Online transactions.
The ability to generate up-to-the-minute online notifications to keep clients and advisers updated on the dividend and distribution dates of each fund on North’s investment menu.
A range of additional administrative enhancements to improve account management functionality for both clients and advisers.
New branding has been rolled out across all North’s communications, collateral and online sites – this forms part of AMP’s commitment to remove the AXA brand from the Australian and New Zealand markets by March 2013.