OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
CEO New Zealand
As CEO New Zealand, Nick is proud to lead a passionate team of 900 people with the goal of making New Zealand
one of the healthiest and most protected nations in the world.
With 28 years of experience in the financial services sector, Nick has held a diverse range of senior
leadership roles in New Zealand. Nick was most recently CEO of Sovereign for two years. Prior to this, Nick was
the Executive General Manager of Wealth & Insurance at ASB Bank Limited. He has held a variety of key
leadership roles within ASB including General Manager Corporate Banking and Working Capital Services, General
Manager Business Banking and General Manager of Business Banking and Retail Specialist Services.
Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Nick is married with two daughters. Outside of work, he enjoys
keeping active, is a keen cyclist and gym goer and has competed in triathlons and Ironman events.
Chief Strategy Officer, CEO Office
As Chief Strategy Officer, Angela oversees all the functions of the CEO Office; strategy, communications, brand, and sponsorship (including corporate social responsibility).
Angela has more than 25 years' financial markets experience leading teams and developing strategies. Before taking on the role as Chief Strategy Officer, Angela held roles as Chief People & Culture Officer at Sovereign, Managing Principal of ASB Securities (where she played an active role in developing and establishing Whakaterehia, ASB's Maori Leadership programme), and General Manager of Aegis.
Of Máori descent, Angela is Te Rarawa and Ngati Tūwharetoa.
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Kristy is responsible for leading AIA and Sovereign’s key Legal, Corporate Governance and Regulatory Affairs
Over the past 16 years Kristy has successfully held a number of senior executive and corporate legal roles
across Australasia, United Kingdom and the Middle East, the last 10 of which have been in the insurance
She is dual-qualified to practice law both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
As a former international hockey player, Kristy is passionate about making a difference and helping Kiwis live
healthy, active lives.
Kristy is a strong governance leader and sits on a number of boards, including the New Zealand Hockey Board
and the Financial Services Council.
Chief Partnership Insurance Officer (Distribution)
As Chief Partnership Insurance Officer, Sam’s main focus is to deepen AIA’s relationships with our distribution partners and improve our service delivery, so we can provide faster, quality outcomes for our customers.
Sam has extensive experience in the financial services sector. Prior to joining AIA New Zealand in May 2019, Sam was the Regional Head of IFA and High Net Worth at AIA Group Office in Hong Kong where he was responsible for leading AIA Group’s overall High Net Worth, Brokerage and IFA growth strategy across 18 markets throughout Asia Pacific. Prior to this role, Sam worked out of the AIA Australia Office as Head of Retail Distribution and National Manager Strategic Partnerships. Before joining AIA, Sam worked with Aviva/MLC where he held a number of senior roles in corporate strategy, merger and acquisition, distribution and licensee development.
Sam holds a Bachelor of Business and a Masters of Business Administration both from RMIT University in Melbourne.
Chief Customer Officer
As Chief Customer Officer, Sharron provides vision and leadership to enable AIA and Sovereign to continue to improve its customer service, from partnership and online marketing to underwriting and the management of existing customers, including Claims and Rehabilitation.
With more than 20 years' experience in New Zealand's life insurance industry, Sharron has held a number of senior leadership roles across HR, operations and customer experience functions. Before taking on the role as Chief Customer Officer at Sovereign, Sharron held roles as Chief Officer People & Community, GM Customer Experience, GM HR and Head of Customer Services.
Sharron is a senior associate of the Australia & New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance. Of Máori-pakeha descent, Sharron's iwi is Maniapoto and Te Āti Awa.
Chief Product and Vitality Officer
As Chief Product and Vitality Officer, Len is responsible for the design and pricing of AIA and
Sovereign's risk and health products, as well as AIA Vitality.
As a qualified actuary and former consultant, Len's experience spans across the financial services
industry. Prior to joining Sovereign, Len worked as an actuary at MLC, managing the company's asset-liability
risk. He also worked as a consulting actuary at Deloitte, where he led numerous Australian and international
engagements, business development campaigns, and research projects.
Len is passionate about the role that insurance plays in securing people’s futures and helping to restore
Chief People & Culture Officer
Brynlea is responsible for overseeing people, capability and remuneration at AIA/Sovereign.
She has over 15 years’ experience in human resources and has worked across a number of industries.
Brynlea is committed to the HR function, working collaboratively with the business to achieve its strategic
objectives and ensuring that all employees have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Chief Risk Officer
As Chief Risk Officer, Doune leads her team to develop and maintain the governance frameworks that allow AIA
and Sovereign to effectively manage risks.
Doune has over 30 years' industry experience working in a variety of actuarial roles including product
pricing, product rationalisation and financial reporting.
Doune is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries Australia, Fellow of the NZ Society of Actuaries and has a BA
(Hons) from Massey University.
Chief Technology Officer
Shane leads the technology function for AIA and Sovereign.
Shane has over 30 years of experience in technology and senior management roles in New Zealand and Australia,
and has been accountable for some of the largest technology projects undertaken in New Zealand. Shane was
previously Chief Information Officer - Paymark, Chief Information Officer – Xtra Limited, Chief Information
Officer – Retail Division, Telecom NZ, Transformation Director with Melbourne IT in Melbourne and Programme
Director for a $120+m Data Centre transformation programme.
In his spare time, Shane enjoys spending time with this wife and two kids and is training for a marathon
mountain bike adventure. He is also the founder of www.driverlessplanet.com and an advocate for the benefits of
rapidly adopting this world-changing technology
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Linda and her team are responsible for financial and management oversight, which
covers many things that allow AIA and Sovereign to do what we do for our customers.
Linda joined Sovereign in 2004 and has over 30 years' industry experience working in the UK and New
Zealand in a variety of roles including pricing, financial reporting, project management and investments.
Linda is a Fellow of Institute of Actuaries of UK (FIA), Fellow of NZ Society of Actuaries (FNZSA), Fellow of
Finsia (F Fin) and has a BSc from Auckland University.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chair and Independent Non-Executive Director
Theresa was appointed as an Independent Director and Chair of Sovereign’s Board of Directors in July 2018, when AIA completed its acquisition of Sovereign Assurance Company Limited (Sovereign). She is also a Member of Sovereign’s board committees.
In May 2009 she was appointed as an independent Director of AIA Australia. In March 2010 Theresa was appointed Chair of the Board.
Theresa is the co-founder of the very successful start-up My Food Bag. From October 1999 to June 2007, Theresa was the CEO and Managing Director of Telecom New Zealand, where she led the company through world-changing technology developments.
In 2015 Theresa was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy and was inducted into the TVNZ New Zealand Marketing Hall of Fame. Theresa is involved with a number of not-for-profit and philanthropic interests, including being co-founder and trustee of the World Women Charitable Trust and Patron of the Cambodia Charitable Trust.
Chief Executive Officer (Australia and New Zealand) and Director
Damien Mu has more than 20 years’ experience in the Australian financial services industry, with management experience spanning operations, claims and underwriting, superannuation, investments, distribution, product, pricing and marketing.
Damien’s career at AIA Australia began in April 2007. Over that time he has held various roles as Head of Group Insurance, Chief Distribution and Marketing Officer and the role of General Manager - Life Insurance. In this time, the company achieved significant, positive growth across all three channels of the business and was the recipient of a number of major Life Insurance awards.
On 1 August 2014, Damien was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer, a reflection of his instrumental part in driving AIA Australia’s growth and sustained success in the Australian market. In July 2016, AIA New Zealand was added to his responsibilities to further the company’s growth plans, leverage scale opportunities and drive greater efficiencies. Damien is also a director of the Financial Services Council (FSC), Co-Chair of the Life Board Committee and Advisory Board member of the Shared Value Project. In June 2017, Damien was appointed a Board Member of MO Health Pty Ltd.
Regional Chief Executive and Director
Bill Lisle is the Regional Chief Executive responsible for AIA Group’s businesses operating in Thailand, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka as well as Group Partnership Distribution.
Bill was Chief Executive Officer of AIA’s operation in Malaysia from December 2012 to May 2015 including leading the large-scale and successful integration of ING Malaysia after its acquisition by AIA Group in 2012. He is a director of various companies within AIA Group including AIA Company Limited, AIA Australia Limited and Sovereign Assurance Company Limited. He is also a director of Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited, a joint venture between AIA Group and Tata Sons Limited in India. Bill joined the AIA Group in January 2011 as Group Chief Distribution Officer.
Prior to joining the AIA Group, Bill was the Managing Director, South Asia for Aviva from May 2009 until 2010. Prior to joining Aviva, Bill held a number of senior positions at Prudential Corporation Asia Limited, including Chief Executive Officer in Malaysia from 2008 to 2009, Chief Executive Officer in Korea from 2005 to 2008, Chief Agency Officer for ICICI Prudential from 2002 to 2004 and Director of Agency Development, South Asia in 2001.
CEO New Zealand (AIA & Sovereign)
As CEO New Zealand (AIA and Sovereign), Nick is proud to lead a passionate team of 900 people with the goal of making New Zealand one of the healthiest and most protected nations in the world.
With 28 years of experience in the financial services sector, Nick has held a diverse range of senior leadership roles in New Zealand. Nick was most recently CEO of Sovereign for two years. Prior to this, Nick was the Executive General Manager of Wealth & Insurance at ASB Bank Limited. He has held a variety of key leadership roles within ASB including General Manager Corporate Banking and Working Capital Services, General Manager Business Banking and General Manager of Business Banking and Retail Specialist Services.
Nick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and is a Board Member of the Financial Services Council of New Zealand. Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Nick is married with two daughters. Outside of work, he enjoys keeping active, is a keen cyclist and gym goer and has competed in triathlons and Ironman events.
Independent Non-Executive Director
Rob’s finance career spans over 30 years and he is an experienced and market respected Chief Financial Officer. His most recent executive role was as the Chief Financial Officer for Air New Zealand, a position he held for 13 years.
He has extensive governance experience in industry and professional bodies. Rob is an Independent Director on Sovereign’s Board and Board Committees. He is currently also a Director of Contact Energy Limited (Chairman from 1 September 2018), and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Also in September he will join the Board of Fletcher Building Limited, as a Director.
Rob has a Bachelor of Commerce from Auckland University and in 1999 completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Institute of Financial Professionals New Zealand.
Independent Non-Executive Director
As well as being a Director of the Board of the Sovereign Assurance Company Limited (Sovereign), Elizabeth Flynn has been an Independent Director of AIA Australia since 2011. She is also a member of AIA Australia’s Board Audit, Risk & Compliance Committees, and in August 2018 was also appointed Chair of the Board Remuneration Committee. In addition to her role on the AIA Australia Board, Elizabeth is currently a non-executive Director of IOOF Holdings Limited and several IOOF subsidiaries and chair of IOOF’s Risk & Compliance Committee and a Victorian Government appointed member of the Emergency Services Superannuation Board and chair of its Governance, Risk & Compliance Committee. Elizabeth is also the Company Secretary of Save the Children Australia.
Elizabeth held several roles at Aviva Australia during the period 1998 - 2010, including Chief Legal Counsel, Group Company Secretary and Group Compliance Manager. She was appointed to the company’s Executive Team in 2004.
Prior to joining Aviva Australia, Elizabeth spent 18 years at Minter Ellison, one of the largest law firms in Australia, where she practiced as a commercial lawyer with special expertise in the areas of superannuation, securitisation and collective investments.
Elizabeth is a fellow of the AICD, FINSIA, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators and the Governance Institute of Australia.