Global Speakers



Head of Research and Development

Munich Re

Vanessa Dobson leads a multi-disciplinary team comprising of Research and Development specialists in the fields of product, claims and underwriting to deliver strategic innovations in the pursuit of a holistic approach to risk. The team seeks to identify untapped opportunities in the arena of risk-management and formulate methods by which to capitalize on those opportunities.

Vanessa joined Munich Re in 2003 and held several roles within the Life Division before taking lead of the Research & Development team in July 2014. Vanessa has specialist expertise in the area of automated underwriting, is a Design Thinking practitioner, and active member in the InsurTech Australia space. Vanessa’s extensive knowledge and experience make her a well-respected member of the Munich Re Life Management Team.





Robert Kinkade specialises in helping large organisations accelerate customer experience and digital transformation. Robert has hands-on startup experience and previously led EY’s Digital Operations Practice across Asia Pacific; and led Accenture’s Digital Customer Practice for Australia and New Zealand.

Robert has worked across retail, consumer, travel, automotive, financial services, insurance and public sectors. He has been recognised as one of the top omni-channel leaders in Australia by helping senior leaders develop winning strategies and transformations to embrace the changing tech landscape – moving from being digitally disrupted to disruptor.

Robert is a co-founder of CX360  – A specialist organisation helping large enterprise clients transform customer experience across people, process, tech and culture.



CEO & Co-Founder

Insurtech Sydney

Brenton Charnley is an innovation, strategy and insurtech specialist experienced in helping entrepreneurs, teams and executives make ideas happen. Brenton is the Lead and Co-founder of Insurtech Australia, Australia’s first member organisation supporting growth of the Australian Insurtech ecosystem. Most recently, Brenton was the Chief Commercial Officer of ASX-listed AI Insurtech Flamingo Ventures and led strategy, sales, finances and operations across three continents. Brenton is now the Principal of Alpha39 Innovation, a specialist innovation and insurtech advisory helping financial services companies to make ideas happen.



General Manager, Innovation

TAL Life

Dan has been a catalyst for corporate change for over 15 years, leveraging data and predictive analytics to create new propositions and experiences for some of the world’s largest companies. Dan is currently General Manager, Innovation at TAL, Australia’s largest Life Insurer, where he leads the innovation team and data lab.

Dan’s experience includes data commercialization projects in businesses across a range of industries including shopping basket data at Tesco, Smart metering and utility data at British Gas, and transaction data at MasterCard.

Dan is a thought leader and published author (The Secrets of Big Business Innovation) with deep expertise in customer-led proposition design and leveraging the power of data and technology to deliver step-change commercial growth.



Managing General Partner of IAG Firemark Ventures


Ron currently leads IAG Firemark Ventures and invests in emerging businesses and capabilities to redefine and disrupt insurance.

Before entering the insurance industry, Ron has had and is still involved in small businesses and held senior positions in the Commonwealth and State Governments. Ron has spent over fifteen years in Executive positions in insurance at both IAG and AAMI. His executive leadership roles have spanned Marketing, IT, Digital, Strategy, Operations and Innovation.

Ron holds a Bachelor of Economics, and has completed the INSEAD Advanced Management Program and the Corporate Entrepreneur program at Stanford.



Group Chief Executive Officer

Cover-More Group

Mike Emmett joined Cover-More as Group Chief Executive Officer in July 2016 after a successful international executive career spanning Australia, the UK and South Africa. Prior to joining Cover-More, Mike was the Group Executive for Operations and Technology at QBE with global responsibility for technology, transformation and shared services.

Since joining Cover-More Group, Mike has re-shaped and re-invigorated the global travel insurance and medical assistance business through a strong focus on core capability, innovation and customer interaction. He led the successful acquisition of Travelex Insurance Services in the USA in 2016, securing a significant share of the world’s largest travel insurance market and, in 2017, purchased Halo Insurance Services, a specialist online rental car insurance platform with operations in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.

Cover-More, now part of Zurich Insurance Group and operating in 14 countries, partners with some of the world’s leading organisations with a multi-channel distribution approach, underpinned by proprietary customization and optimization technology. Mike’s leadership style is unconventional and his vision for the business is to transform travel insurance and health protection into a highly personalized customer experience by leveraging technology and looking beyond conventional distribution, purchasing and interaction models.



Chief Underwriter


Peter has been in the life insurance industry for 25 years.

He has held roles as Chief Underwriter of ING and RGA thus experiencing the dynamics from both the insurer and reinsurer perspective. These roles have included responsibility for strategy, risk management, process re-engineering and people. He also held the role of Director Business Development at RGA which included responsibility for account management and generation of new revenue streams.

Peter’s passion is challenging the status quo and transforming the science of underwriting.



Former Head of Innovation Labs


Over fifteen years financial services experience spanning Banking, General Insurance, Strategy and Innovation in both large institutions and start-ups. Executive level experience leading high-performing, multi-disciplinary teams. Demonstrated strengths in solving complex problems, leading major strategic change programs and building new organisational capabilities.

A proven strategic thinker, innovator and deal closer. Recognised for energy, pace, pragmatism, strong stakeholder management skills, building quality teams and delivering results.

Breadth of functional experience including strategy (organic and M&A), digital, marketing, communications, customer management, design & innovation, customer experience design, research and insights, product development and product management.



Chief Operating Officer – Actuarial and Analytics

Youi Insurance

Bert Bakker is the Chief Operating Officer: Actuarial and Analytics, a role which leverages his background as an Actuary with a BCom (Honours) in Insurance Science and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in the UK. Bert’s current responsibilities include pricing, underwriting, reinsurance and analytics, with each aspect underpinning Youi’s fundamental approach to accurate pricing of risk and operational excellence.

Since graduating, Bert has worked in general insurance. His employment history with the Group spans more than a decade having started in 2002 as an actuarial analyst at OUTsurance and progressing to a management role before being appointed as the company’s Chief Operating Actuary in 2014. In 2015 Bert relocated from South Africa to Australia to take up the position of Youi Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all of Youi’s operational teams across three countries (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) where Youi’s call centres are located. He was appointed to his current role as COO: Actuarial and Analytics in 2017.



Head of Supply Chain


Scott is currently Head of Supply Chain at IAG, joining IAG’s supply chain team in 2012 after a career in technology and application systems. The supply chain team work with its partners to deliver brilliant customer experiences during a claim with strong focus on quality and innovation.

IAG is continually scanning and evolving its technological capabilities in this fast paced environment.  During 2015 Scott reshaped and evolved IAG’s property repair and assessment business by increasing the role and participation of its partners in the claims life cycle.  By deploying technologies to improve the assessment process as well as creating a pipeline of activity designed to leverage capabilities of unmanned aerial aircraft in the insurance claims process, these have accelerated the customer process, improved the experience and reduced risk.



National Head of Insurance Broking

Macquarie Group

Eoghan Trehy is the National Head of the Insurance Broking Segment for Macquarie Business Banking. With 20 years’ experience in the banking and financial services sector, including three at Macquarie, he is driven by continual opportunities to learn more about the industries he serves, and his teams ability to provide a holistic banking partnership for clients.

Since 2015, Eoghan has lead the team in charge of business strategy for the Insurance broking segment and adjacent markets, delivering original ideas and specialist solutions tailored for the industry, providing market insights and helping clients achieve their growth aspirations.

Eoghan is excited by the potential of his team to adapt to the changing landscape of the insurance industry. His industry expertise and insights into insurtech enable him to help clients transform in this digital age. Macquarie, through Eoghan, recently joined the newly launched Insurtech Australia as a founding partner.



Co-Founder and Director

Advice RegTech

Samantha Clarke is a Co-Founder and Director of Advice RegTech, a consultancy for InsurTech and regulatory technology solutions.  Her 25 years of industry experience includes Executive Director roles at blue-chip multi-nationals in Australia and globally, plus government and regulator relations for NFPs, as well as start-up development, commercialisation and advisory.

Advice RegTech is a member of both the RegTech Association as well as FinTech Australia, and was selected for ASIC’s first RegTech showcase event this September. Samantha was recognised in the 2017 Money Management Women in Financial Services Awards for IT Innovation and Industry Advocacy. Also by the Women in Finance awards for association Leadership. Plus by the Business Fintech Awards, for Compliance Innovation.



Head of Underwriting and Product Development


Jeffrey currently serving as the Head of Underwriting and Product Development for Emergence, a Lloyd’s coverholder dedicated to Cyber insurance solutions for the SME segment.  Previous experience includes 27 years with General Re and Cologne Re, in both Asia Pacific and Europe as regional Chief Underwriter for all lines of Casualty Facultative and Program business.  The long career in insurance and reinsurance started in the US, underwriting Commercial Casualty, including complex all-lines loss responsive programs for Fortune 500 companies while at Aetna Casualty & Surety National Accounts Dept., as well as a book of E&S / Specialty Casualty business for The Hartford Specialty Company.



Chief Underwriting Officer, Risk Analyst and Statistician

SLE Worldwide

Dr Tony Carter, the Chief Underwriting Officer at SLE Worldwide Australia is a Biostatistician with an extensive record of improving profitability by using rigorous statistical methods to: identify and manage existing and emerging threats to profitability; collect and analyze data; generate and implement innovative evidence-based solutions; and evaluate and report results.

Internally, Tony works with the underwriters of the SLE Group to: analyse short- and long-tail portfolios to ensure sustainable underwriting profits; understand and manage broker relationships; improve internal and external reporting standards; enable underwriters to determine their risk appetite by identifying emerging trends and monitoring identified losses in sub-groups of risk. Externally, by collaborating with active underwriters and brokers, Tony identifies and quantifies risks to design, implement and evaluate highly specific evidence-based risk management interventions for insured clients addressing: organizational policies and procedures; employee knowledge, behaviours and skills; and workplace environments. Tony develops, implements and evaluates risk management and transfer solutions and ultimately improves client’s risk profiles, safety performance, capital expenditure and productivity by aligning the science of injury prevention and safety promotion to the loss histories and needs of clients.



Managing Director & CEO

Claim Central Consolidated

Brian Siemsen is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Claim Central Consolidated, a claims services across property and motor; insurtech and data and insights organisation. In 2011, he was recognised with an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Following a successful professional rugby league career, Brian fell into insurance and quickly understood the claim process and its key drivers: customer centricity; communication; cost; quality and lifecycle. In 2008, Brian set about building a business enabled by technology to consistently deliver what insurers want – to improve operational efficiencies and provide a superior service experience for their customers.

Digital innovation coupled with operational claims services, is the foundation upon which Claim Central continues to evolve and be recognised as pioneers of digital claims management and live video streaming across the Asia Pacific.




Finity Consulting

Jon is a senior consultant at Finity Consulting.  Jon has over 10 years of experience in General Insurance and Investment roles both with consultancy and corporate exposure.  Jon has previously held positions with Milliman Inc, QBE Insurance and JP Morgan – all based in Sydney.

Jon has extensive experience in the pricing and management of personal lines insurance products.  As a member of Finity’s pricing practice Jon assists a wide range of clients in managing product design and pricing issues that arise in their personal lines portfolios.



Managing Partner / Founder

The Waterman Partnership Pty Ltd/Poss-E

Michael is a Managing Partner of boutique consultancy ‘The Waterman Partnership’ and has been assisting clients in the financial services industry for the last 12 years, both in Australia and Asia. The Waterman Partnership works with clients to drive service, quality and productivity improvements and has become a specialist in the life insurance sector.

Michael’s major area of interest is in data science and analytics. He has developed a suite of tools and solutions, including the portfolio management software ‘poss-e’, which are used by insurers to drive performance.

Prior to joining the Waterman Partnership Michael enjoyed a successful career as an Electrical Engineering, working in manufacturing, marine, tele-communications and rail industries. Michael has leveraged his technical background, bringing some of tools and technologies used in other industries to the Insurance sector.



General Manager of Business Development

AS White Global

Daniel is currently the General Manager of Business Development Management for new partnerships with AS White Global, which help organizations to build their global teams and capability through providing international talents. His entrepreneurship talent lead him to be the founder of Briggins, an Australia’s largest and original Australian travelling Menswear Retailer, as well as Epic, an interstate equipment hire company. Prior to this, Daniel is a professional AFL Sportsperson for the Melbourne Demons.



General Manager of Technology


Shane is currently the General Manager of Technology at EML who has been managing workers insurance and injured workers compensation claims in Australia for over 100 years. He has been responsible for the business operations and the people management across all areas of EML. Prior to his current role, he has served as the Service Delivery Manager for EML. Shane has strong IT service management skills where he was a Microsoft specialist for Genworth.



Director Of Partnerships


Niki is a global strategist passionate about the frontier of distributed ledger technology and its potential to spur the development of innovative business models in financial services and adjacent sectors.

He currently develops partnerships in Asia for R3, a consortium of 80 financial institutions, and its Corda platform. Through his career he has worked across a range of sectors including FinTech startups, banking and management consulting.

Niki completed his MBA at Berkeley and previously was the head of Strategy at ING in Australia where he explored market opportunities for innovative new products and drove the development and execution of corporate strategy.



Head of Innovation

Bit Trade Australia Pty Ltd

Hugo is the co-founder and Head of Innovation of Bit Trade Australia, the nation’s leading fixed-price bitcoin exchange. Hugo currently works as a developer at Bit Trade Labs, a blockchain product incubator, and enjoys solving problems and making things.





Luke Warner is an experienced Consultant who has spent the past ten years in the operations space. Having worked in General Insurance, Group Insurance and Retail Life insurance he has an interesting perspective on the industry and the differences between various lines of insurance.  Luke is currently working at Gallagher Basset within the newly formed Life and Disability Team who have recently entered the Market within the Life Insurance space to alleviate the pressure on today’s insurers. Concurrently Luke is involved in the start-up – OneClaim, winner of the Most Innovative Solution from Stone and Chalk/Insurtech. OneClaim is looking to change the way claims are lodged and how customers are communicated with to create a positive and seamless claims experience.



Managing Director


James Ward is a leading thinker and practitioner in the art of applying Artificial Intelligence to the challenges of business strategy, with a particular focus on marketing and distribution in Financial Services. He is the CEO of Epistemology, which is an AI consulting and products business.

Prior to that, he was the former Head of Analytics for IAG Satellite who developed group wide Artificial Intelligence strategy using the power of Machine Learning, to increase IAG’s ability to keep policyholders safe while delivering a beautiful customer experiences. James was also the former Senior Manager of Analytics for McKinsey & Company as well as former Director of Technology Advisory for Deloitte as an industry insider working with some of Australia’s largest Financial Services companies in Banking and Insurance, and as a fundamental academic researcher with the Key Centre for Advanced Computing Sciences.



Founding Partner


Tim Ryan is a founding partner at the performance improvement firm Innovior. Based in Melbourne, Innovior is helping companies all over Australia improve core operations and customer experience using automation.

Innovior takes a ‘business focused’ approach to automation and has developed a methodology that combines Lean Six Sigma with the latest automation technology to create scalable and robust automation capabilities.

Prior to co-founding Innovior, Tim spent the previous 10 years in the UK and Lloyd’s insurance industry where he managed outsourcing, technology and process transformation programs.  He is Lean Six Sigma qualified and holds an MBA from Melbourne Business School.




Compliance Advocacy Solutions Pty Ltd

Paul utilises his legal knowledge and his 30 years’ corporate experience to lead and manage compliance risk across the insurance business of Suncorp till November 2017.

He is a member of the NeuroLeadership Institute and an advocate in driving risk culture and uplifting risk maturity through behavioural change. His interest is in its application to leadership so that I can influence people to be the best they can and that our compliance systems enable awesome customer outcomes.

He is a Fellow of ANZIIF and utilise his network connections to enhance industry performance. He works closely with industry bodies and regulators to ensure the regulatory environment provides fair outcomes especially for those in our community impacted by financial hardship, vulnerability and mental health issues. He will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.



CEO & Founder

Flamingo Venture

Dr. Wallace is the Founder & CEO of high-profile Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning company, Flamingo AI, which provides Cognitive Virtual Assistants, ROSIE & MAGGIE, used by Financial Services companies to guide customers through their sales and service journeys, improving online sales conversion rates and customer experience. Flamingo AI is the second only women led (CEO & Chair) business to ever list on the ASX (FGO).

Based in NYC and Sydney, Dr. Catriona Wallace is one of the world’s most cited experts on the Future of Customer Experience, Artificial Intelligence and Bot Strategy.

Catriona has a PhD in Organizational Behavior: Human Technology Interaction, is a well published author and is recognized as one of Top 4 Most Respected People globally in the Customer Experience sector.

Catriona is a highly awarded business person having been inducted into the Australian Business Woman’s Hall of Fame, winning Advance Australia’s top prize for Technology & Innovation for Australian’s working abroad, winning Telstra Business Awards and is Alumni in the Springboard Enterprises Women Entrepreneur’s program. Catriona was also awarded a Pearcey Foundation award for tech entrepreneurs.

Catriona is also a high profile philanthropist, human rights activist and mother of five.





With 10+ years experience in helping companies build relationships with their customer base most recently as a claims specialist, Gilberto is a passionate and focused insurtech startup founder. Having worked for both third-party providers as well as large insurers, his keen industry insight and understanding of the problem for both claims teams and claimants lead to the creation of Myclaimmate; a SAAS platform simplifying the claims process for all stakeholders.





Based in Sydney Australia, Michael Graham is a co-founder of the Mercurien Group encompassing Mercurien Insurance Pty Ltd and Principal of Fleetrisk. With a background in brand and product innovation Mr Graham is now focussing his efforts on innovation in insurance at the intersection of technology, data analytics and emerging business models. Mercurien has recently been accepted into the Singapore based KPMG Digital Village to develop MVP for on-demand car insurance.



Co Founder

Insured by Us

Ben is the founder of Insured By Us, a brandable travel insurance service and platform configured to meet your needs. Over the past three years he and his team have built a solid portfolio of clients that use our Voyager platform to sell insurance to hundreds of thousands of travellers around Australia. Ben is also part of the co-organiser of Insurtech Sydney as well as he is a serial entrepreneur in the insurance sector having founded a number of insurance related technology businesses.



CEO & Founder

Cover Genius

Chris Bayley is the cofounder of Cover Genius, one of the fastest growing InsurTechs globally. Cover Genius is the parent company of B2B2C global specialty line insurer, and BrightWrite, a B2B platform that brings data science & Machine Learning to distribution.

Prior to starting Cover Genius, Chris was responsible for the insurance vertical at Google. Chris has an MBA from University of Technology Sydney and a BA with Honours.