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ICA appoints Sue Houghton President in board changes

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has appointed Westpac GM Insurance Sue Houghton as President after she took over the role on an interim basis at the start of the month.

The council also announced several other board changes today.

Ms Houghton was previously Finance Director at Wesfarmers Insurance and held a number of senior positions at IAG. Her term as President and Chairman of the board will run to the end of next year.

Ms Houghton replaces Gary Dransfield, who stepped down after six months in the role and departed the board due to management changes at Suncorp that led to him leaving the company.

“It is a privilege to be taking up this role at such a critical time, as Australian insurers respond to significant change as a result of extreme weather events and COVID-19,” she said today following a board meeting held in Sydney and online.

ICA’s board today also accepted the resignations of Swiss Re Head of Australia and New Zealand Mark Senkevics and RAA Insurance CEO David Russell, and announced the appointment of Suncorp Insurance Product and Portfolio CEO Lisa Harrison.

Mr Senkevics is changing roles at Swiss Re and will head property and casualty underwriting for the Asia-Pacific region, based in Sydney. (See other story).

“Mark has served on the ICA board for more than eight years and has helped the industry and ICA executive team through several royal commissions, dozens of inquiries, natural disasters, regulatory reforms and economic and political volatility,” ICA CEO Rob Whelan said.

“He is passionate about climate change initiatives and brought a global reinsurance and strong consumer focus to board discussions.”

Mr Whelan says Mr Russell has been a staunch advocate for motoring club-owned insurers, South Australians and regional customers for the past five years. He was also a champion of the Code of Practice.