Zurich Australia & New Zealand announces new Board appointment – Geoff Summerhayes


3 February 2022: Zurich Australia & New Zealand has today announced the appointment of Geoff Summerhayes to Zurich’s suite of Boards commencing immediately.

A former financial services CEO, director and APRA Executive Board Member, Geoff joins five of Zurich’s main APRA-regulated Boards as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Member of Risk, Compliance and Audit Committee. These include:

  • Zurich Financial Services Australia Limited (ZFSA)
  • Zurich Australia Limited (ZAL)
  • Zurich Australian Insurance Limited (ZAIL)
  • OnePath Life Limited (OPL), and
  • OnePath General Insurance Pty Limited (OPGI).

Geoff’s role on ZFSA’s Board also includes Member of People and Remuneration Committee. He also joins Zurich Investment Management Limited’s (ZIM) Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

As an APRA Executive Board Member, Geoff most recently championed significant organisational transformation across APRA’s strategy, leadership capability, diversity and culture during a five-year tenure.

In recent years, Geoff has led significant regulatory change in Australia and globally as a forthright leader, raising awareness of climate change financial risk. His chairperson and leadership roles include the Council of Financial Regulators Working Group on Climate Change with members including APRA, ASIC, RBA and Treasury, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Audit and Risk Committee, and the UN Environment Program’s Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF), a global body of insurance regulators collaborating on sustainability and climate change.

Commenting on the appointment, Chair of Zurich’s Boards, Paul Bedbrook said, “Geoff’s extensive experience and expertise in commercial and regulatory matters represents a valuable appointment to Zurich’s Boards. Along with his deep knowledge of the industry, Geoff’s experience also complements the diverse capabilities of our Board Members and we welcome and look forward to his contribution.”

Justin Delaney, CEO Zurich Australia and New Zealand, added: “We are very fortunate to have such a high calibre addition to our Boards. Geoff’s appointment reflects the commitment we have at Zurich to strengthen our position in the market by bringing unique leadership to our strategy, governance and culture.”

Geoff has recently been appointed Chairperson of Beyond Zero Emissions, an independent, solutions-focused think tank centred on a prosperous zero-emission economy for Australia. He is also a Non-Executive Director at Heartland Group Holdings Ltd NZ.

Prior to his Board role at APRA, Geoff was CEO of Suncorp Life, CEO Superannuation and Investment at MLC, and held a number of senior executive roles at National Australia Bank. He started his career in commercial property development at Lend Lease.

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Zurich Financial Services Australia is a life insurance, commercial insurance and investments specialist that has been participating in the Australian market since 1920. Since its acquisition of OnePath Life from ANZ in 2019, the company provides life insurance to more than 1.5 million Australian customers under both the Zurich and OnePath Life brands.  Further information about Zurich Financial Services Australia is available at www.zurich.com.au.

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer serving people and businesses in more than 200 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote wellbeing and enhance climate resilience.

Reflecting its purpose to ‘create a brighter future together’, Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and has the highest-possible ESG rating from MSCI. In 2020, Zurich launched the Zurich Forest project to support reforestation and biodiversity restoration in Brazil.

The Group has about 60,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information is available at www.zurich.com.