AA Insurance appoints new CEO – Daily – Insurance News


AA Insurance appoints new CEO

16 November 2022

Auckland-based Michelle James has been appointed CEO at AA Insurance, effective from February, as Chris Curtin retires from the role after 28 years.

AA is a joint venture between Suncorp’s Vero Insurance and the New Zealand Automobile Association. Under Mr Curtin’s leadership, it grew to be one of New Zealand’s largest insurers, employing more than 1000 people and providing more than a million policies to over 500,000 citizens.

Ms James was most recently Tower Insurance’s MD Direct & Digital, responsible for the direct to consumer business, marketing and the digital offer, and part of the executive leadership team. She formerly spent more than a decade at Telstra in Sydney.

“I am excited to step into this role at such a pivotal time for the insurance industry,” Ms James said. “I look forward to working with the AA Insurance team to build on its success and contribute further to an industry that plays such a critical role in the lives and wellbeing of New Zealanders.”

Simon Hobbs will return to the role of GM Operations after serving as Acting CEO over the past year.

AA Chairman Doug McTaggart says Ms James is a highly experienced senior executive with a proven track record in delivering innovative customer experiences.

“The appointment of Michelle will enable AA Insurance to build on its outstanding reputation as a trusted insurer committed to going above and beyond for its customers, people and communities,” he said.

Last year, AA won general insurance company of the year and insurance learning program of the year at the New Zealand Insurance Awards, an event organised by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).

Mr Curtin, who began his career at GIO Australia in Sydney and took the GM role at AA in 1994, said it had been “a pleasure working closely with Doug and our board who have been inspirational in their support and guidance”.

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