MLC Life appoints chief group insurance officer

MLC Life Insurance has appointed Mark Puli, chief executive of industry fund ESSSuper, as chief group insurance officer following changes made to the structure of its life insurance division.

Following a review, the company’s group insurance team will become a separate, standalone function reporting directly to chief executive, Rodney Cook.

The retail insurance team will continue to remain in the life insurance division, under the leadership of chief life insurance officer Michael Rogers.

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Puli would join MLC Life Insurance in late January 2022 and replace outgoing chief group insurance officer, Sean Williamson.

Puli had over 30 years’ experience in financial services and was most recently was the CEO at ESSSuper since 2011, after initially joining the fund in 2009 as chief financial officer.

He had held senior roles at Aviva Australia, Merrill Lynch Investment Management and Mercer, while his expertise included super, investment platforms, funds management, strategy and product development.

Rodney Cook, MLC Life Insurance chief executive, said the life insurance industry continued to undergo significant change, particularly in group insurance.

“Given our ambition to grow our presence in the group market, the board and I believe the time is right for it to become a separate, standalone division, reporting directly to me,” Cook said.

“We believe this change will provide even stronger support for our existing and future group partners.

“As a result of this proposed change, we began an extensive internal and external executive search to find the right candidate for the role.

“I’m delighted to welcome Mark to MLC Life Insurance. He brings a wealth of experience and an exceptional depth of understanding about superannuation, group insurance, and how to provide the best experience for members.”

Cook thanked Williamson for the “significant role” he played over recent years.

“I’d like to thank Sean for his strong contribution and commitment to our superannuation partners and our business, as well as for his committed leadership of the group insurance team,” Cook said.

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