Outsider sends a big yuletide shout out to former Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia boss, Pauline Vamos, for taking on what might possibly be one of the bigger financial services challenges of 2019.
Vamos, for those who don’t already know, has been appointed chair of publicly-listed direct insurance outfit, Freedom Insurance Group. Yes, that’s the same Freedom Insurance that took up so many hours of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
Vamos, as a former Australian Securities and Investments Commission executive, will bring more than a modicum of regulatory knowledge to the role but from where Outsider sits the real challenge for Freedom is not regulation but rather finding a business model which will help it survive in a post-Royal Commission world.
Given that insurance sales via outgoing call centres looks like something the Royal Commission will demand is excised from the business model options book, Outsider wonders how Freedom is going to develop a growth strategy at the same time as meeting the requirements of the Financial Services Council’s proposed new and improved insurance code of conduct.
It was, after all, as recently as the beginning of October that Freedom announced it was suspending selling its products directly to consumers and that it was halving staff numbers and waving goodbye to its chief executive, Keith Cohen and chief financial officer, Jenny Andrews.
Still, Vamos knows the in and outs of financial services and Outsider feels sure that notwithstanding her untimely departure from reg tech outfit, Regnan earlier this year she will help lead Freedom to what Churchill once referenced as the broad, sunlit uplands.
So to Vamos on the finding of Freedom’s new strategy – Arriba! Arriba! Andale! Andale!