Challenger board welcomes two new directors

13 November 2023
| By Rhea Nath |
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Experienced financial services executive Lisa Gray has been appointed non-executive director of both Challenger and Challenger Life Company, effective 9 November 2023.  

She brings more than three decades of experience to the role across private and public sector businesses. 
Gray presently serves on the boards of ING Bank as chair of the risk committee and Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC) as chair of the people and remuneration committee.

Her experience also includes CEO of VFMC for over five years; CEO of MLC Insurance for almost three years; group executive for personal banking at NAB for four years; and managing director of Plum Financial Services, a joint venture between MLC and Vanguard, for over three-and-a-half years. 

Challenger Limited chair Duncan West said he was delighted to welcome Gray to the board.

“She is a highly experienced director, having chaired risk, audit and remuneration committees across several boards in Australia. Her expertise and leadership across financial services, particularly in investment and wealth management, will complement the capability and skills of our existing directors,” he said.

“Lisa also brings a strong focus on customer and digital innovation, which will be highly valuable as Challenger implements its strategy to meet more customer needs across a broader range of channels.”

Commenting on her appointment, Gray said: “I have a long-held interest in the sustainable wealth for Australians through their lifetime and I’m delighted to be joining a company that plays an important role in the Australian retirement ecosystem.”

The board also welcomed Matthew Michelini, head of Asia Pacific at Apollo Global Management, as a non-executive director. 

This is part of a new strategic partnership that will provide Challenger Life with access to Apollo’s high-quality direct asset origination capability. Building on an existing collaboration between both businesses, it includes a distribution agreement to build Apollo’s aligned alternatives strategy to the Australian market and a joint venture to build a non-bank lending platform in Australia and New Zealand. 

The appointments of Gray and Michelini reflect Challenger’s commitment to board renewal and maintaining a strong mix of experience and industry knowledge across the board, the firm added. 

Both directors will stand for re-election at the annual general meeting in October 2024. 

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