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We are
Vero

We are New Zealand’s general and specialist insurance experts. We’re here to make insurance mean more for our customers and it drives everything we do.

Our partners

As a leading intermediated general and specialist insurer we work with a range of business partners to make a positive difference to our customers’ lives.

Our partners

Powered by our people: careers at Suncorp New Zealand

It’s our people that make us different, because they’re genuinely passionate about improving the financial wellbeing of New Zealanders.

As part of the Suncorp Group of companies we give our people the freedom to work in a flexible environment. We respect and encourage diversity and we’re committed to delivering great outcomes for our customers.

View our current vacancies

About us

We’re for New Zealand

As a leading intermediated general and specialist insurer we’re here to make insurance mean more for our customers. That means we do what really matters to make insurance more useful and more relevant to help New Zealanders feel more confident.

We distribute our products through our large broker and adviser network, as well as through our partnerships with some of New Zealand’s leading financial institutions and retailers. We create value for our customers and business partners by making it easier to do business.

In 2015 and 2016, Vero was awarded ‘Intermediated Insurance Company of the Year’ at the New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF). It was named ‘Best Intermediated Insurer 2015’ in a survey of nearly 1000 New Zealand insurance brokers and advisors. Vero was also named ‘Most Valued Insurer’ by the Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand (IBANZ) for the 2014-2015.

We are a member of the Insurance Council of NZ and adhere to the Fair Insurance Code, which provides you with assurance that we have high standards of service to our customers.

Vero Liability

Vero Liability is a specialist liability company. It insures individuals and companies for risks such as public liability, professional indemnity, employer’s liability and statutory liability.

Go to Vero LiabilityExternal Link

Part of the Suncorp Group

Vero is part of Suncorp New Zealand, a leading general and life insurance business. In turn, Suncorp New Zealand is part of Suncorp Group – a major general insurance, banking, life insurance and superannuation business with brands in Australia and New Zealand. Suncorp Group Limited is a Top 20 ASX-listed company with A$96 billion in assets and more than nine million customers.

Information

Financial strength

Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited has been given an A+ insurer financial strength rating by Standard & Poor’s.

More on our financial strength

Suncorp New Zealand leadership team

Paul Smeaton

Paul Smeaton
Chief Executive

Paul Smeaton is Chief Executive Officer Suncorp New Zealand, responsible for the strategy and operational delivery for Suncorp New Zealand business which includes the Vero, Asteron Life and AA Life brands. Paul is also a Director of Vero Liability, AA Insurance and the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

Paul has more than 30 years’ financial services experience having worked in banking, funds management, stock broking, life and superannuation and general insurance.

After working in the UK for seven years, Paul joined Suncorp in 1994. During his time with Suncorp he has held several senior positions within Information Technology, Corporate Projects, Human Resources, Procurement, Facilities and General Insurance.

In 2006 Paul was appointed General Manager Property Claims and, as a result of the Promina acquisition, he took on the role of Executive General Manager – Commercial Claims. In November 2008 he was appointed to the board of RACT Insurance and then in November 2010 Paul took on the role of Executive General Manager – Statutory Claims, Commercial Insurance. In September 2015 Paul was appointed as Chief Executive at Vero in New Zealand.

Catherine Dixon

Catherine Dixon
Executive General Manager, People Experience

Catherine is part of Suncorp Group’s People Experience leadership team which drives Suncorp’s talent, capability and workspace needs to deliver the Group strategy.

Catherine is accountable for delivering and managing the workforce and workspace strategy for the New Zealand business and the Risk and People Experience functions.

Catherine has worked in the Suncorp Group since 1999 when she joined the life business of Royal & Sun Alliance. During her tenure she has supported significant change including the acquisition and divestment of a number of businesses. Before joining the Group she worked for IAG in both business and HR roles for 13 years.

Helen McNeil
Head of Risk

Helen is the Head of Risk for the Suncorp Group in New Zealand and is accountable for internal and external risk, compliance and regulatory affairs, as well as other second line of defence risk-related accountabilities.

Helen has over 11 years’ experience in the insurance industry and spent 15 years acting as a litigation solicitor in both Australia and New Zealand.  Most recently Helen has been EM Insurance Legal supporting Suncorp NZ across a wide range of legal issues. Career highlights include taking the lead on legal matters relating to our Earthquake Recovery Programme and she was a key contributor to shaping the insurance industry’s response to the review of the EQC Act. 

In her spare time Helen loves spending time with her husband and young son and enjoys travel, fishing, good food, wine and whiskey.

Jimmy Higgins

Jimmy Higgins
Executive General Manager, Claims

Jimmy is responsible for managing claims on behalf of all Suncorp New Zealand products and portfolios across general and life insurance, including our specialty offerings such as Marine and Corporate.

With 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Jimmy joined Vero in March 2012 and led Vero's integrated claims operations, which included responsibility for our earthquake response programme and resolving the remaining earthquake claims.

Jimmy has held a number of roles in the Suncorp Group since joining the business in 2008. Initially, he was responsible for managing major events for the Suncorp Insurance brand before taking up a role as the Executive Manager Claims in Suncorp Insurance.

After the transformation of brands within the personal insurance business, Jimmy was appointed to the role of Executive Manager, General Insurance Fraud & Investigation and was responsible for claims fraud management, quality assurance and process governance for personal insurance claims. He was also instrumental in the Group’s response to the natural disasters in Queensland as Executive Manager, Queensland Event Recovery.

Campbell Mitchell
Executive General Manager, Customer Marketplace

As EGM of Customer Marketplace, Campbell is responsible for the delivery of Suncorp New Zealand’s customer strategy across the Vero Insurance and Asteron Life brands.

Campbell has a wealth of experience in customer insights, digital marketing and brand strategy, retention and managing a mix of direct and intermediated customers.

Prior to joining Suncorp, Campbell was the Chief Marketing Office at Fairfax Media where he was responsible for all business to consumer revenue and strategy. His remit also included New Ventures including startups and creating and growing an events business.

New to the insurance industry Campbell has held senior roles in marketing, sales and digital on both sides of the Tasman and started his career as a journalist in New Zealand.

Kate Dron
Appointed Actuary

Kate leads the Appointed Actuary team for Suncorp New Zealand and is the Appointed Actuary for both Vero and Asteron. Kate’s team has the responsibility for Actuarial Valuations, Capital Management, Investments, Reinsurance and Technical Pricing.

She has more than 25 years’ experience in financial services working in actuarial, product management, strategy, risk and reinsurance.

Kate has previously worked with a number of financial services companies in both NZ and the UK. Kate has a degree in Mathematics, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Actuaries, and is a member of the Institute of Directors..

Kate has two sons who like to keep her fit and active. Apart from spending time with her young family, her other interests include running, reading and indulging in great food and wine.

Adam Heath
Executive General Manager, Insurance Solutions

Adam and his team are accountable for the profitability and sustainability of Suncorp New Zealand’s general and life insurance businesses, with a specific focus on the areas of portfolio management, underwriting, product, and pricing.

His focus is on creating value for our customers and our business partners by making it easier to do business with Suncorp across the markets in which we operate, specifically: Life, Consumer, Business, Rural, Corporate, and Marine insurance.

Adam brings considerable experience to Suncorp New Zealand, from a strong background in general insurance, life insurance, banking and telecommunications. Adam holds a Masters of Commerce degree (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland.

Adam’s interests include spending time with his wife and two young boys, fishing, skiing, hobby farming and enjoying New Zealand’s great outdoors.

Cris Knell

Cris Knell
Executive General Manager, Distribution

Cris leads the distribution team managing Suncorp New Zealand’s intermediated relationships with insurance brokers, insurance advisers, cluster groups and dealer groups and a range of highly regarded corporate partners, represented by our “go to market” brands of Vero Insurance and Asteron Life.

With a focus on our intermediated partners, the distribution function aligns our products and services to meet a broad array of our customer’s needs, as we seek to safeguard the interests of our intermediaries, business customers and individual policyholders. Protecting the financial wellbeing of New Zealanders is core to our role.

In an ever changing world, Suncorp New Zealand continues to explore and evolve our products and services for our customers. The distribution function works closely with our wider business to ensure that new digital ways of working are incorporated into our workstreams, that enable vital and relevant products and services to be delivered with greater speed, certainty and clarity to our intermediated partners and end policyholders.

Prior to Suncorp, Cris held a number of senior executive positions during his 25 years at AIG, working in UK/ Ireland, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS, Asia and Australasia. As CEO of AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited, Cris steered that business through the financial markets collapse, Christchurch earthquake recovery and negotiated AIG’s first commercial sponsorship of the New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks.

Cris is actively engaged in the insurance industry, having served as a board member and Vice President of the Insurance Council of New Zealand. More recently, since 2016 he is serving as a board member of the Financial Services Council.

Tim Buckett

Tim Buckett
Chief Financial Officer

Tim is the Chief Financial Officer for Suncorp New Zealand. Tim’s division carries responsibility for Financial Control, Strategy and Performance management, and Procurement.

He has 25 years’ experience in financial services working in strategy, marketing, product management and finance.

Tim has previously worked with Unilever, British Rail, Citibank, Westpac, and St George. Tim has a degree in Commerce, is a CPA, holds an MBA, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tim has three daughters. In his younger days, Tim was an active sportsman playing cricket at a competitive level, but now enjoys a more leisurely game of golf. Other interests include spending time with his young family, music and indulging in great food and wine.


Vero Voice

Vero Voice • 19 October 2016

Research shows only a quarter of 15-year-olds in New Zealand live with both their biological parents. Insurance models remain largely traditional, so how can parents with shared custody of their children make sure their contents insurance is protecting the things their kids’ value?

Adam Heath

By Adam Heath
Executive General Manager, Insurance Solutions

Here for good

We’re dedicated to getting out into the community and making a real difference to the lives of New Zealanders.

As part of Suncorp Group we give our employees access to our Brighter Futures Community Giving Program which unites, engages and empowers individuals to make a difference to causes they’re passionate about. This program provides our employees with multiple opportunities to get involved, give and share by volunteering, fundraising, donating and payroll giving.

Find out more