New MLC Life Insurance Board announced | MLC Life Insurance
Media statement

03 October 2016

New MLC Life Insurance Board announced

Peter Grey was today announced as the independent Chairman of the new MLC Life Insurance business.

Mr Grey will be joined on the board by:

  • Independent Non-Executive Director, Mr Andy Cornish; and
  • Non-Executive Directors, Mr Hiroyuki Nishi and Mr Toshihiro Nakashima.

These appointments are effective immediately, following today’s announcement that National Australia Bank’s (NAB) sale of 80% of MLC Limited – the entity which operates the MLC Life Insurance business – to Nippon Life Insurance Company (Nippon Life) has been completed.

NAB will continue to own and use the MLC brand in providing super, investments, advice and life insurance to customers, and will continue to distribute MLC Life Insurance products through its network. The MLC Life Insurance business will have a 10 year license agreement to use the MLC brand for life insurance.

Current independent Non-Executive Director and Chair of the MLC Audit Committee, Sandra Birkensleigh, will continue on the Board. Ms Birkensleigh will continue to bring her extensive experience from a range of other private sector, statutory and academic boards to MLC Life Insurance. CEO of MLC Life Insurance, Mr David Hackett, will also continue as Executive Director. Andrew Hagger will also continue on the Board, but as a Non-Executive Director.

NAB Group CEO Andrew Thorburn said, “The renewed board will collectively hold a deep understanding of MLC Life Insurance’s history and the insights and leadership to guide MLC Life Insurance as it looks to grow into the future.

“Mr Grey is a former senior diplomat and official, respected by business with strong international links, particularly in Japan.”

President and CEO of Nippon Life, Yoshinobu Tsutsui said: “The newly reconfigured board is fit for purpose. It brings together senior Japanese and Australian individuals. MLC Life Insurance is poised for strong performance.”

Mr Grey has more than 30 years of experience with Japan, having been Australia’s Ambassador to Japan from 1998 to 2001. He has also been Australia’s Ambassador to the European Union, and the World Trade Organisation and a former CEO of Austrade and Deputy Secretary of DFAT.

Mr Grey said: “I am greatly honoured to have been approached for this important role and to be able to steward MLC Life Insurance through its next phase of evolution towards becoming Australia’s leading and most trusted life insurer.”

The outgoing Chair of MLC Limited and NAB Non-Executive Director, Peeyush Gupta, has welcomed the new board appointments.

“It has been a privilege to Chair MLC Limited since December 2014. As the NAB and Nippon Life strategic partnership takes shape, I am very pleased that such a highly credentialed person as Peter Grey will become the new Chairman of the MLC Life Insurance business,” Mr Gupta said.

“Elana Rubin has now retired from the MLC Limited board. I thank her for her strong contribution and commitment to MLC’s customers as a Director for over three years. I also thank her for her substantial efforts in regards to the sale transaction of MLC Life Insurance to Nippon. We wish her the very best in her future endeavours.”

Andrew Gale will depart from the MLC Limited Board after having chaired the Board Committee oversighting the sale transaction of MLC Life Insurance to Nippon. Andrew will continue as Non-Executive Director within the NAB Group, including his current role as a NAB Wealth Advice and Licences Board Director.

Andrew Thorburn also thanked the outgoing MLC Limited board members.
“Their active and considered involvement has been instrumental in ensuring that the company is poised to enter into its new era with Nippon Life. I sincerely thank them for the influential part they have played,” Mr Thorburn said.

Peeyush Gupta will continue is his role as Non-Executive Director of NAB, and a number of NAB Group companies.


Peter Grey
Chairman and Non-Executive Director

Peter Grey is Chairman and a Non-Executive Director of the MLC Limited Board of Directors.

Peter Grey is a former senior diplomat, trade negotiator and public servant. Peter was Ambassador to Japan, the European Union, the World Trade Organisation and the first Ambassador for APEC. Peter was appointed Deputy Secretary of DFAT in 1994 where he had a particular focus on trade policy and negotiations, and bilateral relations with Asia, Europe and the Americas. He had chaired DFAT’s Audit Committee. Peter was also CEO of Austrade where he undertook a major transformation. He has more than 30 years experience working with Japanese business and government.

Currently Peter is Senior Adviser for International Business Engagement and Co-Chair of the Japan Business Group at Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Peter is also a member of the “Commission on Regional Trade” established by the Asia Society Policy Institute in Washington DC. He has served on a wide range of boards and is currently on the Board of the Asia Society, the European Australian Business Council and the Executive Committee of the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee and the Australia Korea Business Council. Former Boards include the Australia Japan Foundation, the Australia China Council and the Council on Australian Latin American Relations .He is a member of the Centre for Strategy and Governance in Canberra. Peter has a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from Sydney University and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford. He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sandra Birkensleigh
Non-Executive Director

Sandra Birkensleigh is a Non-Executive Director of MLC Limited, Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Risk Committee.

Sandra is also a Non-Executive Director of Auswide Bank, Chair of their Audit committee and member of the Risk and Remuneration committees. She is a Non-Executive Director of 7 Eleven, and Chair of their Audit and Risk Committees, and a Non-Executive Director of Horizon Oil Limited, Chair of their Audit committee and a member of the Risk and Due Diligence Committees. Sandra is also an independent member of the Audit Committee for the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Audit and Risk Committee of the University of the Sunshine Coast, and a board member and Treasurer of the Board of Management of The Children’s Therapy Centre.

Previously, Sandra held the role of Senior Partner of PwC until February 2013 and was the Global Head of Governance Risk and Compliance Services for PwC for five years.

Andy Cornish
Non-Executive Director

Andy Cornish is a Non-Executive Director of MLC Limited, Chair of the Risk Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Prior to retiring from executive life in June 2016, Andy Cornish was Chief Operations Officer at IAG and prior to that was Chief Executive Officer, Personal Insurance, IAG, from 2014. In that role, he was appointed Chairman and President of the Insurance Council of Australia. Andy also held the position of Chief Executive Officer, Direct Insurance, IAG for five years from 2009-2014.

Andy has more than 40 years' experience in the insurance industry, including with the RBS Group as Managing Director, NIG Insurance (UK) and CEO of Direct Line Insurance International, and with Zurich Insurance. Andy has extensive experience as a Director for Green Flag Group Ltd, National Westminster Insurance Services Ltd, Royal Bank Insurance Service Ltd, Direct Line Insurance, and the Insurance Council of Australia.

Hiroyuki Nishi
Non-Executive Director

Hiroyuki Nishi is a Non-Executive Director of MLC Limited.

Hiroyuki is a Director and Managing Executive Officer of Nippon Life Insurance Company in Japan. He joined Nippon Life in 1983 and since then he has held a number of leadership positions at Nippon Life and Nippon Life Group companies, including Director, Executive Officer and Chief Representative of the New York Office, Chief Representative of the London Office and Director of Nissay-SVA Life Insurance Co. Ltd in Shanghai. Hiroyuki has more than 30 years’ experience in the life company sector around the world.

Andrew Hagger
Non-Executive Director

Andrew Hagger is a Non-Executive Director of MLC Limited.

Andrew was appointed Chief Customer Officer, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at NAB in August 2016, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Prior to this he held the role of Group Executive, NAB Wealth from April 2013 where he was responsible for all NAB's wealth businesses including MLC, Plum, JANA, JBWere and NAB Financial Planning.

Andrew joined NAB in 2008 to lead the Private & Institutional Wealth business. In May 2009 he was appointed Executive General Manager of MLC & NAB Wealth's insurance business. In October 2010 he was appointed Group Executive, Corporate Affairs & Marketing before taking up the expanded position of Group Executive, People, Marketing & Communications in October 2011.

Prior to joining NAB, Andrew spent 21 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in a number of capacities, including Melbourne Managing Partner and as a member of PwC's Firmwide Leadership Team.

He is currently Chair of JBWere and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre Appeal Executive Committee.

David Hackett
Executive Director

David Hackett is Chief Executive Officer of MLC Life Insurance.

Prior to this David held the role of Executive General Manager Insurance for NAB’s wealth management business. In his role he was responsible for managing distribution, product, claims, operations and the Chief Actuary for the Life Insurance business which serviced Retail, Bancassurance, Direct and Group Insurance customers across NAB and MLC.

At NAB, David was Executive General Manager of Retail Wealth Products from 2013-2016, CFO Products and Markets in 2013 and CFO Wholesale Banking from 2010-2013.

Prior to joining NAB, David held a variety of roles in Australia and Japan including Aozora Bank (formerly Nippon Credit Bank), Nikko Citigroup, UBS Japan, SBC Warburg Australia and Deutsche Bank Australia.

David holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.

Toshihiro Nakashima
Non-Executive Director

Toshihiro is a Non-Executive Director of MLC Limited and is an Executive Officer of Nippon Life Insurance Company.

Prior to this Toshihiro was appointed GM, International Investments for Nippon Life Insurance Company, Tokyo in April 2012, responsible for international investment transactions.

Toshihiro was appointed CEO of Nippon Life Insurance Company of America (Nippon Life Benefit) in New York in 2010. At Nippon Life Insurance Company Tokyo, he was Chief Manager Human Resources Development (2006-2009) and Chief Manager Investment Planning (2006).

Toshihiro has experienced a long term successful career with Nippon Life Insurance Company including Chief Manager Human Resource Management for Nissay Asset Management Corporation Tokyo (2003-2006), and CEO of Nissay Deutsche Asset Management Singapore (2001-2003) having joined as a graduate in 1998.