Insurtech Gateway Australia partners hero

Meet our mentoring team

CLAIRE WIVELL PLATER

Strategic Advisor

Claire is a strategic and governance advisor to early stage early stage tech ventures, following 35+ years as a financial services and insurance lawyer with The Fold Legal and Philips Fox (now DLA Piper). Claire focuses primarily on the intersection between regulation, structure and strategy. She has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of Australia’s fintech sector, assisting to found Fintech Australia, serving on the inaugural Australian Government FinTech Advisory Group and leading a number of industry working parties. Claire also serves as a non-exec director of Youi, Athena Home Loans, Aware Financial Services and The Stella Prize.


DAVID KRAWITZ

Insurtech Gateway Australia Advisor

David brings a wealth of insurance strategy and operations experience after more than two decades working in both the Australian and Global General Insurance markets. Whilst at McKinsey he helped leading global insurers to thrive, and most recently as COO of Allianz Australia he led its IT and business transformation. David has deep expertise across all aspects of the insurance value chain—from product development and distribution to claims and back-end services—and as a recent “insider” he has strong views regarding attractive Insuretech opportunities for both incumbents and new entrants.

 

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

While going back a while, my most risky leap would still probably be moving to New York City when I was 20 years old with no place to live, no job and no clear plan other than to “give it a shot!”. The great thing about such a situation is that having no money in NY is the ultimate motivator. I never would have guessed that it would lead me to the other side of the world, but for sure I would not be here in Sydney today without that first big step.

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

After years of hard work, I think my biggest accomplishment in business would be getting properly good at attracting great talent and helping these people thrive and grow. I believe I’ve helped numerous people become better at what they do, and there is no better two-way street as I have learned and grown so much in return.

 

What’s your motto?

Execution eats strategy for breakfast (and culture eats it for lunch)!

 

Your muse for business success?

I have found ongoing inspiration and motivation from a host of people at all stages of their lives and careers. Whether the wisdom of someone who has seen it all or the enthusiasm of someone new to the game I have and continue to be inspired by countless individuals.


Ron Arnold Associate PartnerRON ARNOLD

Insurtech Gateway Australia Associate Partner

Ron Arnold has over 30+ years C suite and executive experience in the insurance industry, during which time he shared responsibility for brands including NRMA, AAMI, JCI, SGIO, SGIC, Bingle & Skilled Drivers. During his 11 years at IAG he led the establishment of the Gradient Institute (an independent, not-for-profit research institute progressing
the research, design, development and adoption of ethical AI systems), and launched and led the $75m Firemark Ventures Investment Fund and the Firemark Singapore Innovation Lab. Along the way, he has also been involved on multiple Boards (e.g. Stone & Chalk, GIVIT, Pocketbook) and previously held senior roles in the State and Federal Governments.

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

Kept changing roles – getting out of my comfort zone. My Exec roles have spanned multi-billion dollar operational P&Ls, through to specialist roles from Marketing, Strategy, Digital, Corporate Affairs, IT, Legal through to, Risk and Compliance and HR.

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Started a business with some friends with only $10k – turned out OK. I’ve had a few of my own start-ups along the way including Stationary Supermarket, Fully Stoked, perfectpets. com.au

 

What’s your motto?


Have limited objectives, and be an overwhelming force

Your muse for business success?

Putting a man on the moon – because it is proof that if you dream big, anything is possible.


ALANA BURTON

CFO, ZeroCo

Alana has close to 20 years’ experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry including as CFO and director of Equator Re (QBE’s internal captive reinsurer) and Financial Controller of QBE Australia Pacific. Currently, Alana is CFO and board member at an ecommerce start-up which she has helped guide through pre-seed and seed capital raises, product launch and scale-up. She has in-depth experience in reinsurance, capital management, risk, financial reporting, planning and analysis. She is also an experienced director.

 

What’s your muse for business success?

I’ve been a fan of Marie Curie since I was a kid; a real female pioneer in her field.
Business success has never been something I have specifically aspired towards. I have always just been passionate about delivering in whatever role I have held, been focused on bringing a great team of smart and motivated people along on the journey and worked really hard along the way.
I believe long term success will come naturally if you get it right day-to-day and continue to put yourself in challenging situations where you learn and develop.

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

Academically speaking, being awarded the University Medal from UNSW is pretty high up on the list. But nothing can top the brilliance of bringing 3 beautiful little people into this world and helping them navigate through it.

What’s your motto?


My family is full of mottos! Here are just a few: You only live once; There’s no such thing as can’t; Actions speak louder than words. My favourite is probably “Why not?”. It’s a simple, open-minded philosophy to apply to most challenges in both business and personal life.

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Convincing my hubby to quit his job, take on primary parenting responsibilities of our 10 month-old daughter and move with me to the other side of the world, to a small country neither of us had stepped foot in, so I could accept a CFO role in Bermuda. It was the most rewarding role I’ve held to date and also a pretty awesome place to live for a few years!

 


MARTIN MULCARE

Insurtech Gateway Australia Chairman, Mentor & Adviser

Martin Mulcare is an independent business adviser and director. Martin is fascinated with business ethics and promotes higher quality governance.
Prior to his current portfolio of activities, Martin had more than 25 years experience in the financial services industry. He developed his financial and analytical acumen as an Actuary and then enjoyed executive financial and general management roles with two leading financial institutions. Martin has enjoyed roles on the board of Scor Global Life Re and Macquarie Life Board member.

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

Work with the founders, Peter Baines and Larry Fingleson, to establish The Growth Project, an organisation with a mission to promote collaboration between business leaders and charity leaders. This year we will achieve our original goal of working with 100 business leaders and 100 charity leaders, including a new program in London.

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Many friends and family members thought I was mad to give up a senior role at Westpac/BT at age 45, leaving behind a well-paid position and related share options, without a clear career plan. Within a year I had developed a portfolio of activities that I am still enjoying almost 15 years later.

 

What’s your motto?

I love the concept of purpose more than the concept of passion so I frequently borrow from Stephen Covey and implore my clients to “start with the end in mind”.

 

Your muse for business success?

Matt Church. I find his diagrams to be powerful tools for explaining valuable ideas. As the founder of Thought Leaders, he was also influential in connecting me with clever people and inspiring me with his facilitation and speaking skills.


Brenton Charnley Insurtech Gateway Australia Mentor, Adviser & COO, Cover GeniusBRENTON CHARNLEY

Insurtech Gateway Australia Mentor, Adviser & Head of Australia, TrueLayer

Brenton has built a reputation as a true ‘specialist generalist’ from his 18 years experience leading and scaling global tech startups, building non-profit organisations and communities, Big4 consulting and advising businesses. Brenton has helped scale Cover Genius (a $250m global API insurtech platform) from 20 to 150 people where he was COO, CFO and CCO.
Brenton has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 Emerging Leaders by the AFR and University of Sydney and most recently nominated as Insurtech Leader of the Year by Insurance Post UK. Brenton is a qualified Chartered Accountant

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

Founding and launching Insurtech Australia together with a great bunch of people to help change the insurance industry in Australia and around the world.

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Giving up my successful career as a Chartered Accountant, to pursue building global technology companies!

 

What’s your motto?

Good strategy and business decisions are like a vector, they need both direction and magnitude. Without either you and your business go nowhere fast.

 

Your muse for business success?

It would be Ed Catmull, Co-Founder of Pixar and his book Creativity Inc. He provides a real life insight into building technology company to discovering that once you have done this, it is about being a great leader and building a creative culture to continue business success.


 

JimHutchin Insurtech Gateway Mentor, Consultant for Risk & Insurance, EntrepreneurshipJAMES (JIM) HUTCHIN

Insurtech Gateway Mentor, Consultant for Risk & Insurance, Entrepreneurship

James Hutchin crosses the boundaries between consultant, indus- try practitioner and researcher. His focus is on aligning interests between the risk industry and sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation. His experience ranges from the C Suite and academia, to consulting for the UN Environment Program. He has over 30 years of management experience, including as CEO of the International Risk Management Group.

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

I recognized early in my career that the surest route to success is always hiring people that are smarter than you are – in my case that was usually not too difficult! And that is particularly true for early stage ventures where the real successes are the product of a very strong, diverse, and multigenerational team.

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Eight years ago, approaching age 60 and worried about getting “stale”, I pulled up stakes in Philadelphia, moved to Oz, and hit the reset button on nearly every aspect of my life. No regrets, the “pay off” has been great. Australia is the seventh country I have lived in, I wish I found it earlier.

 

What’s your motto?

Two things actually. You can’t “think outside the box” until you know it better than anyone else. Secondly, the most important “asset” you have is your good name, your reputation. Never squander it.

 

Your muse for business success?

Norm Baglini, who mentored me through the transition from corporate to academic to the entrepreneurial life. He was the most ethical man I know, and he has inspired thousands around the world to consider the trust people have in them as the most important currency one can ever accumulate.

 


Danica BunchDANICA BUNCH

Insurtech Gateway PR Partner

Danica has held a range of leadership roles in both government and the private/commercial sector managing public affairs, advocacy and advising on government relations. Danica is based in regional NSW and has developed a wide range of networks across the community, government, academia, business, and industry. Danica is a strong networker and influencer, adept at building both internal and external relationships that enhance her effectiveness in achieving outcomes.

Danica has honed her skills for working with both ‘at risk’ and complex organisational and contractual challenges, being able to troubleshoot the issues and implement strategies. This work has extended to more recent strategy advice on a consultancy basis for the private sector and commercial organisations.

Her talent and passion for strategic communications and PR has supported Insurtech Gateway founders build strong relationships, reputations and storytelling to succeed.

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

I am incredibly proud of the career I forged in the government sector and the implementation of initiatives and projects that positively impact upon and change peoples lives economically and socially.

What’s your motto?

No pressure – no diamonds

Your muse for business success?


The greatest muse or inspiration has been to work and advise in the start-up ecosystems. It’s been fabulous to work with those who have the passion and drive for disruption, fast growth and social impact.

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Ten years ago I took a secondment opportunity to work in remote locations in the Northern Territory, during a time when telecommunications and technology were limited. It was an incredible lesson in stepping out of my comfort zone, testing my resilience, and embracing opportunity where ever it may be. I thrived personally and achieved professionally some incredible outcomes.

 


 

LUKE SAXBY

Insurtech Gateway Australia Mentor & Adviser

With a career in insurance spanning over 25 years, Luke brings a depth of experience across the entire insurance value chain including product, pricing, distribution, compliance/risk management & reinsurance. Central to this experience, Luke previously led the insurance Product & Pricing function for one of Queensland’s leading insurers through a period of strong profitable growth.
In his current role as Envest’s Chief Technical Officer, Luke actively works with Envest’s partner businesses, particularly underwriting agencies, to develop effective distribution, product and pricing strategies to deliver sustainable growth.

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

Starting my career in insurance at the bottom, worked my way up and never said no to new opportunities no matter how unqualified I was for them! It certainly wasn’t by design but looking back it has been brilliant as it has given me a great understanding of what makes insurance tick and how we can make it even better!

 

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Saying goodbye to working in a large corporate after 26 years and not knowing what I would be doing the following Monday!

 

What’s your motto?

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

 

 

Your muse for business success?

Warren Buffett – He had a vision for his business to be successful and he turned that vision into reality by getting the people around him to buy into that vision. I also love that despite all of his success and wealth he still lives in a modest house, drives a modest car and grabs his McDonalds breakfast every morning.


 

Gil Snr Insurtech Gateway AUstraliaGIL SNIR

Insurtech Gateway Australia Tech Innovation Advisor

Gil is the co-founder of Bench, a tech company specialising in online marketing solutions using machine logic and an End-to-End Programmatic Management Platform. He provides advice and support to the Insurtech team to bring products to market in a multi-channel digital environment.

 

What have you done that is bonkers but paid off?

Launching a media company that had no business plan, no clients and no clear pathway to success seems completely nuts in hindsight. We would swap living rooms as makeshift offices where we would work through lists of potential clients as we crafted and recrafted our value proposition.
It was a big leap of faith but with a bit of grit and lots of trust in my co-founders has paid off nicely.

 

What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve done?

I’ve always encouraged my team and other founders to surround yourself with people who are often smarter than you in their fields and “hire up”. It is the growth formula that scales businesses from my first eCommerce venture as a nail polish brand to all businesses I’ve been involved with since.

 

What’s your motto?

Business is not a sprint, but a marathon with lots up and down slopes. If you use the good times to catch your breath for the next uphill, you’ll be fine.

 

Your muse for business success?

Ben Horowitz is a great business mind on all things from growth mindsets to what he frames as sharpening the contradictions or in other words, having the hard conversations with your colleagues to get to the best outcome.