Board of Directors

Ian MacDonald

Chairman, Independent

Ian was appointed to the Board on 19 March 2012 and was appointed as Chairman of the Board on 31 August 2016. 

Qualifications and experience:Ian has over 40 years of financial services experience in Australia, the UK and Japan, specifically in banking, insurance, wealth management and technology. He previously held numerous positions with National Australia Bank including various senior executive roles from 1999–2006 and Chief Operating Officer Yorkshire Bank from 1997–1999.

Ian is a Senior Fellow and past President of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ian is also a member of the 30% Club, a group formed by the Australian Institute of Company Directors who are committed to achieving better gender balance on Boards and in organisations. 

Since 2006, Ian has held a number of directorships including publicly-listed companies, and is currently a director of Arab Bank Australia Ltd. 

Special responsibilities (including Committee memberships)Board – Chairman. 

Pauline Blight-Johnston

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Pauline joined Genworth as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director on 2 March 2020.  

Qualifications and experiencePauline has over 25 years of senior management, financial and strategic experience in wealth management and insurance in Australia, New Zealand and globally. 

Prior to joining Genworth, Pauline held senior leadership and strategic roles in Challenger, AMP and RGA Reinsurance Company. She has also served as Chief Financial Officer and Appointed Actuary of Asteron Life, and consulted to the insurance and wealth management industry at KPMG and Tillinghast-Towers Perrin. 

An active industry participant, Pauline has served on the boards of the Institute of Actuaries, the Financial Services Council and the Australian Institute of Insurance and Finance, as well as been a member of and chaired numerous committees of these bodies.   

Pauline is a Fellow of each of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, the New Zealand Society of Actuaries, the Actuarial Society of South Africa, Finsia, the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance & Finance and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She also holds a Master of Economics degree from Macquarie University. 

Special responsibilities (including Committee memberships): Managing Director. 

Gai McGrath

Director, Independent

Gai was appointed to the Board on 31 August 2016. 

Qualifications and experience: Gai has over 35 years of financial services and legal experience, specifically in retail banking and wealth management. Gai previously held numerous senior executive positions with the Westpac Group from 2003 to 2015 including:  

  • General Manager, Retail Banking, Westpac Australia;
  • General Manager, Retail Banking, Westpac New Zealand;
  • General Manager, Customer Service and General Manager, Risk Solutions at BT Financial Group.

Prior to the Westpac Group, Gai was General Counsel & Company Secretary at Perpetual Limited and a partner at a Sydney-based law firm. 

Gai is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Gai is currently Chair of BT Funds Management (Trustee of BT Super), a director of Toyota Finance Australia Limited, Steadfast Group Limited and HBF Health Limited.  She is also Chair of Humanitix. 

Special responsibilities (including Committee memberships): Risk Committee – Chair; Audit Committee – Member; Remuneration and Nominations Committee – Member.

 

Alistair Muir

Director, Independent

Alistair as appointed to the Board on 1 December 2021.

Qualifications and experience: Alistair has extensive experience in technology, digital transformation and fintech. He is an experienced digital executive and entrepreneur with a focus on growing and scaling digital businesses.

Alistair has worked with a broad range of ASX and Fortune 500 companies to successfully launch new digital products and ventures and advised government departments on artificial intelligence and innovation including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and other publicly funded research institutes.

Alistair holds a first class honours degree in computer science from the Dublin Institute of Technology  and attended both Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of an executive education focusing on disruptive strategy, innovation and the business applications of Artificial Intelligence

Alistair is currently a non-executive director of Humm Group Ltd (formerly Flexi Group Ltd).

Special responsibilities (including Committee memberships): Risk Committee – Member; Audit Committee – Member; Remuneration and Nominations Committee – Member.

 

Gerd Schenkel

Director, Independent

Gerd as appointed to the Board on 1 December 2021.

Qualifications and experience: Mr Schenkel has over 25 years’ experience in business innovation having established Telstra Digital, Telstra’s enterprise‐wide digital team and digitalization program and having founded UBank for National Australia Bank.  Other previous roles have included strategy and innovation roles in various Australian financial services institutions. Gerd is a management consulting partner with Kearney, a global consultancy based in Sydney, where he advises large organisations in financial services and telecommunications on their technology, digital and analytics agendas.

Gerd holds a Master of Science from University of Stuttgart, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Columbia Business School and attended University of Sydney as a Visiting Scholar focussing on Robotics.

Gerd is currently a non-executive director of Credit Clear Limited.

Special responsibilities (including Committee memberships): Audit Committee - Member; Risk Committee – Member; Remuneration and Nominations Committee – Member.

 

Andrea Waters

Director, Independent

Andrea was appointed to the Board on 16 March 2020. 

Qualifications and experience: Andrea has over 35 years’ experience in financial services as an auditor, accountant and non executive director. She was a former partner of KPMG (until 2012) specialising in financial services audit and has a deep experience in risk management and in implementing and enhancing audit and governance structures in financial services. She brings to the Board a strong strategic perspective and deep experience understanding complex business operations.  

Andrea is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and a member and accredited facilitator of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Andrea is currently a director of MyState Limited, Grant Thornton Australia Limited, Bennelong Funds Management Group, Citywide Service Solutions Pty Limited and the Colonial Foundation. 

Special responsibilities (including Committee memberships): Audit Committee – ChairRisk Committee – Member; Remuneration and Nominations Committee – Member. 

 

Duncan West

Director, independent

Duncan was appointed to the Board on 1 September 2018. 

Qualifications and experience: Duncan has more than 35 years of insurance industry experience having held senior executive positions at Royal Sun Alliance Group PLC, Promina Group Limited, CGU Limited and MLC Limited.

He is currently a Director of Suncorp Group Limited, Challenger Limited, Avant Mutual Group Limited and Chair of Habitat for Humanity Australia.

Duncan is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Senior Associate of the Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Economics) from the University of Hull, UK. 

Special responsibilities (including Committee memberships): Remuneration and Nominations Committee – Chair; Audit Committee – Member; Risk Committee – Member.