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Matt Rady’s big new job


Having left the ambitious specialist retirement start-up of the Allianz Insurance group, Allianz Retire+, in July, Matt Rady was this week named as CEO of BT Financial Group.

Rady became the inaugural CEO of Allianz Retire+ in June 2018, after a long search during which the firm’s founder and driving force, Adrian Stewart, a former Australia country head for Allianz’s subsidiary PIMCO, was acting as CEO.

Stewart, head of Allianz Australia Life, has been a director of Allianz Retire+ since its inception. The Australian start-up is being viewed as a test case within the global insurance group, given that most major markets are also grappling with the problems associated with ageing populations and increasing reliance on social security.

  • Allianz is one of the few global organisations with a major presence in both life insurance and funds management – the two main ingredients for retirement investment products.

    But BT Financial Group (BTFG), while still a major brand in the industry, is not without its challenges. The big wealth and platform subsidiary of Westpac recently suffered technical problems with the Panorama platform which froze out adviser clients for several days.

    On a macro level, there is increasing competition from start-up cloud-based platform providers, and also a structural shift among financial planners away from institutional control of their businesses, both of which are putting downward pressure on fees and charges.

    The last person with the title CEO of BTFG was Brad Cooper, whose position was dissolved when the bank merged the business into the Westpac’s business and consumer divisions in June 2019.

    Since then, the two BT managing directors, Kathy Vincent and Melinda Howes, have been in charge of platforms and superannuation respectively. They will both now report to Rady, who joins next month.

    In a statement from BTFG on Wednesday (September15), Jason Yetton, Westpac group chief executive ‘specialist businesses and group strategy’, said Rady was a high-calibre executive who would drive positive customer and member outcomes through one BT Financial Group business.

    Yetton, who held senior roles at BTFG until 2008, said: “Matt will also seek to enhance the performance of the business as the strategic review of the Westpac’s specialist businesses continue… I am pleased that someone of Matt’s calibre will join us to ensure the business enters its next phase in a strong position.”

    Mention of the ‘strategic review of the bank’s specialist businesses, prompts speculation as to whether Rady has been brought on to steer through whatever faces BTFG into the long term or to find a buyer for the wealth business, as the other three major banks have done.

    BTFG has about $169 billion in funds under administration and more than one million customers.

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