Australian Insurance Holdings and the Budget Insurance international group of companies has today announced the appointment of Ram Kangatharan to the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the group’s companies in Australia, including Australian Insurance Holdings Pty Ltd, Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd and its flagship brand Budget Direct (A&G).
Deputy Chairman Stephen Klinkert said Mr Kangatharan brings to A&G an extensive record of achievement in Australian financial services as well as broader skills in acquisitions, technology and process transformation and consumer brand development.
“The Board is delighted to welcome Ram to A&G as both Managing Director and a shareholder in the Australian operations,” said Mr Klinkert.
“Ram has demonstrated outstanding skills in transforming businesses through organic initiatives and acquisitions, and these skills are ideal for A&G as we accelerate our ambitious growth plans.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Kangatharan said, “I am excited by the opportunity to grow a highly scalable business within a large, competitive and dynamic market.”
“The A&G brands, including the well known challenger brand Budget Direct, are backed by leading technology platforms, a fantastic local team, and the global resources of the Budget Insurance group,” said Mr Kangatharan.
Mr Kangatharan will join A&G in April 2012 and will be headquartered in Brisbane.
Background: Ram Kangatharan
Ram Kangatharan has held a variety of senior executive roles across a wide range of industries, most recently as Chief Operating Officer for Bank of Queensland (BOQ). In this role he was responsible for the three divisions of the Group: Banking (Retail and Commercial), St. Andrew’s Insurance (consumer credit protection) and BOQ Finance (specialist asset finance).
Mr Kangatharan joined BOQ (an S&P/ASX 100 listed bank headquartered in Brisbane, Australia) in October 2007 as Chief Financial Officer, helping to guide the bank through the global financial crisis. In this period he led a significant efficiency drive, a strategic review which culminated in the largest equity raising in the history of the bank, and two significant acquisitions which diversified the Group. Mr Kangatharan was appointed Chief Operating Officer in March 2010 where he led the integration of CIT Australia & New Zealand and St. Andrew’s Insurance. This role involved integrating the distribution capabilities of these distinct businesses with the core banking business through the establishment of a three divisional structure, with management processes and incentive structures to drive greater collaboration across the Group.
Prior to joining BOQ Mr Kangatharan spent nine years leading a variety of functions at Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Inc. (a Fortune 100 company headquartered in Plano, Texas). Mr Kangatharan held a number of executive roles in Asia Pacific including Director Operational Risk & New Business Asia Pacific & Japan, and Vice President & CFO Asia Pacific & Japan. He moved to the United States in 2006 to lead the Corporate Strategy team in Plano as Vice President Corporate Strategy and Redesign.
Prior to joining EDS, Mr Kangatharan held a number of roles in Procter & Gamble (a Fortune 100 company) in brand finance and development, and M&A roles. He started his career at Westpac Bank Foreign Exchange trading in 1988.
Mr Kangatharan was the 2006 winner of the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine’s Australian Young Executive of the Year Award.
About A&G: A&G is a provider of car and home and contents insurance products, and has been operating in the Australian market since 2000. A&G currently issues over 30,000 policies per month, and its signature brand is Budget Direct. The company’s two call centres are based in Queensland, with claims assessing centres in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, employing in excess of 650 people.
A&G policies are underwritten by its insurer Auto & General Insurance Company Limited. Auto & General is an Australian insurance company regulated by APRA and is a member of the Insurance Council of Australia.
A&G is part of the international Budget Insurance group, which provides insurance solutions for millions of policy-holders worldwide. The group includes one of the largest direct personal lines insurers in South Africa and one of the largest personal lines insurance intermediaries in the United Kingdom. The group employs 5700 staff worldwide, and administers more than 3.5 million policies generating $2 billion in premium income.