Vanguard Australia today outlined a new client-aligned structure bringing together its two retail direct businesses (Superannuation and non-Superannuation) and expanding its product division, alongside the introduction of two new executive roles.
"We are uniquely positioned to offer Australians a whole-of-wealth proposition and by evolving our organisational structure, we are taking the next step in continuing to enhance the service and experience we provide our clients and advisers," Vanguard Investments Australia Managing Director, Daniel Shrimski, said.
Renae Smith will join the business and the Australian executive team from AIA in July, as Chief of Personal Investor, leading a new division responsible for delivering on Vanguard Australia's ambitious growth agenda in the retail (direct to consumer) market. This division will have accountability for the retail strategy, client growth, member and investor experience, and operations.
Current Head of Risk, Australia, Curt Jacques, will move to lead a new Product Offer division of the business, as Head of Product Offer, with responsibility for the ongoing development and offer design of Vanguard's Australian product suite, including Vanguard's Personal Investor platform and Superannuation product offer, in addition to overseeing product pricing, health of the portfolio, governance, disclosure and business enablement.
Lakshi Prabhakaran, has been appointed into the role of Head of Enterprise Risk Australia, replacing Curt Jacques, and joining the Australian executive team.
"The financial needs of Australians continue to evolve, and we‘re working to evolve our business capability and service offering to meet these needs", said Mr Shrimski.
"Whether its policy, tax, economic, or market forces at play, Australians increasingly have to consider the right avenues of investment both inside and outside of the super system in order to effectively progress their financial goals.
"We've spent the past few years building out a high quality, low cost, whole-of-wealth solution for all Australians, while continuing to enhance our offer to financial advisers.
"It's just the beginning for Vanguard Super, with a strong start seeing over $500m in assets under management to date, while our investor platform service has gone from strength to strength through the ongoing enhancement of our product and service offering.
"The changes we are announcing today are focused on continuing to strengthen this value proposition through bringing together the teams serving our retail clients in a cohesive and streamlined business structure, geared up for future growth," said Mr Shrimski.
"Having led the strategic development and rollout of Vanguard's Personal Investor platform since 2020, Balaji Gopal will continue to serve on the Australian executive team as acting Head of FAS, leading distribution, adviser proposition and the development of the adviser direct platform, while Shannon Nutter who has played a key leadership role developing, launching and leading Vanguard Super, will continue to lead the Super team to implement this change and provide strategic consultancy to the Australian business prior to her planned return to the U.S. later this year," he said.
The business also announced a rotational shift for Vanguard Investments Australia's Head of Human Resources, Maxim Tambling, as part of a well-established business practice of developing strong senior leadership expertise. Maxim has taken up a role in Vanguard's Pennsylvania headquarters leading the Talent Strategy and Development function for the Vanguard Group.
Maxim will be replaced by Rebecca Supierz who will join the business and the Australian executiveteam next month from Latitude Financial Services, where she was General Manager, People and Communications.
Renae Smith joins Vanguard from AIA where she spent the past eight years, most recently in the role of Chief Customer Experience and Operations Officer. In this role she managed a diverse, client-centric group of teams including customer strategy and experience, digital, customer service and operations.
Renae has a diverse experience developed in executive and functional roles in the Insurance, Financial Services, Telecommunications and Technology sectors. This has included commercial and functional responsibility for Brand, Marketing, Product, Pricing, Digital and Operations. Prior to joining AIA, Renae held key leadership roles at GE Capital and Telstra following an early career in entrepreneurial start-ups.
Curt Jacques was a director with Macquarie Group prior to joining Vanguard in 2020 as Head of Risk, having gathered some 20 years of risk expertise working alongside asset managers and global banks in enhancing their risk programs and frameworks.
He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College and holds Certified Public Account and Certified Information Systems Auditor certifications.
Lakshi Prabhakaran joined Vanguard in 2020 as Head of Enterprise Risk Management, VIA, having spent 15 years working in the Australian and US financial services and consulting industries with KPMG and HSBC.
She has a BA of Commerce and BA of Business Systems from Monash University, and holds a Graduate Diploma in Chartered Accounting.
Rebecca is a senior executive with extensive human resources and commercial experience across Telecommunications, Technology/Digital and Financial Services.
She has most recently held the role of General Manager People and Communications at Latitude Financial Services, joining just after the business listed on the ASX. She has led significant transformation and change agendas at Latitude, as well as putting in place inclusion initiatives including the inaugural Gender Action Plan which has seen a positive impact in the number of women in senior leadership roles. Prior to this Rebecca held senior HR Leadership roles across Australia and SE Asia for SEEK.