MetLife’s Australian innovation boss quits

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MetLife’s Australian innovation boss quits
Brenton Charnley

Joins fintech vendor.

The local arm of US insurer MetLife has lost its head of innovation, with Brenton Charnley jumping ship at the end of December to become chief commercial officer at an ASX-listed fintech vendor.

At MetLife Australia, Charnley was responsible for driving customer service improvements and embedding innovation within the local operations of the company, which globally boasts more than 90 million customers in 60 different countries.

His appointment in January 2016 came as the insurer kicked off a tech overhaul that included the implementation of a new CRM system. It was led by former Woolworths Marketplace tech chief Tim Batten, who was hired by MetLife as chief information officer.

While MetLife uses some global applications hosted out of its main US data centre for email and collaboration, most core IT systems are handled directly by local affiliates because regulatory requirements vary from country to country.

The program included an overhaul of the insurance company’s internal IT support structure, along with an evaluation of the platforms currently used by affiliated companies in countries such as China, Japan and the US for potential Australian use.

Prior joining the global insurance giant, Charnley held numerous roles during an eight year stint at KPMG Australia, including three as the firm’s innovation manager. His duties included overseeing the firm’s elevate 61 startup accelerator program.

In his new role as chief commercial officer at fintech Cre8tek, Charnley’s remit will include leading strategy and new business activities, with responsibilities stretching across operations and finance.

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