16 January 2024
The Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR) Transitional Board announces the appointment of former UniSuper Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Sullivan as a non-executive director, ahead of the scheme’s scheduled commencement in April 2024.
“Kevin brings extensive financial sector experience, both as an executive and as a director, along with analytical acumen, strategic thinking and integrity,” a statement from the CSLR’s Transitional Board said.
“He has worked in the financial services industry for 40 years, most recently as CEO of UniSuper, one of Australia’s largest and most awarded super funds. We look forward to the contribution he will make as a founding member of the Board, which will take over from the Transitional Board ahead of the CSLR’s commencement. His significant actuarial expertise will greatly assist the Board in its role determining estimates of claims, fees and costs for annual levies.
Mr O’Sullivan said: “The CSLR is an important addition to the consumer protection framework in Australia. I very much look forward to playing a role in its establishment.”
As well as leading UniSuper from 2013 to 2021, Mr O’Sullivan was Director, Actuarial and Benefits Consulting, with the Russell Investment Group for over two decades. This role involved advising some of Australia’s largest organisations.
During his tenure at UniSuper, he saw funds under management double to over $100 billion and he navigated challenges in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis and during the COVID-19 pandemic. His leadership was recognised when he was named the Fund Executive Association’s Fund Executive of the Year in 2020.
Mr O’Sullivan has also contributed to various advisory boards, including roles at Playfair Asset Management, Deakin University's Investment Committee, Allianz Retire+, and the Conexus Institute. He is a Fellow of the Actuaries Institute in Australia and the Society of Actuaries in the United States.
Mr O’Sullivan’s appointment to the Board is effective immediately. He replaces Dr June Smith, Deputy Chief Ombudsman of AFCA, on the Transitional Board.
He will become part of the three-person Board once the Chair is appointed, with his appointment meeting the CSLR legislative requirement that the Board must include a director with actuarial experience and qualifications.
As announced last month, alongside him on the Board will be Delia Rickard, representing the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Ms Rickard is a former Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The CSLR Board will also include an independent Chair, who is to be appointed by the Federal Government ahead of the scheme’s commencement.
Legislation to establish the CSLR was passed in June 2023 and the scheme is scheduled to start receiving claims in April 2024.
The CSLR is designed to provide compensation for eligible complainants who have a determination in their favour from Australia’s financial ombudsman service, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), but the financial firm has become insolvent or cannot pay. Compensation of up to $150,000 may be available if a complaint falls into one of four financial sub-sectors specified in the legislation:
- personal financial advice
- securities dealing for retail clients
- the provision of credit (where a financial firm provides funds) or
- the arranging of credit (where someone like a mortgage or finance broker arranges funds).
As operator of the scheme, CSLR Ltd will be responsible for considering applications for compensation.
You can read more about the CSLR here.
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