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Insurtech Australia appoints first female chief

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Insurtech Australia today named founding member Rita Yates as its new CEO. She replaces Simon O’Dell, who becomes Chairman after slightly more than a year as CEO.

Ms Yates – who takes a lead role in an industry sector with a troublingly high percentage of males – has been appointed as insurance-focused digital start-ups are looking to strengthen their partnerships with incumbent players.

“I’m thrilled to be taking the helm at Insurtech Australia,” she said. “A true grassroots organisation, our goal has always been to enable startups and innovation to flourish within the Australian insurance industry, and foster relationships between emerging tech and incumbent businesses.

“We will also strive to build global connections between Australia and international markets – something that is key to the success of insurtechs, most of whom aspire to scale globally.

“With an active membership and highly engaged industry partners, the sky is the limit in terms of what we can achieve in the coming years.”

Ms Yates has been a part of Insurtech Australia’s leadership team and an advisory committee member since the organisation was started.

She is presently Advisory Committee Member Startups with Cebit Australia, which runs the region’s biggest technology fair. Prior to that she was head of corporate partner experience and insurtech lead with fintech hub Stone & Chalk.

Her work experiences include a four-year stint at Allianz Australia until October 2007. During that time, she was national account manager and injury management advisory, according to her LinkedIn profile.