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Genworth chooses KPMG partner as its next CEO

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Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia has appointed KPMG Partner Pauline Blight-Johnston as MD and CEO.

It’s the third consecutive time that Genworth has selected a woman to lead the company.

Ms Blight-Johnston will start on March 2, taking over from acting CEO Duncan West, who will continue to serve as an independent director. Mr West is also Chairman of Hollard Insurance.

The mortgage insurer has been searching “extensively” locally and globally for a permanent replacement since last May when it was announced that Georgette Nicholas would step down at the end of last year.

Ms Blight-Johnston joined KPMG last October as partner in its actuarial and financial risk practice, and led the consultancy’s life insurance sector. Before that, she was director for group strategy at Challenger.

She has also held several management roles at AMP from May 2013 to December 2016, including as group executive insurance, superannuation and risk management and director wealth protection and mature products.

Chairman Ian MacDonald says she has more than 25 years’ experience in life insurance and wealth management, and brings to Genworth “strong financial and actuarial acumen as well as proven capability driving strategy and effectively leading people”.

Genworth will release its financial results for the year to December 31 next month. The business made a first-half net profit of $88.1 million.