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Steadfast clarifies its international expansion pathway, leadership changes

Over the past five years, Steadfast has been investigating options to possibly expand its US presence.

MD and CEO Robert Kelly says that any move will more likely focus on smaller networks, and a potential roll out of Steadfast’s client trading platform technology.

Speaking to at the Steadfast Convention in Perth, Mr Kelly said this approach would require a relatively small initial investment but could reap massive rewards in years to come and replicate Steadfast’s Australian and New Zealand success.

Mr Kelly has built up his knowledge of the North American market and is a long-serving member and now Chairman of the US-based insurance standards body, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD).

He says the appointment of former AIG local CEO Nigel Fitzgerald, who started as Steadfast COO on Monday, broadens the executive team and adds greater depth to any overseas projects.

Former COO Samantha Hollman, who has been with Steadfast for more than 20 years, takes on the new position of International CEO.

“This is something we have been investigating for five years,” Mr Kelly told “We now have a fairly firm game plan about what we want to do.

“I would like to see in the next 12 months, Nigel work closely with me on all of our projects, thus expanding our potential in all areas of Steadfast businesses.”

At Steadfast’s results presentation in February Mr Kelly alluded to the changes and said more detail would be provided by the end of the year.

“As we’ve spoken about before, Sam Hollman will go into the role of CEO of international assets and spearhead this part of what we're going to do,” Mr Kelly said in February.

"We’re not elaborating on it at this stage, because it’s a little wider than our first thoughts about what we could do with the client trading platform.

“When we formalise what we’re going to do there – which will be towards the end of this year – then we'll share it. I would say by the end of 2023 we'll be in a position to tell you what we’ve done as a result of five years of intense investigation, particularly over the past 18 months.”

Mr Kelly has an open-ended contract as Steadfast MD and CEO, but has given assurances to the market that he will not resign before the end of this year. He must give a year’s notice, meaning he will lead the business at least until the end of 2024.

In August, Steadfast marks 10 years since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange. It has expanded rapidly in that time.

The network now has 342 brokers in Australia, 53 in New Zealand and 22 in Singapore, and Steadfast has equity interests in 70 brokers.

In February it raised its forecast for full-year underlying net profit to $198-208 million, and for underlying earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) to $420-430 million.