Debbie Kennedy, group head of protection strategy at Royal London, is to join MLC Life Insurance in Australia.

Based in Melbourne, Kenendy will be responsible for new business and underwriting operations including the chief underwriter role.

This is a new role within MLC Life Insurance and reflects the exciting new opportunities emerging through the creation of a landmark strategic partnership between National Australia Bank and Nippon Life Insurance company.  She will take up the new role in October.

Kennedy said: “It will be sad to leave my colleagues and team at Royal London who have helped me deliver against my objectives to bring insurtech and innovation to the UK protection market.  I am looking forward to turning my attention to the Australian market as the role represents a significant opportunity to drive change and innovation within a bancassurance and intermediary business.

“The challenge to realise and execute technology driven innovation is hugely attractive to me.  MLC Life Insurance is a leading player in the Australian market and now has the strength of the partnership with Nippon Life to realise its ambition to become the leading and most trusted life insurer.”

Ewan Smith, proposition design and market engagement director at Royal London said:  “During her time with the business Debbie played a central role, building a strong protection proposition and leading our protection strategy. Our market share and reputation in the Intermediary Protection market is stronger now than it has been for many years.

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“I would like to thank Debbie for her hard work and dedication and wish her well in her new challenge overseas.”