How the NRMA broke director number records


March 5, 2010

Here is a list of almost 70 people who have sat on the well worn seats of the NRMA board since 1992.

John Astbury: a former Lend Lease CFO and part of the new broom of suits who joined the NRMA Insurance board in July 2000.

Graham Blight: the Murrumbidgee wheat farmer and former NFF President who helped the Turnbull forces score well in the bush will now enjoy his $82 a day fee for the next 12 months.

Anna Booth: former textiles union boss who sold out to some degree joining boards such as Star City and the Commonwealth Bank and with that Labor pedigree was perfectly suited to the factional fighting on the NRMA board.

Jon Brett: Sydney CBD investment and corporate strategy adviser and chartered accountant.

David Brownhill: Northern NSW farmer, chairman of industry bodies and farm safety group and former National Party Senator who was a key collector of rural votes for the Turnbull forces.

MDI Burrows: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

JR Caldwell: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

Maree Callaghan: the civil celebrant and former Mayor of Cessnock joined the NRMA board in 1993 on an anti-demutualisation platform but changed her vote when she picked up the $80,000 a year gig with NRMA Insurance in June 2000. Was appointed President of NRMA on 29 July 2002.

Dr JD Campbell: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

Kate Carnell: Nick Whitlam fell out with many Labor types and found himself in bed with prominent Liberals on the board such as the former ACT chief minister. She made an ill-fated attempt to become President after Nick's demise but ratted on both groups leaving her with a majority of one and no option but to jump.

Geoffrey Cousins: part of the IAG new broom in July 2000 and instrumental in giving Nick Whitlam the boot.

Mark Coyne: Elected to the Board on 4 December 1999. He also serves on the Board of NRMA Foundation Pty Limited, the Finance & Investments Committee and as Chairman of the Public Policy and Audit & Risk Management Committees. He has 15 years experience working in the finance industry and currently manages a marketing consultancy company.

Eric Dodd: CEO of NRMA 1998-2001 but booted by Whitlam after the demutualisation. Formerly worked for Leigh Scott Kemmis and is rumored to have recently increased his $3 million payout courtesy of new NRMA Insurance chairman James Weak. Radically improved NRMA's wine collection during his tenure but nothing of it remains today.

GR Douglas: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

Mary Easson: the retired Labor politician was voted onto the NRMA board in 1997 as part of the Whitlam faction and is still with IAG.

John Edwards: Western Sydney hospitality industry leader with a strong involvement in community support groups.

Alan Evans: ACT-based policy consultant, former chief executive officer of Medicines Australia and senior federal and state public servant (former Dawkins chief of staff). Rolled Ross Turnbull to become President in 2004.

Kath Evans: appointed to fill a casual vacancy prior to Turnbull's appointment and not part of his team. She is a mate of former Labor Cessnock mayor Maree Callaghan. She stood as an "independent" at one AGM but former President Ross Turnbull did not use his proxies to support her so she lost. Kath is a solid unionist who is secretary of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees' Union (Newcastle and Northern Branch) and Executive member of the ACTU.

Nick Farr-Jones: the former Wallaby captain and Liberal was a supporter of demutualisation.

Bruce Fisher: appointed to the Board on 9 October 2002. Mr Fisher is the President of the Royal Automobile Club of Australia, a director of the Australian Automobile Association and chairman of a number of manufacturing, tourism and service companies in Australia and Papua New Guinea. He is a Name at Lloyds of London but was an independent not-supported by the proxy-overloaded chairman Turnbull so was not voted in at the 2003 AGM. He is the father of Dominque Fisher and dyes his hair.

Dominique Fisher: voted onto the NRMA board in 1996, the estranged wife of former NSW Liberal leader Peter Collins took up with Alan Stockdale in 1999 and is still with NRMA Insurance.

Dawn Fraser: swimming legend and solid lefty who joined with Richard Talbot to successfully block the original demutualisation proposal in 1994 and has been trying to get back on the board ever since.

Peter French: appointed to the Board on 14 November 2002 as a stop-gap measure but is no longer there as didn't make the Turnbull ticket despite 35 years experience in the banking, finance and insurance industries.

Tim Gavin: former rugby star who joined with the Whitlam forces.

Stewart Geeson: a former NRMA Country Road Service Patrolman, was elected to the Board on 2 December 1995. Mr Geeson was an alderman on Cessnock City Council from 1987 to 1991 when former NRMA direcor Maree Callaghan was Mayor. Geeson was first elected in 1999 on pro-demutualisation Whitlam Members First ticket. Left the so called "faction" after Keating's dummy spit on Singleton and has been on Talbot's side since. Known by some critics as the "Lap Dog" on account of Keating telling him what to do. Keating apparently promised to make him President and "take him to heights he had never dreamed of".

Dr B Gould: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

Neil Hamilton: Perth-based financial services (chaired Challenge Bank) type who was part of the new broom who joined the NRMA Insurance board in 1999 and is still with IAG. Chairs the Perth-based SGIO Insurance arm.

Michael Hawker: poached from Westpac to take over as CEO of NRMA Insurance in December 2001. A former Wallaby and member of the ARU board.

Michael Hill: Newcastle solicitor, president of the Newcastle Knights and key member of the Turnbull faction.

Rob Hugh: appointed on 28 January 2005 to fill a casual vacancy, Mr Hugh is a member of the Audit, Risk Management & Compliance and Finance & Investments Committees. A practicing solicitor who runs his own law firm, Hugh & Associates, he is also a Director of United Super Pty Limited which acts as trustee of the public offer superannuation fund CBUS (Construction and Building Unions Superannuation).

GPW Jack: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

Malcolm Jones: CEO of NRMA 1996-98. Sacked by the Whitlam forces with a $2 million plus payout and took up a position as CEO of Zurich Insurance only a couple of weeks later.

Brian Johnston: appointed to the Board on 3 September 2002 filling a casual vacancy but not a member of the Turnbull team so didn't put his name forward at the recent AGM. Played rugby league for St George for over 10 years and represented both NSW and Australia.

Anne Keating: initially part of the Whitlam faction but they fell out bitterly over a John Singleton advertising deal. Joined the NRMA board in 1997 and stayed with the NRMA Insurance board from June 2000.

RJ Kirby: one of directors of the mutual in the 1990s.

Dame Leonie Kramer: was the token women on boards such as ANZ and WMC in the 1990s and also joined the NRMA during that time.

Geoffrey Lawson: the former Australian fast bowler is prickly and occasionally litigious so was well suited to the NRMA board and eventually fell out with the Singleton forces. Ran in the 2001 half board elections as an independent due to problems with Talbot/Singleton. Talbot and Singleton married up again for the 2001 election, prior to that they had a falling out with Talbot running MAG and Singleton setting up Members Mutual. Lawson failed to get up. Did you know that no candidate has ever been successful at election to the Board unless they have been on some ticket/faction? Lawson proved the history once more.

Jean Lennane: elected to the Board on 1 December 2001. She was the Director, Drug and Alcohol Services at Rozelle Hospital from 1980 to 1990. Dr Lennane is the President of Whistleblowers Australia and is the author of numerous books and articles. Supported Franca Arena crazy paedophile campaign and refused to vote on anything financial when on the NRMA Board because she didn't understand financials and needed a financial expert, a fellow called Joe Nagy.

Arthur Llewellyn: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s and a radical lefty.

Wendy Machin: appointed to the Board on 30 March 2005 and runs her own PR and government relations firm. The first women elected to the NSW Parliament by the National Party in 1985, she rose to be Consumer Affairs Minister and now also runs a beef cattle property near Wingham, NSW. On the Federal gravy train as a member of the Migration Review Tribunal and the HIH Assistance Review Panel.

Don Mackay: the fateful chairman of the mutual when the original demutualisation proposal was rolled in 1994.

Laurie Maher: Central Coast manager of emergency accommodation services and president of NSW Country Rugby Union. Also a key rugby mate and supporter of Turnbull's.

Jan McClelland: appointed to fill a casual vacancy on 28 January 2005. She is the Chair of NSW Businesslink Pty Ltd and a Director of the NSW Recycling and Processing Corporation, the Festival Development Corporation and Stewart House Preventorium. Ms McClelland is also a Member of the Council of the University of New England and an Associate of the University of Sydney. She holds a number of consultancies and has extensive experience in the development and implementation of strategic and operational reforms in education, training, human resources management, financial management, asset management, information technology and corporate governance. Ms McClelland is the former Director-General of the NSW Department of Education and Training and Managing Director of the NSW TAFE Commission.

Chris Mowle: filled a casual vacancy in 2000 and ran and lost in the 2001 elections on the Members First team. Runs a Country Service Centre in Kempsey.

George Paciullo: appointed to fill a casual vacancy on the Board on 3 January 2002. Mr Paciullo was the Mayor of the City of Liverpool since 1994 and a NSW MP and Minister for Roads and Police in the Wran/Unsworth governments.

Gary Punch: the former Federal Labor Minister was appointed to fill the casual vacancy created by the departure of bankrupt president Ross Turnbull in April 2005.

Lynn Ralph: a director of NRMA and deputy chairman of ASIC when the original demutualisation was rolled in 1994. Quite a conflict you'd think.

Genevieve Rankin: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s and famous for removing her shoes at board meetings.

Ken Rennie: now this is funny. Appointed to fill a casual vacancy with Ross Turnbull in Oct 2002. A colleague of Ross's they worked together on the World Rugby thing when Rennie was with Ernst & Young. Resigned two days later. Shortest time as a Director in company history. Chancellor of UTS.

Rowan Ross: investment banker who advised NRMA on its demutualisation and then picked up a seat on the board as part of the new broom from July 2000. Was interim chairman from April to August 2001 after Nick Whitlam resigned.

Susan Ryan: Hawke's Education minister who joined in the mid-1990s.

Alex Sanchez: elected to the Board on 4 December 1999 and then became Deputy President in December 2001 but bowed out a couple of years later before he spent a brief period as a political adviser to Mark Latham.

Louise Sauvage: Sporting legend, role model and inspiration to Australians and charity supporter. Turnbull supporter who probably knows nothing about road service, marketing and mutuals but Australian love their sports stars.

Tim Shaw: the Demtel man joined as part of the Whitlam ticket in the late 1990s and bailed in 2001.

Jane Singleton: elected to the Board on 14 November 1990, the former journo's union leader served as Deputy President of NRMA from 1998 to 1999. A feral pro-mutual activist along with Richard Talbot. Tells people she went to Toorak's finest ladies college St Catherine's and describes herself as a christian on her CV but still managed to drop the f-bomb on occasions in board meetings.

Vic Smith: Last of the old South Sydney Council right-wing machine. Former South Sydney Mayor, Southern Sydney consultant, Labor candidate in Bligh against Clover Moore in 1999 and government adviser. Swept to power with the Turnbull proxies.

Tracey Spicer: news reader and brief member of the Whitlam team. Possesses a rather famous tattoo.

Judi Stack: North Sydney company executive, with a background in senior management in transport, television, telecommunications. Ex girl-friend of Labor pollster Rod Cameron.

Doug Sutherland: elected to the Board on 1 December 2001. Mr Sutherland was Lord Mayor of Sydney City Council from 1980 to 1987, alderman on Ashfield Council, and Mayor and alderman on Burwood Council. He is also a Director of Minerals Corporation Ltd and is running yet again in 2005.

James Strong: the former Qantas CEO took over as NRMA Insurance chairman in August 2001.

Richard Talbot: was elected to the Board on 1 December 2001. He was a Director of NRMA from 1990 to 2000 and NRMA Insurance from 1996 to 2000. Mr Talbot is a surveyor by profession and is the President of Motorists Action Group. Has run as a Labor candidate for state parliament and opposed the "love rat" Michael Photios in Ermington in 1995. He failed preselection for Ryde Council in 1995 and then ratted, running as an independent and giving his preferences to the Libs. The Libs got up.

Geoff Toovey: elected to the Board on 1 December 2001. Mr Toovey is a member of the Corporate Governance, Finance & Investments, Audit & Risk Management, Remuneration and Public Policy Committees. Mr Toovey played rugby league for Manly Waringah, the Northern Eagles, and represented both NSW and Australia.

Ross Turnbull: The former rugby union international, Harvard graduate and Young President was appointed to the NRMA board by the Whitlam faction on October 10, 2002. The former Wallaby was headed for the high-jump a week later but threw the meeting and then solicited for proxies at a spill of the entire board in January and kept the gig whilst ousting all his enemies. Was re-elected NRMA president in 2003 but then was booted from the board after being declared bankrupt in the Federal Magistrate's Court in 2004.

Michael Tynan: Southern Sydney automotive industry leader, former Mayor of Sutherland Shire Council and strong worker for charity.

Dr IR Vanderfield: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

Mark Waugh: Australian cricket champion, charity supporter and a person who understands better than most the importance of teamwork. Sadly, he rarely turned up to board meetings and bowed out having not contributed much at all.

DL Werner: one of the mutual directors in the 1990s.

Nick Whitlam: first elected President in 1995 as an "agnostic, arguing only that the insurance company needed to be well-capitalised and safe from the ratbags. In 1998 ran on a pro-demutualisation ticket for the insurance company and he topped the polls on both occasions. Of the 16 board positions contested in those two elections, 13 were filled by people who stood with Whitlam. Eventually turfed himself from both board, resigning from NIGL (now IAG) in April 2001 and from the NRMA itself in September 2002.

Raymond Willing: CEO of NRMA 92-95 when the first demutualisation tilt went down. Currently a director of Permanent Trustees.

Ian Yates: Civil war between him and Whitlam started firstly over a controversial $70 million Washington H Soul/Brickworks share sale and subsequently over the process that led to the demutualisation.

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