Michelle James appointed Chief Executive Officer of AA Insurance

AA Insurance’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle James to the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective February 2023.

Michelle James joins AA Insurance from six years at Tower, where she is currently part of the executive leadership team. Ms James has held a variety of executive portfolios at Tower including strategy, customer experience, transformation and most recently leading Tower’s Direct and Digital business.

AA Insurance Board Chair Doug McTaggart said, “We are delighted to confirm Michelle as AA Insurance’s next Chief Executive Officer.

“Michelle is a highly experienced senior executive with a proven track record in delivering innovative customer experiences in a range of sectors on both sides of the Tasman.

“The appointment of Michelle will enable AA Insurance to build on its outstanding reputation as a trusted insurer committed to going above and beyond for its customers, people and communities,” said McTaggart.

Michelle James said, “I am excited to step into this role at such a pivotal time for the insurance industry. I look forward to working with the AA Insurance team to build on its success and contribute further to an industry that plays such a critical role in the lives and wellbeing of New Zealanders.”

Ms James takes over from Chris Curtin, who earlier this year announced his retirement after serving as Chief Executive Officer of AA Insurance for 28 years.

The Board wishes to acknowledge and thank Simon Hobbs for assisting the business as Acting CEO over the past year. Simon will return to the role of General Manager, Operations in February 2023.

About Michelle James

Michelle has 20 years’ experience in executive and senior leadership roles on both sides of the Tasman, specialising in transformation and the creation of innovative customer and digital experiences. Michelle has held a number of executive portfolios at Tower including strategy, customer experience, transformation and most recently leading Tower’s Direct and Digital business. Prior to Tower, Michelle was an executive of Spark Digital where she was responsible for the organisation’s turnaround programme. During her 12 years in Australia, Michelle held several senior customer and product leadership roles at Telstra Corporation, leading significant cross company transformation and simplification programmes.

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association Limited (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 1000+ employees look after 500,000+ customers with more than 1,000,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety New Zealand – the Children’s Charity (as the lead partner of its Beds for Kids programme), Student Volunteer Army and support grassroot school sports via our Big Little Sponsorship sports grant in partnership with Eden Park. We are consistently recognised in industry awards and honours, including being voted the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted General Insurer for 13 years running, named Canstar’s 2023 Home and Contents Insurer of the Year and Outstanding Value Award winner, and currently ranked 7th amongst 100 of New Zealand’s most successful companies in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015).

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