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Celebrating 50 years of Munich Re in Australia through the stories of our people

As we mark our 50th Anniversary, it is our people that make the difference. Leaders in their fields, the unique individuals that make up our diverse team are passionate about making a meaningful difference and dedicated to innovating solutions for a better tomorrow.
Leigh Roche
© Munich Re
Being a problem solver is also why I love renovating. My husband and I are serial renovators...
Leigh Roche
Serial Renovator | Client Manager

Leigh's Story

I love learning – digging deeper to work out the best ways to do things. In casualty insurance, you have to be aware of  what could go wrong, you need to research a lot, knowing there are an endless number of possible outcomes and how  to help your clients prepare for any risks that might arise. Being a problem solver is also why I love renovating. My  husband and I are serial renovators – we’ve done four houses so far. I learnt how to use power tools, and I’m pretty  good on the nail gun! That sense of achievement when you see a whole house completed is amazing. The satisfaction  in making something better also applies to how I improve things for my clients and keeps my job interesting. It’s  rewarding to help clients go into a new line of business by looking at the risks and advising them on the path they  might want to take.

Adrien Blanot

Passionate Surfer
Financial  Analyst​
I believe in giving things your all. Growing up as a kid in France, I was always passionate about surfing, and dreamt about living  in Australia. In surfing you  have to  choose the wave and then be 100% committed. The same applies in a professional setting.  While I’m an actuary by training, my role is unique in that I need to call on my broad finance and risk experience to analyse  scenarios and  come up with  solutions that help our clients better manage risk. I love solving problems and connecting things  together across the bigger picture. That’s also why I’m passionate about working to help solve climate change. As part of the  Munich Re Climate Risk team, we’re in the perfect place to bring scientific research into the real world to make a difference. I’m  always trying to lift my game, whether it’s professionally, in the waves or by helping to create a better world

Hardik Dalal

Ardent Cricket Fan  
Cricket is my passion. Watching it, playing it, discussing it. I moved to Australia from India when I was six, and my dream was to be a  cricket commentator when I grew up. That year the Cricket World Cup was held in Australia, so I was ecstatic to be able to attend,  and it provided a lasting impression of my new home. The mathematician in me loves looking at the cricket stats and figuring out what  creates a winning team. My philosophy is that if you don’t try your hardest it’s a waste, and I enjoy working in a high-performing  environment. In my role as an actuary, I help to identify issues and opportunities for the business. My team strives to be the best it can  be, and we trust one another. Trust is really important – if you hire the right people and trust them to do their work, you’ll get the best  results.

Matt Weaver

Competitive Gamer  
Head of Analytics and Innovation
I became an avid competitive computer gamer in my teens and early 20s and still remain a gamer at heart. Counter-Strike was my  favourite, and I led several teams into various finals. Our biggest achievement was a podium finish at the South African eSports  World Cup qualification in 2008. Believe it or not, leading the Analytics & Innovation team has some similarities – I’m passionate  about helping people improve their skills, strive to be their best and constantly evaluate the situation. Being a perfectionist by  nature, I have a high attention to detail and always encourage my team to take things to the next level. Analysing risks is what  insurance is all about, and I love going outside my comfort zone and taking calculated risks. That’s also why I get such a thrill out of  scuba diving. The serenity when you’re 30m underwater is incredible, and you’re forced to trust and rely on your own experience  and skills.

Sanya Chopra

Scarf Connoisseur
Risk Manager
We moved to Australia when I was three. Despite originally pursuing a career in accounting and becoming a certified Chartered  Accountant, I developed a passion for risk and change management. After working in financial services in Europe and Australia,  Munich Re has given me the chance to apply my existing risk knowledge in a new industry. It’s a great opportunity to work for a  global leader in reinsurance and leverage expertise from around the world. As someone who’s always assessing risk, the biggest  risk I’ve taken was moving to London for two years by myself. While challenging and daunting at first, it was one of the best  decisions I’ve ever made. As well as travelling to Dublin, Greece and Poland for work, I also ticked off many European hotspots  and met some amazing people. My love of travel has left me with an extensive collection of scarves. Most people buy magnets or  postcards as souvenirs, but I have scarves to remind me of all my adventures!

Sue Alexander

Proud Gardener  
Executive  Assistant to MD
I joined Munich Re 32 years ago. Since starting,  I have  worked with four Managing Directors and five Chairs of the Board. I love  helping and connecting people –  I am  known as the ‘go to’ person for company information and history. Having grown up in a family  of eight, family and friends are everything to me. Munich Re is my second family and many colleagues are lifelong friends who have  been by my side through good times and bad. One of my most memorable experiences was when the ‘Backyard Blitz’ film crew,  together with Scott Cam and his dog, knocked on my front door to say they were giving my garden a surprise makeover on TV. After  a six-month renovation, I was proud to have created a lovely home to share with my daughter. And when  I’m  not at work there’s one  place  you’ll  always find me, and that’s the garden!
Jonathan Yap
© Munich Re

Jonathan Yap

K-Pop Star
Data  Analyst
You might not think that analysing insurance policy exposure data by day has anything in common with being a K-Pop star by night.  But it does. Attention to detail and a commitment to high performance  has not  only been a signature of my career, but  it has  helped  me develop my skills around my greatest hobby: producing K-Pop music videos in my downtime. I get to meet talented performers at  community-run dance concerts and competitions, and team up with my friends to create K-Pop cover videos.  I’ve  applied the same  curiosity and tenacity I use at work to shape insights out of data to refine my singing and choreography.  I’ve  done this through sheer  grit and practice and  haven’t  relied on lessons. I constantly challenge myself to learn new moves and techniques  because  I am  driven by my goal to  be  the  best  I  can  be.
Duncan Cordell
© Munich Re

Duncan Cordell

Adventure Biker
Chief  Data  and Operations Officer
I grew up in South Africa, after moving there with my family in 1980, and have lived and worked in Europe and Australia. My  leadership approach is inspired by people like Desmond Tutu, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela – drawing from their  humility and gravitas of leadership through action.  I am  inspired by those who step up when they need to, but also know  when to step back, which is what I do with my teams.  I’m  logical, empirical and tenacious, so I really enjoy the demands of  my role. As a data-driven organisation, our processes need to constantly be refined in line with our clients’ needs and  ecosystems, so our work is always evolving. Being a high energy person who pushes mental and physical boundaries is also  why I love outdoor activities including adventure touring on my motorbike, trail running and remote camping. Riding an  adventure bike is about taking calculated risk and self-sufficiency, but best of all it gives me a sense of freedom
Miing Kua
© Munich Re

Miing Kua

Avid Traveller
Manager Financial Planning & Analysis, Life​
I was born in Malaysia and migrated to Australia when I was four, so I learnt to be adaptable to changing environments. In my  previous job, I went on a secondment to Hong Kong, which triggered my love of travel. I also spent three months in Beijing  learning Mandarin. After moving to Munich Re, I went on a four-year delegation to our head office. When I made the decision,  I  had  never visited Europe,  didn’t  know anyone in Munich and  couldn’t  speak the language! But it was the best decision  I’ve  ever  made. Besides growing professionally, I grew personally. I learnt a lot about myself, mastered German – which  I am  now  pretty  fluent  in – and made lifelong friendships. Being adventurous also applies to my work. So  I’ve  relished being given the opportunity  to lead the Technical Accounting team, as I love working with talented people and constantly striving to offer better solutions to  our clients.
Stephen Voss
© Munich Re

Stephen Voss

World Citizen
Client  Manager
Variety is the spice of life. That’s why I love discovering the world and have spent most of my professional life abroad. When I was in  my senior year of high school in Germany, I went to California as an exchange student, where I saw a world beyond Europe and made  friends with students from Japan and Korea. This was the start of my fascination with Asian culture and led to a  Masters  degree in  Japanese Studies. So it’s not surprising that I worked for Munich Re in East Asia including Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, before  coming to Sydney. Being open to new experiences also helps with my job as a Client Manager. It’s all about finding connections,  deepening relationships and really understanding our clients’ needs to help them reach their goals – all of which are very different, so  you  have to  be adaptable. It’s this same adventurous spirit that’s even taken me to the summit of Mt Fuji. Twice!
Alex Skoric
© Munich Re

Alex Skoric

Creative Cook
Claims Team Lead
As a child, my family moved here from Croatia. For 17 years before joining Munich Re, I was a nurse. Changing careers in my late  30s was a huge risk. I was in a nursing management role with 100 people reporting to me, but it was the  stepping stone  to a really  challenging and rewarding career in reinsurance. I enjoy the process of enquiry and investigating a situation to better understand it  – whether it’s a challenge I’m facing or an insurance claim I’m reviewing. It’s important I understand the needs of our clients and  their customers, and that I bring my optimism to all I do. At home I relax by cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I love the idea of  nurturing through food. My two sons have enormous appetites and I love entertaining, especially cooking elaborate dishes when  there are no time constraints. Feeding people makes me happy – it’s probably my European upbringing.

50 Years Munich Re in Australia

Munich Re
Celebrating 50 years of Munich Re in Australia – our diverse team remain passionate about making a meaningful difference and dedicated to innovating solutions for a better tomorrow