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Re|told

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.
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 
Actuary
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.

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