Asteron – the financial services arm of Promina – has appointed former Rice Walker Actuaries principal, Rhonda Virtue, as national manager of group risk, and may also reopen its group risk division to new business.

Virtue is responsible for Asteron’s current group risk portfolio, but will also look at the viability of reopening the division to new business following its closure in 2002. According to Brett Himbury, Asteron head of corporate and distribution, the introduction of Choice of Fund has led to an increasing focus on insurance. “Rhonda will help with our hypothesis and strategy in reference to the group risk market. Risk insurance used to be a passive consideration, but there’s a lot more emphasis on quality products, attractive premiums and genuine employee benefits,” he said. “We don’t know if we’ll reopen it just yet, but if we were to reopen it, we’d have to think about how and why?” Despite being the eighth largest provider of group risk in Australia, Asteron shut its doors to new business three years ago citing poor market conditions for growth. But the market has opened up again, and there are opportunities around, Himbury said. Virtue will report to Himbury.

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