Thierry Bareau is to join AustralianSuper in the new role of commercial manager, insurance on April 12.

Bareau, who has held the role of head of insurance at RiceWarner, will work with insurers on renegotiating contracts, repricing and terms and conditions.

A year ago Richard Weatherhead also left a consulting role at RiceWarner to join AustralianSuper as product manager, insurance.

Weatherhead said of his new colleague: “We are delighted to welcome Thierry to the AustralianSuper team. The appointment reflects the importance the fund places on maintaining the best possible insurance arrangements for its members and the capabilities required to manage that business.”

Not long after Weatherhead’s appointment, AustralianSuper announced that it would move from three-year to one-year contracts for group insurance owing to the difficulties faced in getting an attractively priced three year deal.

The difficulties in pricing have arisen from a steady rise in the willingness of superannuation fund members to claim on their insurance cover and a corresponding reluctance of reinsurers to back such business.

At the time of the decision Paul Schroder, group executive membership at AustralianSuper, said he hoped one-year deals would come without the fear of mispricing that come with three-year deals, where reinsurers, insurers and funds all seek to strike the best possible deal based on forward estimates.

“It is a much better situation to have members pay for the experience they are actually having and not go through this three-year process with the risk the contract could be taken away and where people have to take windfall gains or losses,” he said.

Poor quality data has led to some of the mispricing errors between insurers and superannuation funds and it will be one of Bareau’s roles to ensure the best possible information on members’ claims experience.

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