Deanne Stewart, First State Super

The head of MetLife’s Australian life insurance business, Deanne Stewart, will replace Michael Dwyer as the chief executive of First State Super when he steps down in November.

Dwyer, an industry veteran who has held his position at First State Super for the last 14 years, announced his decision to retire last week.

First State chairman Neil Cochrane confirmed Stewart accepted the position at the $90 billion fund following an extensive selection process.

“The board and I felt that Deanne’s extensive experience and achievements in superannuation, investment management, insurance, strategy and marketing made her an excellent candidate to become our next CEO,” Cochrane said.

Stewart has been head of MetLife Australia since 2014 and is credited with delivering new business channels and developing new digital capability.

She has previously held senior leadership roles with BT Financial Group in Sydney, including as general Manager, superannuation, marketing and direct. Before her time at BT, Stewart was managing director with Merrill Lynch Investment Management in New York.

Dwyer’s extensive industry knowledge has culminated with 20 years’ of experience in senior executive roles in the superannuation and financial services industry, including as general manager of Asset Super (now part of CareSuper) .

In 2011, he was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the superannuation industry, through leadership and executive roles, and to the community through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Cochrane singled out Stewart’s stakeholder management as one of the key assets she will bring to her new role.

“The priority that Deanne places on relationships with people – be it our members, our stakeholders or our employees – was evident in each of the conversations the board and I had with her,” he said. “Deanne will be a strong champion of the core values that drive our success.”

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