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About us

Our People

Our team are passionate about what we do, and being there for our customers when they need it most. If you email or phone you'll be talking to one of us. From left to right: Eddie Lio, Jane Barron, Louise Smitsdorff-Gilbert, Eric Hwang, Emma McEwan, Anna Harris, Cathrine Stead, Gillian Vaughan, Kerry Vaughan, Mario Wilson, Hannah Wise, Amy Cavanaugh. Absent; Shannon Doolan, Valentina Bulchandani, Chris Wearing

Gillian Vaughan BP&RM

Gillian_vaughan.jpgChief Executive

Gillian was appointed Chief Executive of Pinnacle Life in April 2018. Gillian has nearly 20 years experience in the life insurance industry, having joined Pinnacle in 1999. She has worked in all areas of the business including strategy, technology, risk, customer sales and service, with her most recent role being General Manager Operations. In addition to her role at Pinnacle Life, in 2020 Gillian was recognised for her services to Wildlife Conservation with a Queens Service Medal.

Ben Coulter BSc, BCA, FIAA & FNZSA

Ben Coulter 2.jpgAppointed Actuary

Ben was appointed as Pinnacle Life's Actuary in September 2017. He is a director in the actuarial consulting team at PwC New Zealand. Ben has over 15 years of experience working with the insurance industry in various roles covering pricing, product development, valuation and capital management.

Amy Cavanaugh BCA, BA

General Manager Operations

Amy joined Pinnacle Life in June 2018 and is responsible for leading the Operations Team to manage day-to-day processes and procedures across finance, risk, technology and product. She has experience across Insurance & Banking in strategic and operational roles. Amy brings a passion for bringing the customer to the centre of all her business’ processes and projects.

Valentina Bulchandani BSc.(hons), LLB (hons)

Customer Sales and Service Team Leader

Valentina came to Pinnacle Life in early 2020 with over 10-years’ experience in Life Insurance. She is a motivated people leader who focuses on ensuring our Customer Service team exceeds the expectations of our customers. As well as being passionate about customer service, Valentina has led or been involved with, multiple technology and innovation projects for which she has a keen interest.

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