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Our leaders

Our Board of Directors is appointed by the State Treasurer on behalf of the people of Victoria. The Board provides strategic guidance and controls, enabling our risks to be assessed and managed correctly. 

 

Our executive leadership team is accountable to the Board for developing and implementing strategic and operational plans.

Select a team

Board of Directors

Jennifer Acton

LLB(Hons), LLM, BEc, MEc, GAICD

Chair

Appointed : 01 December 2015

The Honourable Jennifer Acton is both our Chair and a Non-Executive Director. She is also Chair of the Port of Hastings Development Authority, a member of the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal and a consultant.

 

Previously, Jennifer was a Director in the Transport, Water and Education industries. In addition to being a leader in numerous fields, she has more than 20 years’ experience as a Presidential member of industrial tribunals and in the area of national economic policy.

 

Her work with State Trustees has seen her champion public benefit strategy and sustainable fee reductions. She has also instituted technological solutions to operations, overseen the growth at the Port of Hastings, lectured in employment law, facilitated major industrial outcomes and productivity improvements for the infrastructure, services and manufacturing sectors and conducted peer reviews of decision making.

 

In 2001 Jennifer was awarded the Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian society.

 

Committees: Member – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, Member – Investment Committee.

Mark Toohey

MAppFin, BBus (Acctg), FCA, FCPA, GAICD

Director (Non-Executive)

Appointed : 01 December 2015

Mark Toohey is a Non-Executive Director at State Trustees. Prior to joining the Board, Mark was CFO and Company Secretary at ANZ Terminals, Chandler Macleod and GE Capital in Asia and Australia (where he was also Executive Director).

 

He has held several executive finance roles at ANZ Banking Group and is currently a Councillor and Finance and Investment Committee Chair at Victoria University. Mark is also Chair of V/Line Corporation and Dept. of Treasury and Finance’s Audit and Risk Committees and a member of Dept. of Health’s Audit and Risk Management Committee.

 

In addition to supporting finance, education and transport in his positions, Mark has also been a Director at OC Connections, a not-for-profit disability support provider.

 

Committees: Chair – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, Member – Investment Committee, Member – Remuneration Committee.

Angela Emslie AM

AMBEc, MBus, FAIST, MAICD

Director (Non-Executive)

Appointed : 18 May 2020

Angela has a wealth of expertise in governance, strategy, superannuation and investments, having served on a range of superannuation fund and related boards for over 25 years. In addition to her role at State Trustees, Angela is Chair of several organisations including Assemble Communities, Frontier Advisors and Suicide Prevention Australia.

 

She is also a Non-executive Director at RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia. Previously Angela was Independent Chair at HESTA Super Fund, where she fostered a strong member-focused culture with a commitment to responsible investing.

 

Other tenures include a Directorship at the UN supported global investor group Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). In 2021 she was honoured with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contribution to the superannuation sector.

 

Committees: Chair – Investment Committee, Member – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

 

Tony Clark

Bsc (Hons), MA (Comms), GAICD

Director

Appointed : 18 May 2020

Tony has extensive experience across sectors that include not-for-profit, disability, government and community.

 

Within the State Government of Victoria, he has worked to deliver complex major health, education and public housing infrastructure and has led major reform around integrating accessibility into major government projects and services. Tony is also a Non-Executive Director and Chair of International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) and has been a Non-Executive Director of Blind Citizens Australia and Senswide.

 

A significant contributor to the community and volunteer, Tony has overseen the merging of two schools as president and spent 34 years as a Scout Association Leader. Living in regional Victoria, Tony brings the value of a lived experience of disability and is a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity.

 

Committees: Member – Remuneration Committee, Member – External Stakeholder Engagement Transformation Committee.

 

Vivienne Nguyen AM

MAppFin, BComm

Director (Non-Executive)

Appointed : 18 May 2020

Vivienne is the Chair at the Victorian Multicultural Commission and an established business executive and community leader of many years.

 

She has previously held numerous leadership roles, including as Group Head of Diversity at the ANZ Banking Group, as President of the Vietnamese Community in Australia’s Victorian Chapter and as a Non-Executive Director at City West Water.

 

Previously she has held positions at the Dept. Health and Human Services (Finance) and University of Melbourne. Working with not-for-profit Melbourne City Mission for three years, she also participated in shaping business practices for that business following the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.   

 

Committees: Member – Investment Committee, Member – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Executive Team

John Velegrinis

FFin, MAICD

Chief Executive Officer

Appointed : 16 August 2021

In leadership, John encourages and inspires everyone at State Trustees Limited to set and pursue their aspirational goals. He supports individuals to innovate and achieve within a framework of strong values, ethics and good governance.

 

An experienced CEO with substantial experience in Funds Management, commercial and corporate banking, John has led several divisions of the ANZ Group, including Risk for International, ANZ Fiji, Regional Markets – Pacific, and Credit, Commercial and Wealth, Australia.

 

More recently, he was CEO of the Australian Scholarships Group, the largest specialist education benefits provider in Australia and New Zealand. John is a Fellow the Financial Services Institute of Australia, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has completed post-graduate studies in Banking and Finance.

Josie Brown

MBL, AAICD

General Manager, Financial Administration

Appointed : 19 August 2019

Prior to this role, Josie was the Acting Executive General Manager for Client Services. With experience across a diverse range of banking and finance areas, she has over 28 years of experience in Financial Services.

 

Including 14 years at NAB with tenures as Area Manager for Retail banking, National Sales & Marketing and Workplace Relations. Employed at State Trustees since 2007, Josie has previously led Executor Services, Trusts, Attorneyship Administration, Taxation, Property, Client Legal and Financial Planning.

 

In 2015, Josie was recognised for her leadership ability as a State Finalist at the AIM excellence awards and the SACS Leadership awards. A Leadership Victoria graduate (Folio Community Leadership Program), Josie regularly volunteers as a mentor for their many programs.

Melissa Reynolds

BEc, M.Com, GAICD

General Manager, Trustee Services

Appointed : 26 July 2022

Melissa is an experienced senior executive passionate about improving outcomes for customers. She has led significant change, transformation and digitisation programs in highly regulated sectors in financial services and utilities.

 

Melissa has a breadth of leadership experience across a range of functions with deep expertise in customer management, customer operations, brand, sales and marketing. Melissa is an inclusive and open leader who encourages teams to collaborate and achieve for the greater good of customers.

 

In her most recent executive role, Melissa was Chief Customer Officer at AGL and has previously held executive positions at NAB, Sensis, Esanda Finance and Westpac.

Andrew Tennant

GAICD, BA (Hons)

General Manager, Professional Services

Appointed : 19 August 2019

Andrew is responsible for the Professional Services, which includes a range of specialised services to safeguard and improve our clients’ financial wellbeing.

 

These cover the areas of client cashflow, protection and wealth enhancement. Andrew comes to State Trustees from the financial services industry after a career at NAB and ANZ, where he undertook a variety of roles including district manager of three branch networks, national sales effectiveness and sales development manager, product manager and senior internal audit director.

 

In addition to his extensive banking and finance experience, Andrew is Treasurer and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council.

Brett Comer

BBus (Acct), FCA, GAICD

Chief Financial Officer and General Manager, Corporate Services

Appointed : 27 June 2022

Brett is a values-driven leader who has held executive-level roles across sectors that encompass health and human services, financial services, and education. With a focus on delivering relevant and commercially sustainable outcomes, Brett collaborates with his team and stakeholders to benefit customers, the community, and the organisation.

 

For 15 years, he led finance, strategy and operational functions at Bupa Australia and New Zealand, where he took part in acquisitions, mergers and the launch of new health services. He has also held COO roles at Monash IVF Group (fertility) and Camp Australia (early childhood education and care).

 

In addition to his extensive range of qualifications and experience, Brett recently completed the Oxford Platforms and Digital Disruption Program at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

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State Trustees Limited operates on the lands of Traditional Custodians. We acknowledge their history, culture and Elders past, present and emerging. State Trustees is committed to cultivating inclusive environments for staff and clients. We celebrate and value people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures and abilities.

Original artwork ‘Four Sisters Coming Together’ by Melissa Bell 2023