Our People

Blair NichollsCEO & Co-Founder

Blair is the Co-Founder & CEO of Blue Zebra and brings over 30 years of global experience in the insurance industry. Previously he was the inaugural CEO for Berkshire Hathaway in Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia, responsible for setting the overarching strategy and starting up their insurance and local reinsurance business. Blair has also held several global and divisional executive level roles within QBE, and continues to be an active industry participant on various boards and working committees, including the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the Actuaries Institute (Australia).

Blair is driven by a desire to build an insurance business that can meet the changing needs of intermediaries and their customers, and in particular leveraging technology within Blue Zebra and their strategic partners to make all aspects of the insurance offering as easy as possible.

Colin FagenManaging Director & Co-Founder

Colin is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Blue Zebra. He is a highly respected financial services executive with almost 30 years of experience and boasts a proven track record of delivering superior financial results whilst maintaining strong customer focus. He also enjoys long established relationships within the broker community. Previously Colin has held global c-suite roles at QBE including Group Chief Operations Officer, Group Chief Strategy Officer and CEO of QBE Australia and New Zealand. He has also been President of the Insurance Council of Australia and a Director of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).

Colin is looking forward to establishing Blue Zebra as the market leader in how insurers should work collaboratively with brokers to support their business and ultimately protect and grow the client base who value their advice and services.

Matt HodsonChief Operating Officer

Matt is Chief Operating Officer of Blue Zebra and is a qualified actuary. Matt's most recent role was COO of Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Australia (subsequently re-named IAL in 2017). Prior to this Matt worked as Chief Risk Officer helping to establish the insurance business and license for Berkshire Hathaway in Australia and New Zealand. Matt also spent more than 10 years with EY in London and Sydney. Matt's experience at EY included strategic insurance consulting across Europe and Asia, application of analytics techniques to support decision making, risk management leadership and statutory actuarial roles.

Matt is excited to leverage leading technology to make it easy for brokers to place advice-led business and grow their customer base. Matt sees huge potential in the efficient bundling of personal lines and SME insurance into one package, with a focus on tailoring insurance to suit complex and changing customer needs.

Mark PolglaseChief Underwriting Officer - SME

Mark is the Chief Underwriting Officer (SME) of Blue Zebra and brings over 20 years of leadership and strategic experience with major international insurers. Most recently he was Group Head of SME and Customer Retention for QBE, accountable for the development and execution of a global SME strategy. Mark has held a variety of local and regional roles, including 7 years based in Hong Kong, and his substantial expertise includes multi-class underwriting, product development, portfolio management, senior account management, strategic sales and distribution, claims management and operational excellence.

Mark's ambition for Blue Zebra is to redefine how SME insurance solutions are delivered via brokers, with easy to understand product modules, a clear and consistent underwriting and pricing approach, and a claims response that exceeds the expectations of both brokers and their clients.

Stephen JefferyChief Underwriting Officer - Personal Lines

Stephen is the Chief Underwriting Officer (Personal Lines) of Blue Zebra and has worked in the insurance industry for over 20 years. Most recently he led the IAL business (within IAG), one of the fastest growing start-up insurers in Australia, which was originally established by Berkshire Hathaway to support intermediated distribution channels. Prior to that Stephen worked for Suncorp in Australia and IAG in New Zealand across roles spanning portfolio management, pricing, underwriting, product and claims operations. Stephen is a Fellow of the Actuaries Institute (Australia).

Stephen sees a huge opportunity to utilise the latest technology, data and analytical tools to drive a more streamlined underwriting process with outcomes that better match the underlying risk.

Amar RoomiChief Technology Officer

Amar is the Chief Technology Officer of Blue Zebra. With extensive cross-sector experience, Amar previously held a number of technical and distribution roles at QBE and JWT, most recently leading the design and implementation of their Australian operation's SME strategy.

Having been involved in a number of large technology transformation programs, Amar joined Blue Zebra to realise the opportunity to positively disrupt the general insurance market through a combination of product innovation and technology advancement.

Tetiana MaierStrategic projects & Business Development

Tetiana is bringing over 10 years of experience in insurance strategy and operations across Australia, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Blue Zebra Tetiana was a Senior Manager in the Insurance practice at Oliver Wyman in Sydney, Hong Kong and Munich. Prior to this she worked for the Boston Consulting Group, Mazars Coresa and the United Nations in Switzerland. Tetiana has consulted some of the world’s largest insurers as well as start-ups on a wide range of topics from improving core insurance operations, development of innovative propositions through to customer experience design.

In addition to her focus on strategic work, Tetiana is passionate about innovation in broker and customer experience through simple and understandable product solutions. Tetiana’s ambition is to move Blue Zebra towards being the best in class insurance provider.

Ryan XiePricing and underwriting

Ryan is member of the pricing and underwriting at Blue Zebra, and is a member of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. Ryan holds a BA in Actuarial Studies and Statistics from UNSW. He specializes in application of analytics and statistical learning to create smart automation of core insurance processes. Ryan believes that greater efficiencies allow people to focus on meaningful interactions and to place the customer first.

Ryan is inspired by the opportunity to create a new business model by having technology at the heart of insurance operations. He believes in a smooth and friendly experience through the whole life cycle of insurance from underwriting to pricing through to claims. This is all an integral part of supporting the broker advice business.

Ingrid IbbotsonRegional Manager

Ingrid has over 20 years experience working for a number of top tier insurers developing & delivering solutions for brokers. Ingrid’s most recent role prior to Blue Zebra was at CGU Insurance as National Account Manager, developing the strategic Aon relationship through data led insights & analytics. Ingrid has strong working relationships with all broker network groups and a broad underwriting experience across personal and commercial insurance, as well as a working knowledge and market awareness of all local product delivery platforms.

With strong technical and relationship management skills, Ingrid is well suited and motivated to identify and develop joint strategic growth opportunities with Blue Zebra’s broker partners. This includes providing front line training and support in order to maximise the efficiencies of online adoption, creating mutual profitable growth opportunities, and collecting the outside in feedback required to develop and deliver market leading customer centric solutions.

David CookRegional Manager

With 25 years of industry experience across broking and premium finance, David brings a strong understanding of the issues faced by brokers in personal lines and SME business. He joined the broking world at Heath Lambert Group, as MD of Insurance Finance Australia, an inhouse premium funding operation and then at Marsh held various roles including Executive Director of Marsh Advantage, overseeing the Commercial and Consumer segments.

The challenges facing brokers are not new, however the solutions being created by Blue Zebra are helping them to fight back in this space.  David is excited to be back liaising with the broker market, using the latest technology, market leading wording and competitive pricing to make it easier than ever for brokers to win and grow their business.

James FrankenfeldRegional Manager

James is a Regional Manager at Blue Zebra, with 35 years of experience working in the insurance industry, always focused on the Intermediary market. Previously, James held the position of State Manager at CGU and  Regional Manager at QBE. James brings deep industry experience and understanding of the market dynamics.

James is passionate about Intermediary business and the advice model. Together with the team at Blue Zebra James is committed to providing best in class services to brokers using technology and product innovation.

Laura HillPricing & Analytics Manager

Laura is Blue Zebra’s Pricing & Analytics Manager, targeted with establishing portfolio monitoring metrics and continuously streamlining the underwriting process. Laura is a qualified actuary with previous roles in the UK including technical pricing, risk and claim modelling work with RSA, and strategy, project and consulting work for Willis Towers Watson.

Laura’s most recent role was with Zurich Australia which involved a short-term secondment to Blue Zebra to establish target portfolio and price monitoring and calibrate the catastrophe modelling. Since joining the Blue Zebra team, Laura has been focused on generating and analysing data insights to improve efficiency and enable the implementation of continuous improvement in underwriting automation.