Ex-Wallaby captain Phil Kearns joins InterRISK

Former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns will become chief executive of insurance broker InterRISK Australia next month, replacing current boss Dennis Guy as the company combs out growth opportunities including acquisitions.

Mr Kearns, formerly chief executive of Centric Wealth before it was sold to Findex last year for $130 million, will take on his new role on April 20.

He left Centric Wealth nine months ago following its sale and his been cycling around Ireland and spending time with family before signing up to the current role.

InterRISK is 77 per cent owned by listed broking group Austbrokers and wrote more than $100 million in gross written premium last year. The company services corporate clients and counts companies such as Soul Pattinson and Brickworks among its clients.

“The plan is to grow the company. It’s a profitable business and Dennis has got to the stage where he thinks it’s time to step back and let someone else with energy and fresh vision to become CEO,” Mr Kearns told Fairfax Media.

“Growth by acquisitions is certainly on the cards,” he said.

Mr Guy will take on the role of executive chairman at InterRISK following the appointment of Mr Kearns.

Prior to his business career, Mr Kearns played 67 tests for the Wallabies from 1989 to 1999. He captained the team 10 times, and also led the push towards professionalism in rugby.

Mr Kearns is also known for his philanthropic activities, creating The Balmoral Burn back in 2000 in support of The Humpty Dumpty Foundation.

He previously held senior positions in South African investment bank Investec.

“With the appointment of Phil, along with the existing heads of business, InterRISK has in place a highly proficient senior management team. This team, supported by our major shareholder Austbrokers, can continue to focus on sustainable business growth in a competitive market through the provision of an innovative client service offering and excellence in client management,” Mr Guy said.

Mr Kearns departed Centric Wealth in May last year. InterRisk was founded in 2004 and targets medium to large companies for its services.

The group provides insurance products for companies operating in real estate, food and beverage, tourism, and other private clients. More than two thirds of the company is owned by parent company Austbrokers, which has stakes across more than 70 insurance businesses.