Announcing the appointment, HBF Chairman, Mr Tony Crawford, said: “John brings experience from leadership roles in some of the world’s top financial institutions and I am delighted that we have secured someone with that capability and perspective to lead Western Australia’s top health fund.
“He has more than 30 years’ experience in senior roles in the fields of insurance and financial services, including chief executive roles in global financial institutions.”
Originally from Perth, Mr Van der Wielen began his career in the State Government Insurance Office, before joining the Fortis Group. In 1998 he was recruited by Bank of Scotland to establish the green field insurance group, St Andrews Australia which, as Managing Director, he grew to encompass wealth management and life insurance.
He moved to London with HBOS and was appointed CEO, Clerical Medical, Halifax Life & Heidelberger Leben and promoted to the insurance executive board of Lloyds Banking Group.
In 2010 he returned to Australia to lead the wealth management business for ANZ Banking Group and accepted the Group Executive role.
Mr Van der Wielen returned to London after being recruited for the insurance acquirer Resolution plc, and later became Chief Executive Officer, UK & International, for Friends Life.
Currently he is a senior adviser for Blackstone and an independent non-executive director on a number of boards.
“The search for the organisation’s new leader was exhaustive and, considering the challenging landscape that confronts health insurance Australia-wide, required someone who is not only experienced and aware in the field of insurance, but also someone who is able to bring innovation and financial efficiency to the role,” said Mr Crawford.
“We believe John Van der Wielen is that person – someone exceptionally well qualified to lead HBF into the future.”
Mr Van der Wielen said he was delighted to have the opportunity to return to Perth and lead Western Australia’s largest health insurer.
“I am Perth born and bred and after a career that has taken me around the world it feels good to be back in my home city with my family, leading an organisation that is part of the fabric of the State.
“HBF is one of WA’s marquee brands and has earned a special place in the lives of generations of West Australians.”
John Van der Wielen will take up his appointment on 8 May 2017.