Ensurance board shake-up amid expansion plans

Insurance provider Ensurance has announced an organisational restructure and the appointment of a new executive chairman, who will underwrite half of the company’s new $3 million placement.

Ensurance, which has close ties to the mortgage industry, temporarily halted trading last week ahead of its capital raising announcement. 

It has now announced that it will undertake a fully underwritten $3 million placement and will be making some organisational changes as part of its plans to expand its operations in Australia and Europe. 

Its placement will be at an issue price of $0.05 per new share to raise $3 million (before costs).

Fully underwritten by Transocean Securities Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based boutique advisory and equities group with extensive global networks, the placement will also be sub-underwritten by private company Kalonda Pty Ltd. 

Board changes

Tony Leibowitz’s company has said that it will sub-underwrite 50 per cent of the placement. Mr Leibowitz has also been made executive chairman of the Ensurance board, replacing Adam Davey (who will continue as a non-executive director). 

In his new role, the chairman of Chandler Macleod Limited and lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd will spend time in both London and Sydney, “enabling him to play an active role in leading activities in the two key growth markets [Australia and Europe] for the company”.

Mr Leibowitz’s remuneration will be $30,000 per calendar month (excluding superannuation) for the first six months (after which, the Board of Directors will determine the structure going forward) and, subject to shareholder approval, will be given the offer of four thousand options (two-year term from time of issue), with half exercisable at $0.05 and half at $0.08.

With the appointment of Mr Leibowitz, Stefan Hicks will move from the role of managing director to the newly created role of business development director.

Mr Hicks will have direct responsibility for the opening of “new international markets, key client engagement and retention and establishment of new products utilising the Ensurance platform”. 

Brett Graves will also step down from the board but will remain as chief operating executive of the Australian operations. Mr Graves will reportedly focus on “implementing the sales strategy and managing relationships with key underwriting partners in Australia”.

Commenting on the appointment of Mr Leibowitz to the board, Mr Davey said: “I have known Tony and followed his achievements for many years and am delighted and excited to have someone of his knowledge and experience join our board.

“Given his proven track record of providing the necessary skills and guidance to assist companies grow and generate sustained shareholder value, his appointment is a further step towards developing ENA into a global leader and substantial company.” 

He added that the board believes Mr Leibowitz “will be able to fast-track [Ensurance’s] further global ambitions”.

Touching on the changes of role for Mr Hicks and Mr Graves, Mr Davey commented that they had been “instrumental in the development of the strategic plan and building the disruptive Ensurance platform.

“They should be able to further expand and grow in their respective new roles, under the leadership of Mr Leibowitz,” the new non-executive director said. 

A meeting of shareholders will be called to vote on the issuing of the placement shares and the issue of shares to Mr Leibowitz under his sub-underwriting obligations.

 

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Annie Kane

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