Executive & Board Members

Ross Higgins

CEO

CEO Ross Higgins

Ross Higgins is a highly experienced CEO and a seasoned financial services executive. He joined Futurity in January 2019 and has re-invented Futurity’s education product range, driving our transformation into Australia’s leading issuer of tax-effective, life-event Education Bonds.


Prior to Futurity, Ross founded Generation Life and during his 17-year tenure built it to be Australia’s leading investment bond provider. He was instrumental in the creation of its ground-breaking LifeBuilder and ChildBuilder Bonds, which captured an impressive market share.

Ross is a well-credentialed financial services professional with a diversified career experience spanning more than 35 years. This includes extensive senior executive and specialist consultancy experience – predominantly with major Australian, prudentially regulated financial institutions - including over 12 years with IOOF, two years with Australian Unity and over 10 years as a financial services lawyer.

Throughout his career, Ross has been a leading figure in industry affairs with considerable involvement with legislative reviews and lobby relevant to financial services regulation and product taxation. He’s been passionately involved in winning better taxation arrangements for investment bonds, education bonds and funeral plans - principally as a longstanding Executive Director of Friendly Societies Australia and for 16 years as an active member of APRA’s CEO’s forum.



Qualifications

B.Ec, LL.B, LL.M

Craig Dunstan

Chair

Chairman Craig Dunstan

Craig joined us as a participating consultant in 2010, was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in 2011 and appointed as the Chair of the Board in October 2015.

Craig has extensive experience in the financial services industry in Australia, Asia, and the United States. He is currently Managing Director of Vasco Trustees Limited, Chairman of D H Flinders Corporate Advisory, Non-Executive Director of Federated Investors Australia Services Limited, and LaTrobe Health Services Limited and Chair of its Nominations & Remuneration Committee. Craig was recently appointed Non-Executive Director of REI Superannuation Fund Pty Ltd and Chair of its Investment Committee.

Previous roles include Managing Director of ASX-listed MacarthurCook Limited, General Manager Financial Services at Australian Unity Limited, and Deputy Chair of Seaforth TAFE college in NSW.

Craig is the current Chair of Futurity’s Nominations & Remuneration Committee and a member of the Investment Committee.

Qualifications

B Com, LLB, MBA, F Finsia, MAICD

Neelesh Mehta

Deputy Chair

Deputy Chairman of the Board Neelesh Mehta

Neelesh is a Non-Executive Director who was appointed to the Board in 2017. He was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Board in 2019.

Neelesh has over 25 years’ experience across the financial services and retail industries in Australia and overseas. He has extensive experience working international markets and a passion for the benefits of education.



Neelesh is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia. He is on the Board of RSPCA Victoria, and chairs their Audit, Risk, and Finance Committee and is also the CFO and Board Member of Texas Peak Group, and Managing Director of Jaipur Asset Management Pty Ltd.



He has served as Chairman of The Gawler Cancer Foundation and as an Invitee to the Governance Committee of Samarinda Ashburton Aged Services, whose Board he served previously. He has previously worked as founder Chairman of We Ride (Australian Cycling Promotion Fund), and on the Board of Emerge Australia.



Neelesh is a member of Futurity’s Noms and Rem Committee and also on the Risk Committee.

Qualifications

B Com, FCA, FAICD

Tony Brain

Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director Tony Brain

Tony started with us as a Participating Consultant in 2014 and was appointed Non-Executive Director in 2016.

He is a Chartered Accountant, with over 30 years’ experience in Australia and the United Kingdom with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. He spent 12 of those years as a Partner and subsequently nearly three years as Head of Risk Management at AustralianSuper. This experience has involved a mixture of assurance, advice and financial and regulatory audit work, particularly within the financial services sector.

Tony is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and has significant board experience as a Director of various Trustee Boards of regulated entities.

Tony’s current Board-related roles also include an appointment to the AMP Superannuation Trustee Boards since October 2018—currently as Interim Chair—and his recent appointments to the Board of Monash Health and Victoria University Council.

Tony also serves as an Independent Member on various Board Committees – Magistrates Court Victoria, Barwon Health and the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. Tony is currently Chair of Futurity’s Audit Committee and a member of its Investment Committee. Tony was also appointed as a member of the Company Auditors Disciplinary Board in August 2017.

Qualifications

B Com, CA, GAICD, FAIST

Dr Jacqueline Jennings

Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director Jacqueline Jennings

Jacqueline joined us as a participating consultant in 2011 and was appointed Non-Executive Director in 2012.

Jacqueline has extensive executive senior experience in sales, marketing, business development and strategy, and financial management.

She is the Chair of the Mt Buller & Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board, a member of the Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council and is a Director of the Darwin Waterfront Corporation Board. She also has experience as a Director of Peoplecare Health Insurance, and was a member of the Finance and Risk Committee within that Board, and a Director of the Non-Health Fund Subsidiary of that company.

Jacqueline is the Chair of Futurity’s Investment Committee and a member of the Sustainability Committee.

Qualifications

B Met, M Mgt, PhD Mgt, GAICD

Leon Nash

Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director Leon Nash

Leon is a Non-Executive Independent Director who was first appointed to the Board in 2006.

Leon is currently the Chief Financial Officer of a regional Australian metal fabrication business servicing the Agriculture and Wood Heating industries where he also fulfils the role of Company Secretary.

He has extensive experience in general management, accounting, economics, human resources, and corporate finance. He has previously acted as the Financial Controller (Australia and New Zealand) of a multinational FMCG company, and his executive experience has covered many sectors including manufacturing, construction, FMCG and land development at a local and multinational level. Leon also has Board experience as a former Director and Company Secretary for Australian Timken Pty Ltd and Australian Timken Superannuation Pty Ltd.

Leon is currently a member of Futurity’s Nominations & Remuneration Committee and a member of the Risk Committee.

Qualifications

B Bus, MBA, FCPA, FAICD

Jennifer Storey

Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director Jen Storey

Jennifer joined us as a Participating Consultant in 2016 and was appointed Non-Executive Director in August 2018.

Jennifer is a highly successful leader with more than 20 years of experience in digital marketing, product, and commercialisation experience across a variety of industries including extensive involvement in financial services.

She is the Director of Outside Insights Consulting Pty Ltd and the Futurity-appointed Director of Permission Click Inc.

Jennifer is the Chair of Futurity’s Risk Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Qualifications

Dip. Ed. (Secondary), Grad. Dip. Information Science, Master of Arts (Public Relations), MAICD

Phillip Vernon

Non-Executive Director

Phillip Vernon

Phil joined us as a participating consultant in March 2020 and was appointed Non-Executive Director in October 2021.

Phil is a senior financial services executive with over 30 years' experience in investments, superannuation, sustainable finance and corporate governance. Past roles include Managing Director and Chief Executive of Australian Ethical Investment, Australia's leading ethical superannuation and ethical investment company. Prior to that Phil was a senior executive with Perpetual Limited, one of Australia's leading investment companies.

Phil is a Non-Executive Director of capital market services organisation, Eticore Pty Ltd, as well as Environmental Defender’s Office Ltd and serves as Chair of its Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Phil is also a Non-Executive Director of the not-for-profit Stroke Foundation Limited, and B Lab Australia New Zealand Limited (regional representative organisation of B Corporation movement). Phil is an Advisory Board Member to impact investing firm Arowana Capital Ltd, and to start-up organisation Kardinia Energy.

Previous Director roles include not for profit Beyond Zero Emissions and Planet Ark Environmental Foundation. He also served on the Steering Committee of industry body the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative and has been a Director of the Responsible Investment Association of Australia and of the Australian Securitisation Forum (Chair).

Phil has a Bachelor of Economics, a Master of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and of the Australian Superannuation Funds Association.

Phil is currently Chair of Futurity’s Sustainability Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Qualifications

B Ec, M Comm, MBA, FAIDC, FCA, FASFA

Allen Blewitt

Participating Consultant

Futurity Director Allen Blewitt

Allen joined us in 2012 as a participating consultant and was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in 2015. He served as Deputy Chairman of the Board from 2016 to 2019.

Allen is currently a Director of Cambridge Box Hill Language Assessment and Cambridge English (Australia). As an independent consultant, he advises companies, NFPs and professional associations on governance and business strategy.

He was global CEO of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and prior to that served in various senior positions, including Deputy CEO and Director of Education with the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAA). He has been a secondary school teacher and university lecturer.

Allen is the current Chair of Futurity’s Education Advisory Panel, the NEiTA Foundation, and a member of the Sustainability Committee.

Qualifications

BA (Hons), MEd, FAICD, FAIM

Catherine O’Sullivan

Participating Consultant

Catherine holds a Masters in Public Policy, Government from the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZOG); and a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education, English and History from the University of New England.

A former Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year, she has built her career on developing, implementing and championing innovative education strategies. Catherine is a qualified secondary high school teacher, English subject master, deputy principal and Principal of Goondiwindi State High School. In this role, she received an Australian Rural Leadership Scholarship and a Churchill Fellowship. Transitioning into a career in public policy administration, Catherine served as Executive Director of Schools for the Toowoomba region where she was responsible for leading the performance of 35 Schools.

As Assistant Director-General at the state’s Department of Primary Industries, she led the delivery of regional services across QLD. Catherine moved to working for the Federal government as the Queensland State Manager of the Commonwealth for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. This role included leadership of the delivery of employment programs, indigenous education, school funding, tafe funding and University performance across QLD.

In 2013 she joined Bond University as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Pathways and Partnerships, which included Indigenous education, sport,and women’s education as key areas of the portfolio.

Catherine’s most recent role before joining RMIT Training as CEO was as Director of Industry, Innovation and Employability at Laureate International University. She has been recognised as one of Queensland’s ‘Top 50 Best and Brightest’ and in, 2015, was appointed to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Entrepreneurial Women’s Leadership Board.

Catherine is now an active Board Director. She is Chair of Clayfield College which is a co-educational Boarding school in Brisbane. She is a Director of CG Spectrum, an on line education provider in animation, film and games. She is also Chair of the Gold Coast Salvation Army Fundraising Board.

Catherine is a member of Futurity’s Education Advisory Panel.

Qualifications

EMPA (ANZSOG), DipEd, BA (UNE)