Leadership team

Leadership team

Richard Howes

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Richard Howes was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Challenger Limited in January 2019. Richard has previously held a number of senior executive roles at Challenger since joining the company in 2003, including Chief Executive of Distribution, Product and Marketing, Chief Executive of Challenger’s Life business and Chief Investment Officer.

Richard has over 25 years' financial services experience. Prior to joining Challenger, he held senior roles at Zurich Capital Markets, Macquarie and Bankers Trust where his primary responsibility was providing risk management solutions to major companies and institutions globally.

Richard has a Bachelor of Commerce (hons) in Finance and Accounting and a Bachelor of Economics and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Tony Bofinger

Chief Risk Officer

Tony Bofinger joined Challenger in 2004 and is Chief Risk Officer. Prior to this he was Chief Financial Officer of Challenger's Life division as well as Appointed Actuary of Challenger Life Company Limited. He has extensive experience in the life insurance industry and prior to joining Challenger he worked in actuarial and management roles in life reinsurance, direct life insurance and consulting.

Angela Murphy

Chief Executive, Distribution, Product and Marketing

Angela Murphy was appointed Chief Executive, Distribution, Product and Marketing in December 2018, having previously held the role of Chief Operating Officer. In this role, she is responsible for the overall strategic direction and coordination of distribution, product and marketing functions for the Challenger Life business.

Angela joined Challenger as the Executive General Manager, Human Resources in February 2012 and has over 20 years’ experience in business and human resource management across public sector, consulting and corporate roles. Before joining Challenger, Angela held a number of senior HR roles at the Westpac Group.

Chris Plater

Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer, Life

Chris joined Challenger in 2003 and has overall executive responsibility for the management of Challenger's APRA regulated life company, Challenger Life Company Ltd. He was appointed Challenger Life's Chief Investment Officer in 2008 and Chief Executive in February 2017. Prior to joining Challenger, Chris worked at Bankers Trust, CBA, Lehman Brothers and Zurich Capital Markets in a variety of financial markets roles in Sydney and London.

Nick Hamilton

Chief Executive, Funds Management

Nick joined Challenger in 2015 and was appointed Chief Executive, Funds Management in September 2019. In this role he has overall responsibility for Challenger’s Funds Management business including Fidante Partners and Challenger Investment Partners. Prior to joining Challenger, Nick held senior leadership roles at Colonial First State and Invesco. 

Nick has more than 20 years industry experience gained across Australian and international markets and has successfully led top tier global equity and multi-asset businesses both in Australia and the UK.

Michelle Taylor

Chief Executive, People, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability

Michelle Taylor joined Challenger in 2016 and was appointed Chief Executive, People, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability in December 2018. In this role she is responsible for human resources, stakeholder relations, corporate sustainability and research.

Michelle has extensive experience in protecting and enhancing culture and reputation in complex organisations and has led a wide range of strategic employee programs. She also has over 20 years' experience in corporate affairs and strategy, working in various industries including financial services, health and real estate. Before joining Challenger Michelle led the corporate affairs and group strategy functions at Stockland, Australia's largest diversified property company.

Andrew Tobin

Chief Financial Officer

Andrew Tobin joined Challenger in 2007 and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in February 2012. In this role he is responsible for Challenger's Business Services division which comprises a number of group operational areas including finance, investor relations, treasury, operations and information technology. Prior to this role he was the group's Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

After originally training as a chartered accountant with KPMG, Andrew has spent more than 25 years in the banking, insurance and wealth management industries in Australia and Asia. He was previously the General Manager, Finance for the Premium Business Services division of CBA and has also held senior roles for National Australia Bank and Lend Lease Group.

Michael Vardanega

General Counsel and Chief Executive Group Strategy

Michael Vardanega joined Challenger in 2006 and is General Counsel and Chief Executive Group Strategy. In this role, he is responsible for the Group's strategy, legal, regulatory, corporate governance and company secretarial. Prior to his current role he was Challenger's General Counsel and Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs. He has over 20 years' experience in various legal, public markets, global investment and corporate advisory roles, including at commercial law firm Ashurst (formerly, Blake Dawson).

Michael is admitted to practise as a solicitor in New South Wales and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.