Suncorp’s Michael Cameron: always turning left

You could say last week was a busy one for Suncorp and its executives. 

First, its AAMI division was the subject of damaging revelations about how difficult families in tough times found it to get help (“Not-so-lucky you’re with AAMI”, as one headline put it). Then CEO Michael Cameron and outgoing chair Ziggy Switowski had to face shareholders at the AGM, though luckily, this passed with far less mishap. Shareholders even approved the granting of performance rights worth $3.5 million to Cameron, payable in three-years, should Suncorp meet customer service and performance hurdles. 

A change in director’s interest notice lodged right after the AGM noted the granting of these rights, as well as the lapsing of ones granted three years ago whose targets hadn’t been met. But what was really intriguing about the notice was the name of the Cameron family account: Always Turn Left Pty Ltd.

What could it mean? Was it a political preference? A Derek Zoolander-like inability to turn a certain direction at the end of a runway? We were stumped, until we remembered how you reach first class on an airplane. Turn right to cattle-class, they say, but it seems Cameron aspires to more exclusive seating.

It’s a far cry from AMP’s then-acting chairman Mike Wilkins, who faced his own AGM earlier this year travelling Sydney to Melbourne in economy. Though given how angry his shareholders were at the time about the banking royal commission’s revelations about AMP, maybe that was the least he could do. 

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