Renee Duffy appointed CFO at Chubb Fire & Security A/NZ

Newly appointed CFO of Chubb Fire & Security in Australia and New Zealand, Renee Duffy says she’s excited to be joining the fire and security industry leader at a time of significant transformation.

Having taken up the CFO reins in late 2023, Duffy says she was attracted to the role not only because Chubb Fire & Security has one of the most historic and leading brands in the global industry but is also a tangible organisation supporting safety and critical infrastructure.

“I am enormously proud to be a part of the Chubb team not only because of its contribution to critical infrastructure, but there is also a strong sense of purpose built around protecting people and assets, and an amazing and passionate culture,” she says.

“The business is also on a transformation journey, strongly supported by everyone in the organisation, globally and nationally and that’s a journey I wanted to be part of.”

Founded in the UK in 1818, the global fire safety and security solutions provider offers technology-enabled solutions for businesses and homes, from design and installation to service and monitoring. It’s been operating in Australia since 1896, one of 17 countries in its international network which spans Europe, Asia Pacific and Canada.

In January 2022, Chubb was acquired for $US3.1 billion by US-headquartered APi Group Corporation, a provider of safety and specialty services listed on the New York Stock Exchange. APi’s President and CEO, Russ Becker, hailed Chubb as “a paramount strategic priority” when announcing the completion of the acquisition.

“We believe the business will move faster and more efficiently, globally leveraging the expertise and ability of our combined 26,000 dedicated and talented team members,” Becker said, as work kicked off to integrate the two businesses last year, contributing to record results for APi as disclosed for its fourth quarter in February 2023.

Duffy is no stranger to leading finance and operations teams through integrations and transformations such as this, having spent more than 16 years of her career with media empire Fairfax Media, culminating in her 2017 appointment as CFO for Australian Community Media, the division responsible for more than 160 regional publications including the Land, Canberra Times and Newcastle Herald.

“Unfortunately for the media industry, it was one of the first to be enormously disrupted by the rapid advancements in technology,” she recalls. 

“What I loved about that time was having the ability to go on the transformation journey from what was such a traditional print business to having to totally reshape the business model around advertising platforms and delivery of content; reform the workforce, to rationalise print manufacturing whilst continuing to invest in people and technology.”

Renee started her career with the media company in her hometown of Orange in the central west of NSW, beginning as an Assistant Accountant with Rural Press Pty Ltd at that time not imagining the opportunities that lie in front to developing and becoming the CFO/COO of Australian Community Media after it was hived off when Fairfax merged with Nine Entertainment in 2018.

In 2021, Duffy made her first leap into the security services industry joining international player Certis. Driving this big industry switch was a desire to showcase her experience and expand her skillset in a new direction. 

The experience stood her in good stead when the opportunity arose to join Chubb’s Australian and New Zealand business, where she has become the first female CFO, alongside its first female CEO, Rebecca Fullerton, who was appointed in May 2023 having risen through the ranks at the group for almost 25 years.

“I’ve been focused on understanding and learning the nature of our business – importantly our people, the vision, the commercials, the strategies and how I can complement and add value to all these critical elements of our organisation,” she says.

“Importantly it is ensuring I am a strong co-pilot for (CEO) Rebecca and supporting our employees and key stakeholders.”

Duffy’s role is critical in supporting the business to transform and optimise its commercial and operational outcomes as well as provide the business with strategic and commercial support; ensuring global alignment towards building upon the culture in Australia and New Zealand; and establishing the standards that will be critical to the growth of the business.

“I do not underestimate any challenges that may lie ahead, especially from a macro perspective with the uncertainty in our economic and geopolitical landscape, and equally I look forward to opportunities that may flow.”

Renee Duffy will be speaking at the upcoming CFO Magazine Sydney CFO Symposium on Thursday 8th February at the Sydney ICC > To register or for more information visit: www.NSWCFOSymposium.com