Corporate Governance & Structure

DeCare’s vision is to empower people to improve their oral, optical and general health over a lifetime. In order to accomplish our vision, DeCare is dedicated to achieving high standards of governance, integrity, transparency and accountability.

The Board retains primary responsibility for corporate governance and is responsible for the effective, prudent and ethical oversight of DeCare.

The board is responsible for, among other things, setting and overseeing:

  • the business strategy,
  • the amounts, types and distribution of both internal capital and own funds adequate to cover the risks of the insurance undertaking,
  • the strategy for the on-going management of material risks including, inter alia, liquidity risk,
  • a robust and transparent organisational structure with effective communication and reporting channels,
  • a remuneration framework that is in line with the risk strategies of the insurance undertaking,
  • an adequate and effective internal control framework, that includes well-functioning risk management, compliance and internal audit functions as well as an appropriate financial reporting and accounting framework.

DeCare aims to ensure compliance with all applicable legal, regulatory and compliance requirements, regulations and codes. DeCare strives to act with integrity, honesty, efficiency and a positive professional attitude when engaging with our consumers, communities and colleagues.

The ultimate parent undertaking of DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland DAC is Elevance Inc, a publicly quoted company trading on the New York Stock Exchange, incorporated in the United States of America.

DECARE DENTAL LLC, DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland DAC’s immediate parent undertaking, is a limited liability company incorporated in the United States of America.

DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland DAC is a subsidiary of DeCare Dental LLC, an experienced global dental benefits company that supports over serves 6.5 million members worldwide.

DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland DAC is a designated activity company, registered in Ireland. Registered Office: Industrial Estate, Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Registered Number: 383762. DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland DAC trading as DeCare, DeCare Dental and DeCare Vision is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Compliance & Regulation

DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and subject to applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, codes, policies and specifications relevant to its industry sector.
For example,1

  1. the Companies Act 2014 Insurance and
  2. Central Bank of Ireland-Solvency II, the Corporate Governance Code 2015, Consumer Protection Code 2012, the Minimum Competency Code 2017 and the Fitness and Probity Standards, Insurance Requirements Regulation.

De Care Dental Ireland Insurance DAC utilizes an internal control system that comprises three lines of defence and incorporates employees and managers, (First Line), senior management and PCF holders including Compliance and Risk management (Second Line) and Internal and external Audit (Third Line) to ensure among other that:

  • transactions are only entered into with appropriate authority;
  • assets are safeguarded;
  • accounting and other records provide complete, accurate, verifiable and timely information;
  • management is able to identify, assess, manage and control the risks of the business and hold sufficient capital for these risks.

Compliance monitoring provides assurance that the business is managing its regulatory risk exposure appropriately and that controls are effective. It is a key mechanism to independently confirm that the business is complying with agreed policies and meeting regulatory responsibilities The primary function of the Compliance Function is to co-ordinate DDII and its staff’s compliance with the company’s legislative and regulatory requirements and well as DDII’s Internal Codes and Policies.

1This list is non-exhaustive and encompasses an example but does not identify all legislative/regulatory/compliance requirements applicable to DeCare. For further information: central bank website/ Insurance Institute/ Companies Act.

Governance Documents & Policies

Governance Documents

2023 Solvency and Financial Condition Report

Board of Directors

To ensure effective oversight of DeCare’s functions and activities, a Board and Committee structure exists. The Board has the applicable knowledge, skills, experience, expertise, competencies, professionalism, fitness, probity and integrity to carry out their duties.

Details of Directors:

Name
Position
Nationality
Maureen Walsh
CEO (Executive Director)
United States of America
Dennis Casey
Group Chairperson & Group NED
United States of America
Dani Fjelstad
Group Non-Executive Director
United States of America
Alan Holmes
Independent Non-Executive Director
Ireland

DeCare has established two Sub-Committees:

Group Audit Committee

Name
Position
Nationality
Alan Holmes
Chairperson & Independent Non-Executive Director
Ireland
Dani Fjelstad
Group Non-Executive Director
United States of America

Group Risk Committee

Name
Position
Nationality
Dani Fjelstad
Group Non-Executive Director
United States of America
Maureen Walsh
CEO (Executive Director)
United States of America
Dennis Casey
Group Chairperson & Group NED
United States of America

Cross memberships between the sub-committees of the board exists.

Leadership Team

We are a team of diverse, passionate, authentic and ambitious people dedicated to positively influencing the oral, optical and general health of our members and society over the life course. Our high performing team of specialised experts places innovation at the heart of our activity. We strive to provide leadership in our workplace and in the communities in which we live and work.

Senior management plays a pivotal role in ensuring effective governance and is responsible for operating effective oversight consistent with board policy.

Maureen, originally from the US, relocated to Ireland in 1999 to establish DeCare Operations Ireland. She has successfully led DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland from start-up stages to become Ireland’s first and only specialist dental and vision benefits insurer with over 65,000 members and 500+ client companies. Maureen holds a Bachelor of Science from Boston College, an MBA from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and is a Certified Insurance Practitioner. Actively engaged in various associations, she serves on the IBEC Board of Directors, Chairperson of the Digital and AI Policy group within IBEC, served as IBEC West as Regional President and was a member of the Governing Body of GMIT (now ATU). Maureen serves on the Local Enterprise Evaluations and Appeals Committee and served as Chairperson Mayo Cancer Association.

Linkedin LinkedIn

Dr. Gerard Gavin, a registered dentist, serves as Chief Dental Officer for DeCare Dental in Ireland and Europe. Previously held senior leadership positions in Dental Public Health at the Department of Health and the HSE having previously trained and lectured in Department of Community Dental Health, Preventive Dentistry and General Dental Practice at Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Dental University Hospital.  In his role as Chief Dental Officer with DeCare he continues to collaborate extensively with a wide variety of organisations and institutions in Ireland and internationally advancing oral health initiatives to improve oral health globally through research, education, and publications.

Linkedin LinkedIn

Petraea is an HR Manager with 20 years of experience, including over 13 years in the Middle East and Australia, working across various sectors. She holds a B.A in International Marketing & Languages and a Certificate in Employment Law. Petraea excels in HR management, building strong relationships, and is passionate about people. Outside work, she’s a mother, an enthusiastic but self-proclaimed poor golfer, a swimmer, and a music lover who founded a local singing group.

Gavin is a father of three from Dublin. As an avid fan of the written word & all things music, he has a keen ear & a penchant for storytelling. Harnessing these skills, Gavin has accomplished much in his decade tenure as DeCare’s sales leader & director of Corporate Business. His role in DeCare is to manage growth and membership. From a standing start in 2014, Gavin’s leadership has seen DeCare’s Corporate business grow to over 70,000 members by 2023. Commended by current & previous employers for his dedication, Gavin holds a Diploma in Private Medical Insurance from the Irish Insurance Institute.

Linkedin LinkedIn

Sinead Joyce, an adept Marketing Manager, prioritises customer-centric approaches, utilising her postgraduate degrees in UX Design and Digital Media and Marketing. Passionate about digital innovation, she consistently explores novel methods to engage customers and foster business growth. Recognised for her commitment to professional development, Sinead stays ahead in the dynamic digital marketing landscape. Her positive demeanour and dedication to excellence contribute significantly to the DeCare team. Beyond work, Sinead relishes outdoor activities, including kayaking and squash, while cherishing time with friends and family.

Linkedin LinkedIn

Gavin Murphy is the individual sales and retention manager with responsibility for the DeCare Dental Direct Pay network. Gavin has worked in the insurance industry for 25 years, working with DeCare since 2014. He is focused on delivering incremental & sustainable improvement for our members & our partners.

Gavin is passionate about continuous self-development, currently studying a master’s degree in financial services with the Institute of Banking and UCD. Outside work, Gavin fills his time with his 2 children, sport & friends.

Linkedin LinkedIn

A legal financial professional qualified with an LLB & LLM Masters in Law, Maria possesses over 10 years legal and financial experience. She has held managerial/ team lead positions in Bank of Ireland and KPMG.

Passionate about legal, regulatory and compliance matters, Maria guides regulatory compliance and good governance, whilst aiming to provide the best possible outcome for the DeCare team.

Beyond work, Maria lives in Mayo with her husband, Simon. She has a close family network and enjoys family reunions, walks on the beach, sightseeing, the countryside and animals.

Dave, a Doctoral Candidate at Trinity College Dublin, focuses his research on Mental Health, Healthcare Innovation, and Integration. With a mission to become a thought leader, he explores key concepts such as lifestyle medicine, human connection, diversity and inclusion. As Head of Health Promotion at DeCare for Ireland and Europe, Dave, an IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner, implements wellness programs across 600+ organisations. He is a Mental Health Ambassador with See Change Ireland, and also received the Irish Gerontology Society’s Presidential Award for research on health promotion and the ageing population. With over 15 years in workplace wellbeing, Dave holds health and medical qualifications, including a specialist in oral health.

Linkedin LinkedIn

Noeleen, with a decade of experience at DeCare, excels in partnering with companies and leading oral health and health promotion programs. With a specialist certificate in Oral Health Promotion and postgraduate Certificate in health promotion and extensive healthcare expertise, including oral surgery and practice management, she is a committed health promotion specialist. Noeleen, an Emergency First Responder, brings 24 years of clinical nursing experience, emphasising empowerment and education to enhance oral and general health. Her dedication is evident through screenings in nursing homes and community healthcare settings, showcasing her hands-on operational skills and continuous self-development.

Linkedin LinkedIn

Niall is a seasoned IT professional holding CISSP & CCNA qualifications and with over 25 years’ experience in Server and Network administration.  Since joining DeCare in 2007, he has helped to build and maintain systems and network infrastructure at both DeCare offices.  Highly adaptable and security focused, Niall leads a team to ensure delivery of IT solutions that enhance DeCare’s digital presence.

Outside of work Niall enjoys spending time with his sports mad family and can be seen on the sideline coaching various GAA / Soccer teams.

Sharon Heeran is a dynamic and results-driven professional with over 28 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. Currently serving as the Corporate Account Manager at DeCare, she excels in building strong connections with stakeholders. Sharon, a successful level 4 Bank Manager at AIB Bank, is known for her strategic planning and customer-centric approach. With a proven track record, she optimizes corporate plans, fosters relationships, and achieves goals collaboratively. Active in community service, Sharon contributes to the Swinford Agricultural Show annually. Passionate about family, she enjoys downtime with her dog Millie and has a love for music and social events.

Linkedin LinkedIn

Catherine Walsh, our project manager but has various skill levels within information technology. She
makes valuable contributions each day through her interaction with our internal teams in Ireland, the US
and external partners. Catherine manages our system projects, liaises with potential partners and the
Elevance Health Vendor Risk Assessment team on the due diligence required for security approval.
Catherine is up for a challenge and is making an important impact to our growth, digital development,
and service. She works to understand the objectives of the business and deliver.

Madeline Hunt, with two years at DeCare Dental and a rich multinational background, excels as Customer Service Manager. Recognised for her leadership and results, she’s committed to outstanding customer service and teamwork. Leading a goal-driven team, she effectively coordinates operations and administrative tasks. Passionate about football, she coaches youth LGFA, cherishes family time, and seeks adventure in travel and outdoor activities.