Best's Review



Executive Changes
Former QBE CEO to Succeed Beale in Top Post at Lloyd’s

Also: Pru CEO Strangfeld to retire, Lloyd's Market Association names CEO and AIG appoints new chief information officer.
  • November 2018
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John Neal

John Neal

John Neal, who left his post as group chief executive officer of QBE at the end of 2017, has been appointed CEO of Lloyd's, succeeding Inga Beale, who is to leave Lloyd's next year.

Neal, who spent five years in the top job at QBE, joined the group's European operations in 2003. In 2011, he became CEO for global operations, based in Sydney, before becoming group CEO in the following year.

Neal was to assume his duties at Lloyd's on Oct. 15. His appointment was approved unanimously by the Council of Lloyd's and is subject to the approval of two regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Lloyd's Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown said Neal will continue to push for profitability, disciplined underwriting and market modernization. “An immediate priority will be the successful launch of Lloyd's Brussels subsidiary, which will enable Lloyd's to continue serving its customers in the European Economic Area after Brexit,” Carnegie-Brown said.

“For 330 years, the Lloyd's market has demonstrated its ability to innovate and adapt, and I look forward to playing my part to ensure this unique marketplace remains at the forefront of global commercial corporate and specialty insurance and reinsurance,” Neal said.

—Robert O'Connor

Tokio Marine Kiln Names Chief Financial Officer

Tokio Marine Kiln has named Reeken Patel as chief financial officer of the Lloyd's underwriter.

Patel takes over for James Dover who chose to leave the business after 12 years at TMK and eight years as its CFO.

Patel was with Axis Capital Holdings and Novae Group plc. He was to begin his new role on Oct. 1, subject to regulatory approval.

Patel was previously group CFO at Novae. Before Novae, Patel was a partner at PwC and its London market actuarial practice leader.

Rory Cline

Rory Cline

CEO Appointed for Ascot's Ethos Specialty

Rory Cline has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Ethos Specialty Insurance Services, the U.S. managing general underwriting platform of Ascot Group.

Cline moves into the position from his current role as chief underwriting officer. He will report to U.S. Executive Chairman Jerry Tegan.

Cline was previously president of Ascot Specialty U.S., a position he held since 2009.

Over a 35-year career he held a number of senior management positions in both primary insurance and reinsurance including being the founding CEO of managing general underwriter DirectFac in 2004.

Eric Cioppa

Eric Cioppa

Cioppa to Represent State Regulators on FSOC

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has appointed Eric Cioppa, superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Insurance, to a two-year term as the nonvoting state insurance commissioner representative on the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Cioppa, who also serves as NAIC president-elect, succeeds Peter L. Hartt, director of New Jersey's Insurance Division, whose term expired Sept. 17.

The FSOC is a 15-member body comprised of the nation's chief financial regulators, designed to protect the U.S. economy from another financial meltdown.

Cioppa joined the Maine BOI in 1988 as a statistician, serving as supervisor of the Workers' Compensation Section prior to becoming deputy superintendent in 1998. He was unanimously confirmed as superintendent in September 2011.

AIG Names Bermuda Country Manager

American International Group Inc. has named Catherine Duffy to join the company's general insurance business as country manager of Bermuda.

AIG said Duffy will oversee the group's insurance operations and strategy in Bermuda. She will report to Lex Baugh, CEO of North America general insurance. She has nearly 30 years of experience and joins AIG from XL Catlin, where she was most recently senior vice president and underwriting manager for XL Bermuda Ltd.

Axis Capital Names CEO for European Units

Helen O'Sullivan has been named chief executive officer of Axis Specialty Europe S.E. and Axis Re S.E.

She succeeds Tim Hennessy, who earlier this year was named chief financial officer of the international division for Axis Insurance. Hennessy remains a director of Axis Specialty Europe and Axis Re.

O'Sullivan will oversee the company's Irish subsidiaries and their branches. She will also join the board of directors of Axis Capital's Irish subsidiaries as an executive director. She will continue to be based in Dublin.

Most recently, O'Sullivan was deputy global tax director at Axis. Prior to joining the company, O'Sullivan held positions at Bank of Ireland and Chapman Flood Mazars Chartered Accountants.

Charles Lowrey

Charles Lowrey

Pru CEO to Retire, Succession Plan Announced

Charles Lowrey will be the next chief executive officer of Prudential Financial Inc. as the company announced John Strangfeld will retire as CEO on Nov. 30.

Lowrey will also become a member of the board of directors effective Dec. 1. He is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer, international businesses.

Strangfeld will be non-executive chairman of the board of directors until April 5, 2019, at which time Lowrey will also become chairman.

Robert Falzon, EVP and chief financial officer, will be vice chairman effective Dec. 1. Falzon will succeed Mark Grier, who will retire from Prudential and step down from the board in August 2019. At that time, Falzon will join the board.

Prudential said Strangfeld's retirement concludes a four-decade career with the company, including serving as chairman and CEO since 2008.

Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Scott Sleyster will report to Lowrey and succeed him as executive vice president and chief operating officer of international businesses. Sleyster joined the company 31 years ago. He became CIO in 2012. Earlier, Sleyster led the company's full-service retirement business, was president of guaranteed products and CFO of the employee benefits division.

Timothy Schmidt, head of global portfolio management, will succeed Sleyster. Schmidt has held leadership roles in the chief investment office for eight years and earlier was CFO of MetLife individual business.

Senior Vice President and Treasurer Ken Tanji was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Tanji, a 30-year Prudential employee, was appointed treasurer in 2013 after serving as international businesses CFO. He has also held finance leadership positions in annuities, investment management and securities.

Nandini Mongia, currently Prudential retirement CFO, will become treasurer and report to Tanji. She joined the company in 2017. Earlier, Mongia was an investment banker and also held business planning and management consulting roles.

Brandon Fick

Brandon Fick

Zurich NA Names Chief Underwriting Officer

Brandon Fick has been appointed chief underwriting officer for Zurich North America.

Fick was head of casualty for Zurich North America Commercial Insurance He was previously head of casualty for global corporate in North America and senior vice president of casualty for global corporate's large corporate customer segment.

He joined Zurich in 1999 as an underwriter and held a variety of underwriting and management roles at Zurich. Before joining Zurich, Fick held a variety of underwriting and management roles at American International Group.

MetLife Appoints New President for Asia

MetLife Inc. has named Kishore Ponnavolu as president of the company's Asia region.

With this new appointment, MetLife said Ponnavolu will directly oversee the company's operations in Japan, Korea, Australia and LumenLab, MetLife Asia's innovation hub.

Ponnavolu is currently head of MetLife's automobile and home business in United States. He will move to Hong Kong and report to Steven A. Kandarian, MetLife's chairman, president and chief executive officer.

MetLife also appointed Rebecca Tadikonda as head of strategic growth markets for Asia. The markets for which Tadikonda will have responsibility are Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Nepal and Vietnam. She will be based in Singapore and report to Ponnavolu.

In 2014, Tadikonda was named MetLife's chief enterprise strategy officer. In addition to her new duties, Tadikonda will remain as chief strategy officer until a replacement is named.

Within auto and home, Senior Vice President of Product Management Mick Noland and Vice President of Claims Darla Finchum will serve as interim co-heads of the business while MetLife conducts a search for Ponnavolu's replacement.

Scott James Burnett

Scott James Burnett

WTW Expands Head of Asia's Role

Willis Towers Watson has expanded Scott James Burnett's role as head of Asia to include corporate risk and broking in the region.

Burnett is currently the head of Willis Towers Watson's Asia region. Based in Singapore, he now will also lead the overall operation of corporate risk and broking.

Vincent Vandendael

Vincent Vandendael

Lloyd's CCO to Take Senior Post at Everest

Vincent Vandendael, Lloyd's chief commercial officer, is to leave his post to become chief executive officer of international insurance for Everest Insurance.

Vandendael, who joined Lloyd's in his current role in December 2012, will take up his duties at Everest early in 2019.

At Lloyd's, Vandendael has overseen business development and the market's global network of 31 offices and licenses for more than 200 territories.

Lloyd's Market Association Names CEO

Sheila Cameron, head of international operations at Navigators Underwriting Ltd., has been named chief executive officer of the Lloyd's Market Association.

Cameron is to succeed David Gittings, who is leaving his post after 12 years. Cameron will take up her duties at the end of this year.

Cameron currently oversees operational and change management functions within Navigators International. She chairs the LMA Operations Committee and is a member of the Target Operating Model Board.

Before taking on her current role, Cameron was director of group operations at Hiscox. She has worked in several senior positions for U.K. outsourcing specialist Xchanging and has also worked at Management Consultancy, Accenture.

President Appointed for Berkley Healthcare

W. R. Berkley Corp. has appointed Gregg Piltch president of the new operating unit Berkley Healthcare, which will offer liability coverages.

Piltch brings nearly 30 years of property/casualty experience, most recently as head of global casualty technical underwriting at a major commercial insurer. He will oversee and expand products in the unit.

Mutual Insurance Co. Names CEO

Joanne Richardson has joined Mutual Insurance Co. Ltd. as chief executive officer.

Her appointment to the Bermuda-based media liability risk underwriter was effective Sept. 1.

Richardson was most recently partner at Hiscox Insurance Co. Inc. in New York, and managing director of its media and entertainment practice. She previously worked at Chubb &Son as the national accounts underwriter for media liability, and at GE Capital, where she was an underwriting officer for media liability.

Alvin Sharma

Alvin Sharma

Foresters Financial Names CFO

Foresters Financial has appointed Alvin Sharma as global chief financial officer to succeed Paul Reaburn.

Reaburn will assist with the CFO transition then pursue new opportunities. Previously, Sharma was CFO at Echelon Insurance.

Sharma brings insurance and asset management experience in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada—the three countries of operation for Foresters.

John P. Repko

John P. Repko

AIG Appoints New Chief Information Officer

John P. Repko was named executive vice president and chief information officer of American International Group Inc. He succeeds Martha Gallo, who is leaving AIG to pursue other interests.

Repko will be a member of AIG's Executive Leadership Team. He will be responsible for AIG's global technology strategy, overseeing core shared infrastructure, technology partnerships and process engineering efforts.

Gallo was named CIO in 2017 when AIG was under the leadership of Peter D. Hancock as CEO. Gallo moved to CIO from her previous role as chief auditor at AIG.

Repko has been with Johnson Controls, where he was the global chief information officer since 2016, when he took up the position with the merger of JCI and Tyco. He was previously senior vice president, chief information officer and enterprise transformation leader at Tyco from 2012. He also held chief information officer roles at Covance Inc., SES Global and General Electric's GE Americom division.

Jean-Jacques Henchoz

Jean-Jacques Henchoz

Hannover Re Appoints Successor to Wallin

Hannover Re Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Wallin will retire next year and be succeeded by Swiss Re regional CEO and president Jean-Jacques Henchoz.

Wallin has been at Hannover Re for 35 years, serving as CEO and a member of the Talanx AG board of management since 2009. Henchoz became responsible for life and non-life business for Swiss Re Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2011 and became an executive committee member for the group a year later. From 2005-2010, he was Swiss Re Canada CEO.

Henchoz will join Hannover Rück SE as an executive board member on April 1 and succeed Wallin as CEO in May, as Wallin reaches the company's retirement age.

Meanwhile, Swiss Re has appointed Russell Higginbotham to replace Henchoz as CEO of reinsurance EMEA and regional president EMEA.

Most recently Higginbotham led Swiss Re's global life and health products division. Earlier, he served as CEO of company operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland and in Australia and New Zealand. He also led life and health business in Japan and Korea, according to Swiss Re.

Linda Ventresca

Linda Ventresca

Axis Fills New Chief Strategy Officer Role

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. named Linda Ventresca to the newly created position of chief strategy officer.

Reporting directly to Albert Benchimol, president and chief executive officer, Ventresca will continue to serve on the company's executive committee. She was previously chief transformation officer and will continue to lead the company's enterprisewide transformation program.

Over more than 15 years at Axis, Ventresca held a number of leadership roles, including head of corporate development and head of investor relations. Before joining Axis, she was an investment associate at MMC Capital Inc.

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