Best's Review


Executive Changes
Insurtech Wefox Hires Former Zurich International Chief Executive Officer as Chief Insurance Officer

Also, Buckle appoints first chief people officer and new European Insurance Advisory Board chairperson begins five-year term.
  • November 2021
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Peter Huber

Berlin-based insurtech Wefox has named Peter Huber, formerly chief executive officer at Zurich International, as chief insurance officer.

Huber joined Zurich in 2013 as CEO for Zurich Global Life Singapore and in 2015 was named president director and CEO of Zurich Topas Life (Indonesia). He was appointed chief executive officer for Zurich International in 2017.

Huber has more than 20 years of industry experience in Europe and Asia and joined Zurich from Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd., where he was managing director in the reinsurance division based in Switzerland. Before that, he was regional general manager, life and health for Allianz SE Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore.

He started his career in business consulting with Arthur Andersen and then spent 10 years with Swiss Life in various roles.

Huber “is the second global insurance industry superstar to join us, following our new COO, Dr. David Stachon, earlier this year,” Julian Teicke, a Wefox founder and its chief executive officer, said in a statement. Huber's appointment comes two months after Stachon, a former Generali Group executive, was named chief operating officer of Wefox.

“We clearly stated our intentions back in June when we announced our record-breaking Series C investment round of $650 million: We will invest in technology and growth globally and Wefox will be the No. 1 personal insurer within a decade,” Teicke said in a statement. “With Peter's appointment, I truly expect to see those intentions accomplished.”

Wefox was founded in 2015 by Teicke, Fabian Wesemann and Dario Fazlic, and is a full-stack digital insurance company. Wefox is the parent company of Wefox Insurance, which is the in-house regulated insurance carrier, according to the company.

—Staff Report

Miles Wuller

Ryan Specialty Group Underwriting Managers Names Successor to Retiring CEO

Ryan Specialty Group appointed Miles Wuller to succeed Tom Clark as chief executive officer of RSG Underwriting Managers, Ryan Specialty's underwriting management specialty. The promotion, effective Oct. 1, expanded Wuller's role as president of RSG Underwriting Managers.

Nick Cortezi will continue his role as chairman of Ryan Specialty's underwriting management specialty, according to a company statement.

Clark, who joined RSG in March, unexpectedly announced his retirement in early September due to personal reasons, according to the company.

A leader in excess and surplus insurance with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Clark came to RSG from Nationwide E&S/Specialty, where he had served as president since 2015. Before that, RSG said, he was Nationwide's senior vice president, E&S.

Prior to his Nationwide positions, Clark was SVP of field operations for Allied Group Insurance, a role he previously had held for Harleysville Mutual Insurance Co., according to his company bio.

Before Harleysville, Clark held a variety of positions at Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., Treiber Group, Clarendon National Insurance Co. and Cigna, according to his bio.

Wuller joined RSG in 2010, originally as global treasurer leading capital activity and executing RSG's mergers and acquisitions strategy across the specialty space.

Before being named executive vice president of RSG Underwriting Managers, Wuller was senior vice president of RSG Underwriting Managers, where he led the integration of the underwriting group's acquisitions and startups into one unified operating platform.

Robert Wiest

MS Amlin AG Names Former Swiss Re Exec as Chief Executive Officer

MS Amlin AG hired Robert Wiest to succeed Martin Albers as chief executive officer, effective Jan. 3, 2022.

Albers, chairman of the board of directors, is serving as interim CEO after Christopher Beazley stepped down on Aug. 31 to pursue other opportunities outside the company.

Beazley led MS AAG for the past three years. He originally joined MS Amlin in 2007 and has held several leadership roles across the MS Amlin group of companies over the past decade, the company said.

Wiest has over 30 years of industry experience and joins MS Amlin from Swiss Re, where he worked for over 20 years—most recently as chief operating officer. Wiest successfully led business units as the head of global business solutions, head of strategy and operations for Asia, and head of western and southern Europe, the Middle East, and Turkey.

Petra Hielkema

European Insurance Advisory Board Appoints New Chairperson

Petra Hielkema was named chairperson of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and began her term on Sept. 1.

The Council of the European Union on May 26 adopted a decision to appoint Hielkema based on the shortlist of candidates drawn up by EIOPA's board of supervisors and following confirmation by the European Parliament. She will serve for five years, and her term can be renewed once, the EIOPA said in a statement.

Prior to joining the EIOPA, Hielkema was division director of insurance supervision at De Nederlandsche Bank, which is responsible for the supervision of the Dutch insurance sector. She joined DNB in February 2007. She was an alternate member of the EIOPA board of supervisors and chair of the EIOPA policy committee.

The EIOPA is an independent advisory body to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Louis Gagnon

Foresters Financial Names Successor to Retiring President, CEO

Foresters Financial named Louis Gagnon to succeed James Boyle as president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Boyle will retire in February 2022, coinciding with the fourth-quarter board meetings. Gagnon also will join the board on Boyle's retirement date, according to the company.

Boyle was appointed president and CEO of Foresters Financial in January 2018. With more than 30 years of financial services experience, he spent almost 20 years with Manulife Financial and John Hancock in a variety of roles, culminating in his appointment as president and CEO of John Hancock in 2008. Boyle retired from John Hancock in 2012 and subsequently was involved in private and venture capital investing, according to his company bio.

Boyle led the organization through the pandemic by making it easier for independent agents to conduct business remotely and receive quick underwriting decisions through non-medical and accelerated underwriting, Foresters said.

Gagnon joined Foresters in January 2021 as chief operating officer after more than 30 years with Mercer, most recently as president, U.S. & Canada region, according to a company statement.

Gavin Spencer

Insurtech Parsyl Names Head of Insurance

Insurtech Parsyl named Gavin Spencer as head of insurance to lead the company's growing data-driven insurance division.

Spencer, who has 21 years of maritime and transportation expertise, will be a member of Parsyl's executive leadership team. Based in Denver, he will focus on product and business development of Parsyl's cargo and supply chain insurance solutions, including its digital distribution, according to a company statement.

Spencer joins Parsyl from Marsh, where he was senior vice president, North American logistics leader. In that role, he led Marsh's logistics portfolio and is credited with establishing Marsh's supply chain industry focus.

Raf Sanchez

Beazley Fills New Global Head of Cyber Services Position

Specialty insurer Beazley named Raf Sanchez to the newly created role of global head of cyber services.

Formerly international manager of Beazley breach response services, Sanchez, based in London, transitioned to his new role Oct. 1 and joined the global cyber and tech management team.

Sanchez will direct global risk management and incident response functions, playing a pivotal role in Beazley's cyber ecosystem. He will focus on giving clients the power, autonomy, knowledge and desire to proactively decrease their cyber exposure by investing in and building out their cyber resilience, according to Paul Bantick, global head of cyber & technology at Beazley.

Sanchez joined Beazley five years ago from Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he was assistant general counsel and director for two years. He also was employed at Jardine Matheson and Morgan Stanley, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Sanchez has been integral to the development of Beazley's breach response services, which are a key element of the Beazley Breach Response product that was launched in 2009, the company said. The pre- and post-loss services that BBR's reputation has been built on continue to develop and are increasingly important in the face of rising global cyber threats and severity of attacks, according to a company statement.

Michael Roberts

MetLife Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

MetLife Inc. named Michael Roberts as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, subject to necessary approvals. He succeeds Esther Lee, who retired at the end of June.

Roberts will transition to his new role on Nov. 2. He will lead global brand and marketing with responsibility for designing modern, value-driven marketing solutions to help MetLife build customer relationships and successfully execute on its strategy, according to a company statement.

Roberts joins MetLife from Vanguard Group, where he served as CMO for the retail investor group, the company's direct-to-consumer business with more than $2 trillion in assets under management. At Vanguard, he significantly expanded prospect marketing and cross-sell capabilities to drive growth in the company's financial advice business, according to the company.

Prior to Vanguard, Roberts served as the chief marketing and digital strategy officer for Bank of America's merchant services business, where he helped expand noncore-product revenue and significantly improved revenue retention.

Roberts also has held leadership positions in marketing, strategy and operations for firms ranging from Alix Partners and Citigroup to Capgemini and EY, according to a company statement.

Philippe Donnet

Assicurazioni Generali Board Agrees CEO Will Remain in Place for a Third Mandate

The nonexecutive members of the board of Assicurazioni Generali agreed that Philippe Donnet will remain chief executive officer for a third mandate.

The majority of the board also expressed appreciation of the work undertaken and the results achieved by Donnet, welcoming this availability in view of—should the outgoing board proceed with the presentation of a slate for the renewal of the board—his inclusion in the slate as CEO also for the next mandate, according to a board statement.

Donnet joined Generali in October 2013 as country manager of Italy and CEO of Generali Italia S.p.A. In this role, he spearheaded the process of merging the existing Generali brands in Italy, one of the most challenging integration and simplification projects in the European insurance industry, the company said.

He became group CEO of Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. on March 17, 2016, and was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Generali Italia S.p.A. on May 12, 2016, according to his company bio.

Sophia Khan

Allianz Life Appoints Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has named Sophia Khan as chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Khan will be responsible for building on and advancing the company's internal and external diversity and inclusion strategy.

Khan has more than 25 years of experience as a global diversity and inclusion executive focused on driving organizational change aligned to business strategies. Prior to joining Allianz Life, she was the vice president, head of global diversity, equity and inclusion at Thomson Reuters, where she built and carried out a D&I global strategy in collaboration with human resources and business segment and region leaders.

Prior to that, Khan was senior director, head of global inclusion, diversity and engagement at Medtronic. She has held various leadership roles in D&I and human resources at Wells Fargo, 3M and PepsiAmericas Inc., according to a company statement.

Cheryl Sinclair

Buckle Names First Chief People Officer

Fintech Buckle named Cheryl Sinclair to the newly created position of chief people officer.

Sinclair will be responsible for developing Buckle's human resources strategy, including talent and performance management, according to the company.

Sinclair has more than 20 years of experience in various human resources roles at Farmers Insurance, most recently as assistant vice president, human resources.

Most recently, she was head of talent management for Holland America Group, serving Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P & O Australia, according to the company.

Lowell Singer

Acrisure Names Former Walt Disney Executive as Chief Financial Officer

Fintech Acrisure appointed Lowell Singer, former head of investor relations for The Walt Disney Co., as its chief financial officer.

Singer is responsible for the planning, management and execution of the company's finance activities and will report to Greg Williams, co-founder and chief executive officer, the company said.

Singer joins Acrisure after 14 years at Disney, where he served as senior vice president of investor relations. He began his career with J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc. as an associate in corporate finance with an emphasis on media and entertainment. Prior to his most recent role with Disney, Singer worked as an equity research analyst for both Cowen and Co. LLC and Robertson Stephens LLC. Singer also served as a brand manager with Kraft Foods Inc., according to a company statement.

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