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QBE merges European and Asian operations

October 31, 2018

QBE has announced a restructure of its operations that will see its European and Asia businesses combined into one division from 1 January 2019.

The Australian carrier said that the changes to its structure are “an important step towards further simplifying its operations building a more streamlined, agile and customer-oriented business".

Following the underwriting remediation in Asia, which QBE said is now largely complete, Asia Pacific will no longer be a separate division.

Instead, QBE intends to create a new international division that will encompass its European Operations and Asia, that will sit alongside a newly established Australia Pacific unit and its existing North America business.

The carrier said that Richard Pryce, currently CEO European Operations, will become CEO International, adding that a new senior leader for Asia will be appointed and will report directly to Pryce.

Meanwhile, the Australia Pacific business – which will include Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and India – will be led by Vivek Bhatia, currently chief executive of QBE’s Australian & New Zealand operations, who will assume the role of CEO Australia Pacific.

North America will continue as is, led by CEO North America, Russ Johnston.

Alongside the restructure, QBE announced that Jason Brown will move from the position of CEO Asia Pacific Operations to the new role of group chief underwriting officer. 

In his new position, Brown will be responsible for underwriting, pricing and reinsurance placement and will play a critical role in driving QBE’s “Brilliant Basics” agenda globally.

The carrier said that the changes to simplify and streamline its operations will “contribute to the group’s efficiency agenda with much of the administration and governance of the former standalone Asia Pacific operations absorbed by the significantly larger and better resourced International and Australia Pacific divisions”.

QBE chief executive Pat Regan said: “Today’s announcement represents the next step in creating a stronger, simpler QBE. These changes enable QBE to enhance our customer proposition and build a stronger platform for long term, sustainable and profitable growth.

“The Asia Pacific region remains important to QBE. Following a significant and successful program of work to remediate Asia Pacific Operations and its improved underwriting performance, we continue to see opportunities in these markets.”

He added: “Asia Pacific and European Operations are already collaborating in relation to underwriting opportunities and we expect to see further benefits from leveraging our underwriting expertise, scale and global capabilities across these business divisions.

“Aligning Asia with European Operations and the Pacific with Australian & New Zealand Operations will ensure we are best placed to support our customers and partners in those regions.”

“I would like to personally thank Jason and his team for the turnaround they have led in these markets over the past 12 months and look forward to Jason bringing the same level of focus and discipline to our Brilliant Basics agenda,” Regan concluded.