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EC News (25 June 2020)

June 25, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Aegon, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Willis Re and more.

Aegon announces new chief transformation officer

Aegon has announced the appointment of Duncan Russell in the newly created role of chief transformation officer (CTO), effective 1 September 2020.

In his new role he will be responsible to lead the group strategy and corporate development. Russell will report to Lard Friese, CEO and become a member of Aegon’s management board.

Russell will work closely with the executive board in setting the strategic direction of the firm and will lead the activities in the areas of group strategy and corporate development.

He joins from Admiral Group where he most recently served as chief finance officer of Admiral Financial Services. Prior to that he was managing director at J.P. Morgan.

Lard Friese, Aegon CEO said: "I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Duncan Russell as our Chief Transformation Officer. Duncan brings a wealth of experience in the financial services sector and is a great addition to our team. He is the right person to lead our group strategy development and to drive initiatives focused on improving our overall performance. Duncan and I have worked closely together before and I look forward to our renewed collaboration."

Michael Rüsch joins Swiss Re Corporate Solutions as country head Switzerland

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions (SRCS), the commercial insurance arm of Swiss Re has named Michael Rüsch as country head Switzerland, effective 1 October 2020.

In his new role, he will be responsible for managing Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ strategy, development and performance in the Swiss commercial insurance market.

Rüsch brings more than 20 years professional insurance industry experience and joins the business from HDI Global where he also served as head of the company’s Swiss branch.

Throughout his career, he held multiple of managerial roles in underwriting with local responsibilities in Switzerland as well as in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Prior to HDI Global, Rüsch held a variety of underwriting and management positions at AXA XL, having joined XL Catlin in 2002.

During this time, he worked as country manager for Switzerland and went on to become responsible for the European region as head of financial lines.

Fred Kleiterp, CEO Europe, Middle East & Africa at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions commented: “I am pleased to have an experienced leader like Michael join our team,“ “He has a wealth of industry expertise coupled with strong underwriting and management skills. I am confident that with his knowledge and experience, we will continue to deliver a comprehensive commercial insurance offering to our customers in Switzerland and improve our overall stance in the Swiss market.”

Willis Re names Kirsten van Exel as executive director

Willis Re, the specialist reinsurance division of Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has announced that Kirsten van Exel will join its Dutch team as executive director, effective 15 July 2020.

Based in Willis Re’s Dutch office, Exel will report to Gerrit van Emst, managing director for the Netherlands and will form part of the integrated reinsurance clients team for the Dutch market.

Exel is a qualified actuary and brings more than 2 decades of experience in (re)insurance. She joins from AEGON where she most recently served as senior ILS underwriter and prior to that she was a senior reinsurance actuary at NN Re.

Dirk Spenner, managing director, head of EMEA North/ East, Willis Re: “We are delighted to welcome Kirsten to Willis Re. Her extensive experience in both life and non-life (re)insurance will strengthen the value of our offering in the Dutch market and emphasises the commitment to our clients in this region. Kirsten is a welcome addition to the wider Dutch team, which has 20 colleagues with a wealth of experience, including 10 Dutch speakers based in both our local office and the head office in London.”

Pacific Life Re adds Julie Evans as chief information officer

Life insurer, Pacific Life Re has announced the appointment of Julie Evans as chief information officer (CIO).

In her new role, she will join the firm’s senior leadership team and will work closely with the Pacific Life Re IT management teams and strategic partners to define and deliver an IT strategy and further strengthen Pacific Life Re’s capabilities across the business.

Evans joins Pacific Life Re from its wholly-owned subsidiary and innovative technology company, UnderwriteMe, where she was chief operating officer for more than two years.

She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the industry, having previously held CIO roles at Aviva UK and Barclays Asia.

David Howell, CEO, Pacific Life Re, commented: “I am very pleased to welcome Julie to Pacific Life Re. Julie joins us during extraordinary times. Our technology function has done a fantastic job of supporting our business globally through the current remote working situation and Julie’s appointment will make our operating models and functions even stronger going forward.”

Evans said: “I am delighted to be joining Pacific Life Re. I am looking forward to working with such an innovative global team and driving the delivery of a technology strategy that powers continued future success.”

BHSI hires Katrin Thiel as head of claims in Germany

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI), has announced the appointment of Katrin Thiel as head of claims in Germany.

Based in Cologne, she joins BHSI with nearly 20 years of industry experience. Theil most recently served as head of claims at AXA Corporate Solutions in Germany.

Prior to that, she served as a claims director at CAN Hardy and a claims manager at RSA.

Andreas Krause, country manager, Germany, BHSI said: “We are pleased to have Katrin leading our claims operation in Germany. With her extensive experience and expertise, she is an excellent ambassador of our Claims is our Product philosophy and will ensure our customers receive the best possible claims service, delivered with great care and compassion.”

Munich Re Syndicate appoints Rob McAdams as head of marine

Munich Re Syndicate, the Lloyd’s of London Marine & Specialty underwriter of Munich Re, has announced the appointment of Rob McAdams as head of marine.

Based in London, he will have oversight of the global Syndicate’s Marine portfolio and help drive the underwriting business across Cargo, Fine Art & Specie, Hull, Yacht, and War.

McAdams takes over from Simon Parnell who will begin retirement, following 21 years at the Syndicate.

He brings over 2 decades of experience in the (re)insurance industry, including experience in both client management and financial results. He joins the business from AXA XL, where he most recently served as global marine chief underwriting officer.

During his tenure at AXA XL he led the underwriting team in the development, execution and accountability of the financial and operational plans across multiple legal entities, products and geographies.

Dominick Hoare, group chief underwriting officer for the Munich Re Syndicate said: “As one of the largest underwriters of Marine insurance in Lloyd’s, we are delighted that an individual of the calibre of Rob McAdams will be joining the Munich Re Syndicate as our Head of Marine.”