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EC News (13 May 2021)

May 13, 2021

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from AGCS, Everest Re, AXA XL and more.

AGCS names Maria Grace global head of property

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has announced the appointment of Maria Grace as global head of property, effective 17 April 2021.

Grace will report directly to Tony Buckle, chief underwriting officer, corporate and succeeds Thierry Portevin, who leads AGCS’s global risk consulting team since March 2021.

Grace has over 23 years of commercial underwriting and claims experience and joins the firm from Everest Re Group, where she most recently served as chief underwriting officer and property and inland marine at the Group’s Insurance Company.

Prior to Everest Re, she held a number of executive and managerial roles at Starr Companies, AIG North America and AIG’s Latin American and Caribbean division.

Currently based in the United States, she will re-locate to AGCS’s headquarters in Munich in the coming months.

Buckle says: “I am delighted to welcome Maria to AGCS as Global Head of Property. She has wide experience in both underwriting and claims and a proven track record in terms of both technical excellence and profitable growth across the market cycle. We will all benefit from her experience and energy as we take Corporate Property forward and make the most of current market opportunities globally."

Williamson takes on additional responsibilities as head of Everest Reinsurance division

Everest Re Group has announced that Jim Williamson, executive vice president and group chief operating officer will take on additional responsibilities as the head of the Everest Reinsurance Division, effective immediately.

Williamson succeeds John Doucette, who is departing the business to pursue other opportunities.

Everest Re state the appointment of Williamson furthers the company’s focus on profitably growing a balanced and diversified (re)insurance portfolio, underpinned by relentless execution, to maximise shareholder returns and deliver superior earnings and book value per share growth over time.

Williamson joined the firm in 2020 as group chief operating officer. He began his insurance career with The Hartford as a casualty underwriter. Throughout his career tenure, at The Hartford, Chubb and now Everest, he has worked in all aspects of the P&C commercial and consumer lines industry both in the U.S. and internationally running large and successful businesses. He has also had functional responsibilities for actuarial, technology, and claims organizations during his career.

Juan C. Andrade, Everest president and chief executive officer commented: “I am excited to have Jim take on the leadership of Everest Reinsurance. He is an experienced and talented executive with a wealth of industry knowledge, and a track record of driving results. This change will enable us to enhance our already strong underwriting and operational discipline.”

“On behalf of the executive management team, I want to thank John for his dedication and many contributions to the organization. Under his leadership, Everest has strengthened its position as a resilient and innovative reinsurer. I wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Williamson commented: “Everest’s Reinsurance business is world class, and I am energized by the opportunity to lead such an accomplished team. We have exceptional talent around the world, deep partnerships with our brokers and cedants, and the financial resources to continue to execute our global growth strategy.”

Anish Jadav joins AXA XL as CUO, Retail P&C, UK & Lloyd’s market

AXA XL has announced the appointment of Anish Jadav as chief underwriting officer, retail property and casualty (P&C), UK and Lloyd’s market, effective July 2021.

In his new role, he will have responsibility for the oversight and development of AXA XL’s Retail P&C underwriting strategy and optimising product offering and profitability.

Jadav will lead a team in London and report to Luis Prato, chief underwriting officer, UK & Lloyd’s market.

He joins the business from Zurich Insurance Ireland where he most recently served as chief underwriting officer since 2018, overseeing underwriting for the company’s general insurance business in Ireland. Previously, he also spent time at Zurich Insurance Singapore as chief underwriting officer as well as holding numerous senior underwriting and actuarial roles in Zurich’s business in the UK. Jadav is also a fellow of the UK’s Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Prato commented: “Today, global businesses are faced with an increasingly complex international trading environment and having the right insurance partner has never been so important.

“I’m delighted that Anish will be joining the Retail P&C team at AXA XL. As we continue to bring our value proposition to life, his extensive underwriting and management experience will be a tremendous asset in supporting clients to manage the risks they face today and in the future.”

Generali Global Corporate & Commercial names head of property underwriting, Germany

Generali’s P&C unit Global Corporate & Commercial (GC&C) has appointed Mark Wekkeli as its new head of property underwriting in Germany, effective 7 June 2021.

Wekkeli will report to Hans-Peter Klebe, Head of GC&C and have responsibility for ensuring technical excellence and profitability of the German property portfolio.

He has over 25 years of international insurance experience and a recognised technical leader in the market, having developed underwriting experience in several property-related lines. He has also held leadership positions at Swiss Re in Germany, the US, Singapore and Australia.

Klebe, head of GC&C Germany, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome Marc Wekkeli as our new Head of Property Underwriting in Germany. This appointment reflects our dedication to further ensure profitable growth in the German market. Marc comes with a significant wealth of knowledge of the insurance industry and a vast international experience. I am truly confident he will represent a great added value to our German team and we look forward to increasingly enhance and develop our property portfolio, while continue offering unmatched global insurance solutions to help our clients’ business succeed.”

Hayley Robinson promoted to group chief underwriting officer at Zurich

Zurich Insurance Group has announced the promotion of Hayley Robinson to group chief underwriting officer (CUO), effective 1 June 2021.

Robinson currently serves as UK CUO and will report to Sierra Signorelli, who was recently named chief executive officer for Commercial Insurance.

Based in Zurich, Switzerland she will have oversight of the underwriting function across the group and ensure underwriters are well-positioned to make appropriate risk selection decisions.

Robinson joined Zurich in 2018, and prior to that, held various management roles in underwriting at RSA and Aviva. She joins with more than 30 years of experience of insurance markets internationally including the UK, Europe, emerging markets and the United States.

Signorelli commented: “Hayley brings tremendous vision, experience and leadership to this key role. As Chief Underwriting Officer for the UK, Hayley has successfully advanced the UK underwriting function while building a strong team around her.

“With her industry knowledge, passion and commitment, Hayley was the ideal candidate to lead Group Underwriting and drive our underwriting strategy, objectives and performance to position Zurich for long-term success. Hayley’s promotion highlights the skill and capability of our internal talent and underlines Zurich’s commitment to talent development and leadership growth across the Group.”

Robinson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to progress my journey with Zurich and help to drive forward the global underwriting strategy. Having spent most of my career in underwriting, it is a huge privilege to be able to play a role in shaping the underwriting community of the future.”