IAG in search of next chief executive

IAG in search of next chief executive | Insurance Business Australia

IAG in search of next chief executive

The search is on for the next IAG managing director and chief executive, as the general insurance giant reveals Peter Harmer’s intention to retire by the end of the year.

In today’s (April 08) announcement by IAG chair Elizabeth Bryan, it was noted that a flexible nine-month transition period has been agreed with the outgoing boss to ensure a smooth changeover. In the interim, IAG chief financial officer Nick Hawkins will serve as deputy CEO effective immediately.

In this deputy capacity, Hawkins will be in charge of the management and performance of the company’s day-to-day operations during the period of transition. CFO Australia Michelle McPherson, meanwhile, will take over as acting group chief financial officer.

In addition, CEO Australia Mark Milliner will continue to lead IAG’s Australian business while Harmer will remain responsible for the overall strategic direction and performance of the group as well as leading the insurer’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The arrangements we have announced today reflect the strength and stability of our senior management team and will ensure the smooth operation of the company through challenging times,” stated Bryan. “The board has been in discussion with Mr Harmer for some time about his plans, following a period of illness last year, and the company is well prepared for a transition.”

According to IAG, both internal and external candidates will be considered for the top post.

Lifting the lid on his decision, the departing CEO said: “It has been a tremendous privilege to lead IAG and after five years in the role, I believe it’s the right time to hand over the reins to my successor, who will lead the next stage of IAG’s growth and evolution.”

Meanwhile Bryan had nothing but nice words for Harmer.

“Peter has been pivotal to the creation of a more innovative and customer-focussed IAG,” asserted the chair. “He has taken important steps to simplify the company while driving a culture that values digital innovation and puts the customer first. Peter will leave IAG in a strong position for future success.”