Major insurer refreshes leadership team

Major insurer refreshes leadership team

Major insurer refreshes leadership team QBE has refreshed its leadership team following confirmation at its AGM held in Sydney.

The insurer added four new board members, including a new CFO, following a shareholder vote at their annual meeting as Group CEO, John Neal, stressed the importance of talent in the insurance industry in his address at the meeting.

“We believe that world class talent is one of the few sustainable competitive advantages in the insurance industry,” Neal said.

“We have undertaken a significant reset of our leadership team, to provide us with the skills and experience to continue our growth trajectory.

“In addition to fast tracking our best talent globally, we have sought to strengthen the team with carefully chosen external recruits.

“We were delighted to welcome Pat Regan as Group Chief Financial Officer and similarly pleased to promote two members from our executive talent development program to the Group Executive – Mike Emmett as Group Executive Officer, Operations and Jason Brown as Group Chief Risk Officer.

“We have also increased the bench strength of our divisional leadership teams, refreshing 30% of our senior leaders over the last two years.”

Following the company’s $1 billion turnaround announced in February, Neal noted that “the transformation of our business is largely complete,” and stressed the company plans for the coming year.

QBE has a unique and truly global franchise and we will be looking to exploit market opportunities with a particular emphasis on commercial and speciality business lines.

“Consequently, in 2015 we will be launching initiatives that will enhance the underwriting and service proposition for multinational clients and extend our interest in the bancassurance sector.

“We believe our global portfolio of businesses can support organic growth of 3-4% per annum from 2016.”

Neal also announced that the company will look for further cost savings as QBE looks to build on its strong set of results.

“In 2015, we are targeting further cost savings, and will be looking to determine what additional efficiencies we can achieve over the medium term. We believe there is more we can achieve and we will describe our plans in more detail at the half-year.”

Neal noted that GWP for the company should remain flat in the coming financial year but this will have little impact on the company as the first quarter of the year shows.

“Whilst we anticipate that our gross written premium will remain flat on a constant currency basis, it is inevitable that the relative strengthening of the US dollar will see headline premium reduce.

“This will have no material impact on the construct of our combined operating ratio. We remain resolutely focused on our overarching priority of a return to earnings improvement and predictability when measured against our published business plans and targets.

“During 2015 we will continue to position our business for growth using the principles of our value creation model. Our primary aim must always be to deliver on our promises, consistently and in full.

“I can confirm that so far, our 1Q15 results are tracking in line with budget, and market conditions, such as pricing, are broadly in line with our expectations.”