Weekly wrap: Wholesale brokerage launches business in Asia

Weekly wrap: Wholesale brokerage launches business in Asia | Insurance Business

Weekly wrap: Wholesale brokerage launches business in Asia
Wholesale brokerage launches intermediary in Asia
Global wholesale and reinsurance broking group Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford has launched Latitude Brokers in Hong Kong as the marine division of the company.
Andrew Brooker and Vanessa Toucas will be joining from FP Marine Risks and Charles D’Alton will be joining from Charles Taylor (Singapore) where he was underwriter for The Standard Club Asia Ltd. Along with Tom Fulford-Smith, all three will become directors of Latitude.
In due course, Latitude will become incorporated as a separate entity in its own right and, subject to regulatory approval, will trade as Latitude Brokers Ltd.
Innovation group expands executive team
Innovation Group (Australia) has expanded its executive team, appointing Rod Wood as group executive, insurance. Working alongside group executive of operations Venus Sopikiotis, the two will lead Innovation Group's efforts to help insurance clients increase profitability, customer satisfaction and retention levels through the provision of high-quality business processing services.
Wood has more than two decades' experience working in and servicing, the Australian insurance industry. He has held regional, state and national roles with QBE, including responsibility for sales and distribution.
Sopikiotis spent 17 years managing claims and operational teams, sales teams as well as working in strategic management roles with AAMI, Promina and Suncorp Group.
Valerie Baker Memorial Award winner revealed
Belinda Scott of BJS Insurance Brokers the winner of the inaugural Valerie Baker Memorial Award, revealed at the 16th Annual Steadfast Convention in Melbourne this week.
The judges were impressed with Scott’s excellent track record in growing a successful business from a single office in regional Victoria to the five offices it has around the country today, and her commitment to ongoing professional development and industry contribution.
Scott will depart for London to take up the prize in late April. The first part of the Award will be an industry short course at the Chartered Insurance Institute followed by opportunities to see Lloyd’s and the London insurance market at first hand.
Ace hires NSW state manager
Ace announced has appointed Mitch Van Reyk to the position of state manager, New South Wales. 
He has over 26 years of experience in the Australian insurance industry, including leadership roles in underwriting, broking and reinsurance. His previous position was underwriting manager – complex risk for a large international insurer and prior to that he spent six years in a senior role at a global leader in insurance broking and risk management. He will commence at Ace on 1 May 2014.