News in Brief: New CEO officially takes over at major insurer

by Maryvonne Gray 05 Oct 2015

News in Brief: New CEO officially takes over at major insurer

New CEO officially takes over at major insurer
The new CEO of Suncorp Group has officially taken the reigns at the major Australian insurer.

Michael Cameron, formally of property company The GPT Group, took over from the departing Patrick Snowball yesterday and will aim to continue the Englishman’s legacy at the firm.

“The achievements of the past six years have been extraordinary and I now relish the opportunity to maximise market opportunities, harness the potential of our highly-committed and engaged staff, and deliver even greater value to our shareholders and customers,” Cameron said in a statement to the ASX.

“I am excited by the future of the Suncorp Group and I am delighted to lead this talented team of people as we begin a new chapter.”

Chairman of the Suncorp Group, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, formally welcomed Cameron to the business and believes his time spent as a board member will help steer the company in the right direction.

“As a member of the Board, Michael has been directly involved in setting and overseeing the Group’s strategy,” he said.

“Michael is now ready to lead the organisation into the future while maintaining stability and keeping the momentum going.”
 
International player acquires Aussie portfolio
The Australian branch of Swiss Re International has announced an agreement which will see the major international player acquire a key aviation portfolio.

The deal will see the wholly-owned subsidiary of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions take on the aviation portfolio of Assetinsure and add a new office in Brisbane to its Australian footprint.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions currently owns the majority interest of Assetinsure’s aviation business with Assetinsure acting as a managing general agent of the business and minority owner of the portfolio since 2010.

The international giant will now take full ownership of the business and add a Brisbane branch to its existing offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Adam Cox, country manager for Australia and New Zealand for Swiss Re, said that both companies have worked closely since their partnership began five years ago and the company will look to continue to develop its Australian offering.

"Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has worked closely with Assetinsure since 2010," Cox said.

"The full integration of our strong underwriting skills and Assetinsure's advanced market knowledge will further enhance our capabilities and expertise across the region."

The move follows CBL Insurance’s $41 million purchase of Assetinsure last month as the company looks to develop its Australian business to offset its European offerings.
 
Insurer gets official tick for acquisition
Ace Ltd has been given approval for its acquisition of Chubb Corp by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US.

The insurer confirmed it had ‘received notice from the US Federal Trade Commission that it had granted early termination, effective immediately of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976’ for Ace’s pending acquisition of the Chubb Corp.

While the FTC’s action has satisfied one of the conditions to the closing of the transaction, Ace noted that the deal must meet other customary closing conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Ace announced in July that it would buy Chubb for US$28.3 billion in cash and stock and that the new company would take the Chubb name. The transaction is expected to close early next year.
 
VW tries to cut costs amid flood of litigation
Volkswagen was looking for ways to cut costs and boost cash flow as a wave of litigation was growing, some of which was targeting its D&O insurance.

The German-based automaker could sell more shares if the cost of addressing the scandal over software that created deceptive fuel emission test results on its diesel engines puts its credit rating at risk, Reuters reported.

Litigation and regulatory actions have already been taken in the US and South Korea and VW has already said it will set aside 6.5 billion euros in provisions in the third quarter, however analysts suggest one to three billion euros more could be needed.

Industry sources have in the US and London markets have said VW has 500 million euros in D&O coverage, with Zurich being the lead insurer on a US$25 million primary layer of the coverage.

Other insurers said to have participated in the risk include Dublin-based XL Group and Munich-based Allianz SE.