QBE names CEO for North America

Appointee brings "deep industry expertise", says group CEO

QBE names CEO for North America

Insurance News

By Jen Frost

QBE has appointed Julie Wood as CEO of the company’s North America division.

Wood, who joined QBE in 2023 as group head of distribution, had been serving as interim CEO since the exit of predecessor Todd Jones in August.

She previously held senior roles at Marsh, where she served as a member of the company’s US executive committee. Prior to Marsh, Wood spent more than 15 years in senior executive roles at Zurich Insurance Group, including in global customer management and underwriting leadership.

"Julie brings deep industry expertise with a strong customer focus, underwriting expertise and knowledge of the North America market," Andrew Horton, QBE group CEO said.

Wood is expected to continue the insurer’s North American focus on crop, specialty, and commercial insurance.

"Her appointment highlights the bench strength of high caliber leaders within QBE and reflects the focus we have on talent and leadership,” Horton said.

Wood’s appointment remains subject to regulatory approval and she remains on the insurer’s group executive committee, reporting to Horton.

Wood joins QBE North America as CEO on back of ‘disappointing’ half

QBE North America reported gross written premiums (GWP) of $5 billion in the first half of 2023, which saw the division slammed by catastrophe hits.

The North American business posted a combined operating ratio (COR) of 106.9% for H1 2023, with returns in the region described as “not acceptable” by QBE group chief financial officer Inder Singh, who spoke during the insurer’s results call.

In an exclusive interview with Insurance Business following the results discussion, Horton said that while there was more work to do on the US business, “it’s a much more straightforward business than it’s ever been.”

“It’s not that many lines of business, so we haven’t got too many areas to focus on to improve it,” he told Insurance Business in August.

Overall, QBE Insurance Group saw global net profit after tax of $400 million in the half, up from $40 million the prior year.

What do you expect to see from Julie Wood in the QBE North America CEO role? Leave a comment below.

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