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19 September 2023 Insurance

Allianz taps Liberty Specialty for global construction head

Allianz Commercial has bolstered its specialty leadership team with a senior hire from Liberty Specialty Markets to head up its global construction unit.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE has appointed Darren Smart (pictured) as Allianz Commercial’s global head of construction, effective March 2024. Based in London, he will report to the global head of specialty, Gordon Browne.

Smart's appointment follows Allianz's move earlier this year to establish natural resources (led by Anthony Vassallo) and construction as two separate lines of business (LoB) going forward. Until Smart joins Allianz in March 2024, Gordon Browne will continue to oversee this part of the business, working together with the existing leadership team.

Max Benz, who was previously global LoB head for the combined energy and construction business, will move to Allianz Risk Consulting (ARC). In a new senior role within the advisory services team, he will focus on how to deliver optimum value and benefit to both underwriting teams and clients.

Smart returns to Allianz, where he started his underwriting career as an underwriter at Allianz Cornhill (Allianz UK), before working at TransRe as an assistant vice president. He joined Liberty Specialty Markets in 2007 as construction regional product line manager for EMEA, before later taking on his current global construction practice leader role in 2016.

Browne, global head of specialty, said: “I am delighted to welcome Darren back to Allianz in this global role, leading construction for Allianz Commercial. His deep expertise and knowledge of the industry, combined with a global focus and approach, will bring significant value and enable us to drive forward our growth ambitions for this important part of our business.”

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