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11 April 2018Insurance

QBE replaces CFO after 7 months amidst management shake-up

Australia-based QBE Insurance Group is replacing its group chief financial officer (CFO) Michael Ford who has  assumed the role only in September 2017.

The company reported a net loss of $1.25 billion for 2017 driven by record catastrophes in the second half of 2017 together with deterioration in its emerging markets businesses and two significant non-cash items.

In the Latin American operations, a heightened incidence of large individual risk and catastrophe claims coupled with deterioration in legacy portfolios and adverse prior accident year claims development contributed to a 113.1 percent combined operating ratio.

In February, Zurich Insurance Group has entered into an agreement to acquire the operations of Australian insurer QBE in Latin America for a total aggregate price of $409 million.

The CFO replacement comes amid a reshuffle of QBE’s senior management team, including the appointment of a new chief risk officer from Swiss Re.

Inder Singh, currently CFO for QBE’s Australian & New Zealand operations, will replace Ford as group chief financial officer. Ford is leaving QBE.

Singh joined QBE in 2015 as group head of corporate development and was later appointed as group head of financial planning and analysis before taking on the role of CFO in the Australian & New Zealand operations. Before joining QBE, he was the group corporate development and M&A director for Aviva. He will be based in the QBE’s head office in Sydney.

The company has also appointed Peter Grewal as group chief risk officer, joining from Swiss Re, where he held the role of chief risk officer, reinsurance, since 2014 with a global remit covering property and casualty and life and health reinsurance. Prior to this, he held executive roles in internal audit including head of group internal audit for Swiss Re, head of internal audit for Scottish Re and head of Audit for HSBC (Bank of Bermuda).

Following Grewal’s commencement with QBE in July, Liam Buckley, currently interim group chief risk officer, will take on a new position as group head of culture and talent.

Matt Mansour will be joining QBE as group chief information officer from Barclays where he is the chief technology information security officer. He will join QBE in late 2018 and be based in London.

Finally, Anders Land has been formally appointed as group head of internal audit after eight months acting in this role. Before joining QBE as the senior vice president and head of internal audit for QBE’s North America operations, he held senior roles across risk and compliance at AIG and MetLife.

Commenting on the appointments, group CEO Pat Regan said: “We have commenced an accelerated reshaping of the company’s strategic focus to create a stronger and simpler QBE. This includes a prioritisation of “Brilliant Basics” – improving underwriting quality, pricing and claims handling in every market in which we operate and every product we underwrite.

“To deliver this plan we need a senior management team with deep insurance expertise and the capabilities required to build on QBE’s strengths and to deliver excellence across the Group consistently. I am confident that these appointments will assist significantly in delivering on our priorities in 2018 and beyond.

"The search for our new Group Chief Underwriting Officer, a new Group Executive role, is progressing well.

“I would like to congratulate Inder, Peter, Liam, Matt and Anders on their appointments and thank Michael for his time at QBE.”

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