W.R. Berkley Corp. is turning to South Africa as the target of its latest business unit, which will be focused on working with both regional insurers and brokers.

Chairman and CEO William R. Berkley said the new effort is designed to take advantage of a fast-emerging market.

“Africa is a dynamic and rapidly growing region of the world and one in which we believe our organization can make a difference in the services it offers to clients,” Berkley said in prepared remarks.

This new unit will report to Berkley Re U.K., and handle South Africa/treaty service for both regional insurers and brokers. As of July, the Connecticut-based insurance holding company had created more than 20 new operating units over the previous decade focused on specialty areas including life sciences, accident and health and oil and gas.

Berkley named Sean Paradine to help run the unit, and he’ll be senior vice president, underwriting: Africa. He has more than 25 years of reinsurance experience with a focus on sub-Sarahan Africa treaty, worldwide facultative (excluding USA), Asia marine treaty and home foreign treaty, according to W.R. Berkley.

Berkley is stepping down as CEO of W.R. Berkley Corp. on Oct. 31. His son, currently the company’s president and chief operating officer, will take over the CEO position, though the elder Berkley will remain as chairman.

Source: W.R. Berkley Corp.