Willis Re announced last Thursday that James Kent, the current deputy global CEO, will succeed John Cavanagh when he retires from his position as global CEO in December 2017.

Kent joined Willis Re in 2004 and has served as the global deputy CEO since December 2016. He was appointed president of North America in 2010, and before this ran the Willis Re Bermuda operations. Earlier in his career, he spent 13 years with Aon Re (now Aon Benfield).

Carl Hess, head of Investment, Risk & Reinsurance, Willis Towers Watson, noted that Kent and Cavanagh “have worked side-by-side for many years.”

He thanked Cavanagh for his contribution to Willis Towers Watson. “Not only is John a recognized leader of the Willis Re business, he is also a leading figure in the global reinsurance industry. John has been instrumental in creating the reinsurance business we have today and will leave a strong legacy.”

Kent also commented on Cavanagh’s significant contribution to the industry, after a 42-year career in reinsurance. “In succeeding John, I look forward to further enhancing our proposition to help clients effectively manage their risk while building on the collaborative culture so integral to our proposition for both clients and colleagues,” Kent said in a statement.

Cavanagh said, “It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of Willis Re, where we have successfully grown the business in the face of very tough market conditions.”

“I have enjoyed a fantastic career in reinsurance broking, but it is now time to move on,” he added.

Cavanagh’s career in the reinsurance market began in July 1975. He has led the Willis Re business as chief executive officer since 2012. He joined Willis Re in 2009 after 21 years at the Carvill Group where he was joint CEO. Prior to this, he was the deputy managing director of Minet Re and a director of the North America reinsurance division at Willis Faber and Dumas.

Source: Willis Re