QBE announced changes to its structure, designed to further simplify its operations and build a more streamlined, agile and customer-oriented business.

Following the underwriting remediation in Asia, which is now largely complete, Asia Pacific will no longer be a separate division, the company said in a statement.

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, QBE’s operations will comprise:

  • International – which will include European Operations and Asia. Richard Pryce, currently CEO European Operations, will become CEO International. A new senior leader for Asia will be appointed, reporting directly to Pryce.
  • Australia Pacific – will include Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and India. Vivek Bhatia, currently CEO Australian & New Zealand Operations, will become CEO Australia Pacific.
  • North America – will continue as is, led by CEO North America, Russ Johnston.

This change and resulting simplification will contribute to the group’s efficiency agenda with much of the administration and governance of the former standalone Asia Pacific operations absorbed by the significantly larger and better resourced International and Australia Pacific divisions, the company said in a statement.

QBE said it will update the market on its groupwide cost-out agenda and 2019 outward reinsurance placement in early December.

As part of the company’s restructuring, QBE announced that Jason Brown will move from the position of CEO Asia Pacific Operations to the new role of group chief underwriting officer. In this role Brown will have responsibility for underwriting, pricing and reinsurance placement and will play a critical role in driving the company’s Brilliant Basics* agenda globally.

Brown brings more than 20 years’ experience in financial services working in Australia, the U.K. and Asia. Since joining QBE in 2002, Brown has held numerous senior positions including group chief risk officer and executive general manager, Technical & Operations for Australian & New Zealand Operations.

The structural changes represent “the next step in creating a stronger, simpler QBE,” which will enable the company to enhance its customer proposition and build a stronger platform for the long term, providing sustainable and profitable growth, said QBE’s Chief Executive Officer Pat Regan.

“The Asia Pacific region remains important to QBE. Following a significant and successful program of work to remediate Asia Pacific operations and its improved underwriting performance, we continue to see opportunities in these markets,” he said.

“Asia Pacific and European operations are already collaborating in relation to underwriting opportunities and we expect to see further benefits from leveraging our underwriting expertise, scale and global capabilities across these business divisions,” Regan continued.

“Aligning Asia with European Operations and the Pacific with Australian & New Zealand Operations will ensure we are best placed to support our customers and partners in those regions.”

Regan went on to thank Brown and his team for the turnaround they have led in the Asia Pacific Operations over the past 12 months.

* The company’s Brilliant Basics program was first piloted in 2016 and rolled out across the company this year. The program aims to ensure high standards for underwriting, pricing and claims management across all countries and portfolios.

Source: QBE North America

*This story appeared previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.