QBE Insurance Group’s Chief Executive Officer Pat Regan is departing the insurer after an external investigation found his workplace communications did not meet the standards set out in the group’s code of ethics and conduct.

Pat Regan

The investigation was conducted following a complaint from a female employee in the United States, QBE confirmed.

QBE Group Chairman Mike Wilkins said the board of directors completed the investigation and took “decisive action in relation to the outcomes.”

Regan has been in the role of CEO since January 2018. He joined QBE in 2014 as group CFO and was appointed to the role of CEO, Australian and Zealand Operations, in August 2016.

“We are committed to having a respectful and inclusive environment for everyone at QBE. The board concluded that [Regan] had exercised poor judgement in this regard,” said Wilkins, who will assume the role of executive chairman, taking on day-to-day oversight of QBE while an internal and external search process is conducted to find a new group CEO.

“While these are challenging circumstances, the board recognizes and thanks Mr. Regan for his hard work and contribution to strengthening QBE. However, all employees must be held to the same standards,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins commented that the fundamentals of the business are strong, coupled with a greatly improved external pricing environment.

“While COVID-19 has created significant challenges, QBE is successfully navigating this period of uncertainty, and the group’s demonstrable financial strength positions us well to capitalize on accelerating pricing momentum and emerging organic growth opportunities,” he continued.

QBE said the board will put in place additional initiatives in the coming weeks to further develop an inclusive culture at QBE, beginning with a board sponsored and externally supported culture review and the creation of an additional avenue for employees to safely raise concerns and receive support that will supplement existing channels.

“We want our people to have the avenues they need to safely speak up, with the confidence that they will be heard and that all concerns raised will be treated consistently across our workforce,” added Wilkins.

When interviewed by Carrier Management in 2019, Regan said a CEO must spend his or her time painting a picture of what “good” looks like with culture and strategy.

Source: QBE

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