QBE Insurance Group announced that Richard Pryce will assume the role of interim group chief executive officer while the search process for a permanent replacement is underway.

The executive changes at QBE became necessary when it was announced in September that CEO Pat Regan had been forced out of his job after an external investigation found his “workplace communications” did not meet the standards set out in the group’s code of ethics and conduct, following a complaint from a female employee in the United States.

At that time, it was announced that QBE Group Chairman Mike Wilkins would assume the role of executive chairman until a new group CEO was appointed. With Pryce assuming the role of interim group chief executive officer, Wilkins will now return to his role as non-executive chair of the board.

In early October, Jason Harris joined QBE Insurance to take on the role of chief executive officer, International Division, which includes European Operations. Pryce originally planned to retire from QBE during Q1 2021, which was first announced in April 2020. His retirement will now be delayed.

“Jason Harris has now commenced in the role of CEO International giving Richard the capacity to assume this role. On behalf of the board, we thank him for extending his time with QBE, prior to his previously announced retirement,” said Wilkins.

Pryce joined QBE in 2012 and was appointed chief executive officer, European Operations, in 2013, before being appointed chief executive officer, International, in 2019.

Pryce began his insurance career with R.W. Sturge syndicate at Lloyd’s where he became claims director. In 1996, he moved to Ockham as professional lines class underwriter for Syndicate 204.

Pryce went on to run ACE’s Financial Lines business in London before becoming president of ACE Global Markets in 2003 and ACE UK in 2007 and has worked in the London insurance market for over 35 years.

“I would like to thank Richard for accepting this interim role as we conduct an extensive search for a permanent replacement. Richard is well known to employees and investors and is wellrespected in the insurance industry,” said Wilkins in a statement.

“Richard will continue to champion many of the initiatives we have underway across the group to build QBE for the future and is focused on maintaining the rigour of our cell reviews and further embedding and enhancing our Brilliant Basics initiatives. He is also an avid supporter of our ongoing focus on becoming a more customer-centred business,” he added.

“Our strategy and priorities remain unchanged and Richard provides important continuity as we execute on these,” Wilkins said.

Source: QBE Insurance

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