Posted on 09 Mar 2012
QBE Insurance Group has announced that it is combining its worldwide reinsurance operations under a single management team and unified brand, QBE Re.
QBE Re will comprise the current statutory businesses of Syndicate 566, QBE Re (Europe), Secura NV and QBE Re (Americas). The combined business will have a gross written premium of more than $1.5 billion, across a well-balanced portfolio of property, casualty and specialty lines.
The business will be led by QBE's current European chief underwriting officer for reinsurance, Jonathan Parry, who will become chief underwriting officer of QBE Re. Parry will be supported by a global leadership team including:
• Paul Horgan (London) – Head of Property
• Chris Larson (New York) – Head of Casualty and US Multiline
• Peter Wilkins (London) – Head of Specialty Lines
• Luc Boghe (Brussels) – Head of European Multiline
QBE plans to maintain its statutory business reporting and will supplement its key divisional strengths with the opportunities offered by the scale and diversification of a global business. The new model will allow QBE Re to offer its clients a consistent underwriting philosophy.
QBE Re will continue to differentiate through excellent levels of service and the use of local expertise empowered to make local underwriting decisions.
The unified business will be backed by QBE Group's A+ (S&P) and A (AM Best) financial ratings, and with specific QBE Re capital of more than US$1.9 billion, the move strengthens its flexibility to support a broader reinsurance risk appetite.
"This global approach allows us to create a platform where we can provide the best possible service to our clients worldwide," said Parry. "Our business philosophies, market approach and appetite will be coordinated, which in turn will help ensure greater consistency across underwriting, pricing, risk management and reserving. I, and QBE Re's leadership team, am excited by the opportunities offered by the new business model."
"The establishment of QBE Re strongly underlines QBE's commitment to the reinsurance market," said John Neal, Chief Executive Officer, Global Underwriting Operations. "We believe our clients will welcome the move to unify our reinsurance businesses. By retaining our deep local underwriting expertise, and supplementing it with benefits provided by a global organization – scale, consistency, flexibility, capacity and improved service."
QBE North America is part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE Insurance Group's 2011 results can also be found at www.qbeamericas.com. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 52 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America operation, headquartered in New York, conducts business through various property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. QBE insurance companies are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and "A+" by Standard & Poor's.
QBE European Operations, which accounts for over 25% of the group's turnover, is a specialist in business insurance. Active in both the Lloyd's and company markets. QBE offers considerable diversity and distribution power to its UK and European customers via three product-focused underwriting divisions: property, casualty (liability) and motor, marine, energy and aviation and reinsurance.