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Set for growth: Australia key in Sedgwick plans

Closer to customers: Tim Plant

Faster and stronger: Zurich simplifies leadership team ZURICH SAYS IT WILL BE MORE RESPONSIVE and decisions will be made faster under a new leadership structure that strengthens its commercial intermediated market focus. The changes also place greater emphasis on Zurich’s state and regional presence and empower local teams to trade and make decisions closer to customers. General Insurance Chief Executive Tim Plant says the new structure is not driven by “a desire to change course” but better positions the company’s leaders to accelerate improvements and momentum across the business. “Our simplified structure will make us a stronger and more deeply connected insurer, one that’s better able to anticipate the rapidly evolving needs of our broker partners and customers,” he says. Under the changes, Head of Commercial Insurance Giles Crowley moves into the newly created role of Chief Distribution and Deal Management Officer. Chief Underwriting Officer Sean Walker will take on responsibility for the commercial insurance portfolio in addition to his continued oversight of Zurich’s SME proposition. Hilary Bates’ remit expands to include operations, alongside her existing role as Chief Claims Officer, with current Head of Operations Wilson Varghese set to move to another role within Zurich. As a result of the changes, Chief Distribution Officer Steven Ord will leave the business. The responsibilities of executives in areas such as finance, risk and governance, human resources, and communications and marketing remain largely unchanged. Mr Plant joined Zurich in August, after moving across from NSW government insurer icare to take over the role vacated by Raj Nanra. Previously he also led QBE’s Australia and New Zealand operations. “Our brokers regularly tell us the things they value most are responsiveness and speed of decision-making and that’s what our simplified structure 0 is designed to do,” Mr Plant said. 78

SEDGWICK, THE WORLD’S LARGEST CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR, IS pursuing growth in Australia following the US-based company’s acquisition of Canadian global loss adjuster Cunningham Lindsey. Group President Mike Arbour and International Chief Executive Ian Muress were in Sydney in November for a local launch of the combined operations under the Sedgwick brand as the company looks to build on the strength of the two organisations across the region. “This is a great time for Sedgwick in Australia, having successfully brought together the Cunningham Lindsey expertise and building on their rich heritage,” Mr Muress said. “Sedgwick is looking toward continued growth as we continue to leverage the strength of the wider Sedgwick organisation.” The Australian business is led by Diego Ascani, who joined Cunningham Lindsey last year as chief operating officer before being appointed Chief Executive. He is a former managing director of Xchanging Australia and has more than 27 years experience in the industry. Over recent months he has brought his operational skills and third-party administration experience to overseeing the integration of the two companies. “With the support of Sedgwick we can greatly enhance our capabilities in the local market, using technology, innovation and the brainpower of more than 20,000 colleagues,” Mr Ascani said. Mr Ascani is also a member of the Asia-Pacific senior executive team, which includes New Zealand Chief Executive Darryl Cowan and Asia General Manager Wayne Cheng. Sedgwick provides a wide range of services to clients in the region, including property, major and complex loss, marine, liability and product recall, fine arts, construction and building consultancy, environmental services and claims management. The company operates in 65 countries and is involved in mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations and containing costs that can impact the bottom line. Sedgwick handles more than 3.6 million claims annually and has fiduciary 0 responsibility for claim payments of more than $US19.5 billion.

Specialty merger: Liberty incorporates Ironshore LIBERTY MUTUAL HAS MERGED THE LOCAL IRONSHORE OPERATION – which it acquired more than a year ago – into a combined commercial specialty lines business. Boston-based Liberty Mutual acquired New York-based Ironshore in a $US3 billion deal completed in May last year. As part of the changes, the Ironshore brand will be dropped and 13 employees will join the existing Liberty team and continue writing business that includes warranty and indemnity, trade credit, political risk and war and terrorism. Where there is role duplication, “a small number” of Ironshore employees will depart the group, Liberty Mutual says. Former Ironshore Australia Managing Director William Lewis will continue in a new regional role as Head of Asia-Pacific for Liberty Global Transaction Solutions. The Ironshore team will start writing business under the associated Liberty brands from January. Liberty International Underwriters Asia Pacific President and Managing Director Mike Abdallah said the company is consolidating its brands. “Our well-established team offers a comprehensive suite of commercial insurance products, so it makes sense to integrate the specialty operations of Ironshore into our business,” Mr Abdallah said. Claims will continue to be handled in line with present arrangements, and Ironshore, Liberty and its London-based managing agency Pembroke will collectively review claims-handling arrangements as the integration moves ahead. “By integrating Liberty’s broader product offering and invested insurance operations with the legacy Ironshore Asia Pacific team’s earned reputation for entrepreneurial underwriting, we’re confident in our ability to provide holistic solutions to our mutual broking partners and clients,” Mr Abdallah said. 0


December 2018/January 2019

Profile for Insurance News (the magazine)

DEC/JAN 2018/19 - Insurance News (the magazine)  

Allan Fels, the monitor of NSW’s non-existent emergency services levy change and primary foe of the insurance industry, is stirring up insur...

DEC/JAN 2018/19 - Insurance News (the magazine)  

Allan Fels, the monitor of NSW’s non-existent emergency services levy change and primary foe of the insurance industry, is stirring up insur...