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QBE’s John Neal to step down

QBE CEO John Neal will step down at the end of December after five years in the top role.

The company says Pat Regan, currently Australian and New Zealand CEO, will take over from Mr Neal on January 1 after a four-month leadership transition.

Mr Neal began with the company in QBE’s European Operations in 2003 and moved to Sydney in 2011 as CEO, Global Underwriting Operations.

“John has led the business through a significant transformation and a challenging period in the insurance industry globally and has been working closely with the board to ensure a smooth transition for his succession,” Chairman Marty Becker said.

Mr Regan joined QBE in 2014 and was group CFO before heading the Australian business. Previously he held positions at Aviva, Willis Group Holdings and Royal & Sun Alliance.

“In the last 12 months Pat has led a strong turnaround in the Australian & New Zealand operations highlighting his operational skills and business acumen, and in his previous role as Group CFO had been pivotal in stabilising the balance sheet and enhancing the group’s capital management,” Mr Becker said.

QBE said the board had undertaken a detailed succession planning process over the past two years and carried out an internal and external candidate review process for the CEO appointment.

The company has reported a net profit of $US345 million ($428 million) for the six months to June 30, up 30% on the corresponding period last year.

But the group came under fire before the results announcement when it warned that the combined operating ratio from its emerging markets division would blow out because of higher than expected claims from Asia and Latin America.

More details in our regular bulletin on Monday.

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