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QBE shakes up intermediary team

QBE has appointed two new GMs to its intermediary distribution leadership team, as it looks to simplify operations.

As reported in a Breaking News bulletin last week, the insurer has also created two new portfolios in its Australian and New Zealand operations.

The division’s new CEO, Vivek Bhatia, says the changes will come into effect from next Monday and will help teams take a more customer-centric approach.

“Our strategy is about putting the customer at the heart of what we do and these changes mean we will be organised in a better way to deliver on that,” Mr Bhatia said.

Rebecca Engel, most recently at NAB, has been appointed GM Underwriting Agencies, leading a new standalone underwriting agencies team and reporting to EGM Intermediary Distribution Jason Clarke.

Dean Cullen will become GM Specialty – including aviation, marine, construction, warranty and professional lines – and will also report to Mr Clarke.

Mr Cullen most recently led QBE’s travel, motor trades and motorcycle businesses, and these teams will be incorporated into the specialty team.

The two new portfolios include a People Risk team, headed by GM Adam Farr, combining workers’ compensation and accident and health.

The financial institutions and direct consumer business units will combine as Consumer, Affinity and Banking Partnerships, in an expanded portfolio for GM Eleanor Debelle.

Ms Debelle and Mr Farr will continue to report to EGM Consumer and Retail Partners Andrew Broughton.

“Combining our direct-to-consumer and financial institutions business units will ensure our consumer-focused businesses are aligned and positioned to respond to consumer insights that no doubt translate across our partners and direct offerings,” Mr Bhatia said.

“In creating a People Risk portfolio, we’re better reflecting the structure of our major trading partners while combining very similar businesses, both in terms of the product and the claims-handling approach.”

Meanwhile, QBE has appointed Danny Fischer as Group Treasurer following the departure of Paul Byrne.

Mr Fischer has already started work in the role, a spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au. The company has not commented on the departure of Mr Byrne, who had been group treasurer since October 2015.

Mr Fischer was most recently the global head of NAB’s financial institutions group – a role he held for nearly four years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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