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QBE creates new role as revamp gathers pace

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QBE has announced more changes as part of a recent restructure that resulted in dozens of managerial roles being made redundant.

Andrew Corbett has been appointed Chief Customer Officer New Zealand and Pacific – a new role created upon the retirements of CEO Pacific Sylvain Flore and GM New Zealand Bill Donovan.

“Andrew will work with Sylvain and Bill over the coming months, with Bill moving into an advisory role as GM Broker Relations New Zealand and Pacific until later [next year],” Chief Customer Officer Commercial Lines Jason Clarke says in a note to QBE staff.

Mr Corbett is currently GM Elders Insurance, which recently moved into QBE’s commercial lines team that reports to Mr Clarke.

He has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK and Australia, holding senior positions in general and life insurance. Previous employers include CommInsure, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.

The appointment comes as Australia and New Zealand CEO Vivek Bhatia prepares for the January 1 shift to running a new Australia Pacific division.

The insurer will have two other divisions. International, encompassing Europe and Asia will be led by Richard Pryce, while North America will continue to be led by Russ Johnston.

Earlier this month Mr Bhatia told insuranceNEWS.com.au the staffing shake-up in his division follows a “clear plan” to create a stronger, simpler company, with a renewed customer focus.

QBE’s “2021 ambition” includes three main goals: to be number one in commercial lines; to build strength in personal lines; and to be innovative in SME.

In a note to brokers, Mr Bhatia thanks the retiring Mr Donovan for “all his efforts in leading our New Zealand business and supporting me as part of my leadership team”.

He says Mr Flore, who will retire in March, has been with QBE almost 32 years and “has built a strong and united team in the Pacific, consistently delivering results through strong relationships with distribution and claims partners”.

Peter Mackereth has been promoted to the GM Elders role on an interim basis. QBE says he has 30 years’ insurance experience across product, underwriting, sales and distribution.