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Vivek Bhatia to leave QBE

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QBE CEO Australia Pacific Vivek Bhatia will leave this month, the insurer announced this morning.

A statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) says Mr Bhatia “has decided to take up a new opportunity” with ASX listed information solutions company Link Group.

Frank Costigan, currently Australia Pacific Chief Customer Officer Personal Lines, has been appointed to the interim role of MD Australia.

Mr Costigan and CEO and Chief Customer Officer New Zealand & Pacific Declan Moore will assume interim responsibility for the AUSPAC division, reporting to Group CEO Pat Regan.

“Mr Regan will take on greater oversight of operations in QBE’s home market, working closely with Frank Costigan and Declan Moore while an internal and external succession process is underway,” the statement says.

Mr Bhatia re-joined QBE two-and-a-half years ago after setting up NSW state insurer icare. Prior to that he held senior roles with McKinsey & Company and Wesfarmers Insurance, while from 2003-2007 he was QBE’s local head of IT, strategy, governance and program delivery.

A statement from Link Group says he has been appointed MD and CEO, succeeding John McMurtrie who will retire early next year.

“We identified a number of quality candidates and the Board concluded that Vivek had the right leadership experience and expertise to lead the next era of growth at Link Group,” Chairman Michael Carapiet, who is also icare Chairman, said.

Mr Regan paid tribute to Mr Bhatia’s contribution and wished him well “with this new opportunity”.

“During his time with QBE, Vivek has continued to strengthen our operations in Australia Pacific and driven strong financial performance,” he said.