Insurance Investor - news round-up 21/7/23

A guide for all the news you may have missed in the investment space for insurers featuring Thomas Miller, RenaissanceRe, Securian Financial, Aviva Investors, AIA NZ, AXA Group, The Church Pension Group, Sompo International, and The World Bank.

Insurance Investor Editorposted on Friday, July 21, 2023

@Shutterstock. Weekly comings and goings and portfolio management news for the investment and finance community in insurance.

Comings and Goings

The World Bank Private Sector Investment Lab

Jessica Tan, Co-CEO of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. has been named to the World Bank’s Private Sector Investment Lab.

She is the only founding member of the Lab from a Chinese company.

The World Bank announced the establishment of the Private Sector Investment Lab in June and said it would focus on specific approaches that “can be implemented and scaled to mobilise capital effectively, with the ultimate goal of crowding in greater levels of private finance, and making adequate progress towards climate goals, to manage the risks of climate change, and to tackle poverty.” 

This included ideas for improved financing structures, balancing and allocating risks across investors, and reimagining new partnerships.

The Lab will begin work in the coming weeks, initially focusing on scaling transition finance in renewable energy and energy infrastructure.

Other core founding members of the Lab included Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chairs from AXA, BlackRock, HSBC, Macquarie, Royal Philips, Standard Chartered, and Temasek.

Sompo International

Emmanuel Brulé has joined re/insurer Sompo International as its new Chief Risk Officer (CRO), based in Bermuda.

His previous roles include CEO, Sanlam Pan Africa GI (Casablanca), Deputy CEO of SAHAM Group, and 14 years with AIG, with his last position at the company as CRO EMEA.

He was also appointed to the Board of Continental Re as a Non-Executive Director on 16 November 2016.

The Church Pension Group

Michael Hood will succeed Roger Sayler as Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer (CIO), and Managing Director at the Church Pension Group (CPG), a financial services organisation that works on behalf of the Episcopal Church.

Sayler is retiring after nine years in the role.

Hood has expertise in economics, asset allocation, and portfolio strategy. He was formerly Managing Director in JPMorgan Asset Management’s Multi-Asset Solutions division, where he helped oversee diverse portfolios totalling $350 billion. Prior to this, he was Chief Economist at Traxis Partners, where he analysed economies and markets in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

He also held positions with Barclays Capital, where he was an economist and market strategist for Latin America and global emerging markets; JPMorgan and JPMorgan Chase, where he worked as economist for Latin America; and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he was an economist developing risk studies.

Based in New York, CPG maintains three lines of business — benefits, insurance, and publishing. The organisation provides retirement, health, life insurance, and related benefits for clergy and lay employees of The Episcopal Church. It also provides property and casualty insurance. 


Ben Lovelock has been named as AIA New Zealand’s new Chief Risk Officer (CRO), effective 3 July.

Life insurer AIA NZ has over 40 years of experience in the New Zealand market and is part of the AIA Group, the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group.

Lovelock takes over following the retirement of AIA’s long-serving CRO, Doune Connett.

Lovelock joins AIA NZ from AIA Group. He has been with AIA Group since 2018 and has previously held roles as a Director in the Group Chief Actuary’s Office and Head of Ratings, Group Treasury. He also worked in the Actuarial Services practice of PwC Hong Kong.

Aviva Investors

Aviva Investors, the asset management business of Aviva plc, has appointed Jill Barber as Global Head of Distribution. She will join the business later this year subject to regulatory approval.

Barber will lead the teams across Aviva Investors responsible for Aviva Client, Institutional, and Wealth sales activity in the UK, Europe, Asia, and North America. She will also oversee Client Experience, Strategy and Planning, and Investment and Client Communications. 

She joins Aviva Investors from GAM Investments, where she has held the role of Global Head of Institutional Solutions since November 2020. She also held senior roles at Jupiter Asset Management, Franklin Templeton Investments, Hermes Fund Management, and Fidelity International.

Barber succeeds Louise Kay, who is retiring at the end of 2023. Kay will continue to lead the distribution function until Barber’s arrival.

Securian Financial

Wen Nannen has joined Securian Financial as Vice President and Chief Investment Officer (CIO), as well as Executive Vice President and CIO for Securian Asset Management, the company’s asset management subsidiary.

She will report to Suzette Huovinen, President, CEO, Chair of Securian Asset Management. She will be based at their Minnesota headquarters.

Securian offers insurance, investment, and retirement products.

Nannen is responsible for all aspects of Securian Financial’s and Securian Asset Management’s investment decision-making processes, day-to-day oversight of Securian Financial’s general account, and managing the assets of Securian Funds Trust and other affiliated portfolios. She and her team also support Securian Financial’s risk management, product development, and sales teams.

She joins Securian Financial from Lincoln Financial Group, where she spent the past seven years as Managing Director, Head of Public Corporate Portfolio, and ESG Investment Lead, overseeing more than $70 billion of general account assets.

Nannen previously worked for Birch Creek Capital, Aberdeen Asset Management, and Credit Suisse in various research analyst and portfolio management roles. She began her career in the US as a security rating analyst at Moody’s, and, before that, she was a credit analyst at China Merchants Bank.

“Wen Nannen’s broad portfolio management and leadership experience will help us continue to support the investment needs of Securian Financial and our customers,” said Huovinen. “She is a talented investment professional and strong addition to our team.”


Robin Lang will assume the role of Group Chief Risk Officer (CRO) on a permanent basis on 1 September 2023. She has been RenaissanceRe’s Interim CRO since April 2023, and will succeed Ian Branagan permanently.

In the role, Lang will continue to be based in RenaissanceRe’s London office and will be responsible for global risk management and governance, including external supervision.

Branagan is currently on compassionate leave, and going forward will act as a Senior Advisor to the Company.

“Robin is a knowledgeable risk practitioner, bringing over two decades of experience with RenaissanceRe focused on global risk management, risk governance, and external supervision,” said Kevin O’Donnell, President and CEO of RenaissanceRe.

O’Donnell added that the company hoped to see Branagan back to full health. “Ian has been a leading industry advocate for solutions to close both the knowledge and protection gap in vulnerable communities. Our thoughts are with Ian as he focuses on his family, and we look forward to continuing to benefit from his wise counsel in his role as a senior advisor.”

Branagan has been with RenaissanceRe for 25 years.

Thomas Miller

Insurance services provider Thomas Miller has appointed Elliot Dunseath as its new Group Risk & Compliance Director with immediate effect.

Dunseath has over 25 years’ experience in risk and compliance, both within and outside of the insurance market. He has held a number of senior risk and compliance roles, including time at Aon Benfield, RenaissanceRe and most recently as Head of Risk & Compliance at Nexus Underwriting & Xenia Broking, both part of Kentro Capital Limited.

AXA Group

Claudio Gienal, current CEO of AXA UK and Ireland for five years, announced on his personal LinkedIn page yesterday that he would become Chief Transformation Officer of AXA European Markets, effective 1 September.

Tara Foley, current CEO of AXA Retail, will succeed Gienal come September, subject to regulatory approval.

In his LinkedIn post, Gienal wrote that, "during almost three years running Retail, Tara has advanced digitization, driven innovation and developed technology to create a more agile and inclusive approach that improves customer outcomes. It is an exciting time within AXA and I look forward to working with both my Group colleagues and all the European markets to drive change through this next phase for the business."


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