Insurance Investor - news round-up 31/3/23
A guide for all the news you may have missed in the investment space for insurers featuring USAA, Chubb, Swiss Re, Tower, and Brighthouse Financial.
Insurance Investor Editorposted on Friday, March 31, 2023
Comings and Goings
USAA has hired Joseph Gates as senior vice president, Chief Risk Officer (CRO) for the P&C company.
Gates has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry and most recently was the CRO at American Family Insurance for more than five years, leading a variety of enterprise risk disciplines.
Prior to that, he held portfolio and catastrophe management roles for American Family and Homesite Insurance. He also led an international team focused on portfolio and catastrophe management for Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty in Chicago and Munich.
Gates reports to USAA's Chief Risk Officer Neeraj Singh.
Founded in 1922 by a group of military officers, USAA is among the leading providers of insurance, banking, and investment and retirement solutions to more than 13 million members of the US military, veterans who have served and their families. Headquartered in San Antonio, USAA has offices in eight US cities and three overseas locations and employs more than 37,000 people.
Chubb has appointed Frances O'Brien as Executive Vice President, Chubb Group and Chief Risk Officer.
Currently, O'Brien is Senior Vice President, Chubb Group and Deputy Chief Risk Officer, a position she has held since January 2022. In her new role, effective April 1, O'Brien will have executive responsibility for Chubb's enterprise risk management organisation and the effective execution of our enterprise risk strategies and processes.
Chubb's current Chief Risk Officer, Sean Ringsted, will continue as Executive Vice President, Chubb Group and Chief Digital Business Officer. He will lead the expansion of the company's digital business unit globally and having responsibility for the use of data and analytics. He will remain a member of the Risk Underwriting Committee.
O'Brien and Ringsted will both report to Evan Greenberg and John Keogh, President and Chief Operating Officer.
O'Brien has more than 40 years of insurance industry experience. She was appointed Senior Vice President, Chubb Group and Division President, North America Personal Risk Services in 2016 and led that business until January 2022. Prior to ACE's acquisition of Chubb in 2016, she was Senior Vice President, Chief Risk Officer of Chubb Corporation, with global responsibility. O'Brien joined Chubb as an actuarial trainee and worked in positions of increasing responsibility in actuarial, product development and underwriting, including Chubb Personal Insurance (CPI) Chief Underwriting Officer, CPI Chief Underwriting Officer for International Business, and CPI Worldwide Underwriting Manager.
Ringsted has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has served as Chief Risk Officer of the company since 2008 and, in 2017, was appointed to the additional role of Chief Digital Officer. Prior to ACE's acquisition of Chubb in 2016, Ringsted was Chief Risk Officer & Chief Actuary of ACE Limited.
New Zealand insurer Tower has appointed Sharyn Reichstein as its new CRO. Reichstein joins Tower from Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), where she is currently General Manager of general insurance, responsible for the regulation and supervision of the general insurance industry in Australia. She also serves as the chair of APRA’s General Insurance Industry Group, scanning the risk environment and setting strategic responses to industry issues.
She has been with APRA since November 2020.
Reichstein will officially step into the chief risk officer role in July.
Tower has over 150 years of history and operates in New Zealand and across seven Pacific Island nations.
It is the last listed New Zealand general insurer (also listed on the ASX), with a market capitalisation of $NZ265.64m (£134m).
Sergio Ermotti will step down as Swiss Re Chairman after the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
In a statement, the company said Ermotti’s departure would be covered by Jacques de Vaucleroy, designated Vice Chair, who would lead the transition and succession process.
Following the appointment of Ermotti as new CEO of UBS, and in light of the upcoming AGM of Swiss Re on 12 April 2023, the Board of Directors of Swiss Re has made several decisions on the company’s leadership.
Ermotti has agreed to confirm his availability for re-election at the upcoming Swiss Re AGM on 12 April 2023.
The Swiss Re Board has nominated Vaucleroy as new Vice Chairman and Lead Independent Director subject to his re-election as Board member by shareholders, effective post AGM. “To fully concentrate on his role at UBS, Ermotti intends to step down after the AGM and a short handover period and the Board of Directors will immediately start the search to identify a successor,” Swiss Re’s statement said. “In the interim, Vaucleroy will chair the Board of Directors until a new Chairperson has been elected by an Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders.”
The company added that FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, supports this process.
"In response to these extraordinary circumstances, we will ensure the highest standards of good governance as well as stability and continuity in managing this transition,” said Ermotti. “I am convinced the proceedings now proposed are in the best interest of our shareholders and I am confident that the transition under the leadership of Jacques de Vaucleroy will be well managed. Swiss Re has very clear strategic goals and is well positioned to deliver on all its targets."
Swiss Re recently appointed Velina Peneva as Group Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and member of the Group Executive Committee, which will be effective from 1 April 2023.
Brighthouse Financial announced its Board of Directors appointed Philip Bancroft as an independent member of the Board.
North Carolina-headquartered Brighthouse focuses on life and annuities markets.
Bancroft was also designated by the Board as an “audit committee financial expert” under applicable U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules and appointed to serve on the Audit Committee and Investment Committee.
Bancroft most recently worked as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Vice President of Chubb, from which he retired in 2021. Prior to that, he was CFO of ACE Limited from 2002 until ACE’s acquisition of Chubb in 2016, at which time he became CFO of Chubb. Prior to joining ACE, he spent nearly 20 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in various roles, last working as partner-in-charge for its New York regional insurance practice
Other changes at Brighthouse Financial include Current Director Patrick Shouvlin not standing for re-election at the company’s 2023 annual meeting of stockholders in accordance with the company’s mandatory retirement policy for directors.
Following Shouvlin’s retirement from the Board, the Board expects to appoint Bancroft to succeed Shouvlin as chair of the Audit Committee. Shouvlin will assist Bancroft in the transition of his duties as chair of the Audit Committee.