Transitions: November 2014

It’s been a particularly busy few weeks for hirings and promotions in the insurance industry.


ACE Group

ACE Group has named Andrew Brooks as New Zealand Accident and Health and Distribution Manager. The new position will oversee local distribution strategies for all lines of business while leading the Accident and Health Portfolio in New Zealand.

It follows the creation of a distribution and client management unit in Asia Pacific, which will focus on such strategies such as developing portfolio-based solutions, expanding facilities and undertaking joint product design.


Eugene Elisara has been appointed CEO of Allianz New Zealand following the planned retirement of Bruce Watters at the end of 2014. He will transition into the role from 10 November.

Elisara joins Allianz from AIG New Zealand where he was the Head of Broker Distribution and Client Management.

Aon Risk Solutions

Aon has appointed Giselle Walther as the Managing Director of Growth Strategies. In addition to driving growth agenda, Walther will assist with oversight of sales, client-facing marketing and business growth innovation. She begins in the new role on 1 January, 2015.


Damian Kerin has been appointed Head of Contingency Business in Australia at Beazley. Kerin joins the specialist insurer from Sportscover and has more than 20 years of experience in the Australian insurance market.

Brooklyn Underwriting

Former rugby league and union star Ryan Cross has joined Brooklyn as theri newest Business Development Executive, while Melissa Evans has been named a Professional Risks Underwriter, having worked in both the Australian and UK insurance markets.

Global Federation of Insurance Associations

The Global Federation of Insurance Associations has appointed new executives. Governor Dick Kempthorne was appointed Chair for a two-year term, replacing Chair Frank Swedlove, who remains as a member of the executive committee as Past Chair.

Robert Whelan becomes the Membership Executive replacing Leigh Ann Pusey. Vice-Chair Recaredo Arias, Treasurer Shizuharu Kubono and Secretary Michaela Koller remain in their posts.

Liberty National Underwriters

Liberty National Underwriters is set to expand its surety business in Asia Pacific with the appointment of Mike Carr as Senior Underwriter. He will be based in Sydney as of this month and joins the National Surety team after spending seven years with Liberty Mutual Surety in the US.

LIU has been writing surety bonds and guarantees in the Asia Pacific region since the early 2000s and has direct insurance capabilities in Sydney and Perth.

Meridian Lawyers

Ashley Jones has been appointed Principal in the Brisbane office of Meridian lawyers. He has more than 15 years of experience practising in insurance litigation at Norton Rose Fulbright, and acts for a number of insurers including medical indemnity providers as well as companies in the transport, mining, airport and electricity sectors.

XL Group

Mark Thorpe has joined XL Group’s International Financial Lines business as Southern Region Underwriting Manager, in order to build its presence in key Australian states.

He joins the group from ACE Insurance in Melbourne where he was a Financial Lines Senior Underwriter since 2011.

The southern states are of particular interest to the company because of ongoing spending on Government Infrastructure projects that have increased insurance placement opportunities.

In recent months, the company has made several significant senior hires as it seeks to increase its share of the professional indemnity, commercial director and officers, and financial institutions insurance markets.