QBE CEO Neal to step down at end of year

Stuart Condie | 12 Sep 2017

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SYDNEY - [AAP] QBE (ASX: QBE) chief executive John Neal will step down at the end of the year to be replaced by Pat Regan.

Mr Regan, a former chief financial officer who currently heads the insurance giant's Australian and New Zealand operations, will take over on January 1 following a transition period alongside Mr Neal.

Mr Neal, who has led QBE for five years, this year lost more than $550,000 in pay for a delay in telling his board about a relationship with his personal assistant, but chairman Marty Becker on Tuesday said succession planning had been ongoing for the past two years.

"John has led the business through a significant transformation and a challenging period in the insurance industry globally and has been working closely with the board to ensure a smooth transition for his succession," Mr Becker said.

Mr Becker said both internal and external candidates had been considered before Mr Regan was appointed.

Mr Neal backed his successor's appointment but did not comment on his own plans.

"It has been an honour to lead the organisation for the last five years and I am pleased with the work that has been done to transform QBE into a truly global franchise with an enviable position as a top 20 global insurance and reinsurance company," Mr Neal said.

"I am delighted that Pat will succeed me and know that he is very well placed to lead the organisation going forward."

One of Mr Neal's last acts was to split QBE's poorly performing emerging markets unit into two separate divisions focused on Latin America and the Asia Pacific.

The insurance giant in August said its first-half profit had risen 30 per cent to $US345 million ($A435 million) after a strong performance in Mr Regan's Australia and New Zealand unit helped offset a claims blowout in emerging markets.


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