Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) today announced the resignation of current CEO of CGU, Mr Duncan West for family reasons and the appointment of Mr Peter Harmer as his successor.
Mr Harmer is the former CEO of Aon Limited UK and before that, CEO of Aon’s Australian operations. He has worked in the insurance industry for around 30 years, predominantly in Australia, and his career has spanned underwriting, reinsurance broking and commercial insurance broking.
IAG Managing Director and CEO, Mr Michael Wilkins, said he was disappointed to lose someone of Duncan’s calibre from the executive team, however, he understood his decision to spend more time with his family, given the travel involved in his current role.
“Duncan has made a significant contribution during his time as CEO of CGU. Under his leadership,
CGU has delivered a $130m improvement in underlying insurance profit over the past two years, placing the business on a clear turnaround path. We’re confident the momentum established within
CGU will continue as the changes made to improve the business are now fully embedded,” Mr Wilkins said.
“Peter is well-known and highly regarded within the insurance industry. During his time as CEO of Aon Limited UK, he led a significant turnaround in the business. Before that he led Aon’s Australian operations, significantly growing the business while delivering an improved operating margin. His depth of experience, established relationships and proven leadership qualities make him a valuable addition to our organisation.”
Mr Harmer will commence on 8 November 2010 but will have an extended handover with Mr West who will remain with the organisation until the end of January 2011.
Mr West said: “I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together at CGU over the past two and a half years. It’s been a difficult decision to leave the company, however, after careful consideration I believe it’s the right one for my family. My wife and I have adopted two children from India and my priority is to care for and support them. Living in Sydney and leading a company based in Melbourne is simply not sustainable in these circumstances.
“I leave CGU confident that the turnaround will continue. I’ve known Peter for 10 years and respect him both personally and professionally. He’ll be supported by a highly experienced and capable team within CGU to make sure we continue to build on the solid foundations we’ve established.”
Peter Harmer has 30 years experience in the insurance industry, having started as a claims officer in 1979. He has held senior roles in underwriting, reinsurance broking and commercial insurance broking.
He joined the Aon Group in 1987 and most recently served as CEO of Aon Limited UK. During his three years in the role he led a significant transformation in the business, delivering an improved operating margin. Before that he was CEO of Aon’s Australian operations for seven years.
Other roles Mr Harmer has held include Managing Director of John C. Lloyd Reinsurance Brokers (where he led the merger of John C. Lloyd and Alexander Howden in 1996), Chairman and Chief
Executive of Aon Re, Chairman of the Lloyd’s Market Reform Group, and a member of Aon’s Global Executive Board. He also held senior claims and underwriting positions at C.E. Heath Underwriting & Insurance and South British United Insurance. Mr Harmer is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Programme.
Source : IAG Press Release