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QBE brings operations together to cut costs

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QBE is carving up its Singapore-based Asia Pacific division and merging it with its other existing divisions.

From January 1, Australia and New Zealand operations will incorporate the Pacific and India, with Australia and New Zealand Operations CEO Vivek Bhatia taking on the larger role of CEO Australia Pacific.

European operations will merge with Asia to make up a new International division, with CEO European Operations Richard Pryce becoming CEO International. A new senior leader for Asia, who will report to Mr Pryce, will be appointed.

Former CEO Asia Pacific Jason Brown has been appointed Group Chief Underwriting Officer.

The changes will “contribute to the group’s efficiency agenda”, QBE says in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange today.

“Much of the administration and governance of the former standalone Asia Pacific operations [will be] absorbed by the significantly larger and better resourced International and Australia Pacific divisions.”

The Asia Pacific division was only created in August last year.

Following a poor performance, the previous Emerging Markets division was split into Asia Pacific and Latin America.

A detailed review was undertaken to determine remediation activities required to improve underwriting performance. QBE said today the underwriting remediation in Asia is now “largely complete”.

It says it will update the market on its “group-wide cost-out agenda” in early December.

More details in our regular bulletin on Monday.