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QBE appoints Richard Pryce interim CEO

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QBE has appointed Richard Pryce as interim Group CEO while the search continues for a permanent replacement for Pat Regan, who departed suddenly in September following an investigation into his workplace communications.

Mr Pryce became International CEO last year when the company merged its European and Asia operations but was due to retire this quarter after handing over to former Axa XL executive Jason Harris, who has now started in the role.

“We thank him for extending his time with QBE, prior to his previously announced retirement,” Chairman Mike Wilkins said today. “We are fortunate to have someone with his experience and deep understanding of QBE to lead us through this period.”

Mr Wilkins took on the combined role of Executive Chairman after the departure of Mr Regan, who was shown the door when the investigation into his communications found “poor judgment” on his part. QBE has not provided further details around the issue, which involved a female employee.

An extensive global search to identify a new CEO is progressing, the company will update the market when appropriate, and in the meantime the group strategy and priorities remain unchanged, QBE says.

Mr Pryce has worked in the London insurance market for more than 35 years, beginning with the RW Sturge syndicate at Lloyd’s where he became claims director.

Later he held senior positions with Ace, including president of global markets and UK president. He joined QBE in 2012 and was appointed CEO for the European business before becoming one of three regional Group executives in the international role.

Mr Wilkins says Mr Pryce is well-known to employees and investors, is respected in the insurance industry and provides continuity.

“Richard will continue to champion many of the initiatives we have underway across the group to build QBE for the future and is focused on maintaining the rigour of our cell reviews and further embedding and enhancing our brilliant basics initiatives,” he said.

“He is also an avid supporter of our ongoing focus on become a more customer-centred business.”