Willis Re Bermuda poaches senior Aon Benfield Bermuda exec


Willis Re has hired the former CEO of global re-specialty in Bermuda at Aon Benfield as its new chief executive of Willis Re Bermuda.

Chris McDowell will succeed Michael Harden, CEO of Willis Re Bermuda since 2014, who is returning to the Asia Pacific region as president of Willis Re Asia Pacific. The transition will occur in January 2017. McDowell and his team will report into Willis Re Specialty.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, McDowell previously served as Aon Benfield’s CEO of global re-specialty in Bermuda, having joined the firm in 2013.

Harden, who was chairman of Willis Re Australia prior to Bermuda, has over 40 years’ experience in property/casualty reinsurance as well as specialty accounts across the globe.

“Chris will be a huge asset to Willis Re. His knowledge and experience will bring considerable benefit to our clients. As a substantial producer he will no doubt continue the growth of our already strong presence in Bermuda, which is a major strategic reinsurance market for Willis Re and our clients,” said John Cavanagh, global CEO of Willis Re.

“Mike has developed a strong team and a solid foundation for continued growth, fully aligned to Willis Re’s global office network. His return to Asia Pacific to support our existing leadership team will likewise further our growth activities and the delivery of Willis Re’s global offering to clients as these markets continue to build momentum.”

Maurice Williams, managing director of Willis Re’s APMETA region, said: “Mike has extensive experience in the Asia Pacific region and brings a breadth of knowledge from across Willis Re to serve the rapidly evolving risk and capital needs of our clients. I look forward to working with him again more closely to drive Willis Re’s service offering and production efforts in the region, particularly given the additional capabilities we now have on board as part of Willis Towers Watson.”

Willis Re, Bermuda, Aon Benfield, Insurance, Reinsurance, Specialty, Property, Casualty, Appointment, Chris McDowell

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