Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of global insurance broker Willis Towers Watson, has launched a new Agriculture team for the Asia Pacific region and appointed David Gregori to lead it.
As Head of Agriculture for Asia Pacific, Gregori will lead a team based in Hong Kong to support clients and partners in developing insurance solutions to better protect farmers through the region.
The division will utilise Willis Re’s regional and global network and modelling teams to provide customised solutions to address risks faced by its clients in agriculture industries, such as crops, livestock, fish farms and forestry.
Prior to Willis Re, David spent more than four years as Head of Global Agriculture at Canopius in Singapore, before which he was an Agriculture underwriter at Partner Re.
Gregori has been focused on crop re/insurance for the last 12 years and was involved in the design of a subsidised Moroccan Crop Insurance Scheme.
Willis Re has also appointed Ajay Rakhe to lead the Agriculture business in India as Vice President, Treaty – Agriculture and Simiao He, Associate Director of Reinsurance, to lead the business in China.
Rakhe is based in Willis Re’s Mumbai office and will be responsible for developing and managing the Agriculture treaty business, as well as for designing other rural products for clients in India.
He has more than 11 years’ experience in the Indian insurance industry, including roles in reinsurance, underwriting and claims, managing government business, and in handling products such as crop & weather, livestock, health and personal accident.
Rakhe was also involved in the implementation of two major national insurance schemes in the Indian market, and has previously held positions at HDFC ERGO General Insurance and ICICI Lombard General Insurance, in addition to having worked in the International Reinsurance and Insurance Consulting & Broking Services.
He, who will be based in Willis Re’s Beijing office, previously served as an agriculture reinsurance underwriter at Swiss Re and has experience in the Chinese agriculture re/insurance market, with a technical background in index products such as weather index, satellite index and revenue insurance.
“Asia faces extreme adverse weather events such as typhoons, large scale floods and drought,” said Mark Morley, Head of Willis Re, Asia Pacific. “These bring higher risk of yield shortfalls and failures which can impact farmers, companies and employment, especially with one out of three Asian people working in the agriculture industry.”
“It is therefore important to use agriculture insurance as a tool to help farmers mitigate the financial and production risks and protect their livelihood,” he continued.
“The addition of David, Ajay and Simiao to the Agriculture team, and their international and local knowledge will enhance the value we provide to our clients and partners in the agriculture insurance market.”