James Stack has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) Pacific, an embedded team within Allianz Australia.
Stack is a highly experienced insurance manager and replaces Willem Van Wyk, who is due to leave the group to pursue other opportunities.
He brings over 20 years’ insurance expertise to the role, including over 15 years focusing on broker relations with Zurich before joining AGCS in 2015.
Furthermore, the previous Head of Compliance & Product Development Joanna Mercer will assume the role of Head of Claims AGCS Pacific with effect from October 1.
A lawyer by training, she brings a wealth of experience in claims handling from various international insurers before joining AGCS in 2012.
These appointments comes after a decision by AGCS to cease underwriting of Long Tail risks in Australia and close its operations in New Zealand with effect from 1st September 2019, following a strategic review of the business.
Commenting on the strategic changes to the AGCS Pacific business, Sinéad Browne, AGCS Board Member and Chief Regions and Markets Officer said, “The rise in legal funders and the ultra-challenging legal environment which drives extraordinary claims levels in our sectors have made it untenable for AGCS to continue offering Long Tail business in the Pacific.
“As large corporate risks are very much exposed to the alarming increase of class action suits and litigation funders, it was no longer sustainable for AGCS to continue offering coverage for Long Tail risks.”
Mark Mitchell, Regional CEO AGCS Asia Pacific said, “As a global insurer focused on large corporate risks, we will continue to invest and expand our Engineering, Property, Entertainment, Energy and Alternative Risk Transfer portfolios in the Pacific.
“We will also continue to support global clients with exposures in Australia and New Zealand for all lines of business through our Allianz Multinational network.”
Mitchell concluded, “I would like to thank Willem for his many years of contribution to AGCS and his leadership of AGCS Pacific in recent years. I wish him all the best in his next career steps. I am confident that James is ideally placed to lead our business in the Pacific in the next stage of development as we refocus on target sectors.