Reinsurer Qatar Re has promoted two internal candidates to short and long-tail Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO) positions, as it replaces the departing Alastair Speare-Cole who resigned this month.
Luke Roden has been named CUO – Short Tail Classes and will also remain in charge of reinsurance buying as Head of Ceded Re, also retaining his position on the Executive Management Committee. Michael van der Straaten has been named CUO – Long Tail & Speciality Classes and will join Qatar Re’s Executive Management Committee as well.
Gunther Saacke, CEO of Qatar Re, commented on the changes; “We thank Alastair for his relentless efforts during his stint at Qatar Re. Generational change in our company and the desire for a less hectic life-style have led Alastair to move on. Having served in a senior and demanding role at Qatar Re, our best wishes follow Alastair as he takes on future challenges in our industry.
“On a more personal note, I remain particularly grateful to Alastair for his support of the idea to create a new and significant reinsurer that is enrooted in the Gulf countries but is rolling out a truly global franchise. Developing the initial concept for such a project as early as 2002, it has taken a decade to make it happen. Alastair remained a keen and sympathetic observer of this initiative during those years and he was welcomed when he offered to join us for a period as CUO, helping to manage what in the meantime had become Qatar Re.”
Roden has been with Qatar Re since 2012 and has a track record for developing and maintaining large, profitable portfolios of treaty reinsurance business over his 24 year career. Roden has broad international experience having worked across North America, Europe, Bermuda and the Middle East during his career.
van der Straaten has been with Qatar Re only since December 2016, moving over from ACE Tempest Re where he was Deputy Head of London and Head of Casualty. In his career he has also worked at Lloyd’s as a Box Manager and Non-Marine Property Treaty Underwriter.
CEO Saacke commented on the new appointments; “I am delighted to announce the promotions of Luke and Mike to lead our underwriting function. Luke has been an ever-present figure in Qatar Re and is one of our longest-serving team members. He has served on our Executive Management Committee since the company redomiciled to Bermuda in 2015 and has experience across Qatar Re that provides an invaluable base for this leadership role.
“Mike joined our team late in 2016, further strengthening Qatar Re’s underwriting management. His appointment reflects our ambition to continue to profitably grow our franchise during challenging market conditions. Mike has already made a great impact, drawing on his extensive professional experience, relationships and aptitude for analytics.”