LONDON, August 22 2016 — Willis Re today announced the appointment of Chris McDowell as CEO of Willis Re Bermuda. Effective January 1, 2017, he 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. McDowell and his team will report into Willis Re Specialty.
With more than 30 years in the industry, McDowell joins from Aon Benfield where he was 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 more than 40 years’ experience in property and casualty reinsurance as well as specialty accounts across the globe.
Commenting on the appointments, John Cavanagh, Global CEO of Willis Re said: “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.
“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.”
McDowell began his career in 1985 at E W Payne in London. He joined the Willis Group in 1990, originally working for Carter Wilkes & Fane where he rose to the position of executive director in the non-marine retro division. In 2002 McDowell joined Guy Carpenter where he made the move to Bermuda in 2004 and held the position of managing director in the Global Re-Specialty division. He most recently held the position of CEO of Global Re-Specialty in Bermuda for Aon Benfield, having joined the firm in 2013.
Harden began his career at Willis Re in London in 1976, becoming a senior marine London market excess-of-loss broker before moving to Australia in 1985. In 1991 Harden re-joined Willis Re as a director of Willis Re Australia, becoming the CEO in 2007 and chairman in 2013. Following his appointment as CEO of Bermuda in 2014, Harden remained non-executive chairman of Willis Re Australia.
About Willis Re
One of the world's leading reinsurance brokers, Willis Re is known for its world-class analytics capabilities, which it combines with its reinsurance expertise in a seamless, integrated offering that can help clients increase the value of their businesses. Willis Re serves the risk management and risk transfer needs of a diverse, global client base that includes all of the world's top insurance and reinsurance carriers as well as national catastrophe schemes in many countries around the world. The broker's global team of experts offers services and advice that can help clients make better reinsurance decisions and negotiate optimum terms.
About Willis Towers Watson
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 39,000 employees in more than 120 territories. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.