Munich Re unveils new APAC & MEA structure; Kotak and Eckl named regional division Chief Executives

"Munich Re's revised set-up in the region will be leaner at the top and closer to the markets," says Achim Kassow.
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Munich re unveils new apac mea structure kotak and eckl named regional division chief executives

Key APAC insurance developments – delivered free each weekday.

Munich Re today announced a new strategic structure for its Property & Casualty (P&C) Underwriting business across Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APAC MEA).

The new structure sees the creation of two new regional divisions and a host of senior management appointments to support them. The first region is made up of Japan, India, Korea and South-East Asia, and the second comprises Australasia, Greater China, MENA, Africa, and Cyber.

The global reinsurer said in a statement that the new structure would strengthen its underwriting position through a high level of expertise while allowing for greater localisation and closer proximity to local markets.

“Munich Re’s revised set-up in the region will be leaner at the top and closer to the markets.”

Achim Kassow

Member of the Board of Management, responsible for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa

Hitesh Kotak (pictured left) has been appointed as Chief Executive for Japan, India, Korea, and South-East Asia and will operate from Singapore. In its statement, Munich Re said Kotak has been pivotal in Munich Re’s operations in India, Middle East & Africa since taking over for them on 1 January 2023. Prior, Kotak had been CEO of India since 2017.

Roland Eckl (pictured right) has been named as Chief Executive of Australasia, Greater China, MENA, Africa, and the Cyber business. Eckl was previously Chief Executive for Australasia, Japan, Korea, and South-East Asia, and will now be based in Munich for his broader regional role.

Country appointments related to Japan, India, Korea and South-East Asia region

Alongside the regional Chief Executives, Munich Re also announced a series of senior appointments at a country level.

In Japan, Florian Gruson is set to become CEO Japan, pending regulatory approval. He takes over from Brian Jinzenji who is retiring later this year. Gruson has led Global Sales and Distribution for the group since 2021 and prior led the Japan Client Management team for a period of three years.

The reinsurer also announced that Haruka Narahashi will extend her role as Head of Treaty Underwriting for Japan to include Korea. She joined the Group in 2017 and has held senior positions in Property Treaty and Underwriting since.

Ajeet Phatak steps into the role as CEO of the Korea region from 1 August 2024, also subject to regulatory approval. Phatak will relocate to Seoul for the move following previous success in client management in Japan, leading India’s Agro business, and setting up Munich Re’s India branch.

For South-East Asia, Michael Hauer is appointed Head of P&C, transitioning from his CEO role in Korea and moving to Singapore, effective 1 September 2024.

Joachim Zagrosek will assume the role of Head of Treaty P&C Underwriting for South-East Asia & India, following a three-year period leading the Regional Underwriting Centre for Japan, Korea, India, and South-East Asia.

In India, Surbhi Goel has been designated CEO and is set to relocate to Mumbai in October 2024. She moves from Singapore, where she led P&C South-East Asia.

Country appointments related to Australasia, Greater China, MENA, Africa, Cyber region

In Greater China, Serene Chan has been named as Head of P&C, bringing her expertise from leading the Cyber business in Asia Pacific since 2018.

Meanwhile, for the MENA region, Belhassen Tonat will take on the role of Client Management Executive MENA. Based in Dubai, Tonat succeeds Andreas Pollmann who transitions to focus on Israel, based in Munich.

On the strategic appointments, Achim Kassow, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said, “Munich Re has grown strongly and profitably in Asia Pacific & Africa in recent years. One building block of this success has been the transfer of know-how and decision-making authorities to the region.

We are now taking the next step in this process – Munich Re’s revised set-up in the region will be leaner at the top and closer to the markets.”

The changes are set to come into effect on July 1 2024, pending regulatory approval for certain positions, or unless otherwise stated in this story.

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Munich re unveils new apac mea structure kotak and eckl named regional division chief executives

Key APAC insurance developments – delivered free each weekday.

Munich re unveils new apac mea structure kotak and eckl named regional division chief executives