Movement at the top as Willis Re CEO retires

Willis Re CEO retires

Willis Re chief executive John Cavanagh has today announced his retirement.

Cavanagh will step down at the end of December 2017.

He will hand leadership over to James Kent, who has held the position of deputy global chief executive since December 2016.

Cavanagh said: “It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of Willis Re, where we have successfully grown the business in the face of very tough market conditions. I am delighted that James Kent is taking over from me as global head; he is an exceptional talent and I have no doubt Willis Re will continue to go from strength to strength under his leadership. I have enjoyed a fantastic career in reinsurance broking, but it is now time to move on. ”

Commenting on his appointment, Kent said: “’I am honoured to have this opportunity to lead Willis Re. It has been a pleasure to work with John over the past few years to cement Willis Re’s position as one of the world’s leading reinsurance advisors. It is also appropriate that John’s significant contribution to our industry is recognized as it marks exactly 42 years to the day since he began his career in reinsurance. In succeeding John, I look forward to further enhancing our proposition to help clients effectively manage their risk while building on the collaborative culture so integral to our proposition for both clients and colleagues.”

Cavanagh’s career in the (re)insurance market started in July 1975. He has led the Willis Re business as chief executive officer since 2012. He joined Willis Re in 2009 having spent 21 years at the Carvill Group where he was joint CEO. Prior to this, he was the deputy managing director of Minet Re and a director of the North America reinsurance division at Willis Faber and Dumas.