For Mark Senkevics, the new Head of Swiss Re in Australia and New Zealand, his impending return with his family to Australia will be a great blend of the new and the old.
Mark succeeds Russell Higginbotham who returns to London in June to head Swiss Re’s UK and Ireland operations.
Mark, an Australian citizen, has led Swiss Re’s Korean business from Seoul since 2007. Prior to that, Mark headed Swiss Re’s P&C business in Taiwan. Since leaving Australia in 2005, he has kept a keen eye on his homeland market and sees a lot of new developments. “The last two years of cat claims in Australia have been interesting, particularly as the industry may not have expected claims of such substantial size in "non-modelled" perils,” says Mark. “There have been new entrants into the P&C reinsurance space and a great deal of consolidation. On the L&H side, Longevity risk is emerging as a huge issue for the market.
“There are big challenges, of course. Reinsurance is very competitive in Australia and the major issue of underinsurance remains.
“Swiss Re’s business in Australia and New Zealand is in great shape. We are in an excellent position in the L&H market with some very innovative new longevity deals and a strong position on group business. The P&C story is a similar one. We have a market leading position on catastrophe risk and are at the forefront of some new product developments.
“My priority will be to continue the focus on delivery of Swiss Re's expertise, working with the team to bring the right and innovative solutions to all our clients.”
While his focus is on the ‘new’ – a new role in a ‘new’ reinsurance market – Mark is also excited about reacquainting with the ‘old’.
“My family and I have lived overseas for almost five years. My children who are nine and seven have had a great experience, but they don't really know too much about Australia. It will be great to reintroduce them to the Australian culture We are looking forward to plenty of days at the beach, which have been sorely missed. Watching cricket, all codes of rugby, and AFL will be a real luxury as there was little or no tv coverage on these sports in the places where we've lived!
“It will also be fantastic to re-acquaint myself with old friends and colleagues.”
Mark joined Swiss Re in Australia in 2003 after close to 15 years’ experience in the reinsurance and IT industries.
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