Swiss Re makes six key appointments for China and Asia operations

14 November 2005, Hong Kong

Swiss Re today announced a number of key appointments in the Asia and Greater China regions, which will enable the reinsurer to accelerate its growth and cement leadership in these regions. The appointments include:

  • Mr. Chee-kok Poh to Head of Life, Health (L&H), Greater China Region
  • Mr Russell Macey to Head of Alternative Distribution Channels for Asia
  • Mr Simon Lam to Head of Property, Casualty (P&C), China
  • Ms Judith Chen to Head of Business Development for P&C, Greater China
  • Mr Darryl Pidcock to Head of Hong Kong Branch, and of the company's P&C operations in Hong Kong and Macau
  • Mr Mark Senkevics to Branch Manager and Head of Property, Casualty, Taipei

Chee-kok Poh, Head of Life, Health, Greater China Region

In his new position as Head of L&H for the Greater China Region, Chee-kok Poh will join the executive management team of Swiss Re's Asia Division and lead teams in Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing to further build Swiss Re's life and health reinsurance business in the region. He replaces Danny Chung, who left Swiss Re to pursue other interests.

Mr Poh will transfer this month to Swiss Re's Asian headquarters in Hong Kong from Taipei, where he was Life Manager for Taiwan, having led business development in that market from 2003. Between 2001 and 2003, worked as a marketing actuary at Swiss Re in Hong Kong.

He joined Swiss Re Singapore in 1997 after having spent three years with M&G Re. Prior to this he was an insurance executive with the Singapore Central Provident Fund Board. Mr Poh is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

Russell Macey, Head of Alternative Distribution Channels, Asia Division

Mr Russell Macey joined Swiss Re in mid October 2005 in the new post of Head of Alternative Distribution Channels (ADC) for Asia, with the remit to further develop this strategy for Swiss Re in Asia-Pacific.

He is a highly experienced direct marketer of life, accident and health products with a 20-year track record in Asia-Pacific for successfully establishing and developing business in the direct marketing and bancassurance fields.

Prior to joining Swiss Re, Mr Macey was Regional Director for Asia-Pacific at Transamerica Reinsurance in Hong Kong, in charge of direct marketing distribution. Before that, he spent 20 years with CIGNA International developing effective distribution partnerships in several Asian countries and generating substantial revenues for that firm.

Both Mr Poh and Mr Macey will report to Jean-Michel Chatagny, Head of Life, Health for Swiss Re's Asia Division.

Simon Lam, Head of Property, Casualty, China

Mr Simon Lam will move from Hong Kong to Beijing to take up the role of Head of Property, Casualty, China. Mr Lam was previously Head of the Hong Kong branch of Swiss Re as well as of the P&C business in China. He will now focus solely on the latter, and increasingly larger, role.

Mr Lam joined Swiss Re as General Manager for its Hong Kong Branch in November 1999, and took up the dual role as Head of P&C for China in May 2003.

He has more than 20 years' experience in the insurance industry. From a life underwriting role in 1983, he moved in 1985 to Lombard Insurance (later renamed HSBC Insurance) and joined Winterthur in 1996 in charge of its Asia Pacific regional property portfolio and spearheaded the company's expansion into China. Mr. Lam left Winterthur International in Hong Kong as its Deputy Managing Director and Chief Underwriting Officer.

Born and educated in Hong Kong, Mr. Lam holds an MBA from the City University of Hong Kong and is a Chartered Insurer of the Chartered Insurance Institute of UK.

Judith Chen, Head of Business Development for P&C, Greater China

Ms Judith Chen, who currently heads the Taipei branch of Swiss Re and its P&C business there, will relocate in 2006 to Beijing as Head of Business Development for the Greater China region.

Ms Chen joined Swiss Re in 2000 as General Manager of the Taipei office. Prior to Swiss Re, Ms Chen had 18 years' experience in financial services, credit, corporate and investment banking, as well as in asset management in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States.

Before her financial services career, Ms Chen was a consultant with an economic consultancy firm in Boston, USA. She has a Masters in International Economics from Yale University and a BA from Smith College.

Darryl Pidcock, Hong Kong Branch Manager and Head of Property, Casualty for Hong Kong and Macau

Mr Darryl Pidcock takes over from Mr Simon Lam as Hong Kong branch manager and head of Swiss Re's P&C business for Hong Kong and Macau.

Prior to this appointment, Mr Pidcock held the Asia regional position of Client Development Officer based in Hong Kong, having moved in January 2005 from Swiss Re's highly successful operations in Sydney where he was a member of the client management team, working with insurance, corporate and government clients. He has also spent time working in Swiss Re's Asian-based, risk structuring team and in the ANZ credit and surety business.

He joined Swiss Re in February 1999 having spent eight years in various corporate and investment banking positions at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Australia. This included relationship management and analyst roles in various sectors such as media and telecommunications, property, agriculture, financial institutions and textiles.

Mark Senkevics, Branch Manager and Head of P&C , Taipei

Mr Senkevics transferred from Swiss Re's Sydney office to its Taipei Branch in September, 2005 to take over from Judith Chen as Branch Manager and Head of P&C for the Taiwan market.

He joined Swiss Re Australia early in 2003 as a Client Manager, with additional responsibility for new business development. Before Swiss Re, he worked for Scor Re and Gerling Global Re in various facultative underwriting and management roles responsible for property, engineering, construction, liability, catastrophe and crop classes as well as business development.
Mr Senkevics is an Electrical Engineering graduate of Sydney University and worked in engineering design and marketing for seven years before entering the reinsurance arena.

Messr Lam, Pidcock and Senkevics, and Ms Chen report to Franz-Josef Hahn, Head of P&C for Swiss Re in the China Region.
''These latest senior appointments are key to achieving our aggressive growth targets in Asia,' said Mr Pierre Ozendo, Chief Executive of Swiss Re's Asia Division.

Notes to editors

Swiss Re is one of the world's leading reinsurers and the world's largest life and health reinsurer. The company operates through more than 70 offices in over 30 countries. Swiss Re has been in the reinsurance business since its foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863. Swiss Re offers a wide variety of products to manage capital and risk. Traditional reinsurance products, including a broad range of property and casualty as well as life and health covers and related services, are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated 'AA' by Standard, Poor's, 'Aa2'by Moody's and 'A+' by A.M. Best.
Swiss Re has been associated with Asia since 1913, and now has about 750 staff in 13 offices in Asia Pacific.
Photographs of Messrs Poh, Macey, Lam, Pidcock, Senkevics and Ms Chen are available from, or by calling Swiss Re Communications, Asia, at +852-2582 3660.