Chief executive Rupert Swallow created ‘a close-knit but diverse core leadership team’ to help the firm grow

Gallagher-owned global reinsurance broker Capsicum Re has appointed Raja Balasuriya as its new chairman; Balasuriya will lead a revitalised executive committee, designed to help lead the business through its next growth spurt.

New additions to the executive committee also include Matt FitzGerald, the firm’s managing partner for property and specialty, as well as Alistair Lockhart-Smith, managing partner in the marine and energy division.

Sitting alongside Balasuriya, FitzGerald and Lockhart-Smith on the executive committee are Rupert Swallow, chief executive, Abbhi Bala, finance director, and Simon Behagg, the broker’s chief operating officer.

Balasuriya has long-standing experience at Capsicum Re – not only is he one of the firm’s co-founders, he was also the broker’s first managing partner from 2014. He has led the business’s UK motor and liability division since its inception.

Experienced as a Lloyd’s broker, Balasuriya worked with Grahame Chilton, former chairman, and chief executive Swallow to establish and lead Capsicum Re’s first specialist cell.

Balasuriya succeeds Chilton, who plans to re-join the wider Gallagher business.

Close-knit leadership team

Swallow said of Balasuriya’s appointment: “By anyone’s estimation, Raja is one of the top reinsurance market producers.

”Together with his team and clients, he represents a significant share of the total book of motor reinsurance purchased here in the UK.

”More than that, Raja has always shared our vision and belief in being able to build – from the ground up – a fresh, new, entrepreneurial reinsurance broker with transactional expertise, innovation and client advocacy at its core.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have him as our chairman as we embark on the next major development phase for the business.

“His knowledge, insight and pioneering qualities will be incredibly valuable as we look to realise our strategic growth ambitions internationally. And, as the specialist reinsurance arm of one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, those ambitions are big, bold and almost boundless.”

Speaking more broadly on the structure of the reinvigorated executive committee, Swallow continued: “Alistair and Matt have, along with Raja, developed portfolios of substance in an incredibly short period of time.

”The challenge of succeeding in this way can be understood only by those who have put themselves to the ultimate test of production – creating a start-up and building from the ground up.

”Along with all the other managing partners of Capsicum Re, Alistair and Matt have excelled in meeting this challenge.

“The scale of our ambition and untapped nature of many of the opportunities that lie ahead demand a close-knit but diverse core leadership team.

“Combining our top financial and operational talent in Abbhi and Simon with the client-centred, risk transfer expertise and leadership experience of Alistair and Matt, as two of our divisional heads, will give us a razor-sharp focus on realising this business’s potential.”