The new hire brings 17 years of experience from broker Aon as the business enters the next chapter of its ‘growth story’

Gallagher has appointed Tom Wakefield as chief executive of its reinsurance business Gallagher Re.

The new hire will take over the position from current chief executive Simon Behagg, who will in turn transition into a new role as managing director of the reinsurance business.

Wakefield joins insurance broker Gallagher following a 17-year tenure at Aon, where he most recently worked as chief operating officer for the Global Re Marine speciality and composite business.

He also led the broker’s book of marine composite reinsurance business and acted as the UK growth leader for reinsurance solutions.

In his new role, which is subject to regulatory approval, Wakefield will be responsible for leading the expansion of Gallagher’s reinsurance operations, working closely with Behagg and the wider senior management team to further drive the business’ growth agenda.

Wakefield will join the broker’s UK executive team and will report to Simon Matson – chief executive of Gallagher’s broking and underwriting businesses in Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Driving business strategy

Matson said that the “evolution journey” of Gallagher Re since its establishment in 2013 has been “quite incredible”.

He continued: “Since becoming a fully-owned part of Gallagher in 2020, the business has continued to deliver on its aggressive growth trajectory, latterly under Simon’s leadership, and continued to attract a wealth of reinsurance talent, including Tom, on to the team.

“We are delighted to now have Tom step into the role of chief executive at a time when Gallagher Re is set to embark on the most exciting chapter yet in the business’ remarkable growth story.

“However, while the Willis Re transaction progresses through the required regulatory processes, our focus remains on driving forward our existing Gallagher Re business strategy with Tom at the helm.”

Wakefield added: “Gallagher Re’s rise from a startup challenger brand to a world-class and highly-respected reinsurance broker is something that I have long admired.

“I am excited to be joining such an innovative and entrepreneurial organisation and look forward to working alongside this hugely talented group of people to drive forward the business’ growth agenda and further expand and enhance our client offering.”

Founded in 2013 as the co-venture Capsicum Re, Gallagher Re is a full-service global reinsurance broker owned by Gallagher - the broker was rebranded on 1 October 2020.