Ash Bathia replaces Bernard Mageean to lead new property, casualty and motor division

QBE European Operations (EO) managing director of property Bernard Mageean has left the company after a shake-up of its European business. He is to be replaced by Ash Bathia, who will head up a new property, casualty and motor division.

Mageean arrived in June 2008 from RSA, where he was commercial underwriting director. QBE said it wanted him to “significantly enhance” the property division of the European business.

A spokesman for QBE would not comment on the specific reason for Mageean’s departure, but said he left as a result of the merger between QBE’s property, casualty and motor sections.

His exit comes shortly after QBE’s Evergreen acquisition was scaled back, as revealed by Insurance Times. It bought Evergreen in December last year, but dumped the brand, scaled back the business and rolled remaining premiums into QBE in October.

Mageean told Insurance Times earlier this month that he believed QBE ranked in the top 10 of UK property insurers, with UK property income around £150m and a 95% combined operating ratio. Despite the changes at Evergreen, he said that QBE still wanted to become a top-five UK property insurer .

Finlay Smith and Peter Fice will lead the respective accounts for UK and European property, and London market and international property (Lloyd’s), reporting directly to Bathia.

QBE has created two other new divisions: a marine, energy and aviation division and a reinsurance division.

Colin O’Farrell, presently managing director of the marine and energy division, is appointed chief underwriting officer of the marine, energy and aviation division. QBE EO’s aviation business, under the leadership of Emilio Di Silvio, will transfer to the division. This follows the integration of QBE’s marine businesses, Syndicate 1036 and British Marine.

Jonathan Parry, current managing director of reinsurance and specialist, will become chief underwriting officer of reinsurance division.

QBE EO chief executive Steven Burns said: “Ash, Colin and Jonathan are all vastly experienced and proven in their fields. Under their joint underwriting leadership, we remain well-placed to continue with our success.”