Australian insurer QBE to expand in North America and Asia, CEO says

  • Major Australian insurer QBE will look to continue expanding in North America and Asia, even though it has struggled for success in those regions, Patrick Regan, the company's group CEO, told CNBC.
  • The CEO maintains that, while the company retains good businesses, especially in Australia and Europe, it needs to improve "the consistency of what we do" to attain similar levels of performance in other regions.

Major Australian insurer QBE will look to continue expanding in North America and Asia, even though it has struggled for success in those regions, the CEO of the company told CNBC on Wednesday.

"In both of those areas, we need to see some improvements as we go forwards," Patrick Regan, the group CEO of QBE Insurance said, adding that 2017 was an "unacceptable year," performance-wise in Asia.

In order to step up growth in Asia, Jason Brown — previously the group's chief risk officer — has taken the position of CEO for Asia Pacific Operations, and a new team has been put in place, Regan said. The group chief added that the new Asia Pacific team would execute new strategies while building on parts of the business that are strong in the region, such as the agency-based business.

"I think the progress is good and I expect to see improvements in 2018 already," Regan said from Credit Suisse's annual Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, QBE will also focus on growing in North America, according to Regan, who said the company would need to become more efficient and grow in "mid-market and specialty businesses" in the region.

The CEO maintained that, while the company retains strong businesses, especially in Australia and Europe, it needs to improve "the consistency of what we do" to attain similar levels of performance in other regions.