QBE’s former CEO Frank O’Halloran’s retirement didn’t last long. Following discussions with the company he headed until last August, it’s been agreed that any anti-competition clause following his retirement will not prevent him from joining and becoming Chairman of the Board of broker Steadfast Group Limited, which has a network of more than 270 insurance brokerage firms throughout Australia.
An announcement from QBE explained: “In order to facilitate Mr. O’Halloran’s appointment to this role, the QBE board has allowed an exception to the arrangements which prevent Mr. O’Halloran from acting for an insurance company or insurance related business for a period of three years from the date of his retirement.”
QBE’s Chairman, Belinda Hutchinson noted: “Frank is passionate about the insurance industry, and felt that his expertise would add a great deal at Steadfast Group with its plans to list on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2013. QBE and Steadfast Group enjoy a close relationship, and we wish Frank every success in his new role.”
QBE underwrites approximately 17 percent of Steadfast’s business and the announcement pointed out that as a result it “would be inappropriate for Mr. O’Halloran to hold board positions at both Steadfast and QBE. In light of this, the QBE board and Mr. O’Halloran have agreed that he will not return to the QBE board in 2013 as previously envisaged.”
Steadfast’s Executive Chairman Robert Kelly expressed his pleasure that O’Halloran is joining the company’s board. Kelly indicated that he would become Managing Director and Chief Executive of Steadfast, when O’Halloran becomaes board chairman.
As indicated the broker plans to launch an initial public offering, scheduled for May next year. “Frank’s intimate knowledge of both Steadfast and the general insurance industry will make the transition to an ASX Constitution and ultimate listing smooth,” Kelly noted. “He will add a wealth of acumen to the Steadfast Group’s future direction.”
Steadfast consists of over 400 offices throughout Australia with sales of A$4.1 billion [US$4.186 billion] and revenues of around A$700 million [US$715 million] for the year ended June 30, 2012.
Sources: QBE and Steadfast
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