American International Group Inc. hired Seraina Maag from XL Group Plc to run the Europe, Middle East and Africa region as Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche reshapes the insurer’s leadership.
Maag, 45, will be CEO of the EMEA region and report to property-casualty CEO Peter Hancock, New York-based AIG said in a statement today. Maag, who starts Nov. 11, was previously CEO for North American property and casualty at XL.
“With her strong insurance background, proven leadership skills and global perspective, I am confident she will be an invaluable asset,” Hancock said in the statement.
Benmosche and Hancock have been shifting managers after defections to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Maag replaces Robert Schimek, who was EMEA CEO before AIG named him to oversee Americas property-casualty. His predecessor in the U.S., Peter Eastwood, left for Buffett’s firm this year. Nicholas Walsh, vice chairman of AIG property-casualty, led EMEA on an interim basis.
Maag will be based in London and oversee operations in 47 countries, AIG said. The insurer sold $3.74 billion of property- casualty coverage in the region in the first six months of this year, little changed from the same period a year earlier, according to a document on the company’s website. Sales to consumers increased 8.8 percent to $1.06 billion, while commercial premiums slipped 2.6 percent.
The Americas region is AIG’s largest, accounting for about 51 percent of property-casualty coverage sold in the first half of this year. Asia-Pacific is No. 2, followed by EMEA.
AIG has been working to improve margins in its property- casualty business, in part by favoring more profitable consumer offerings over some business coverage. In August, the company hired Kevin Hogan from Zurich Insurance Group AG to run global consumer insurance.
AIG reached a deal this year with HSBC Holdings Plc to be the exclusive seller of non-life insurance products to the bank’s customers in Turkey and France. It also took full ownership of an Israeli unit.
Eastwood has said his unit, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, will start by focusing on excess-and-surplus lines, or coverage that isn’t available from insurers licensed by a U.S. state. The business is writing property risk, with a focus on catastrophe-prone areas, he said in June.
AIG had advanced 47 percent this year before today in New York trading. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s Class A shares had gained 31 percent.
Gregory Hendrick, XL’s insurance-operations CEO, will assume Maag’s role until a permanent replacement is found, Christine Weirsky, a spokeswoman for the insurer, said in an e- mail. Ken Riegler and Mike Garceau will take on additional duties, she said.
“We wish Seraina the best in her new role and thank her for her contribution,” Weirsky said. “We are working diligently to fill this role as expeditiously as possible.” The company is considering internal and external candidates, she said.
Maag had global responsibility for excess casualty and surety at Dublin-based XL, AIG said. She previously led Zurich North America Commercial’s specialties business, which includes U.S. operations such as directors and officers coverage and political-risk insurance. She has also worked at Swiss Re AG.
A citizen of Switzerland and Australia, Maag has an MBA from Monash Mt. Eliza Business School in Australia.
–With assistance from Noah Buhayar in New York. Editors: Dan Reichl, David Scheer
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