Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Expands Into Australia; Colahan Leads Region

April 27, 2015

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) announced it has received its insurance license to provide all lines of general business in Australia, established operations in Sydney, and named Chris Colahan as president of its Australasia region.

“BHSI is committed to expanding into geographic markets and lines of business where we can provide financially strong, highly responsive underwriting solutions and market leading service. Our move into Australia reflects this strategy. Under Chris’ leadership, we’ve already built a stellar underwriting, claims, and functional team to serve the needs of the Australian market,” said Peter Eastwood, president of BHSI.

Beginning immediately, BHSI will be providing property, casualty, financial lines and marine cargo insurance in Australia.

Colahan joins BHSI from RSA Insurance Group, where he was most recently chief executive officer, Asia, and before that, chief executive officer, Hong Kong. At RSA he also had held the position of country manager, Singapore retail, and regional manager, strategy and change, Asia and the Middle East. He began his career in Australia at Westpac Banking Corporation.

Colahan graduated from Australia’s Bond University with both Bachelor of Laws (Honors) and Bachelor of Commerce degrees.

“It is exciting for me both personally and professionally to bring the trusted Berkshire Hathaway brand to my home country and to the Australian insurance marketplace,” said Colahan. “BHSI enters the market with financially strong capacity and a commitment to serving this market for decades to come.”

Along with Colahan, BHSI’s leadership team in Sydney includes:

  • Frank Costigan, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, Australasia
  • Cameron McLisky, head of executive and professional lines, Australasia
  • Anne O’Keefe, head of human resources, Australasia
  • Susan Donaldson, head of claims, Australia
  • Andrew Spurr, head of casualty, Australia
  • Craig Taylor, head of property, Australia
  • Matthew Clarke, manager of professional indemnity lines, Australia
  • Daniel Cole, manager, mining, energy and power, Australia
  • Mark Dixon, manager, marine insurance, Australia
  • Ryan Thomas, manager, D&O liability insurance, Australia

In addition to its Australian platform, BHSI has established operations in the United States, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong with underwriting and service teams in each market. BHSI also is currently pursuing its insurance license in New Zealand.

Source: Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

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