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Qatar Re promote two after CUO resigns

Company moves: Qatar Re has promoted Luke Roden and Michael van der Straaten to chief underwriting officer positions

Qatar Re’s chief underwriting officer Alastair Speare-Cole, an early supporter of the reinsurer who later became one of its key executives, has resigned.

He is to be replaced by his deputies Luke Roden and Michael van der Straaten.

Gunther Saacke, chief executive officer of the Bermudian-based company, has paid tribute to Mr Speare-Cole’s contribution to Qatar Re.

“We thank Alastair for his relentless efforts during his stint at Qatar Re,” he said.

“Generational change in our company and the desire for a less hectic life-style have led Alastair to move on. Having served in a senior and demanding role at Qatar Re, our best wishes follow Alastair as he takes on future challenges in our industry.”

Mr Saacke added: “On a more personal note, I remain particularly grateful to Alastair for his support of the idea to create a new and significant reinsurer that is enrooted in the Gulf countries but is rolling out a truly global franchise.

“Developing the initial concept for such a project as early as 2002, it has taken a decade to make it happen. Alastair remained a keen and sympathetic observer of this initiative during those years and he was welcomed when he offered to join us for a period as CUO, helping to manage what in the meantime had become Qatar Re.”

Mr Speare-Cole resigned earlier this month. His position will be jointly filled by Mr Roden, who will be CUO of short-tail classes and continue as head of ceded reinsurance, and Mr Van der Straaten, who will be CUO of long-tail and speciality classes.

Mr Saacke said: “I am delighted to announce the promotions of Luke and Mike to lead our underwriting function.

“Luke has been an ever-present figure in Qatar Re and is one of our longest-serving team members. He has served on our executive management committee since the company redomiciled to Bermuda in 2015 and has experience across Qatar Re that provides an invaluable base for this leadership role.”

Regarding, Mr Van der Straaten, who joined the company from Ace Tempest Re’s London office, Mr Saacke said: “Mike joined our team late in 2016, further strengthening Qatar Re’s underwriting management.

“His appointment reflects our ambition to continue to profitably grow our franchise during challenging market conditions.

“Mike has already made a great impact, drawing on his extensive professional experience, relationships and aptitude for analytics.”

Mr Van der Straaten will also join Qatar Re’s executive management committee, subject to regulatory approval.