Munich Re has announced an overhaul of its underwriting structure in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APAC MEA) regions.  

The initiative is designed to bolster local market underwriting capabilities and streamline business division focus.  

It includes empowering local underwriting positions and localising teams to better serve clients. 

As part of the restructuring, Hitesh Kotak will lead Munich Re’s property & casualty (P&C) business in Japan, India, Korea and South East Asia from Singapore.  

Kotak has been at the helm of the company’s P&C operations in India, the Middle East and Africa since the start of 2023 and has served as India CEO since 2017.  

Within APAC MEA, Roland Eckl will take charge of Australasia, Greater China, MENA, Africa and the cyber business.  

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Eckl has been overseeing Australasia, Japan, Korea and South East Asia since January 2023 and was key in setting up the Regional Centre for P&C business in Singapore in 2016. 

In Japan, Florian Gruson is set to become CEO, subject to regulatory approval, succeeding Brian Jinzenji.  

Gruson has been spearheading global sales and distribution since 2021.  

Haruka Narahashi will expand her remit to include treaty underwriting for Korea, building on her Japan-focused role. 

For Korea, Ajeet Phatak is set to move to Seoul as CEO from 1 August 2024, pending regulatory approval.  

Phatak’s experience includes managing client relations in Japan and leading the Agro business unit in India.  

Michael Hauer, currently CEO of Korea, will head P&C for South East Asia in Singapore from 1 September 2024.  

Joachim Zagrosek will become head of treaty P&C underwriting for South East Asia and India. 

Surbhi Goel is slated to relocate to Mumbai to take up the position of CEO India from October 2024, subject to regulatory approval.  

Goel has been managing P&C South East Asia since 2022 and has a background in senior underwriting and reinsurance roles in India. 

In Greater China, Serene Chan has been promoted to head of P&C, advancing from her role overseeing the cyber business in Asia-Pacific since 2018.  

In the MENA region, Belhassen Tonat will become the client management executive MENA, based in Dubai, tasked with expanding Munich Re’s operations, including a new Dubai P&C desk.  

He takes over from Andreas Pollmann, who will now lead client management in Israel from Munich. 

Munich Re member of the board of management for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa Achim Kassow said: “Munich Re has grown strongly and profitably in Asia-Pacific and Africa in recent years. One building block of this success has been the transfer of know-how and decision-making authorities to the region. We are now taking the next step in this process – Munich Re’s revised set-up in the region will be leaner at the top and closer to the markets.”