Willis Re appoints Donald Harrell to specialty COO role

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Willis Re has appointed Donald Harrell as managing director and chief operating officer of its specialty reinsurance business.

Harrell joins with more than 25 years of broking and underwriting experience in the specialty insurance sector.

His most recent role was head of international insurance at Aspen Insurance and active underwriter of its Lloyd’s Syndicate 4711.

Previous appointments include senior vice president of Liberty International Underwriters in New York, and 16 years with AIG and C.V. Starr. He began his career in London as a marine and energy broker for Bain Hogg.

Harrell’s new responsibilities include the expansion of Willis Re’s international specialty business, management of Willis Re Specialty’s day-to-day operations, systems, processes, and controls, and provision of executive-level leadership and support through the client retention and acquisition processes.

He is based in London and reports to Graeme Moore, chief executive officer of Willis Re Specialty.

Commenting on the appointment, Moore said: “We are delighted to have attracted a market figure with the experience and credentials that Don brings to the table. His track record in management and business development is first class, and his knowledge of the marine and energy sector in particular will be of exceptional value to Willis Re at this time of market upheaval in that important class.”

“Meanwhile his transatlantic experience during a career divided between London and New York, spanning both Lloyd’s and the company markets, will be a powerful asset for Willis Re and our clients.”

Harrell said: “I am very excited to join Willis Re at a time when the business is growing and investing in client advocacy, analytics, and consulting. This new challenge also marks my return to the broking side of the specialty insurance business, where I started out. The global market is moving through a time of positive change, and I look forward to supporting Willis Re as it builds on its leadership role in the evolving international specialty risk sector.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk