Willis Re veteran to join Guy Carpenter in Australia

July 7 2020 by Andrew Tjaardstra

InsuranceAsia News (IAN) understands that Willis Re’s Asia Pacific president Michael Harden has left the reinsurance broking giant to join Guy Carpenter in Australia.

Several senior market sources have confirmed to IAN that Harden (pictured) is joining Guy Carpenter, part of Marsh & McLennan, alongside five other execs from Willis Re.

Sydney-based Harden has been at Willis since 1976, according to his LinkedIn profile. He joined the London office before moving to Australia in 1985, and then Bermuda in 2014, before returning to Australia in 2017.

Jeff Saper is Guy Carpenter’s chief executive of the Pacific region, and is in charge of treaty and facultative activities. Saper reports to Hong Kong-based Tony Gallagher, Guy Carpenter’s Asia Pacific chief executive.

The moves come as Aon and Willis Towers Watson continue their mega-merger, which will likely see Aon Reinsurance unite with Willis Re, subject to regulatory approvals. However there is mounting speculation that Willis Re could be sold.

There has been a flurry of recent senior exec movements between global brokers in both the insurance and reinsurance space as the battle for talent ramps up. Asia’s reinsurance market is growing alongside the traditional market for multiple reasons: awareness is growing, firms are deploying more capital, marketing techniques are becoming more sophisticated and more talent is being hired.

Willis Re declined to comment.