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Willis Re names next global CEO

James Kent to take over from the retiring John Cavanagh

Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of global advisory and broking firm Willis Towers Watson, has announced that James Kent will succeed John Cavanagh as global CEO.

Cavanagh is retiring from the position in December 2017, at which point he will hand over leadership to Kent, who has been deputy global CEO since December 2016. Kent was appointed president of North America operations in 2010, and before that, ran the Willis Re operations in Bermuda.

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“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead Willis Re. It has been a pleasure to work with John over the past few years. In succeeding John, I look forward to further enhancing our proposition to help clients effectively manage their risk while building on the collaborative culture so integral to our proposition for both clients and colleagues,” says Kent in a Willis Re press release.

Cavanagh has worked in the reinsurance industry for 42 years and has led Willis Re as CEO since 2012. He joined the firm in 2009 after having spent 21 years at the Carvill Group where he was joint CEO. “It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of Willis Re, where we have successfully grown the business in the face of very tough market conditions. I have enjoyed a fantastic career in reinsurance broking, but it is now time to move on,” says Cavanagh in the press release.

Willis Towers Watson has offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Moncton and Rothesay, N.B.