ACE Group has established a new business region, Eurasia & Africa, as part of its Overseas General division, which is the general insurance operations of the company outside North America.

With regional headquarters to be based initially in London, the new region includes ACE’s existing operations in nine countries – Russia, Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Tunisia and South Africa – and will encompass future expansion in a broad swath of territory that stretches from the Black Sea to the Middle East to the African continent.

To lead the new region, Giles Ward has been appointed Regional President, Eurasia & Africa, effective April 15. Currently Country President for ACE in Australia & New Zealand, Mr. Ward will be responsible for the management and business development of ACE’s commercial property and casualty, accident and health and personal lines operations in the region.

Mr. Ward will report to John Keogh, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, ACE Limited, and Chairman, Insurance – Overseas General.

"The developing and emerging nations of the Eurasia & Africa region represent a potentially significant long-term growth opportunity for ACE," said Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ACE Limited.

"We are optimistic about the long-term future of these vast and varied areas of the world because their economies are growing at twice the GDP rate of developed markets while insurance penetration in these countries is less than half of the world average. Over time, we plan to make the right, appropriate commitment of resources to the countries in this part of the world, and we will leverage our global talent, product expertise and infrastructure to take advantage of opportunities created by their emerging middle class populations and growing commercial exposures."

"We are pleased to have a proven leader in Giles to head our business in this region," said Mr. Keogh. "With over 25 years of industry experience, Giles has held senior management roles across the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. He has demonstrated a keen ability to build strong, sustainable insurance businesses, in both emerging and developed markets, and he is a seasoned executive who knows the ACE model well including our culture, focus on underwriting discipline, risk management acumen and excellence in claims."

Mr. Ward joined ACE in 2006 to lead the company’s business in the Middle East and North Africa after 17 years in the insurance industry. In 2010 he was appointed to his current role as Country President of Australia and New Zealand. Prior to joining ACE, Mr. Ward held various country and senior leadership positions for AXA Insurance in Malaysia, and for Guardian Insurance in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.