The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has appointed Tim Grafton as its new chief executive officer (CEO), effective from November 2012.

Grafton, currently serving as executive director at UMR Research, will succeed Chris Ryan, who steps down on 21 December 2012 following 15 years of service, as reported by The National Business Review.

Prior to joining UMR Research, Grafton served as a political adviser to New Zealand’s former prime minister Jenny Shipley and current finance minister Bill English.

Grafton also worked as a political reporter and columnist with Wellington newspapers in 1990’s.

He is a former political reporter, political adviser and chief adviser to former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley when she was leader of the opposition.

Speaking to NBR ONLINE, Ryan had earlier told that finishing the dealing with the Christchurch earthquakes would serve as the biggest challenge for the new CEO, as it continue to progress as a very sensitive issue with many legal considerations.

The forthcoming Insurance Prudential Supervision Act, making insurers subject to Reserve Bank regulation, would also require special attention, Ryan added.

The hunt for new CEO was carried by Illinois-based Recruitment agency, Heidrick and Struggles.