Global reinsurer Swiss Re has appointed Eric Smith as new president and CEO, Americas, effective July 11, succeeding Pierre Ozendo, who retires this year after over 35 years in the insurance industry.

Upon retirement, Ozendo will join the board of Swiss Re America as a non-executive director and will remain in his role to facilitate a complete transition to Smith, who will relocate from Texas to New York, the Swiss Re’s Americas headquarters.

In his new role, Smith will be responsible for leading the company’s property and casualty (P&C) and life and health reinsurance businesses in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

He will also have operational oversight of all Swiss Re Group activity in these regions.

He will join the Swiss Re Group management board, reporting to Christian Mumenthaler, chief marketing officer for reinsurance.

Smith has 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. He will join Swiss Re from USAA Life Insurance. Previous to USAA, he was president of Allstate Financial Services.

He also spend spent more than 20 years with Country Financial, helping to build its property and casualty business.

Mumenthaler said the company believes Eric’s fresh perspective, high energy, combined P&C and L&H experience and strategic marketing leadership will be ideal to lead Swiss Re Americas in the next phase of its development in this region.