W. R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) announced the formation of Berkley Insurance Asia.

Shasi Gangadharan has been named chief executive officer and Aaron Yip has been appointed chief operating officer. The appointments are effective immediately.

This new operating unit will begin offering specialty commercial insurance coverages to clients in North Asia and Southeast Asia through offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, respectively, subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

Mr. Gangadharan has over 25 years of experience in the property casualty insurance industry, predominately focused in financial and casualty lines, in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. He most recently served as the chief executive officer for the Southeast Asia Region of a major property casualty insurance company.

Mr. Yip has more than 20 years of experience in the specialty commercial property casualty insurance industry. Prior to joining the Company, he served as the chief executive officer for the Greater China Region at a major property casualty insurance company.

W. Robert Berkley, Jr., chief executive officer and president of W. R. Berkley Corporation, commented, "We are excited to establish a general insurance practice in Asia that will complement our existing reinsurance presence. Both Shasi and Aaron have extensive local market experience that will enable us to develop a superior offering of product and services tailored to the specific needs of clients in the region."

Founded in 1967, W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company that is among the largest commercial lines writers in the United States and operates worldwide in two segments of the property casualty business: Insurance and Reinsurance.

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.