Insurance broker, Willis Re has appointed John Cavanagh as new CEO, succeeding Steve Hearn, the chairman and CEO Willis Global with immediate effect.

In addition to becoming a member of the Willis Executive Committee, Cavanagh, in his new role, will join Peter Hearn, chairman Willis Re, and Paddy Jago, president of Willis Re on the Willis Re executive team.

Since 2009, Cavanagh has been an executive vice president and managing director of Willis Re.

He joined Willis from International Specialty reinsurance broker RK Carvill, where he was joint CEO.

Prior to Carvill, Cavanagh was deputy managing director of Minet Re and a director of the North American reinsurance division at Willis Faber and Dumas.

He was also a founder of the Carvill Hurricane Index, a product that described the potential for damage from Atlantic hurricanes.

In addition, the company said Hearn will serve as CEO Willis Global and will be responsible for overseeing Willis Re, Willis Global Specialties, Willis Faber & Dumas, Willis Global Solutions and Willis Global Placement.