Willis Group Holdings, an insurance broker, has appointed Scott Pickering as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Africa regions effective immediately.

Mr Pickering will be based in the Al Futtaim Willis office in Dubai and will report to Sarah Turvill, chairman and CEO of Willis International. He most recently worked for RSA Insurance as a regional CEO for Asia and Middle East, based in Dubai.

Prior to joining RSA, Mr Pickering held a variety of senior leadership roles at ACE Insurance. In 2006, as CEO of ACE’s South African operations, he re-established its presence in that country. Earlier, he was regional president of ACE Insurance Far East, based in Japan, and before that, he served as president, CEO Hong Kong and regional director of South East Asia, having been promoted from general manager and regional director for ACE Insurance in Thailand.

Ms Turvill said: “He will work with our retail network and Global Specialties to drive our continued growth in the rapidly expanding markets of Russia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South Africa, where we already have a strong presence.

Mr Pickering said: “From the booming construction industry in South Africa to the oil and gas fields of Russia; from the growing Eastern European pharmaceuticals sector to the Middle East’s established aviation market, there are abundant opportunities for Willis to deliver world-class insurance solutions in each local market, backed by the global expertise of the Group.”