QBE has announced that it will split its Australia and Asia-Pacific operations as the bank prepares its aggressive expansion strategy across the Asia region.


The significant structural change has resulted in the departure of the long serving Australia/Asia-Pacific chief executive Vince McLenaghan.


Mr Lenaghan will depart the bank after 16 years of holding consecutive senior positions within QBE. The bank has said that while Mr Lenaghan supports the move, he has departed “to pursue other interests”


"The changes to the management structure of our Australia/Asia-Pacific operations reflect the natural progression of these successful businesses to a more independent future," QBE Group chief executive Frank O'Halloran told The Australian.


"It is disappointing to lose a loyal executive in Vince McLenaghan who has held senior positions in QBE for over 16 years. I wish him well for the future."


The Australia Asia Pacific operations of QBE are currently managed as one division and are comprised of businesses in 18 countries with a combined gross written premium income of around US$5.0 billion and staff of over 5,600.


The division has grown considerably overrecent years, up over 100% since 2006, through acquisitions and increased market share.


“The opportunities in Asia Pacific and the size of the Australian operations have necessitated a structural review. To maximise opportunities and improve decision-making and operational efficiencies, the Australian and Asia Pacific operations will be separated, with each of them reporting directly to Group head office. There will be no change for statutory segment reporting purposes, with Australia and Asia Pacific already reporting separately,” QBE announced in a press statement.


QBE announced that Colin Fargen, who has been with QBE for 12 years, will take the role as CEO of the bank’s Australian operations. Michael Goodwin will continue to serve as CEO of Asia Pacific operations.