Swiss Re AG named insurance industry veteran J Eric Smith as president and chief executive of its Americas operation.
He will be responsible for the company's property and casualty and life and health reinsurance operations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Smith was formerly president of USAA Life Insurance Co. Prior to USAA, he was president of Allstate Corp.'s financial services arm. He has also worked with Country Financial, in its property and casualty group.
He replaces Pierre Ozendo in the top Americas role, who joined Swiss Re in 1995 and also served a stint as leader of the insurer's Asian operations.
The Zurich-based reinsurer last month joined a growing list of reinsurers being hit by hefty claims from recent natural catastrophes, with those costs, fewer gains from investments and lower premium revenue pushing it to a net loss for the first quarter.
Reinsurance companies act as insurers of last resort for primary insurers, typically stepping in to cover losses from large events like earthquakes, floods or man-made disasters.
Mia Lamar is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, where this story originally appeared. Write to her here.