HAMILTON, Bermuda, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- XL Group plc ("XL" or the "Company") (NYSE: XL) today announced that it has been granted a license by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission ("CIRC"), to operate as a P&C (non-life) company in Shanghai. XL Insurance (China) Company Limited will begin business operations after the completion of all the regulatory registrations. It will be led by Zheqiang (Al) Xie, as Chairman and CEO of this subsidiary. This represents a significant step in the implementation of XL Insurance's strategy to strengthen its presence in emerging markets.
Mike McGavick, XL's Chief Executive Officer, said: "The Chinese insurance market has great strategic importance to XL. Shanghai plays a key role in China's economy, with a GDP year on year growth of 8.2% in 2009. It delights us to bring our global experience and underwriting expertise to China's vibrant economy. We are grateful to CIRC for their support and look forward to contributing to the development of the insurance industry in China and to the country's national policy to build Shanghai into an international financial and shipping centre."
Andrew Vigar, XL Insurance's Regional Manager Asia, added: "With Al Xie we have appointed an experienced industry leader who is well placed to spearhead our efforts in China. As the country with the third highest number of Fortune 500 companies, we expect our products and services in the Property, Casualty, Specialty and Professional lines to respond to the needs of expanding Chinese companies."
Having started his career with the former People's Insurance Company of China ("PICC") in Beijing, Zheqiang (Al) Xie brings twenty years experience in the Chinese insurance industry. In 1995 he was seconded to London to work in the PICC's UK subsidiary. Prior to joining XL Insurance, he held several management roles with Lloyd's in China, including setting up the Lloyd's representation in China and establishing Lloyd's full reinsurance operation, launched in Shanghai in 2007.
Commenting on the opening of the Shanghai operation Gernot Klantschnig, XL Insurance's Chief Regional Officer for Continental Europe, Asia and Latin America, said: "We lead more than 1100 Global Programs for our clients and over a third of these clients have activities in China. Our operation in Shanghai will play a critical role in XL Insurance's global network."
XL Group plc, through its subsidiaries, is a global insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty, and specialty products to industrial, commercial, and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises on a worldwide basis. Its principal executive offices are located at No. 1 Hatch Street Upper, 4th Floor, Dublin 2, Ireland. More information about XL Group plc is available at www.xlgroup.com.
SOURCE XL Group plc