After 13 years at the helm of Aon Benfield as CEO and principal officer, Simon Chikumbu has announced his retirement from the company, effective at the beginning of October 2017, after which Paul Griessel, currently the executive head of SA Treaty at Aon Benfield, will take over the reins as CEO. Simon Chikumbu will remain as chairman of the board for a further two-year period.
“I have made a personal decision to step aside as CEO and create room for new leadership, as well as prepare for my retirement in 2019. It has been an incredible and fulfilling journey, and I believe the time is right for the next chapter in Aon Benfield’s succession planning, says Chikumbu.
He explains his successor is highly qualified to take the helm. “As a candidate, Paul Griessel stood out in terms of strong leadership, experience, a deep knowledge of the market and a strong track record of delivery within the business. He has a deep technical understanding of the reinsurance markets in Africa and proven insights into our client dynamics. Paul’s appointment as CEO reaffirms our company’s commitment to unmatched talent and developing outstanding leaders from within our ranks. We know that he takes on this new leadership chapter with the support of a strong and dynamic Aon team and we have every confidence in his ability to lead this organisation in a competitive and rapidly evolving business environment,” Chikumbu says.
Griessel joined Aon Benfield in 2009 as an executive in the treaty team, and was promoted to lead the SA Treaty team in 2010, where he led a team that has steadily grown the portfolio. In his role as head of SA Treaty, Griessel has worked work with a vast portfolio of clients ranging from large corporate entities to smaller niche players. Prior to joining Aon Benfield, Griessel honed his skills at Willis Re in the Southern and East African insurance markets for 17 years. In 2013, he completed the Aon Catalyst programme, a Management Development Programme affiliated to Harvard University in the US.
“I would like to thank Simon for his past and future friendship and leadership. I have learnt so much from him over the past eight years. Leading Aon Benfield Africa through its next phase of development may present challenges, especially in these difficult economic times, and a rapidly changing insurance and reinsurance landscape, however, I am confident that with the depth, experience and dedication of our team, and the investment we are making in our next generation of talent, we will continue to build and deliver successful solutions for our business partners across the continent,” Griessel explains.