Gallagher today announced that Michael Rea has been appointed CEO of the company’s UK broking and underwriting business, subject to regulatory approval.

In his new role, Michael will lead Gallagher’s 6,000-strong UK colleagues and oversee its UK-based Retail, Specialty and Underwriting operations.

Michael joined Gallagher in 2015 as COO of its International division and quickly became CEO of Gallagher’s UK & Ireland Retail division in 2016. During his tenure, Michael has overseen a period of sustained organic growth and ongoing expansion through strategic M&A activity for the division.

Gallagher is now one of the UK’s largest retail insurance broking businesses with over 4,000 colleagues looking after the risk management and insurance needs of over one million commercial organisations and individuals across the UK and Ireland. The Specialty business works with large multinationals and insurance brokers worldwide, providing bespoke programme design, risk placement and consulting support across a range of industries. Pen Underwriting is a multi-class, multi-territory managing general agent (MGA).

The CEOs of Specialty, Jonathan Turner, and Pen Underwriting, Tom Downey will report to Michael and form part of his UK leadership team. Ian Kerton, CEO of Gallagher Re in the UK, will maintain his existing reporting line to the global Gallagher Re CEO, Tom Wakefield, and will report to Michael in respect of UK regulated business.

Michael Rea

Michael’s new role will take effect from 1 January 2024 and he will report to Simon Matson, Executive Vice President of Gallagher’s global brokerage operations.

Commenting on the appointment, Simon said: “Michael is one of the most respected and talented CEOs I have had the pleasure of working with. His commitment to ensuring his teams are always thinking about the client has ensured our Retail business is now synonymous with delivering exceptional customer service. I am delighted to see him take the helm of our wider UK business and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build on the fantastic success we have achieved over recent years.”

Dame Susan Langley, Non-Executive Chair of Gallagher in the UK, added: “Michael is a hugely experienced and inspirational leader and has been a pivotal member of Gallagher’s UK Executive Team for the past eight years. I look forward to working with him in his new role as UK CEO.”

Michael, added: “In the eight years I have been at Gallagher, I have seen the business grow enormously and I am honoured to be taking the lead of our UK business. Our employees are the best in the business with unrivalled expertise and I am exceptionally proud to be part of this team. Our ‘can do’ culture and consistent focus on our clients puts us in a fantastic position for continued growth as we move into 2024 and beyond.”