Australia's QBE Insurance Group said on Tuesday Chief Executive Officer Patrick Regan would leave the company after three years in the role, following an investigation that found he had fallen short of its ethics and conduct standards.
Regan is departing the insurer after an external investigation found his workplace communications did not meet the standards set out in the group’s code of ethics and conduct.
The investigation was reportedly conducted following a complaint from a female employee.
His departure comes just a week after wealth manager AMP Ltd's chairman resigned and the chief executive of its funds management unit was demoted, following concerns about alleged inappropriate conduct by the latter.
Regan joined QBE in 2014 and held top positions in its antipodean operations until December 2017. Prior to his stint at QBE, he was the chief financial officer at insurance and asset manager Aviva AV.L in London.
QBE Group Chairman Mike Wilkins will handle day-to-day oversight until a replacement is found, Australia's biggest insurer by market capitalisation said in a statement.
QBE is committed to having "a respectful and inclusive environment" and an external investigation found Regan had "exercised poor judgement" in that regard, the company said, without providing further detail.
The insurer said it would begin a board-sponsored and externally supported review into its culture and look into creation of additional outlets for employees to safely raise concerns.
“We want our people to have the avenues they need to safely speak up, with the confidence that they will be heard and that all concerns raised will be treated consistently across our workforce,.Wilkins commented adding that the fundamentals of the business are strong, coupled with a greatly improved external pricing environment.
To build on the significant work already undertaken to develop an inclusive culture at QBE, the board will put in place additional initiatives in the coming weeks.
“While COVID-19 has created significant challenges, QBE is successfully navigating this period of uncertainty, and the Group’s demonstrable financial strength positions us well to capitalize on accelerating pricing momentum and emerging organic growth opportunities,” he said.