Coface has appointed Xavier Durand as CEO and Graham Crozier as Australia and New Zealand chief executive.

Durand’s appointment will become effective following Coface’s board of directors’ meeting on February 9.

He joins from GE Capital, where he worked in a number of international roles, the latest being director of strategy and growth, for 20 years. He started his career in 1987 in consultancy The Mac Group (Gemini Consulting) before joining the Sovac Real Estate Bank in 1994 as deputy CEO.

Durand will replace Jean-Marc Pillu, who has been at the head of the insurer for the past five years. In his time as CEO, Pillu spearheaded Coface’s development strategy to recentre on its core credit insurance business, implemented the IPO of around 60% of the group’s capital, and negotiated the transfer of the public guarantees activity to the French Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance).

Laurent Mignon, chairman of the board of Coface, says: “I take this opportunity to thank Jean-Marc Pillu for his commitment and the work that he has led for the last five years to deeply transform Coface. Thanks to his action and engagement of its teams, Coface’s business has been rebalanced and a growth dynamic successfully established, thus strengthening the group’s future prospects and ability to meet its objectives.

“The new phase which is now beginning will allow Coface, under the leadership of Xavier Durand, to continue to build, over time, one of the world’s leading credit insurance companies.”

Meanwhile, Graham Crozier will take on his new role as chief executive of Coface’s Australia branch on February 1, overseeing the operations of the firm’s trade credit insurance and services activities in Oceania.

He will replace Paul McGahen, who will be retiring after four years leading the Coface team in Australia.

Crozier has over 30 years of experience in the trade credit insurance industry. He joins from his current role as general manager, New South Wales of National Credit Insurance (Brokers). Before that, he was partner and director of IMC Trade Credit Solutions and also worked as underwriting manager, trade credit and financial risk, at Dexta Corporation.