11 November 2020Executive Appointments

Former FERMA president Jo Willaert passes away

Jo Willaert, the former president of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has passed away.

Willaert was president of FERMA from 2015 to November 2019, before he handed over the job to the current president, Dirk Wegener. He chose education, leadership and communication as the themes of his FERMA presidency, making them the driving forces behind what FERMA accomplished during his time leading the group.

During his time as president FERMA also showed leadership on issues such as natural catastrophe, data protection, non-financial reporting, Solvency II and digital transformation.

Willaert was a law graduate and spent the first part of his career in broking with companies which eventually became part of Marsh and later with Aon. He joined the imaging solutions group Agfa-Gevaert in 2001 as corporate risk manager, taking on responsibility for the design of worldwide enterprise risk management and insurance programmes.

He also served as a board member of the Belgian risk management association BELRIM, and was pesident of the International Federation of Risk Management Associations (IFRIMA) between 2017 and 2019.

Wegener said: “We, the FERMA team and the entire European risk manager community, were shocked by the news that our dear friend, colleague and comrade Jo Willaert had passed away. Over the weekend, we received numerous messages from people expressing their dismay, grief and sadness, but also full of thankfulness and appreciation for his dedicated service to FERMA and our community. I, as well as many others, have lost a friend.”

FERMA chief executive Typhaine Beaupérin praised Willaert’s skills and enthusiasm. “He had a wonderful way of bringing people together, and he did so over his four years at FERMA president,” said Beaupérin. “He was a strong advocate for risk management and a friend to many. We will miss Jo very  much and will always remember him with gratitude and affection.”