Aspen Parts Ways with Bermuda CEO, Group COO, Puts MGA into Run-off Amid Major Reshuffle

Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings has made a series of key changes in its executive leadership team, as well as placed its UK-based MGA Aspen Risk Management (ARML) into run-off, and closed its Dublin office, in a move it hopes will strengthen the company's "competitive position" and enhance operational efficiency under Apollo's ownership.

Source: Intelligent Insurer | Published on May 16, 2019

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As part of the management changes, the company has parted ways with its Bermuda group director of underwriting and CEO Kate Vacher; Group COO David Schick; and head of international insurance and global head of marine Donald Harrell. All the three executives are leaving to pursue opportunities outside Aspen.

Christian Dunleavy, in addition to his current role as managing director of Aspen Re and CUO of Aspen Bermuda, has been appointed new chief executive officer of Aspen Bermuda, replacing Vacher.

Mike Cain, previously group general counsel, has been appointed Group COO. He will remain CEO of Aspen UK for a transition period, subject to regulatory approval.

Additionally, Tim Aman will assume lead responsibility for outward reinsurance/Retro analysis, structuring and placement, along with his current role as group chief risk officer.

Marcus Foley, previously group head of capital management, has been appointed chief strategy officer, focused on developing and executing strategic corporate initiatives and performance analysis metrics and methods, and to the group executive committee.

Other members joining the company's group executive committee include group chief investment officer Bryan Astwood, group chief actuary Paul Frydas, and Silvia Martinez.

Martinez, previously associate group general counsel, has also been appointed group general counsel and company secretary.

Jonny Atkinson, in addition to his current role as global head of insurance marketing and distribution, will assume the position of head of insurance London.

Zahir Petiwalla, performance officer and COO of Aspen Re, has been appointed deputy group chief operating officer.

Lastly, Sarah Stanford, international head of financial institutions, has been appointed to the additional position of Lloyd’s active underwriter of Syndicate 4711, subject to regulatory approval.

The re/insurer stated that these changes will "best position Aspen to capture new opportunities for
profitable growth and value creation".

Aspen also announced that Aspen Insurance UK has served notice of termination of the agency agreement between AIUK and ARML. As a result, Aspen expects the business will be placed into runoff.

It added that the company is working with the management of ARML to ensure all policyholder obligations and service requirements are fully supported and consistent with its standards of policyholder and broker service.

Aspen said this decision will have no impact on its mainstream UK property and casualty business.

Furthermore, the re/insurer has begun the process of closing its Dublin office as a result of the proposed move of its Dublin excess casualty underwriting business to London.

Mark Cloutier, executive chairman and group chief executive officer, said: “As we continue our focus on operational improvement and strengthening Aspen’s competitive position, it is essential we have the right talent to execute on our strategy, serve brokers and customers and drive to enhance the long-term value of our business.

"I am confident the leadership team, including the new members we are announcing today, is well equipped to meet the challenge of leading Aspen through its next chapter of change and profitable growth.”

Cloutier added: “I want to thank David, Kate and Donald for their service and commitment to Aspen over the years. Our business is well positioned thanks to their many contributions, and we wish them well in their future endeavors.”