Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. – fresh from successfully rebuffing an M&A bid from a Bermuda reinsurance rival – has named a new leader of its reinsurance arm.

The company said that Stephen Postlewhite would become the next CEO of Aspen Re, effective immediately. He replaces James Few. Aspen said that Few is leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities.”

Postlewhite was previously Aspen’s chief risk officer, and had been with Aspen since 2003.

In a statement, Aspen Insurance Holdings CEO Chris O’Kane said that Postlewhite is well suited for the job, thanks, in part, to his experience as the builder of Aspen’s capital modeling capability. Postlewhite was also a major player in building the company’s “strong risk management framework,” O’Kane said.

Postlewhite “is the right leader to continue to drive our reinsurance strategy forward, to adapt to fast changing market conditions and to take Aspen RE to the next level,” O’Kane added.

In its announcement, Aspen Insurance Holdings noted that its reinsurance division has performed well “despite market headwinds,” including a $250 million underwriting profit and 76.4 combined ratio in 2013, and an average combined ratio of 89.2 over the previous five years. The division does business in the United States, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Germany and Singapore.

While O’Kane declined to explain why Few is leaving, he credited him with helping to grow Aspen over the last 12 years, particularly Aspen RE and “in developing our Bermuda platform.”

Before this executive change, Aspen spent most of the summer fending off an acquisition bid from archrival Aspen, whose leaders finally gave up at the end of July. That’s when most of Aspen’s shareholders rejected two Endurance proposals that would have made its $3.2 billion bid for the company more likely to succeed.

Back at Aspen, Emil Issavi is the new president of Aspen Re. He’ll also keep his existing role as chief underwriting officer for Aspen’s reinsurance business. Also, Brian Boomazian will stay on as chairman of Aspen RE and CEO of Aspen Re, North America.

Source: Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd.

Topics Reinsurance