William R. Berkley
William R. Berkley

William R. Berkley is stepping down as CEO of W.R. Berkley Corp. on Oct. 31, putting into action in a long-discussed succession plan for his son, W. Robert Berkley, Jr. to replace him in the position.

The elder Berkley mentioned that a date had been set for the succession change during W.R. Berkley Corp.’s July 27 2015 Q2 earnings call. He addressed the milestone in passing, while answering a question about the M&A trend currently gripping the P/C industry. In doing so, Berkley reiterated that he will remain with the company as executive chairman.

“On Oct. 31 I step down as CEO and Rob is going to take over, then I will be chairman and then I get to harass everybody else,” William Berkley said before moving on to fairly blunt comments about consolidation and M&A.

W. Robert Berkley, Jr. is currently W.R. Berkley Corp.’s president and chief operating officer and has held that slot since 2009. He has been with the company his father helped found in 1967 for 17 years, according to the Berkley website.

W.R. Berkley Corp. declined further comment on William Berkley’s statement. What is new here is that a date has apparently been set for William Berkley to give up his CEO slot. This particular succession plan has been in place for at least six years, according to media reports.

W.R. Berkley Corp. began as a small investment management firm and is comprised of 49 operating units around the world. The elder William Berkley remains the company’s largest shareholder, according to the W.R. Berkley website.