David Greenfield, Hanover
David Greenfield was Chief Financial Officer of Hanover Insurance Group.

Hanover Insurance Group Inc. Chief Financial Officer David Greenfield has died, forcing Fred Eppinger, the insurer’s leader for more than a decade, to take on a dual role ahead of his planned departure.

Greenfield, 53, died over the weekend after a “health event late last week,” the Worcester, Mass.-based company said Monday in a statement, without elaborating. Eppinger, the chief executive officer, will also serve as acting CFO after announcing in September that he would step down from his post next year and seek new professional opportunities.

Eppinger hired Greenfield in 2010 from Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd., where he was CFO. He was promoted to finance chief in 2011, the year that Hanover acquired Chaucer Holdings Plc to expand the property/casualty coverage. Eppinger has led the firm since 2003 and has more than tripled the insurer’s stock price.

“What we saw under David Greenfield was an increasingly conservative balance sheet, and when companies have more solid reserves, then future earnings are less at risk,” Meyer Shields, an analyst at Keefe Bruyette & Woods, said by phone. “Before David got there, we saw reserve hiccups. He did a great job cleaning them up.”

The vacancy could add to “discomfort” for investors over the next 12 months, and Hanover may have to look outside for leadership, Shields said.

‘Indelible Mark’

Warren Barnes, Hanover’s vice president and corporate controller, will serve as acting principal accounting officer, the insurer said. Greenfield previously spent 22 years at KPMG LLP, where he became a global sector leader of its insurance practice, according to the statement. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Greenfield “made an indelible mark on our company,” Eppinger said in the statement. “He will be remembered as a professional with great passion and commitment and as someone who made an important difference during his time with us. Our hearts go out to his family.”