The International Insurance Society has announced the nominees for the 2017 Insurance Hall of Fame.
The 2017 candidates are: Michael Butt, Chairman of the Board, AXIS, Bermuda; Shuzo Sumi, Chairman of the Board, Tokio Marine, Japan; and Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management, Munich Re, Germany.
Butt, whose career in the industry spans more than 50 years, played a key role in establishing Bermuda as one of the world’s foremost global insurance and reinsurance hubs, according to a biography accompanying the nomination announcement. Among his positions, Butt has been chairman of the board of AXIS Capital Holdings Limited since September 2002, and he was president and chief executive officer of Mid Ocean Limited in Hamilton, Bermuda from 1993 to August 1998 when it was acquired by XL Capital Ltd.
He has also been a member and contributor of the Geneva Association since 1987 and was chairman of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers from January 2008 until December 2009
His contributions to the stature and reputation of the British Overseas territory of Bermuda were recognized in his appointment as an officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Sumi, also a veteran of almost five decades—46 years according to his biography—has dedicated his entire career to the development of the insurance industry of Japan and the world.
Now chair of Tokio Marine Holdings, he started in 1970 at Tokio Marine Fire & Insurance Co., working mainly in commercial underwriting and product development during his career with the insurance company. Later, as general manager of the Commercial Lines Underwriting Department in the late 1990s and as president and CEO of Tokio Marine Group starting in 2007, he became a central figure in the overseas expansion of the Tokio Marine Group, with acquisitions of Kiln, Philadelphia Consolidated and Delphi Financial Group among noteworthy deals.
Sumi is also recognized for organizing the group’s response to the largest earthquake in the history of Japan (March 11, 2011)—starting 47 minutes after the earthquake occurred and deploying over 9,000 staff to support the response and pay roughly 100,000 claims in two months time.
The East Japan Earthquake, which occurred off the coast of the northeastern area, was the largest recorded in history around Japan, and along with the tsunami and Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident brought about devastating damage to Japan’s eastern Pacific coastal line in the Tohoku region, making it an unprecedented catastrophe with casualties and missing totalling 21,000 people.
Sumi was subsequently appointed chairman of The General Insurance Association of Japan in June 2011, continuing the industrywide earthquake response, focusing on further promotion of personal lines earthquake insurance, and exerting leadership to revise the government-sponsored reinsurance scheme and improve the product profile.
At Munich Re, von Bomhard worked his way from a position as graduate trainee all the way up to the CEO spot, according to the biography submitted with his nomination.
As chairman of the board of management, he has set a clear strategic path for stability and guided the group safely through the financial crisis of 2008-2009, with an insistence on keeping a deliberate focus on the profitability of insurance business, conservative investment policies and a sophisticated system of risk management, the biography reveals.
Dr. von Bomhard has also contributed to political debate, engaging in issues such as ethical corporate leadership, climate change and sustainable economic development.
The 2017 Laureate will be announced in December. The award will be presented before an audience of more than 500 insurance leaders at the July 3 gala awards dinner, held in conjunction with the IIS Global Insurance Forum taking place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London, July 2-5.
Past honorees inducted into the Insurance Hall of Fame have included Brian Duperreault of Hamilton Insurance, Stephen Catlin of XL Catlin, Denis Kessler of SCOR, Ikuo Uno of Nippon Life and Don Kramer of ILS Capital Management.