Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. announced that John “Jay” Nichols has resigned from his position as chief executive officer of AXIS Re. Nichols has agreed to remain with the company in a transitional role until March 31.

AXIS has named Jan Ekberg to succeed Nichols as interim CEO of AXIS Re. Ekberg, who has been with the company since 2004, currently serves as president and chief underwriting officer of AXIS Re Europe and will report directly to AXIS Capital President and Chief Executive Officer Albert Benchimol.

“On behalf of AXIS, we would like to thank Jay for all he has done for our company. When Jay joined AXIS, we introduced a plan to strengthen our reinsurance business and broaden our risk-funding sources through high-quality partnerships,” said Benchimol.

“Over the past five years we have made significant progress and AXIS Re is a global reinsurance leader, well-positioned against the backdrop of a structural shift in the reinsurance industry. We have also established AXIS as a strategic partner to respected third party capital providers,” he added. “With this solid foundation in place, Jay has decided that he would like to leave to take on new challenges. We are deeply appreciative of Jay’s leadership and wish him the absolute best.”

Nichols said he is leaving AXIS having accomplished multiple goals.

“When I joined AXIS Re, we set a plan to profitably grow the reinsurance business, improve our analytical capabilities and expand into strategic capital partnerships to match the right risk with the right capital. I am grateful for what we have accomplished in all areas of the reinsurance business and I have been honored to lead such a talented and committed group for the past five years,” said Nichols.

“I’ve very deeply enjoyed working with my team, my colleagues across AXIS, and being a part of the company’s leadership. While there is still more work to be done, now is a good time for a transition, and I leave with the confidence that AXIS Re is well-positioned to succeed and in very capable hands,” he added.

Ekberg has more than 40 years of re/insurance industry experience with more than 20 of these years managing underwriting businesses. “He joined AXIS Re Europe in 2004 shortly after its formation and has been integral to establishing AXIS Re Europe as a leading international reinsurer,” said the company in a statement.

In his current position, Ekberg serves as president and chief underwriting officer of AXIS Re Europe. During his tenure at AXIS, he has led the Property Risk team and the Engineering team. Before joining AXIS, Ekberg served in various underwriting and management positions at Nordisk Re in Copenhagen, Employers Re and GE Frankona in Munich. He spent the first nine years of his career in primary insurance.

Source: AXIS Capital