Brian Duperreault is the new president and chief executive officer of American International Group, the company announced this morning, confirming rumors of the pending appointment that had emerged late last week.
The appointment is effective May 14, 2017. Duperreault has resigned as chairman and CEO of Hamilton Insurance Group, and Peter D. Hancock resigned as president, CEO and director of AIG concurrent with Duperreault’s appointment.
Separately, Hamilton announced that former Flagstone Re CEO David A. Brown will become interim group CEO and that William C. Freda has been appointed chairman of the board.
In addition, both companies announced that AIG will acquire Hamilton USA, the U.S. arm of the Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer.
Freda joined the Hamilton board of directors in June 2014 and chairs the Audit Committee. Brown has been a member of the board since Hamilton’s establishment in December 2013 and is chairman of the Finance and Governance Committee.
“It is with regret that we have accepted Brian’s resignation from Hamilton. He is an industry icon with a well-deserved reputation for visionary leadership. We have had the privilege of experiencing this first-hand at Hamilton,” said Freda.
“However, we have in David an experienced industry CEO who has been with the company since inception. He is an ideal resource to lead Hamilton through this transition.”
Douglas M. Steenland, AIG’s chairman of the board, also highlighted Duperreault’s visionary leadership, calling him “uniquely qualified to lead AIG at this important time.” He noted that Duperreault, who spent his entire career in insurance, worked for 21 years at AIG at the start of his career.
From AIG To ‘Industry Icon’
Bermuda-born Duperreault served in various senior executive positions with AIG and its affiliates from 1978 to 1994, before becoming CEO of ACE (now Chubb) in October 1994. He served in that position through May 2004 and as non-executive chairman from May 2004 through December 2007.
When Duperreault led ACE, he helped transform it from a 50-employee boutique operation that wrote only two lines of insurance into an international insurance and reinsurance powerhouse with more than 9,000 employees, writing a wide variety of lines in almost 50 countries. Much of this came through acquisitions—a $3.5 billion deal for the P/C business of CIGNA chief among them.
He served as president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Cos. from 2008 to 2012, coming out of retirement to help revamp the company in the wake of the N.Y. attorney general’s 2004 investigation into insurance industry commission practices. (In a January 2013 article in Bermuda’s Royal Gazette publication, Duperreault, who has spoken publicly about being taught by nuns when he grew up in the United States, described being inspired by his faith and being called to the position at the giant brokerage, in part, through a message from God.)
“I’m actually very good at retiring; I’m just not very good at staying retired,” he has said many times when asked to explain why he came out of retirement a second time to lead Hamilton (including in a recent video interview at the InsurTech Connect 2016 conference, available here.)
In December 2013, Duperreault stepped back into the industry, teaming up with Two Sigma Investments to buy SAC Re Ltd from Steven Cohen, the billionaire founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, after Cohen’s hedge fund reached a $1.8 billion deal with federal prosecutors to end a criminal investigation into insider trading. That purchase eventually became Hamilton Re, and then Hamilton Insurance Group. Duperreault has led the company since this period, adding chairman to his CEO title in February 2016.
Duperreault was also intrigued by the idea of marrying technology, analytics and underwriting when he joined Hamilton, and he continued to build on this vision when he partnered with former employer AIG and Two Sigma in 2016 to jointly develop and launch Attune, a technology-enabled, customer-centric insurance platform designed for the U.S.-based small commercial enterprise market.
The three companies announced this morning that they are expanding the technology partnership. Details of the partnership include AIG agreeing to acquire Hamilton Insurance Group’s U.S. platform, Hamilton USA. In addition, AIG and Two Sigma Insurance Quantified plan to accelerate the use of data science and technology for AIG’s global book of commercial insurance business. See related article.
Technology Push; Leadership Experience
Serving as chairman of Attune, Duperreault has also been active in pushing for industrywide technology improvements, calling for the industry to find the right balance between activities handled by machines to eliminate inefficiencies and those that require human effort. (See, for example, an interview at the InsurTech Connect 2016 conference available here, and a presentation at the Casualty Actuarial Society’s 2014 Annual Meeting here.)
At Hamilton, he has also been active in a collective effort to attract more millennials into the insurance industry through participation in an annual Insurance Careers Month in February along with other initiatives. The Institutes, MyPath, Valen Analytics and PCI are among other groups also involved with the project.
In addition to giving impassioned speeches about the need to bring “digital natives” into the industry, Duperreault is a crusader for the cause of bringing more women into insurance industry C-suites and boardrooms. “Part of the reason lies in the role women have played in my life. My mother raised me by herself. She had sole responsibility for me and worked hard to make sure my childhood was safe and a happy one, that I received a good education, and that my moral compass was true,” he told an audience at the IICF Women in Global Insurance Conference two years ago, emphasizing the need for CEOs to use “a strong, heartfelt narrative” to explain why they are committed to creating equal opportunities for women and men.
Executives who have worked with Duperreault offered their own heartfelt narratives when they paid tribute to him during a video screened as he was inducted into the Insurance Hall of Fame in 2011, referring to his integrity, compassion and people-oriented management style. Don Kramer, chair and CEO of ILS Capital Management and the former leader of ACE Tempest Re, spoke about Duperreault’s conscious efforts to listen to colleagues even when he disagrees with an idea, highlighting the traits that he believes make Duperreault such a great leader—a rare combination of likability and decisiveness.
Also included in the Hall of Fame video was Maurice Greenberg, former chair and CEO of AIG and current chair and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co. Inc., who remembered Duperreault’s early years in the insurance industry, starting as an actuary at AIG in 1973. Greenberg called Duperreault a “great strategist and leader.”
Hamilton’s Interim Leader
Brown served as the CEO of Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings Ltd. from its foundation in October 2005 until November 2012. Flagstone was one of a group of “Class of 2005” Bermuda reinsurers, which also included Validus Holdings. Validus acquired Flagstone in 2012.
Prior to taking the helm at Flagstone, Brown served as chief executive of Centre Solutions from 1994 until 1997. He joined Centre from Ernst & Young. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda.
Brown has also been chairman of the board at the Bermuda Stock Exchange since 2000.
Hamilton’s new chairman, Freda had a 40-year career at Deloitte LLP, having worked there from the time he graduated Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. until 2014. At Deloitte, Freda served on a wide range of multinational engagements, interacting with clients’ audit committees, boards of directors and senior management to address critical strategic issues. His positions included chairman of the Risk Committee and the Audit Committee of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s board of directors and managing partner of Deloitte’s U.S. client initiatives.