Zurich North America has a new head of Casualty – a rising executive who has been with the Switzerland-based carrier since 1997. AXIS Re, the reinsurance arm of AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, found its latest Global Markets division president following an outside search.


Valerie Butt is the new head of Casualty for Zurich North America Commercial Insurance.

Valerie Butt

Butt, effective Oct. 16, will lead the casualty business and also be responsible for new and renewal business. She replaces Brandon Fick, who was named chief underwriting officer for Zurich North America. Butt will be based in Chicago and report to Paul Horgan, head of Zurich North America Commercial Insurance.

Since joining Zurich in 1997, Butt has held a number of leadership positions in underwriting, customer relationship and distribution teams in Commercial Insurance and Global Corporate.

Most recently, Butt was global head of Customer, Distribution and Market Management for Commercial Insurance. In this role, she led the team responsible for developing and deepening relationships with key global customers, devising and implementing the go-to-market strategy and partnering with strategic brokers to drive growth and retention. Under her leadership, Zurich won the 2016 Strategic Account Management Association’s Excellence Award for “Outstanding SAM Program Leadership for Mature Programs.”


AXIS Re, the reinsurance arm of AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, appointed Ann Haugh as president of its Global Markets division.

Haugh will oversee AXIS Re Strategic Partners, global Specialty Re and AXIS Re’s international business platform in the Lloyd’s market. Also, Haugh will be a member of the Reinsurance Leadership Team and will report to AXIS Re CEO Steve Arora. She will be based in London.

Haugh joins AXIS Re from the international insurance services firm Thomas Miller, where she served as group chief operating officer. Previously, she held a number of senior underwriting and operations leadership positions at Aspen Insurance Group and Zurich Insurance.

Separately, AXIS Re announced that Rob Smart, currently interim president of Global Markets, has been appointed to the newly created role of head of Specialty Re and will report to Haugh. The Specialty Re unit, which is within AXIS Re’s Global Markets division, was established in May 2018 when AXIS announced a new organizational design for its reinsurance segment.

Sources: AXIS Re, Zurich Insurance

Topics Reinsurance