A former Chubb executive is officially the new president and CEO of PartnerRe Ld., taking over as the Bermuda-based reinsurer reported 2020 second quarter results hammered by COVID-19 challenges.

The Bermuda-based reinsurer disclosed that Jacques Bonneau would take on the top slot after having been a member of the company’s Board of Directors since February 2019. Bonneau also served on the company’s Audit Committee and was chairman of its Underwriting and Risk Committee during that time.

He succeeds Emmanuel Clarke, who PartnerRe said is departing “by mutual agreement” to pursue other opportunities.

Brian Dowd, PartnerRe’s board chairman, said the company is getting a leader with a strong track record and reputation.

Bonneau “brings over 40 years of experience in our industry, a strong track record in reinsurance underwriting and deep knowledge of our clients and brokers,” Dowd said in prepared remarks.

He added that Bonneau’s PartnerRe board experience has given him “detailed knowledge and insight of PartnerRe’s people and business.”

Before PartnerRe, Bonneau was a CEO of Ace/Chubb Tempest Re Group and is former Group Chief Underwriting Officer of Chubb Ltd.

Clarke, meanwhile is credited by the company with helping PartnerRe transition under EXOR ownership.

Covid-19 Hurts

PartnerRe booked $229 million in net income during Q2 2020, versus $285 million in the 2019 second quarter. Investments helped, with the company booking $588 million in net investment gains during the quarter, a large improvement over Q1 when the fast-growing coronavirus pandemic rattled the financial markets.

At the same time, P/C net premiums written dropped 30 percent in Q2 and in the 2020 first half compared to the same periods in 2019. That’s due to the economic downturn and ongoing efforts to optimize the underwriting portfolio, the company said.

Non-life underwriting losses reached $260 million in Q2 with a 121.3 combined ratio, along with a $306 million underwriting loss and 112.6 combined ratio in the 2020 first half. In 2019, non-life underwriting profit hit $95 million, with a 92.8 combined ratio for the 2019 first quarter. The 2019 first half produced a $119 million underwriting profit and 95 combined ratio.

PartnerRe reported $338 million in pre-tax catastrophe losses, net of retrocession and reinsurance premiums, for the 2020 first half due to COVID-19. Losses stemmed from business interruption and event cancellation coverages, financial risk lines credit exposures and life and health business claims.

Source: PartnerRe