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Markel Corporation announced Wednesday that Richard R. Whitt III, co-chief executive officer of Markel, plans to retire by March 31, 2023.

Upon Whitt’s retirement, Thomas S. Gayner, co-chief executive officer of Markel, will become CEO, and Jeremy A. Noble, senior vice president and chief financial officer, will assume responsibilities for leading Markel’s global insurance platform.

As CEO, Gayner will become responsible for holding company strategy and oversight of Markel’s three profit producing engines of insurance, investments and Markel Ventures. He also will continue in his role as the chief investment officer of Markel.

The global insurance platform, which Noble will lead, includes Markel’s insurance, reinsurance, program services and insurance linked securities businesses.

After stepping down, Whitt will remain with the Company in a consulting role to ensure a seamless transition

“Richie and I have been working side by side for over 30 years to build Markel into one of the world’s great companies, and I join with the rest of the Markel family in thanking him for his partnership,” Gayner said in a media statement. “Over this time, we’ve grown from working with about 300 colleagues to over 20,000, and throughout that time Richie has always risen to the occasion, leading with integrity and determination throughout,” he said, congratulating Whitt on a remarkable career and thanking him for his contributions to Markel.

Steven A. Markel, chairman of the board also thanked Whitt. “Throughout his career at Markel, Richie has represented Markel’s culture and values, especially honesty, fairness, and the zealous pursuit of excellence, which has led to the transformation of the insurance business into a global leader. We have never been in a stronger position,” the chairman said.

Richie Whitt, Markel Corp.

Whitt joined Markel in 1991, serving in many senior leadership roles before becoming Co-CEO in 2016. He served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2010 to 2015. He also served as Controller; Vice President, Treasurer and Controller; Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Markel’s international operations; Chief Financial Officer; and Co-Chief Operating Officer.

Noble, who has more than 20 years of experience and has held multiple leadership roles at Markel, will retain the duties of principal financial officer of the Company until these duties are transitioned to his successor. A recruitment process for this position is underway. Before becoming Chief Financial Officer in 2018, Noble held titles including: Finance Director, Markel International; Managing Director, Internal Audit; and Assistant Controller.

In addition to the news about Whitt, Gayner and Noble, Markel announced several other leadership appointments. These are effective immediately:

  • Michael R. Heaton, President, Markel Ventures, will assume the newly created role of Executive Vice President of Markel, with managerial responsibility over holding company functions.
  • Andrew G. Crowley, Executive Vice President, Markel Ventures, will succeed Heaton as President, Markel Ventures.

Source: Markel Corporation