Insurance Investor: News round-up
A quick guide for all the news you may have missed in the investment space for insurers.
Insurance Investor Editorposted on Friday, May 06, 2022
Comings and goings
Industry giant Markel Corporation announced Richard Whitt, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Markel, will retire by March 31, 2023. Jeremy Noble, Senior Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer will assume responsibilities for leading Markel's global insurance platform, consisting of insurance, reinsurance, programme services and insurance-linked securities businesses. In the meantime, Whitt will remain with the company in a consulting role.
“Richie has represented Markel's culture and values, especially the zealous pursuit of excellence, which has led to the transformation of the insurance business into a global leader”
Noble has held multiple roles of leadership at Markel before becoming Chief Financial Officer in 2018, including Finance Director, Markel International; Managing Director, Internal Audit; and Assistant Controller.
“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,” said Steven Markel, Chairman of the Board of Markel.
Whitt has served as Co-CEO of Markel since 2016. Since joining Markel in 1991, he has held numerous senior leadership roles, including 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. Whitt led Markel in a variety of acquisitions including Alterra, Nephila and State National.
“Serving as Co-CEO of Markel and spending the vast majority of my career with this incredible company has truly been an honour," said Whitt. "It has been a privilege working together with Tom on behalf of the whole Markel family. I am excited for the bright future that lies ahead for Markel, and I could not be more confident in turning over the reins to Jeremy to lead the insurance engine going forward.”
Co-CEO Tom Gayner will become Chief Executive Officer responsible for holding company strategy and oversight of Markel's insurance, investments sections, and Markel Ventures. He also will continue in his role as the chief investment officer of Markel.
Markus Aho has been appointed Varma’s Chief Investment Officer. Aho will take on the role at Finnish pension insurance specialist Varma’s from June 1. The company, founded in 1998, is based in Helsinki.
Aho will also become a member of Varma’s Executive Group. He will report to President and CEO Risto Murto.
“I am pleased to announce Aho as Varma’s Chief Investment Officer and a member of the Executive Group. He is well acquainted with Varma’s investment operations, work culture and values. Markus is very well equipped to take on this demanding role,” says CEO Risto Murto.
“Varma’s investment operations are very strong, and together we will carry on the organisation’s long-term work to secure investment returns and solvency”
In assuming the role of CIO, Aho will leave his position as Varma’s Head of Private Investments. Aho has also previously worked as Varma’s Head of Private Equity. Before Varma, he worked at Pontos and Accenture.
“I am grateful for the confidence shown in me and I look forward to starting in my new role. Varma’s investment operations are very strong, and together we will carry on the organisation’s long-term work to secure investment returns and solvency,” says Aho.
Varma’s investment operations are currently headed by Reima Rytsölä, who will assume the role of CEO of Solidium as of 1 August 2022.