Brit placed on negative watch; future of chairman unclear


Insurer Brit has been placed on negative watch by rating agency Fitch, following the announcement of the insurer’s sale to financial services company Fairfax for £1.22 billion.

Brit, which opened a subsidiary on Bermuda in 2013, has been placed on negative watch because of Fitch's uncertainty about whether ownership by Fairfax will constrain Brit's rating, given that Fitch has not maintained a rating on Fairfax since November 2013.

The rating agency said that it will endeavour to update its view on Fairfax and the impact on Brit's ratings as part of the Fairfax group.

Additionally, the future of Brit’s chairman, Richard Ward, is unclear following the acquisition. Ward, who joined Brit in 2014, previously served as the chief executive of Lloyd's from April 2006 to December 2013.

According to a spokesperson for the company, Ward is “expected to maintain a relationship with the business” but would not elaborate on what that would be.

Fairfax confirmed that Mark Cloutier, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Brit, would be retained.

Fairfax said: "Fairfax recognises the success of the chairman, Dr Richard Ward, and CEO, Mark Cloutier, of Brit, and the Brit senior management team in creating significant value in a relatively short period of time. Fairfax is fully supportive of the management’s current business plan and strategy and intends to retain Mark Cloutier and as much of the existing key management team as possible."

Brit, Fitch; Bermuda, Insurance, Fairfax, Richard Ward, Mark Cloutier, Reinsurance

Bermuda Re