William (Bill) Cullen
22 September 2023News

Energy mutual CEO to step down

The chief executive officer of a leading mutual insurer of the energy industry is to step down after six years in charge and 26 years with the company.

William (Bill) Cullen announced this week he was stepping down as CEO and president of Bermuda-registered Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services (AEGIS).

He will be succeeded by William (Bill) Hillman, currently EVP and chief underwriting officer of AEGIS. The transition will take place on January 1, 2024. Cullen will remain on the Board and Hillman will be elected as a Director of the Company.

"With the Company in its strongest financial position ever and with a talented, tested leader ready to step in, the time is right for me to retire. I am very pleased that Bill Hillman will be my successor,” said Cullen. “I have worked with Bill for 25 years, first as an AEGIS reinsurance broker and for the last ten years as part of our senior management team. His demonstrated knowledge and experience in the energy and insurance industries will assure continued success for the Company."

Under Cullen’s leadership, AEGIS established its London operation as a top-quartile Lloyd’s syndicate, that continues to produce strong returns to member surplus. Over the past six years, AEGIS’ annual premium has doubled from $1.3 billion to $2.6 billion, surplus has grown from $1.4 billion to $2.3 billion and assets have increased from $6.5 billion to $10 billion.

"I am proud of all that we have achieved. Together, we have built our management team and product offerings to meet our members' evolving needs while delivering a consistently strong financial performance,” Cullen said.

Hillman added: "I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead AEGIS. Throughout my 25 years of involvement with the Company, I have always been impressed with this truly unique and high-quality organisation. Joining AEGIS ten years ago further increased my appreciation of the Company's member focus and its commitment to its mission of serving the energy industry.”

Under Hillman’s leadership, property underwriting will be led by Tom Cain, who will be promoted to SVP head of property. Casualty underwriting will be led by Martin Gaffney, who will be promoted to SVP head of casualty.

"Tom and Martin are demonstrated leaders and have strong underwriting teams supporting them. I have confidence in their continued success in their new roles," Hillman added.

"On behalf of the entire Board, I want to express our gratitude and appreciation for Bill Cullen's outstanding leadership and contributions to AEGIS," said Wes von Schack, AEGIS chairman. "During his 20-year tenure as Chief Underwriting Officer and the past six years as president and chief executive officer, Bill Cullen skilfully guided the Company through incredibly challenging periods in both the energy and insurance industries while delivering outstanding financial results.

“The Board could not be more pleased with the state of the Company and the smooth leadership transition from Bill Cullen to Bill Hillman. I am confident in the Company's continued success under Bill Hillman's leadership as President and CEO."

AEGIS London has also appointed a new head of risk, who previously held key roles at Starr Companies and Lloyd’s.

As head of risk, Viren Patel will lead AEGIS London’s risk team, focusing on areas such as internal model validation, ORSA (own risk and solvency assessment), and risk reporting.

Before joining AEGIS London, Patel held the role of head of risk at Starr Companies for five years, with a focus on core ERM, internal model validation, and ESG. Prior to that, he held a number of London market risk and actuarial roles, specifically within capital modelling and validation. He also spent a number of years working at Lloyd’s.

Patel will report to Graeme Tennyson, who said: “We are delighted that Viren has joined our team. He brings with him in-depth knowledge of the industry and a wealth of experience. His understanding of the risk management landscape in the Lloyd’s market will support our clients and the wider business. He is an excellent addition to the AEGIS London risk team, and his appointment further strengthens our capabilities in this critical area.”