Markel improves Q1 combined ratio to 89%
Markel Corporation has announced that Richard (Richie) Whitt, its co-chief executive officer (CEO), plans to retire by 31 March, 2023. Co-CEO Tom Gayner will become CEO responsible for holding company strategy and oversight of Markel's insurance, investments and Markel Ventures businesses. He also will continue in his role as the chief investment officer of Markel.
Upon Whitt's retirement, 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. After stepping down, Whitt will remain with the company in a consulting role to ensure a seamless transition.
"On behalf of the board, executive leadership team and employees at Markel, we would like to thank Richie for his leadership and dedication to Markel for over three decades," said chairman Steven Markel. "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."
Whitt has served as co-CEO of Markel since 2016, which he joined in 1991. He has held numerous senior leadership roles, including as president and chief operating officer from 2010 to 2015. He 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," Whitt said. "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."
Gayner added: "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. 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. Together, we congratulate him on a remarkable career and thank him for his invaluable contributions to Markel."
Gayner’s appointment as sole CEO upon Richie's retirement next year reflects his “excellent leadership and stewardship” of Markel over the past six years as co-CEO, Markel said. "From the time my grandfather started the business in the 1930's until today, evolution has been key to our enduring success. Tom's vision has enabled Markel's continued evolution into the global holding company it is today. We are grateful for Tom's commitment to Markel and look forward to him becoming CEO of our company."
Noble 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 under way.
Markal has also announced other leadership appointments that are effective immediately.
Michael Heaton, president of Markel Ventures, will assume the newly created role of executive vice president (EVP) of Markel, with managerial responsibility over holding company functions. Andrew Crowley, EVP of Markel Ventures, will succeed Heaton as president of Markel Ventures.