7 July 2015News

Thiele ‘self-interested’, says PartnerRe

The board of Bermuda-based PartnerRe has criticised its former chief executive officer (CEO), describing him as “self-interested”.

Patrick Thiele, the former CEO of PartnerRe, recently spoke to Bloomberg, recommending that PartnerRe’s shareholders should vote against a planned merger with Axis. He also called the cash offer from Exor a better option.

In a filing, the board of PartnerRe said: “Bloomberg missed a very important, as yet undisclosed, part of this story.”

The reinsurer went on to say that a few days after the announcement of the Axis merger, Thiele sent an email to the board expressing his support for the merger.

He also made a proposal that he be appointed as co-CEO to help with the integration process and PartnerRe’s reinsurance business, said the board. This was in exchange for a substantial compensation package, in excess of $2 million in the aggregate.

“Additionally, he requested a seat on the board of the combined entity. The PartnerRe board respectfully denied Thiele’s proposal,” said the filing.

The board added that in June, Thiele wrote again stating he had been in contact with John Elkann of Exor and had offered to assist in the transition of PartnerRe to Exor ownership “in a similar fashion as I offered [PartnerRe]”.

“He also indicated that he might also advise Exor on the proxy contest. The PartnerRe board responded that they were surprised and disappointed with Thiele’s self-interested actions and his willingness to become an agent for Exor after having first sought to be helpful to the transaction,” said the filing.

The board added that it was “reluctant” to make this public previously as they were focused on the transaction. “However, given Mr Thiele’s comments, we feel we need to set the record straight,” they said.