Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Limited announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Board member and former Chairman Michael A. Butt as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
He succeeds John R. Charman following the decision by the Board to replace him as Chairman. “Butt had served successfully as AXIS Capital’s chairman for almost ten years prior to the recent appointment of Mr. Charman to that position,” said the bulletin, adding that Butt “assures a thorough understanding of the role and priorities to be carried out by the Chairman of AXIS Capital.”
Charman was instrumental in the formation of AXIS – then called Axis Specialty – in November 2001, serving as its first president and CEO. The insurance and reinsurance company was established by Marsh & McLennan subsidiary MMC Capital through its Trident II L.P. fund with an initial capitalization of $1.6 billion. Other investors included JPMorgan Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners, The Blackstone Group and Credit Suisse First Boston.
AXIS bulletin explained that the change in Board leadership came after the Board endeavored to resolve differences with Charman “over his understanding of the role and responsibilities of the Chairman position. After the Board and Mr. Charman were unable to reach a resolution, the Board concluded that the Company would be best served by someone else serving as Chairman and terminated Mr. Charman without cause from the position of Chairman under the terms of his employment agreement.” It added that as “Charman was elected to the Board by the Company’s shareholders, he will remain a member of the Board of Directors.”
Henry B. Smith, Lead Independent Director, made the pro forma announcement thanking Charman “for his contribution to AXIS Capital’s success over the past decade.” He noted Charman’s “tireless years of service and work ethic,” which he said has “helped to build and lay the groundwork for our Company’s continued success for many years to come.”
Smith also noted that “Butt’s success as Chairman is proven, having served the Company in this capacity from September 2002 to May 2012. As Chairman, he assures AXIS Capital and its stakeholders with four decades of related industry experience and a thorough understanding of the Company. Michael previously served as the Chairman of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers from January 2008 through December 2009, and has served as a director at several publicly-traded insurance companies.”
Butt accepted his return to the position of Chairman, indicating that he has “the Board’s full support for our current strategy,” as well as the backing of “our CEO Albert Benchimol and the Company’s strong management team. We are confident that Albert and the team will continue to build the value of the Company for the long-term benefit of all stakeholders.”
Source: AXIS Capital