PartnerRe Appoints EXOR’s Elkann as Chairman; Clarke Named CEO

By Sonali Basak | March 24, 2016

EXOR SpA Chief Executive Officer John Elkann was named chairman of PartnerRe, the reinsurer that his investing firm acquired for [$6.9 billion on March 18, 2016 in its largest takeover].

PartnerRe President Emmanuel Clarke was named CEO of the reinsurer, the Bermuda-based company said Thursday in a statement.

Elkann, a member of Italy’s billionaire Agnelli family, won a hostile takeover battle for PartnerRe last year, breaking up a merger agreement between the reinsurer and AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. EXOR, the family’s firm, also controls car makers Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ferrari NV and has been reshaping its portfolio. The investing firm reached a deal last year to become the largest investor in the Economist.

“I am honored to assume the role of chairman of PartnerRe, and very pleased that we can appoint from within the company a CEO of the caliber and experience of Emmanuel Clarke,” Elkann said in the statement. “His intimate knowledge of PartnerRe and his deep understanding of the sector will prove crucial as we embrace the challenges and the many exciting opportunities we have in front of us.”

PartnerRe had been led by CEO Costas Miranthis, who departed after the AXIS deal was announced. David Zwiener stepped in as interim CEO, and Carlyle Group LP announced Thursday that the firm hired him to advise on investments in banking and insurance.

Reinsurers have been challenged in recent years as new competitors in the industry have pressured pricing, and low bond yields have squeezed investing returns.

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