Tower Group CEO, Chairman Lee Resigns; Fox, Van Gorder to Succeed

February 7, 2014

Michael H. Lee, Tower Group International Ltd. chairman, president and chief executive officer, has resigned from the company and the company’s board of directors to pursue personal and other career opportunities, the company announced today.

The resignation is effective immediately.

William W. Fox, Jr., who had served as a member of the board and of the board’s audit, corporate governance and nominating committees until his resignation from the board on Dec. 31, 2013, is expected to succeed Lee as president and CEO of Tower upon the finalization of his employment terms, the company said.

Also, Jan R. Van Gorder, lead independent director of the board and a member of the board’s audit, compensation and corporate governance and nominating committees, will succeed Lee as chairman of the board.

Van Gorder, age 66, had previously served on the board of directors of Tower Group Inc. from February 2009 until March 2013, when TGI merged with a subsidiary of Canopius Group Holdings Ltd. and became a subsidiary of the Tower. He also previously served on the board of CastlePoint Holdings Ltd. from March 2007 until February 2009, when CastlePoint merged with a subsidiary of TGI.

Van Gorder’s experience in the property/casualty industry includes employment at Erie Insurance Group (November 1981 through December 2006) in a variety of positions, including acting CEO from January 2002 to May 2002 and senior executive vice president, secretary and general counsel from December 1990 through December 2006.

He also served on the board of directors of Erie Indemnity Co. from 1990 to 2004, and as a past director and chairman of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.

Fox, age 72, who has 40 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry, became a director of TGI in April 2006. His positions in the industry included stints with Balis & Co. Inc. and its successor, the Guy Carpenter reinsurance brokerage division of Marsh & McLennan Companies from 1962 through 1988, and again from 1992 through 1999, where he also served on the Guy Carpenter’s executive committee and board of directors.

Towers Group International announced on Jan. 6, 2014, that on Jan. 3, 2014 it had entered into a merger agreement with ACP Re Ltd. and a wholly-owned subsidiary of ACP Re. Tower will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of ACP Re when that deal closes, which is expected to happen by the summer of 2014.

Tower has been dealing with downgrades linked to reserving issues and laying off some employees.

Source: Tower Group International Ltd.

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  • February 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm
    Insurance Geek says:
    Good riddance
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