Arthur J. Remillard, Jr., the founder and chief executive officer of The Commerce Group, Inc., announced his intention to retire at the end of July of this year, culminating a 40 year career in the property and casualty insurance industry.
Remillard, age 75, who founded The Commerce Insurance Company in 1971 along with numerous affiliated companies, has served as the CEO and chairman of the board of The Commerce Group, Inc. since its inception in 1976. He plans to continue as a director of The Commerce Group, Inc.
In anticipation Remillard’s retirement, Gerald Fels has been elected president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of The Commerce Group, Inc. effective July 28, 2006. Fels is currently the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Commerce Group, as well as the president of The Commerce Insurance Company and its affiliated insurance companies.
Fels joined Commerce in 1975 as chief financial officer and, together with Remillard, helped lead Commerce to its current position on the New York Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of approximately $2 billion.
In announcing his plans for retirement, Remillard, noted his “long and wonderful journey with the company.” He began his insurance career back in 1966 when he acquired the C. M. Clark Insurance Agency, Inc., later merging it into the present day Clark-Prout Insurance Agency. He teamed up with fellow independent insurance agents and local businessmen in 1971 and created The Commerce Insurance Company located in Webster, Mass.
“Our small town start-up business now has more than 1.3 million policies in force, employs over 2,100 hard-working people, writes business through more than 2,000 agents across the country and is owned by more than 6,800 stockholders. I am both immensely proud of and humbled by these facts,” Remillard noted.
The Commerce Insurance Company, which is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, is the largest writer of personal automobile insurance in Massachusetts and is the principal operating subsidiary of The Commerce Group, Inc. (NYSE: CGI) headquartered in Webster, Massachusetts. Additional property and casualty insurance subsidiaries include Citation Insurance Company in Massachusetts, Commerce West Insurance Company in California and American Commerce Insurance Company in Ohio. Through its subsidiaries’ combined insurance operations, Commerce Group actively writes business in fourteen states and ranks as the 19th largest personal automobile insurance group in the country according to A.M. Best, based on 2004 direct written premium information.
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