Bermuda-based White Mountains Insurance Group named Ray Barrette president and CEO of White Mountains effective Jan. 1, 2003.
Barrette joined the company as CFO in 1997 and was promoted to president in 1999. On June 1, 2001, Barrette resigned as president to take over day-to-day control of the company’s OneBeacon operations. He is currently the chairman and CEO of OneBeacon Insurance Group.
Jack Byrne, the company’s chairman and current CEO, noted, “Ray was the driving force behind White Mountains’ move to Bermuda and the turn-around at OneBeacon, where his performance has been nothing short of spectacular. Ray is passionate about the business and understands that financial and underwriting discipline comes first. I am confident our owners will prosper under his leadership.”
John Gillespie, a director since 1999, has been elected a deputy chairman of the Board. Gillespie currently serves as managing director – Capital and Investments at OneBeacon and is responsible for managing OneBeacon’s $10 billion portfolio of invested assets and capital. Byrne added, “John has done an outstanding job with our investments. Not only has he dodged all the bullets on the investment side, White Mountains has enjoyed positive returns at a time when many have faltered.”
Byrne will remain chairman of the Board of Directors, a position he has held since 1985 and, by the Board’s leave, intends to hold until at least 2005. In announcing his retirement as CEO, Byrne said, “For the last two years, Ray, John and I have worked together overseeing White Mountains’ insurance operations. Ray and John have performed in an exemplary fashion and results in our insurance operations and in the management of our assets have been splendid.”
Tom Kemp, Byrne’s long-time associate, is also retiring effective Jan. 1, 2003 from his position as White Mountains’ president.
Kemp, a director since 1994 will remain on the Board and will continue to serve the company in an advisory capacity. Byrne added, “Tom has been by my side for much of the last 26 years. His steady hand has added great value to our enterprise.”
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