Hannover Re Taps Rod Fox as Clarendon’s New CEO

February 3, 2006

After a spell in the wilderness, Rodman Fox is back in charge of a major U.S. insurance operation. Germany’s Hannover Re announced that Fox has been appointed CEO of its U.S. subsidiary Clarendon Insurance Group. He replaces Steven Najjar, who has served as Clarendon’s CEO for the past 16 months, and who will now become CEO of Hannover Finance Inc.

Fox was a major force in bringing about the the merger between E.W. Blanch and the U.K.’s Benfield Grieg in May 2001. He was subsequently named CEO of Benfield’s U.S. operations, which he ran from its Westport, Conn. headquarters. Fox, however, took a leave of absence from the company in 2004 for unspecified reasons. He recently resurfaced in August 2005, when Benfield announced that he had accepted an appointment as an assistant to Benfield Corporate Risk Chief Executive, John Lapsley, “in the development phase of the Group’s new corporate risk insurance broking business which specializes in complex risks across a number of sectors.”

His new position with Clarendon is somewhat more elevated. Hannover Re’s CEO Wilhelm Zeller commented: “Rod is an energetic and dynamic leader with a proven track record of building successful insurance businesses, developing deep customer and industry relationships, and creating meaningful value for shareholders.” He also pointed to Fox’s 20 years of experience and his “intimate knowledge” of Clarendon,” indicating, “Rod is the ideal person to spearhead Clarendon’s further growth and development.”

Fox’s knowledge, experience and dynamic personality might be just what Clarendon needs, as it repositions itself as a specialty lines carrier and exits most of its program business. (See IJ Website July 6, 2005). “Rod joins Clarendon at a time when the property & casualty markets are very attractive, and we are committed to further refining our Clarendon platform and creating a powerful presence in niche specialty lines, which offer compelling growth opportunities,” Zeller noted. “Steve Najjar has been instrumental in setting that course. We value Steve’s continued insights and are pleased to have Rod on board.”

Fox seemed equally pleased. “Having worked closely with Clarendon for over 15 years, I believe in the immense potential that this organization offers,” he commented. “Today, Clarendon is a $2 billion company with roughly $1 billion of capital, strong parental support in Hannover Re, a market-leading core business of partnering with managing general agents, and clear momentum in its specialty initiatives. I am delighted to lead an organization with such tremendous upside and look forward to leveraging this platform to capitalize on the clear market opportunities that exist today.”

Najjar didn’t seem too disappointed to be stepping down. He commented: “Serving as Clarendon’s Chief Executive Officer over the past year and a half during this important transformational period has been very rewarding and I look forward to continuing to be actively involved in the business. That said, the company is now ready for its next phase of development, and I can think of no one better prepared than Rod to lead Clarendon’s continued evolution.”

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.