Patrick G. Ryan, founder and executive chairman of the largest insurance intermediary, Aon Corp., said he intends to retire from Aon effective Aug. 1, 2008.
“After 41 years as CEO and three years as executive chairman, it is time to retire from active involvement. I will of course continue to be a dedicated and interested shareholder,” he said.
Ryan said the firm’s transition to a new management team under CEO Greg Case is complete.
Ryan, 70, founded Aon, which has its origin in a small insurance agency he started in 1964. That agency eventually became Ryan Insurance, a firm focused on a strategy of providing advice, consulting services and distribution of insurance products to the automotive industry.
In 1978, Ryan Insurance purchased the insurance brokerage subsidiaries of Esmark Corp., expanding into risk management services for commercial and industrial clients. In 1982, following a merger with Combined Insurance Co. of America, the company acquired Rollins Burdick Hunter, then the seventh largest insurance broker. The company continued to expand through organic growth and acquisition, and in 1987 changed its name to Aon Corp. Through the late 1980s and into the 1990s the company continued its strategy of acquisition. Today Aon operates with more than 500 offices in 120 countries generating revenues in excess of $7 billion.
Ryan will continue as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University, and as chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016, the effort to bring the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games to Chicago.