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XL names Bermuda building after O’Hara

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XL Group has renamed its Bermuda office building in honour of its first employee and former chairman and CEO Brian O’Hara.

The unveiling of the new name took place at the main entrance of the Bermudiana Road building during an internal celebration recognising Mr O’Hara’s career contributions.

A stunned and surprised Mr O’Hara asked current CEO Mike McGavick: “Are you sure you want to do this? Shouldn’t we keep it branded XL House?”

However, Mr McGavick and other XL colleagues assured him that then name change was definite and that he was well deserving of the honour.

This sentiment was echoed throughout the afternoon celebration last Thursday which was attended by several industry veterans who are former XL employees including Henry Keeling, Fiona Luck and Bob Cooney.

Mr Keeling, executive vice-president and chief operating officer until his retirement from XL in August 2008, XL’s chief executive of reinsurance operations Jamie Veghte and Mr McGavick all paid tribute to Mr O’Hara’s leadership and loyalty to XL and the Bermuda market.

This message was reiterated later that evening at a private celebration at Harry’s restaurant attended by industry leaders, brokers, current and former XL colleagues and other friends of Mr O’Hara. There speakers, including Mike O’Halleran, executive chairman of Aon Benfield, and Brian Duperreault, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc, spoke of their career and personal relationships with Mr O’Hara, praising his leadership skills and integrity.

Mr O’Hara joined XL at its inception in 1986 and was instrumental in growing the company into the global player it is today in the insurance and reinsurance industry, with around 60 offices in more than 20 countries and shareholders’ equity of almost $10 billion.

He served as CEO for 14 years before retiring in 2008.

During both events, an approximately two-minute trailer video of an XL 25th anniversary film, “XL[AT]25, Making the World Go”, was shown. The full video, approximately 25 minutes, tells the story of XL’s formation and development from 1986 to 2011. It includes interviews with XL co-founder Bob Newhouse, original Board members and past and present executives.

The Bermuda celebrations were part of several events and activities that XL has planned throughout the year to mark its silver anniversary.

New name: XL Group unveils that the new name of XL House, on Bermudiana Road, will be Brian M. O'Hara House, much to the surprise of Mr O'Hara, who is pictured in the foreground on the far left talking with current CEO Mike McGavick
The two Brians: Former XL CEO Brian O'Hara chats with Marsh & McLennan CEO Brian Duperreault at a private function to celebrate Mr O'Hara's careeer achievements with XL
Brian O'Hara: Speaking at an event last Thursday to honour his achievements with XL

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Published November 07, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 07, 2011 at 8:28 am)

XL names Bermuda building after O’Hara

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