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Hiscox chairman to step down after 47 years

Hiscox chairman Robert Hiscox has decided to step down after 47 years with the company.

Mr Hiscox said he would leave the Bermuda-based insurer’s board of directors this time next year.

The 69-year-old Briton has led the company that bears his name since his father died in 1970.

In an interview with

The Royal Gazette, Mr Hiscox said the move to Bermuda in 2006 when the group shifted its domicile to the Island from London had worked out well.

“Bermuda’s been very good to us, not only financially,” Mr Hiscox said. “It helped us to go international and Bermuda has shown that you can underwrite international business on a small island 600 miles from anywhere, and that’s a remarkable achievement really.”

He said he believed the company was in good shape, having survived a brutal year of catastrophe losses well enough to post a £17.4 million profit. He was bullish about the prospects for 2012.

“Rates are going up and I think this is going to be a cracking good year,” he said.

Asked what about the biggest changes that he’d seen in his 47 years in the business, he said technology had transformed the underwriting profession.

“When I started there were no computers and no management information worth a candle,” Mr Hiscox said. He recalled books containing triangulation figures being written up and coming back to the firm’s Lloyd’s syndicate three weeks later. “Nobody really bothered to look at them,” he added.

“Now we’re up to our eyeballs in management information. That is taking the gut instinct and intuition out of the business.”

In a statement published by Hiscox yesterday, Mr Hiscox said: “I have always aimed to employ people brighter than I am, and have always believed that a businessman should only be judged a success if the business thrives after he has gone.

“I am convinced that the current top executives prove that I have achieved my employment ambition, and I know that they have the talent and the drive to create a truly great business well into the future.”

Mr Hiscox told the

Gazette that he was looking forward to having more time for relaxation.

“For 47 years I’ve been a slave to this business,” Mr Hiscox said. “Now I’m looking forward to a bit of freedom, to buy more art and play more tennis.”

Hiscox chairman Robert Hiscox: To retire in 2013

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Published February 28, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 28, 2012 at 7:50 am)

Hiscox chairman to step down after 47 years

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