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Wood steps down as Markel CatCo CUO

Graham Wood has stepped down from Markel CatCo Investment Management, where he was chief underwriting officer, and is to return to Britain after a nine-year spell in Bermuda.

His departure is by mutual agreement and is part of a “planned strategy” by the company, which intends to promote Lindsay Watson as its next chief underwriting officer.

Mr Wood was one of the founders of CatCo Investment Management, which was acquired by Markel Corporation in December.

Since arriving in Bermuda in 2007 he has filled key roles with a number of companies. He already had more than 20 years of experience as a reinsurance and retrocession intermediary and underwriter when he relocated from Gallagher Re's British team to lead its Bermudian-based operation.

Mr Wood went on to take a position with Oxygen Re, which catered for non-marine, marine and aviation treaty reinsurance. He headed the company's business development division and served as operations manager of Oxygen Insurance (Bermuda).

Then, in 2010, he was one of the founding directors of CatCo Investment Management, which launched CatCo-Re as a Bermudian-based $1 billion collateralised catastrophe reinsurance fund. The company brought together Mr Wood and future Markel CatCo Investment Management chief executive officer Tony Belisle, who was also formerly with Oxygen Re, and also Jason Bibb, the former chief operating officer of Citigroup's alternative asset division.

On December 8 last year, CatCo Investment Management was acquired by Markel Corporation. Mr Wood was part of the senior management team that saw Market CatCo's assets under management grow to more than $3 billion.

In a statement, the company said the departure of Mr Wood and the appointment of Ms Watson was in line with its planned strategy.

Mr Belisle, CEO of Markel CATCo Investment Management, said: “Graham's close management of our client relationships has been immense and I am very grateful for all of his help in building the business to the size it now is. We wish him well on his return to the UK.”

Ms Watson is a senior underwriter at Markel CatCo and has more than 13 years of experience in the US, Bermuda, and London property and casualty reinsurance markets. Previously she was a senior underwriter at Amlin, now known as MS Amlin, and also worked for reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter.

Mr Belisle said: “Lindsay has all of the necessary underwriting skills to move the business forward during this next stage of Markel CatCo's development.

“She is already fully immersed in all of the reinsurance business conducted at Markel CatCo and she was brought in originally as part of the underwriting team succession plan.”

Planned strategy: Graham Wood, left, has stepped down as chief underwriting officer with Markel CATCo Investment Management. He is pictured in 2012 with Tony Belisle, who is Markel CATCo's CEO

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Published May 11, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated May 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm)

Wood steps down as Markel CatCo CUO

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