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XL’s McGavick dismisses AIG speculation

Staying put: Mike McGavick, CEO of XL Catlin, says he would not be tempted by the AIG CEO job

The chief executive officer of XL Catlin has dismissed speculation linking him with the vacant CEO’s role at American International Group.

In an internal company e-mail, Mike McGavick made clear that he had no intention of leaving the island-based business insurer.

Last week Peter Hancock became the sixth CEO to leave AIG since 2005 after the New York-based insurer, which has offices in Bermuda, posted losses in four of the past six quarters.

Mr McGavick was one of the names suggested as likely to be on AIG’s shortlist by the New York Times’ Dealbook.

“While such speculation may be viewed as flattering, I thought I would write and make a couple of things clear: first, I have not been contacted by AIG, and have no knowledge of whether they have an interest in me or not,” Mr McGavick wrote in the internal company e-mail.

“They will, I am sure, have plenty of excellent candidates to choose from. But I will not be one of them.”

Details of the e-mail were first revealed by insurance publication The Insurance Insider and an XL Catlin spokeswoman confirmed that the CEO had told staff he wasn’t interested in moving to AIG.

Mr McGavick succeeded Brian O’Hara as XL’s CEO in May 2008 and guided the company through the most challenging period in its history during the global financial crisis.

In the e-mail, Mr McGavick said he loved working at XL and intended to remain in his current post.

“Again, I do not mean for this to sound presumptive — AIG may never have called — but see no point in letting such speculation create any confusion when I am so excited about our future together at XL Catlin,” he added.

Other leaders of Bermudian insurers to be mentioned in speculation about who will take over at AIG include Brian Duperreault, chairman and chief executive officer of Hamilton Insurance Group, whose name has been brought up by analysts as well as in media reports.

Dinos Iordanou, CEO of Arch Capital, is another name mentioned.

John Heagerty, an analyst at Atlantic Equities, suggested that the best choice for AIG might be Dan Glaser, CEO of Marsh & McLennan, or John Keogh, the chief operating officer at Chubb Ltd. Both are former AIG executives.

Mr Heagerty said: “The job is incredibly demanding and possibly the most complicated within the property-and-casualty industry.” The analyst added: “With a high level of expectation for any incoming CEO, there is a question as to whether any new CEO could truly succeed. As such, any new CEO is likely to command a substantial remuneration package.”