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Flagstone Re cofounder Byrne dies

Mark Byrne

A founder and former chairman of Bermuda reinsurer Flagstone Re has died in Canada.

Mark Byrne, who cofounded Flagstone with David Brown, died in Montreal last Thursday. He was 55.

Mr Byrne was involved in the island’s insurance and reinsurance business as an owner, investor and board member for many years.

Mr Byrne stepped down as executive chairman of Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings in 2010, shortly after Flagstone announced it had completed a redomicile from Bermuda to Luxembourg, although the company maintained its presence on the island.

He helped found Flagstone in 2005, and after stepping down as executive chairman remained a board member for a number of years.

Steve Coley, Flagstone’s governance committee chairman, said at the time: “Mark and David founded Flagstone together as partners and as the company has reached a certain level of maturity. Mark recommended and the board agreed that the executive leadership of only one of the founding partners is required to take the business forward.”

Flagstone Re was acquired by Validus Holdings in 2012.

Mr Byrne, originally from County Wexford, Ireland, was a qualified jet pilot and flew his own private plane around the world.

He also headed Bermuda Government’s Education Board for a short time in 2009, standing down after six months due to what he said was a “a lack of political will” to improve the system.

In 1993 he became chairman of Haverford, a holding company for insurance interests in Bermuda and internationally.

Mr Byrne also set up Longtail Aviation in 1999.

A self-confessed aviation fanatic, who started out learning how to fly gliders at age of 13, Mr Byrne said in 2008: “I love to fly whenever I get the chance. I fly helicopters, light planes, gliders, everything.”

Longtail Aviation has offices in Martigny, Switzerland, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as its headquarters at the Longtail Hangar in Southside, St David’s.

Mr Byrne is survived by his wife Rebecca, four children, Sophie, Jacqueline, Matthew and Christopher, as well as his mother, Dorothy Byrne and brothers John and Patrick.