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John Charman to retire from Sompo International

John Charman, an influential figure over a five-decade career in the re/insurance industry, is to retire from Bermudian-based Sompo International Holdings Ltd when his current contract expires next April.

Sompo, a specialty provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, said James Shea will succeed Mr Charman in his role of executive chairman of the board of directors, Sompo International Holdings Ltd, and chief executive officer of Overseas Insurance and Reinsurance Business, Sompo Holdings Inc.

In addition, Mr Shea will be appointed chief executive officer of Sompo International Holdings.

All of Mr Shea’s appointments will be effective September 1, subject to regulatory approvals, the company said.

Mr Charman said: “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a relatively short time at Sompo International.

“We have delivered on our promise of creating a truly formidable, integrated, global franchise that now has the scale, ratings, capital, talent and desire to compete and win in any market we choose to operate in.”

He added: “Having accomplished what we set out to do following the acquisition of Endurance by Sompo in 2017, I believe that the time is now appropriate for me to hand over the reins to Jim and to retire when my current contract expires.

“I am both very happy and extremely confident that Jim will continue to lead with the values that Sompo International has become known for – standing behind the promises we make to our clients, business partners and employees.

“Jim is an outstanding professional and he has my total support in his new role.”

Prior to joining Sompo, Mr Charman founded or held chief executive roles at a string of industry heavyweights, including Tarquin plc, Ace, Axis Capital, and Endurance.

He was a deputy chairman of the Council of Lloyd’s and a member of the Lloyd’s Core Management Group and Lloyd’s Market Board between 1995 and 1997.

The company said Mr Shea will inherit the leadership of a segment that represents more than 30 per cent of Sompo Holdings Group’s projected adjusted profit, employs approximately 6,600 people in more than 29 countries and regions and more than $12 billion in gross premiums.

The segment includes SI’s commercial property and casualty operations led by CEO Chris Gallagher, and SI’s retail platform, led by CEO Katsuyuki Tajiri.

Sompo said Mr Shea has more than 25 years of global insurance experience, most recently serving as the CEO of Commercial Insurance for Zurich Insurance Group and as a member of their executive committee based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Prior to his role with Zurich Insurance, the company said Mr Shea spent nearly 20 years at AIG in a variety of underwriting and leadership roles in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Singapore.

Kengo Sakurada, group chief executive officer of Sompo Holdings, said: “We are extremely grateful for the immense success and advancement that Mr Charman has contributed to the Sompo Group.

“He will leave our organisation in a much stronger position than when he began and his dedication, accomplishments and legacy have impacted our company and industry significantly.

“Under his leadership, Sompo International transformed into a globally relevant, trusted partner to our brokers and clients and most importantly, a place where our employees are proud to work. We wish him all the very best in his upcoming retirement.”

He added: “We believe Jim has the experience, vision and confidence to build on John’s incredible record and take Sompo International to the next level.

“We look forward to his contribution to the overall vision and success of Sompo Holdings in this particularly challenging global business environment and to his input on group-wide strategic decisions as a member of our global executive committee.”

Mr Shea said: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining Sompo at this historic point in time for the organisation.

“Building on the extremely strong franchise, significant balance sheet and the ability to transact complex business of scale on a global basis is energising and I am looking forward to working with the talented and highly regarded executives and colleagues at both Sompo Group and Sompo International.

“I would like to thank Sakurada-san and John for their confidence and support in providing me with this opportunity.”

John Charman: insurance industry veteran to retire from Sompo International when his contract expires next April (File photograph)

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Published May 25, 2021 at 8:23 pm (Updated May 27, 2021 at 8:11 am)

John Charman to retire from Sompo International

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