Re-Insurance

Benchimol named new Abir chairman

  • Abir chairman: Albert Benchimol

Albert Benchimol has been elected as chairman of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers.

The Axis Capital chief executive officer will act as the insurance industry body’s figurehead for 2019 and 2020, after Abir’s biennial election of new officers.

Abir’s new deputy chairman is Marc Grandisson, CEO of Arch Capital Group and second deputy chairman is Kean Driscoll, CEO of Validus Reinsurance.

Immediate past chairman Kevin O’Donnell, CEO of RenaissanceRe Holdings, continues to serve as an Abir officer and also serves as chairman of the Global Reinsurance Forum, an international group of companies that advocates for the reinsurance industry.

Mr Benchimol, who began his term January 1, was appointed CEO of Axis in 2012, having previously served as a director and chief financial officer for the company.

He formerly held senior roles at PartnerRe, Reliance Group, and the Bank of Montreal.

Mr Benchimol has also been appointed an external member of the Lloyd’s Council, effective next month.

“I’m proud to help advance Abir’s mission and look forward to working with the Abir board and member companies to advocate the Bermuda re/insurance market’s interests around the world,” Mr Benchimol said.

“I’d also like to thank Kevin O’Donnell for his tremendous service as Abir chairman during these past two years of challenges and change.

“The Bermuda market is well positioned, and Abir will continue to advocate for open, well-regulated, competitive insurance markets globally.”

Mr O’Donnell said: “Albert is ideally suited to carry Abir’s proud legacy forward and lead our industry into the island’s exciting future. Abir’s efforts to advocate for addressing the global protection gap between economic and insured losses are critical to societies around the world, particularly for perils like cybercrime, flood, drought, wildfires and earthquakes.”

Abir members wrote $97 billion in global gross written premium in the calendar year 2017 and have paid over a quarter of a trillion dollars to policyholders and ceding companies in the US and Europe over the past 20 years. Members also make significant investments in Bermuda’s economy.

Data reported for calendar year 2017 by Abir members showed Abir’s aggregate direct economic impact to the island was $843 million, including travel, business, charity giving, construction expenses and compensation paid to Bermuda-based employees.

“Abir continues its rich history of leadership in international re/insurance markets with these new officers,” said John Huff, CEO of Abir, which marked its 25th anniversary last year.

“Bermuda’s reinsurance and insurance markets are critical to managing risk and thereby providing stability to international economies. Abir members are proud of Bermuda’s success in helping to solve some of the world’s toughest risk challenges.”

Abir member companies include: AIG, Arch, Argo Group, Armour Group, Ascot, Aspen, Assured Guaranty, Axis, Chubb, Enstar Group, Fidelis, Hamilton Re, Hiscox, Lancashire, MS Amlin, PartnerRe, Qatar Re, RenaissanceRe, Sirius, Third Point Re, Tokio Millennium Re, Validus Re, Watford Re, and Axa XL. Broker advisory cabinet members include: Aon, Guy Carpenter and Willis Towers Watson.