AXIS co-founder and chairman moving on after five-decade career

Company announces chairman-elect to take position from outgoing executive

AXIS co-founder and chairman moving on after five-decade career

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

AXIS Capital Holdings has revealed that chairman of the board and co-founder Michael Butt, OBE, will retire from the company.

Butt retires after an insurance career that spanned five decades. His most recent role as chairman of AXIS Capital’s board of directors was given to him on September 2002. He has also held various other leadership positions throughout his career, such as chairman of Sedgwick, CEO of Eagle Star Holdings and Eagle Star Insurance Company, CEO of MidOcean Limited, and director of XL Capital Limited and Farmers Insurance Group.

He was appointed an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in commemoration of his contributions to the establishment of the Bermuda reinsurance industry. Butt has also been recognised by the International Insurance Society as its 2019 Insurance Hall of Fame Laureate.

“I wish to express my gratitude to the many people who have made my nearly two decades at AXIS so enjoyable. I particularly want to thank my fellow board directors and AXIS colleagues, as well as our shareholders, clients, and partners in distribution,” Butt said.

The retiring chairman added that he is confident that AXIS is “in good hands” under the leadership of CEO Albert Benchimol and incoming independent board chairman Henry Smith.

“I want to express my deep appreciation to Michael for all he has done for our company since its inception, and for the many contributions he has made to the (re)insurance industry over the course of his career,” Benchimol commented in a statement.

A release said that Butt’s retirement is effective September 16, 2020. AXIS board member and lead independent director Henry B. Smith has been appointed to succeed Butt as chairman of the company – Smith will also serve as chair of the executive and compensations committees and will be a member of the corporate governance & nominating and risk committees. Smith is the former CEO and president of W.P. Stewart & Co.

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