Markel Group broadens EVP's remit to include COO role

Elevated leader "an incredible operator and thought partner"

Markel Group broadens EVP's remit to include COO role

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Markel Group Inc., the conglomerate behind insurance brand Markel, has broadened executive vice president Mike Heaton’s remit, appointing him as EVP and chief operating officer.

A highlight of Heaton’s stint as EVP was the transformation of Markel Corporation into Markel Group Inc., with him leading the change towards a more cohesive holding company structure.

Heaton’s journey with the group – which is also in the business of bakery equipment, building supplies, and houseplants – includes heading Markel Ventures as president from 2016 to 2022, after initially serving as its COO.

Tom Gayner, chief executive of Markel Group, praised Heaton’s dedication and influence over the years. “Mike has been by my side for close to two decades now,” Gayner said. “He is an incredible operator and thought partner who played a huge role in building the team, structure, and processes that made Markel Group into a great home for businesses.

“Operating with this level of autonomy, accountability, and love for our companies is not easy, but the system that Mike and the team created, and will continue to evolve, makes it possible.”

As EVP and COO, Heaton is charged with steering Markel Group’s operations while focussing on optimising capital allocation, nurturing leadership within the enterprise, and fostering cultural values. Based at the firm’s global headquarters in Virginia, he assumed the wider role on February 26. The new leadership appointment comes hot on the heels of recent company departures.

“There is always more work to be done, but I really do think that we can be the best home in the world for businesses,” Heaton commented. “A place where people with shared values have the space and support that they need to win. To have the opportunity to help build something like this is the honour of a lifetime, and I’m going to give everything I can to make it happen.”

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