Fairfax appoints new Asia CEO, chairman for Singapore Re

He has been with the holding firm for more than two decades

Fairfax appoints new Asia CEO, chairman for Singapore Re


By Kenneth Araullo

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has announced the appointment of Gobinath Athappan as chairman and chief executive officer of Fairfax Asia. Athappan will also be appointed chairman of Singapore Re, pending regulatory approval.

Athappan has been with Fairfax and Fairfax Asia for 23 years. During his tenure, he has served as the chief executive officer of Fairfax’s Falcon Insurance in Hong Kong and Pacific Insurance in Malaysia. Since 2015, he has held the position of vice-chairman of Fairfax Asia.

Prem Watsa, chairman and chief executive officer of Fairfax welcomed Athappan to his new role and highlighted his track record for the company.

“Gobi has done an outstanding job for Fairfax and has been an integral part of building Fairfax Asia. Gobi brings many years of industry experience and has been an ambassador of the culture of Fairfax. We are very excited for the future of Fairfax Asia under Gobi’s leadership,” Watsa said.

Fairfax is a holding company engaged through its subsidiaries in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, as well as associated investment management.

In May, the holding company mourned the death of Ramaswamy Athappan, chairman and chief executive officer of Fairfax Asia Limited. He was described as a driving force for the development of Fairfax’s insurance operations in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, in March, Fairfax also announced the passing of Eric P. Salsberg, vice president of corporate affairs and corporate secretary and a well-known pillar who has been with the company since 1988.

“For all of Fairfax’s history, Ricky has acted as our consigliere and has always represented the true heart and soul of the company. He loved Fairfax and we would not have achieved the success we have without him. Ricky was our partner, trusted friend, and indispensable adviser for 38 years, and all of us here at Fairfax loved him, as did his family, friends, neighbors, and business colleagues,” Watsa said of Salsberg.

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