Markel announces leadership appointments as high-profile exit looms

Stalwart to retire after more than 40 years in insurance

Markel announces leadership appointments as high-profile exit looms

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Markel has announced the forthcoming retirement of Bryan Sanders, the current president of its Markel Specialty division, alongside leadership appointments to bolster this high-profile exit.

Sanders is set to retire by Dec. 31, 2024, In his place, Alex Martin, the current chief financial officer of Markel, will step into the position of president, Markel Specialty, reporting to Bob Cox, the president of global insurance operations.

Concurrently, Brian Costanzo, who currently serves as the senior vice president and chief accounting officer for Markel Group, will assume the role of chief financial officer of Markel, reporting to Jeremy Noble, Markel president.

As part of this transition, effective Dec. 1, 2023, Sanders will take on the role of chairman, Markel Specialty. With a career spanning over four decades in the insurance industry, he is retiring after making significant contributions to the transformation of the company's US and Bermuda operations. Sanders has been an integral part of the leadership team, facilitating the company's ability to meet the evolving needs of its clients.

Alex Martin, who has been with Markel for 17 years and has held various management positions, has experience that includes operations, underwriting, business development, strategy, and finance. He has a history of leading transformation efforts and building high-performing teams while driving operational efficiency and process improvement through technology and data utilisation.

Brian Costanzo has been with Markel for 14 years. He has experience in various leadership roles within finance. He has played a crucial part in driving strategic initiatives related to operational efficiency, actuarial transformation, technology, and data.

Other Markel appointments

Within Markel Specialty, Guenter Kryszon is set to assume the role of chief underwriting officer, bringing with him experience in driving growth and profitability through initiatives such as portfolio optimisation and addressing climate change and environmental, social, and governance concerns. He will lead and direct underwriting strategy and operations across all product lines within Markel Specialty.

Ryan Oosterheert, who has been with Markel since 2019, will become chief operations officer. With over 20 years of industry experience, Oosterheert has expertise in underwriting, product management, strategy, and operations. She has been instrumental in working on various strategic, data, technology, and operational efforts within the organisation.

“We are grateful to Bryan Sanders for his many contributions, including his support for developing an outstanding leadership team at Markel — one that reflects the strength of our people-powered culture. This thoughtful and intentional transition speaks to the depth of talent within Markel. With an exceptional set of leaders across our business, I am extremely optimistic that we will further strengthen our position in the marketplace, as well as execute on our continued transformation as we build the leading global specialty insurer,” Noble said.

In line with these appointments is another announced a few weeks ago, with Markel appointing Andrew Umphress as head of terrorism for North America.

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