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Cloutier to exit Brit for Aspen

October 01, 2018

Brit executive chairman Mark Cloutier is set to leave the carrier to join Apollo Global Management in a consultative role to advise on the private equity firm’s $2.6bn acquisition of Aspen, with a view to becoming chairman and CEO of the (re)insurer upon deal completion.

Cloutier will step down from his current role in December 2018 and is expected to join an affiliate of Apollo as a consultant on 1 February 2019.

Cloutier was drafted in as Brit CEO in 2011 after private equity houses Apollo and CVC completed their £888mn takeover of the firm, during which time he was instrumental in transforming Brit into a leading Lloyd’s carrier, returning it to the public markets before it was subsequently acquired by Fairfax in 2015. He became executive chairman in January 2017.

With more than four decades of industry experience, Cloutier has held a string of executive roles during his career including CEO of the Alea Group, overseas CEO for PartnerRe and president of EW Blanch Insurance Services.

Commenting on Cloutier’s departure, Brit CEO Matthew Wilson said: “Mark has played a pivotal role in Brit’s recent history, driving the establishment of Brit as a top-quartile Lloyd’s insurer and leading the business through its return to the public markets and subsequent acquisition by Fairfax.”

“The high esteem with which Mark is held across the business is testament to what he has achieved at the highest levels in our industry.”

Cloutier remarked: “Being part of the Brit story has been an exciting and rewarding experience, I am proud of what we achieved and can leave knowing I leave an outstanding team and market leading business under Matthew’s very capable leadership.”

In a letter to his colleagues filed with the securities and exchange commission (SEC) on 1 October, incumbent Aspen CEO Chris O’Kane confirmed that he would be leaving the firm following the completion of its sale to Apollo.

“After more than 16 supremely enjoyable years leading Aspen I will step down from the position of CEO on or shortly after the completion of our acquisition by investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC,” he said.

In his communication, he noted that Apollo are “very impressed by Aspen’s people” and confirmed that the firm has “no current plans to replace other members of the Aspen senior management team after closing”.

“Until our deal is concluded, I intend to be an extremely active CEO operating fully mindful of our continuing obligations to our public shareholders and other stakeholders, and to ensure that the Company is as healthy, vigorous and well positioned as it can be,” he added.

Apollo’s acquisition of Aspen is slated to close in the first half of 2019, subject to approval of regulators and Aspen’s shareholders and the satisfaction of other closing conditions.