Specialty re/insurer Argo has announced the departure of Mark E. Watson III as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
President of Argo Group US Kevin J. Rehnberg has been named as Interim CEO while Watson will continue as a member of the board and as an advisor until the year’s end to ensure a smooth transition.
On behalf of Argo’s Board of Directors, chairman Gary V. Woods said, “The Board thanks Mark for his 20 years of service and his leadership in building the business, and wishes him well in his next endeavor.”
Mark Watson added, “It has been a great honor to build and lead this great company, and I look forward to its continued success under Kevin Rehnberg’s leadership.”
Watson’s retirement follows news that Argo had been subpoenaed by The US Securities and Exchange Commission over compensation practices for its executives.
Before that, the re/insurer was locked in a messy back-and-forth with its fourth-largest shareholder Voce Capital Management.
The independent directors of the board have since stated that they continue to conduct their review of governance and compensation matters, and it is believed that the amounts involved are not material to Argo’s financial position or results of operations.
Rehnberg has served as president of Argo Group US, head of the Americas and Chief Administrative Officer since the beginning of the year.
Before that he was president of Argo’s US operations, overseeing all activities of Argo’s US-based business segments.
Commenting on his appointment, Rehnberg said, “It is an honor to take on the interim CEO role and along with Argo’s talented leadership team, I’m proud to serve our clients and distribution partners.
“Argo is well positioned to continue delivering strong results for shareholders through profitable underwriting, long-standing relationships with distribution partners, operational excellence and disciplined capital management.
“We have also demonstrated the ability to unlock significant efficiencies and enhance customer service through technology and innovation. I will remain focused on these operating strategies.”
“Argo’s Board of Directors has complete confidence in Kevin’s ability to lead the Company. Kevin’s extensive leadership experience, including his strong track record running our Americas business, will ensure a smooth transition and position the Company for continued growth and performance,” said Woods.