Athene Holding Ltd., one of Bermuda’s leading retirement services companies, has announced that company co-founder Frank ‘Chip’ Gillis is to retire at the end of 2019.
He will step down from his role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Athene Life Re, but will continue his involvement with Athene as Executive Chairman of the ALRe board, and as a board member of the newly announced Athene Co-Invest Reinsurance Affiliate (ACRA).
Gillis worked for two years to raise capital leading up to the official formation of Athene in 2009, and has since been responsible for leading the growth of Athene’s reinsurance channel.
“Chip’s knowledge, expertise and strong relationships enabled Athene to be founded and domiciled in Bermuda, which is a key competitive advantage for us,” said Jim Belardi, CEO of Athene. Under Chip’s leadership, ALRe has become the market leader in reinsurance.”
He continued: “I’ve tremendously valued and enjoyed my partnership and friendship with Chip, and on behalf of our board of directors and our broader team, we thank Chip for his entrepreneurial spirit, his exemplary dedication to Athene and our clients, and for the mentorship he has provided to many professionals who will drive the next chapter of Athene’s growth.”
Gillis also commented: “It has been my privilege to be part of Athene — from the vision of what could be built in Bermuda, to executing the first transactions, to participating in the company’s tremendous growth and delivering innovative solutions.
“I want to express my deep appreciation to Jim, to my colleagues, to our clients who chose us as a partner to enhance their business, and to my partners in the Bermuda financial community who have made this professional chapter so fulfilling.”
Over the coming months, Sean Brennan, Senior Vice President and Head of Pension Risk Transfer (PRT) at Athene, will begin to oversee the flow reinsurance business while continuing to lead the PRT channel.
Brennan joined Athene in October 2017, before which he was a Partner in Mercer’s Financial Strategy Group, and earlier worked as Global Pensions Director at Marsh & McLennan.
In his new capacity, Brennan will continue to report to Bill Wheeler, President of Athene.
“Sean has been instrumental in raising the profile of and growing our pension risk transfer business,” said Wheeler.
“We are excited about this opportunity for Sean as he will be able to oversee ALRe’s plans to build upon the excellent foundation that Chip established and expand opportunities for development within our reinsurance business,” he added.