Richard Watson, the Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO) of global insurer and reinsurer Hiscox, has announced that he will retire from his role after 33 years.
Watson is to step down from the Board of Hiscox Ltd on December 31st, 2019 and will continue to serve as an advisor to the firm, and also serve on subsidiary boards.
Hiscox Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bronek Masojada, commented: “Richard’s instinct, determination and straightforward approach epitomises the underwriting culture that lies at the heart of Hiscox. He has steered us through a period of profound change in the rating environment and developed a first class underwriting function in the Group.
“Prior to becoming Chief Underwriter, Richard’s career has encompassed multiple lines of business in insurance and reinsurance culminating in becoming CEO of Hiscox Global Markets before moving to serve as CEO of Hiscox USA during its formative years. Richard’s occasionally gritty contributions to our strategic conversations made us address issues we might otherwise have preferred to overlook. He has served with distinction and can be extremely proud of his contribution and legacy.”
Hiscox has said that it will announce a new CUO in due course, following a review of both internal and external candidates.
Hiscox Chairman, Robert Childs, added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Richard during his tenure at Hiscox and would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution. As a Board member for the last five years, we have benefitted greatly from his experience and judgement and we are pleased that he will continue to serve as Chairman of Hiscox Re & ILS and on the board of Hiscox Syndicates Ltd. All of us on the Board, and throughout the Company, wish him every success for the future.”
Commenting on his departure, Watson said: “After 33 years I feel the time is right for me to retire. I am extremely proud of the business we have built and the talented team I leave behind. When I first joined the company, we were fewer than 30 people underwriting around £80 million.
“Today we are global specialist insurer with operations in Retail, Global Speciality and Reinsurance. Hiscox has a strong position in the market and plenty of opportunity ahead. I am grateful to Robert and Bronek for all their support, I look forward to serving Hiscox in a more non-executive role, and I will continue to take a keen interest as a shareholder.”