Thierry Léger, who has served as the Group Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO) of global reinsurer Swiss Re since 2020, has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of French reinsurer SCOR, effective May 1st, 2023.
Léger has been with Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, for 25 years. In September 2020, he took over from Edi Schmid as Group CUO, having previously led the firm’s Life Capital Business Unit since its inception in 2016.
He first joined the reinsurer as an underwriter in P&C in 1997, before moving to Swiss Re New Markets in 2001, later serving as a member of the executive team in France. He was made Head of the Globals Division in 2010 and a member of the then existing Group Management Board. In 2013, he was appointed Head of Life & Health Products Reinsurance.
Swiss Re has announced today that Léger is stepping down from his current role and also as a member of the Group Executive Committee with immediate effect to pursue a role outside the company.
In the interim, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Christian Mumenthaler, will take over Léger’s responsibilities.
“Over the past 25 years with Swiss Re, Thierry made great contributions to many parts of our business, from Reinsurance to former Life Capital Business Unit, to Group Underwriting. Since his appointment as Group CUO in 2020, he has successfully evolved our underwriting capabilities through utilising cutting-edge research, access to more and better data and analytics. On behalf of the entire Group Executive Committee, I would like to thank Thierry for his dedication and commitment to Swiss Re and wish him all the success for the future,” said Mumenthaler.
It turns out that the other company is SCOR, another of Europe’s big four reinsurers. From May of this year, Léger will take up his post as CEO of SCOR, with the Board of Directors set to propose he join the Board at the 2023 General Meeting.
In his new role, Léger assumes responsibility for drawing up a new attractive and ambitious strategic plan for the global reinsurer, and will outline the orientations and main themes of this plan at the 2023 General Meeting. He will be tasked with helping SCOR further consolidate its position as a leading global reinsurer.
Prior to Léger joining the firm, François de Varenne, Executive Committee member in charge of Investments, Technology, Transformation and Group Corporate Finance, has been made interim CEO with immediate effect.
Additionally, the SCOR Board has asked its Chairman, Denis Kessler, to lend his support to François de Varenne and then Thierry Léger, to ensure the smooth running of this change in leadership.
Laurent Rousseau, who replaced Kessler as CEO in June 2021, has resigned from his position as CEO and from his position on the Board. SCOR states that he is leaving the Group to pursue other professional opportunities.
Kessler commented: “Acting on the proposal of the Nomination Committee, the Board of Directors has unanimously decided to entrust the executive management of the Group to Thierry Léger, an experienced and skilled reinsurer who is an expert in both life and non-life reinsurance. Having held key positions at a major global reinsurance company, he has all the skills required to lead the SCOR group and forge a new strategic vision for the company, while pursuing an underwriting policy based entirely on technical profitability. By giving high priority to capital allocation and returns, and by practicing very strict risk management, Thierry Léger will restore the Group’s profitability and maintain its high level of solvency, to the benefit of all stakeholders: clients, shareholders and employees. SCOR is embarking on a new chapter in its history. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Laurent Rousseau for the contribution he has made to the Group during a particularly difficult period.”
Fabrice Brégier, Chairman of the Nomination Committee, said: “In line with its mandate, and in strict compliance with the principles of corporate governance, the Nomination Committee sought to pinpoint the qualities needed to lead a global reinsurance company in an increasingly complex environment. The profile it drew up was of a leader capable of managing a risk universe that is changing rapidly, in both life and P&C (re)insurance. Thierry Léger fits this profile perfectly, which is what led the committee to propose his appointment as CEO to the Board. The committee also recommended that the interim period be overseen by François de Varenne, building on his 17 years of experience in various roles at SCOR.”
Léger added: “I am very happy to be joining SCOR and am honored by the confidence the Board of Directors has placed in me by appointing me CEO. I look forward to meeting the Group’s employees, clients and shareholders. I plan to actively pursue the growth of the company by continuing to develop its products and its structure. The reinsurance sector offers many opportunities, both on the liability side with the increased demand for cover and the improvement of terms and conditions, and on the asset side with the rise in interest rates. I am convinced that SCOR is well placed to take full advantage of this favorable environment. I know that I can count on highly skilled and experienced teams, and on excellent client relations. Let’s all make this journey together. I will focus all my energy on giving fresh impetus to SCOR.”