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|AmTrust Moves Forward With Private Ownership, Executive Changes, And Refocus On Becoming A Leading Specialty Commercial Insurer. |
By Lonce Lamonte - January 10, 2019
AmTrust, a significant workers’ compensation carrier in California and other states, announced some executive changes yesterday. Michael Saxon, executive V.P. of U.S. commercial lines in New York retired effective December 31, 2018. Max Caviet, CEO of AmTrust International Ltd in London, also retired on December 31, 2018. Both former executives will remain available as consultants.
Christopher Foy, head of AmTrust’s specialty program business, will assume the executive vice-president of U.S. commercial lines, New York, position. Peter Dewey, CEO of AmTrust’s Lloyd’s arm, will take over for Max Caviet as CEO of AmTrust International in London.
Also, Christopher Longo, AmTrust’s COO, resigned December 31, 2018.
AmTrust is an insurer of workers’ compensation for small and midsize businesses. The company quite recently reverted to private ownership and launched a strategic plan to refocus the business. Shareholders approved an agreement to go private in November of 2018. The acquisition was led by a private equity funds group of Stone Point Capital, together with AmTrust Chairman and CEO Barry Zyskind and founders George Karfunkel and Leah Karfunkel. Stone Point Capital acquired the 45 percent of the shares not owned by either the Karfunkels or the Zyskinds.
AmTrust has been under duress since 2017 when reports emerged that the company was under investigation for questionable accounting practices.
The plan to take the insurer private last year had to be brought up to a level to satisfy activist shareholder Carl Icahn. AmTrust was downgraded by A.M. Best Co. Inc. in July 2018 over concerns about adverse reserve development. This happened shortly after shareholders approved the privatization plan in June 2018. The company’s financial strength and credit ratings were downgraded from A to A-. Its long-term issuer credit dipped from a to a-.
An a- rating is still at the “excellent” level.
Chairman and CEO Barry Zyskind stated, "Our vision for AmTrust is to be a leading specialty commercial (property/casualty) insurer. We believe we can achieve this by focusing on local markets and niche products where we can add significant value."
Lonce Lamonte, journalist, email@example.com; from AmTrust news release and published sources.