Sompo International Holdings has announced the appointment of James Shea as executive chairman of the board of directors and CEO of overseas (re)insurance business, Sompo Holdings, succeeding John Charman who will retire from the business in April 2022.
Shea will also be appointed CEO of Sompo International Holdings and his appointment will be effective from 1 September 2021. He will report to Kengo Sakurada, group chief executive officer of Sompo Holdings
Shea will inherit the leadership of a segment that represents more than 30% of Sompo Holdings Group’s projected adjusted profit. The segment includes SI’s Commercial Property and Casualty operations led by CEO Chris Gallagher, and SI’s Retail platform, led by CEO Katsuyuki Tajiri.
He brings over 25 years of global insurance experience and most recently served as CEO of commercial insurance for Zurich Insurance Group and as a member of their executive committee based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Prior to this, Shea spent nearly two decades at AIG in a variety of underwriting and leadership roles in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Singapore.
Charman commented: “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a relatively short time at Sompo International. We have delivered on our promise of creating a truly formidable, integrated, global franchise that now has the scale, ratings, capital, talent and desire to compete and win in any market we choose to operate in.
“Having accomplished what we set out to do following the acquisition of Endurance by Sompo in 2017, I believe that the time is now appropriate for me to hand over the reins to Jim and to retire when my current contract expires.
“I am both very happy and extremely confident that Jim will continue to lead with the values that Sompo International has become known for – standing behind the promises we make to our clients, business partners and employees. Jim is an outstanding professional and he has my total support in his new role.”
Sakurada-san commented: “We are extremely grateful for the immense success and advancement that Mr. Charman has contributed to the Sompo Group. He will leave our organisation in a much stronger position than when he began and his dedication, accomplishments and legacy have impacted our company and industry significantly.
“Under his leadership, Sompo International transformed into a globally relevant, trusted partner to our brokers and clients and most importantly, a place where our employees are proud to work. We wish him all the very best in his upcoming retirement.”
“We believe Jim has the experience, vision and confidence to build on John’s incredible record and take Sompo International to the next level. We look forward to his contribution to the overall vision and success of Sompo Holdings in this particularly challenging global business environment and to his input on group-wide strategic decisions as a member of our Global Executive Committee.
Shea added: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining Sompo at this historic point in time for the organisation. Building on the extremely strong franchise, significant balance sheet and the ability to transact complex business of scale on a global basis is energising and I am looking forward to working with the talented and highly regarded executives and colleagues at both Sompo Group and Sompo International. I would like to thank Sakurada-san and John for their confidence and support in providing me with this opportunity.”