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Hiscox CEO Masojada prepares to retire after 20 years

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Hiscox is actively working on the succession to its longstanding CEO Bronek Masojada, who looks set to step down from that role in spring 2022, Insurance Insider understands.

Sources told this publication that the likeliest retirement date for Masojada was now March or April next year, with one suggesting he would steer the company through the publication of its annual results before handing on the reins.

The timetable will be finalised based on the progress of the work to select a successor.

The internal candidates to succeed Masojada are Hiscox Global Retail CEO Ben Walter and CFO Aki Hussain, it is understood.

Hiscox has an established culture of promoting from within, but some believe that, given the challenges the business has faced over the last couple of years, it could look to an external candidate.

Masojada has had a long and distinguished career at the head of London-listed (re)insurer Hiscox. He became CEO as far back as 2000, having served under Robert Hiscox as group managing director from 1993 onwards in preparation for the top job.

Sources have said that, in the past, Masojada had indicated he intended to retire at around the age of 60 – a milestone that he will hit in December of this year.

Hiscox has passed through a challenging period over the last two years, during which the share price has fallen from a peak of over 1700p in July 2019 to just over 860p now.

The period has included major reputational damage dealt to the business by the controversy around Covid-19 BI claims payments in the UK. It has also faced challenges including performance issues in its US retail business and talent flight within its London market and reinsurance units.

The business also raised equity, but subsequently the new capital was wiped out by a deterioration in its Covid-19 losses, much of it driven by heavy event-cancellation exposures.

Walter, who is perceived by market sources as the more likely internal successor, has been CEO of Hiscox's retail business globally since 2018. He has a decade of experience of Hiscox, having joined as COO in 2011, before being promoted to CEO of Hiscox USA the next year.

The executive, who is based in New York, previously held roles at Blackrock, Barclays and Boston Consulting Group.

Hussain, meanwhile, became group CFO at Hiscox in 2016. He joined following seven years at Prudential PLC, where he held roles including CFO of UK and Europe.

Earlier roles include spells at Lloyds Banking Group, Virgin Media and KPMG. He is a chartered accountant.

Based on the dates of their education as detailed on LinkedIn, both Walter and Hussain are in their mid-40s.

Despite recent challenges, Masojada has overseen huge change and many positive developments at the firm during his tenure. The London market heavyweight took the business from being a roughly $800mn-premium business with a small presence in the UK and European retail markets to a $4bn-premium group, with more than 50% coming from retail, of which around $900mn is from the US.

Through that period the business has also been one of the best-rated insurance stocks, frequently trading at well in excess of 2x book over the last five years and generating generous shareholder returns.

The Hiscox CEO has also been a key player in London market modernisation since his work at McKinsey & Company in the early 1990s. Most recently he has served as chair of the market’s electronic placement initiative PPL. He was also deputy chairman of Lloyd’s between 2001 and 2007.

Hiscox declined to comment.

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