Posted on 17 Sep 2010
John (Jack) Byrne, who in an illustrious career has led Fireman's Fund and its former parent company, White Mountains Insurance Group, as well as GEICO, was elected chairman of the board of Integro at a directors meeting held today. Byrne, who joined the board in 2005, succeeds Integro's co-founder and chairman, the late Robert Clements.
John Clements, also a member of the Integro board since the firm's founding, was elected vice chairman.
Early in his career, and with an actuarial background, Byrne joined Travelers Insurance Company, steadily advancing to leadership positions. He burnished his reputation with the turnaround of a struggling GEICO, which he joined as CEO in 1976. Under his leadership, GEICO staved off insolvency to become the most profitable property and casualty company of the era, and was subsequently sold to Warren Buffett.
Byrne and Buffett made history again with Fireman's Fund, which was the largest IPO of its time. Byrne continued to lead White Mountains Insurance Group, a financial services holding company, after the sale of its Fireman's Fund division to Allianz of Germany in 1990.
"I have served on Integro's board from its inception and am well acquainted with the firm's capabilities and dedication to customer service," Chairman Byrne said. "It is an honor to chair this company, carry on the vision of the legendary Bob Clements and work with CEO Peter Garvey and his superb management team."
Byrne, a graduate of Rutgers University, was selected 2001's "Insurance Industry Leader of the Year" by the St. John's University School of Risk Management. He has previously served on the boards of American Express, Martin Marietta, Lehman Brothers, MidOcean, Financial Security Assurance, Zurich Re, and the International Special Olympics.
"Jack Byrne brings an incredible store of experience and broad perspective to us in his new role at Integro," Garvey said. "For us, no one could replace Bob. Yet who could imagine we would be so fortunate as to have Jack succeed him? He and John will be wonderful and effective partners as we realize Bob's vision for the firm, creating a viable alternative to the big-box brokers in providing complex risk solutions."
John Clements is the managing partner of Tara Partners Ltd, a private investment partnership that was a co-founder of Integro Ltd. and co-founder of Ironshore Inc. From 1995 until 2005, he was a principal of MMC Capital, Inc. (now Stone Point Capital LLC), a global private equity firm.
Clements has served as a director and represented the founding investors in various "start-up" insurance companies, including Advisen Ltd., Altus Ltd. (now part of Arch), American Strategic Insurance, Global Specialty Risk, Inc. (now part of AIG), Ironshore and James River Group, Inc. He was also involved in the creation of Axis Capital Holdings.