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RLI Founder & Chairman Retiring from Board in May

Posted on 14 Feb 2011

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Founder and Chairman of the Board Gerald D. Stephens of RLI Corp. will retire from the specialty property/casualty insurers' board of directors on May 5, following the company's annual shareholders' meeting.

President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan E. Michael will assume the role of chairman of the board, along with his other responsibilities, following Stephens' retirement.

Stephens served as president for 39 years and 11 years as chairman of the board. He said in a statement that it is the "right time to retire from active involvement."

"He created an organization based on entrepreneurial innovation and disciplined underwriting principles, both of which are still prevalent in our business today, and will continue to serve us well into the future," Michael said in a statement.

Stephens founded the Peoria, Ill.-based company in 1961.

Under his leadership, RLI was able to identify under-served opportunities in the insurance market and profitably covered difficult risks typically eschewed by larger multiline carriers, the company said. RLI now offers various property/casualty and surety bond coverages.

Over the past five decades, Stephens has held leadership roles in organizations such as the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the American Institute of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.