London-listed insurer Hiscox has announced that its chief executive, Bronek Masojada, will leave after more than two decades at the helm.
Masojada joined the Lloyd’s underwriter in 1993, two years before it listed on the London Stock Exchange. He became chief executive in 2000, building a group with more than $4bn in annual premium income and split almost exactly between specialist retail insurance and the big-ticket business written through the London market.
Hiscox’s chair, Robert Childs, said in a statement that Masojada’s “energy and passion to move the business forward has resulted in three decades of strong growth and transformed Hiscox into a leading diversified specialist insurer with a great future ahead of it”.
Hiscox’s share price sank last year as the company suffered a financial and reputational hit during the pandemic, losing a high-profile battle against paying out on many business interruption policies.
Masojada later said the company had suffered brand damage in the episode, and regretted “the uncertainty and anguish” that small companies had been caused by the disputes over coronavirus payouts.
The insurer last month reached a confidential settlement with the Hiscox Action Group, which represented some of these policyholders, after a closed-door arbitration. In total, the company estimates it will pay $475m in pandemic-related claims, after reinsurance.
Masojada will be replaced by Hiscox’s chief financial officer, Aki Hussain, in January.
Hussain, a KPMG-trained chartered accountant, joined Hiscox five years ago from Prudential, and has previously worked in the consumer banking division at Lloyds Banking Group and the consumer division of what is now Virgin Media.
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said Hussain was the right choice for the job, describing him as a “well rounded, technical individual who has dealt well with some of the more challenging experiences that the company has been through in the past 18 months”.
Hiscox’s shares were steady in early trading on Thursday.
Masojada said it had been “an incredible privilege to lead Hiscox and be part of its journey over the last 28 years”.
Besides Hiscox, he has served other prominent roles in the sector, including as deputy chair of Lloyd’s of London, and is currently the chair of Placing Platform Limited, a not-for-profit company set up in 2016 to foster electronic trading at the centuries-old market.
Masojada will remain in his role until the end of the year while a search for a new group chief financial officer is carried out.