Andy Haste, former group CEO of RSA Insurance Group, takes up the chairman role at Canopius.

Canopius has appointed Andy Haste (pictured) as its new group chairman with effect from 1 July 2024.

Andy Haste

He will take over from Michael Watson, who will continue to support Canopius in an advisory capacity.

Haste’s former roles include group CEO of RSA Insurance Group, and CEO at AXA Sun Life.

He also served as a senior independent director and deputy chairman of Lloyd’s between 2012 and 2021.

Haste also currently chairs the board of Esure Group, since March 2020.

The appointment of a new chairman comes after a record year for Canopius in 2023.

The re/insurer said it had shown growth and profitability across its three business regions – the UK, US and Bermuda, and Asia Pacific.

Canopius posted profits after tax of $363m for 2023, and a 22% increase in insurance contract written premium to $2.8bn.

“I am honoured to join Canopius as its group chair and excited to work closely with Neil [Robertson, group CEO] and his management team, as well as my fellow Board members on the next stage of Canopius’ journey,” Haste said.

“I would like to thank Michael for his service to Canopius over many years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” he added.

Watson commented: “It’s been my privilege to develop Canopius since its foundation in 2003 alongside great colleagues and supportive shareholders.

“Canopius has never been in better shape, and I have great confidence in Andy Haste and Neil Robertson’s leadership team to propel the business to new heights in the coming years.”

Ben Langworthy, Canopius shareholder board director, and senior managing director and co-head of Europe at Centerbridge, Canopius Group’s majority shareholder, also commented.

“On behalf of the Canopius’s Shareholder Board, I am pleased to welcome Andy Haste,” he said.

“His seasoned industry expertise and stewardship will help Canopius in its next growth phase. We also wanted to thank Michael Watson for his dedication over the last 20 years at Canopius as Founder, CEO and most recently as non-executive Chairman making Canopius a leading global specialty player,” Langworthy added.

Robertson also commented: “Andy will bring independence, gravitas, and a breadth of experience to our Board that will help shape the next chapter of the Canopius journey. Throughout Andy’s career he has forged a reputation as a strong leader who acts with conviction, and who has a proven track record. All qualities that I believe will serve Canopius well. I believe that the appointment of an individual of Andy’s stature in the industry, demonstrates our ambition for Canopius in the coming years and we’re delighted to have him on board.

“We also express heartfelt thanks to Michael, who has been instrumental in building Canopius over the past two decades and has skilfully steered our Board for the last two years since I assumed the role of CEO. He will continue to work with Canopius as a trusted and valuable adviser to the Board as the business embarks on the next stage of its evolution.”