The Board of Directors, which met today, has acknowledged with regret Denis Kessler’s decision to relinquish, for personal reasons, his duties as Chief Executive Officer of SCOR at the end of his current term of office, which is due to expire at the General Meeting of June 30, 2021. Consequently, the Board of Directors has decided to separate the roles of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at the end of this General Meeting, i.e., one year earlier than initially planned. The Board unanimously expressed the wish that Denis Kessler agree to remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Benoît Ribadeau-Dumas had been appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer with effect from January 1, 2021, with a view to becoming Chief Executive Officer following the General Meeting in 2022. While recognizing and commending his strong commitment and successful integration during his first few months at SCOR, the Board of Directors has come to the conclusion that the conditions are not met for Benoît Ribadeau-Dumas, who had not worked in the insurance or reinsurance sector before joining the Group, to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of SCOR in June 2021.
Therefore, on the recommendation of the Compensation and Nomination Committee, the Board of Directors has unanimously chosen Laurent Rousseau, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SCOR Global P&C, Chairman of SCOR Europe and member of the Group Executive Committee, to be appointed Chief Executive Officer of SCOR following the General Meeting of June 30, 2021. The Board of Directors considers that Laurent Rousseau, who has held senior positions within the Group for the past eleven years and benefits from twenty years of experience in the (re)insurance sector in London and Paris, has all the skills and qualities necessary to become Chief Executive Officer of SCOR. Laurent Rousseau was one of three candidates selected by the Compensation and Nomination Committee as part of the Chairman and CEO succession planning conducted in 2019 and 2020. In addition to this appointment, the Board of Directors will propose to the 2021 General Assembly that Laurent Rousseau be appointed as a Director of the Group.
The Board’s appointment of Denis Kessler as non-executive Chairman following the General Meeting of June 30, 2021, will help to ensure the continuity of the Group’s strategy and to perpetuate its values.
Denis Kessler, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, comments: “For nineteen years, I have devoted my life to reinsurance in general, and to SCOR in particular. This is a fascinating and demanding industry, extremely sophisticated and underpinned by science. SCOR has become a global Tier 1 company that is profitable, has a high level of solvency, and is growing continuously. I would like to sincerely thank the Group’s clients, shareholders and all its employees for their support and their trust over all these years. The succession announced in December 2020 by the Board on the recommendation of the Nomination Committee, cannot take place as planned. I would like to thank Benoit Ribadeau-Dumas for all the effort he has made to integrate into the company and the sector. I have every confidence in Laurent Rousseau, a seasoned and recognized (re)insurance professional with whom I have worked for more than eleven years, to ensure SCOR’s success and to guarantee its long-term development, with the twofold target of profitability and solvency. Laurent will stay true to the principles and values that make up the Group’s DNA, while giving it new momentum in the current health and economic crisis. All the members of the Executive Committee, highly experienced reinsurance professionals, along with the Group’s 3,000 employees throughout the world, will be united in helping him to take SCOR to the next level. Laurent can count on my full support as Chairman of the Board.”
Augustin de Romanet, Lead Independent Director of SCOR, comments: “On behalf of the Compensation and Nomination Committee, I would like to thank Denis Kessler most warmly for having successfully led SCOR’s development since 2002. Over the past nineteen years, Denis has shaped SCOR, turning it around in an outstanding way and subsequently establishing it as the world’s fourth largest reinsurer, with a rating of AA-. He has created a culture of expertise and integrity that will be carried on by the teams he has built. I would also like to commend the remarkable integration of Benoît Ribadeau-Dumas at SCOR, with regret that the conditions are not met to appoint him as CEO on July 1, 2021. Finally, I am confident that Laurent Rousseau has all the qualities necessary to succeed Denis as Chief Executive Officer of SCOR.”
Laurent Rousseau, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SCOR Global P&C, Chairman of SCOR Europe and member of the Group Executive Committee, comments: “I am honored by the confidence the SCOR Board of Directors has placed in me by choosing me as the next Chief Executive Officer of the Group. The entire Executive Committee and I are determined to actively pursue the growth of the company for whose operations we will now be responsible. I firmly believe that SCOR is well positioned to meet the demands of our clients and to satisfy our shareholders in an increasingly risky world, with its extremely deep talent pool, mastery of the most advance technologies, proven agility to constantly adapt, sophisticated risk management, and exemplary ESG performance. Since 2002, the Group has aimed to be a Tier 1 global reinsurer. That goal remains intact. We will meet these challenges with dynamism and enthusiasm, bringing our teams together to serve all our stakeholders.”
Laurent Rousseau, 42, a French citizen, is a graduate of HEC (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales). He started his career in 2001 as an equity analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston in London covering European insurers and reinsurers. In 2005, he joined J.P. Morgan in the insurance Investment Banking team, executing M&A, capital raising and restructuring transactions for European insurers and reinsurers. He joined SCOR in 2010 as Advisor to the Chairman and became Head of SCOR Global P&C’s Strategy and Business Development in 2012. In July 2015, he became Chief Underwriting Officer of SCOR Global P&C’s treaty business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In April 2018, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SCOR Global P&C and member of the Group’s Executive Committee. He is married and has four children.