Canadian Underwriter

Gunn interim head of global RSA

September 13, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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Former Royal & SunAlliance Canada CEO Bob Gunn is taking over the top spot of the worldwide operation, at least temporarily. Following the departure of Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Group’s CEO Bob Mendelsohn, Gunn is assuming the role while the company seeks a permanent replacement. However, Gunn could potentially take over the CEO role in the long-term, as RSA notes it is conducting a search both internally and externally.
Mendelsohn’s departure is not completely unexpected given the company’s dismal financial results and the looming threat of a cash call on investors to pump capital into the company. In a release on the leadership change, the company notes, “As outlined at the time of the half year results in August, the Group is reviewing its capital requirements for the remainder of 2002 and for 2003 and the performance of a number of its businesses. It is the board’s intention that this work, and a consequent decision on the need for external capital raising, will be completed and the findings will be announced no later than the third quarter results release on 7 November (2002).”
Commenting on Mendelsohn’s departure, RSA chairman Sir Patrick Gillam says, “Bob Mendelsohn has led the Group through difficult times for the insurance industry. He has set a firm strategic direction and has done much to drive change in both the business philosophy and in the culture of the Group. However, in order to exploit the work done to date, it is the Board’s view that the interests of the Group will be best served by a change in the top management.”
Gunn takes over as CEO immediately. He left the Canadian operation in 2001 to assume the role of COO of the worldwide operation, after more than 10 years here.

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