Canadian Underwriter

SCOR Canada CEO to take over SCOR US top spot

November 19, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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SCOR Canada president & CEO Henry Klecan Jr. will be adding another title to his business card, with the parent company announcing he will assume responsibility for SCOR US.
Klecan says he is “extremely flattered by the confidence SCOR Group has shown in inviting him to take on the secondment to restructure the US operations. He adds, however, that he intends to stay fully involved in the Canadian branch. “I’ve always had a fondness for this company [SCOR Canada] and for the way it operates. We’ve always done well and I want to see that evolutionary process continue.”
Klecan intends to move to the States next year, but will divide his time between the two countries and maintain his office in Toronto.
Of the US operations, he stresses that he wants to take the same “management discipline” that has produced strong results in Canada in recent years and apply it to the lagging US subsidiary. Over the past two years, the US operation has stood out amongst SCOR Group’s subsidiaries as a disappointment. “Big is not necessarily beautiful,” Klecan says, noting past management had put the US company in a bad position and underwriters in recent years have been trying to undo the damage done. “It’s unfortunate the legacy of that time is undermining everything done in the last two years,” he comments. And these legacy issues have become the one focus of the media, he adds. “The general press has been obsessed with looking at legacy issues. There has been virtually nothing written about the good skill sets and the good underwriting of the last few years.”
Just today, Reuters news agency reported that several big reinsurance brokers would not be placing risks with the reinsurer unless their clients specifically make a request. This follows the company being downgraded by some rating agencies below the “A” level. The melee may complicate SCOR Group’s bid to raise EUR 600 million (Cdn$980 million) in additional capital.
Klecan says the Canadian operation maintains strong ties with brokers and clients. “The relationship with brokers [in Canada] is good. The brokers have a job to do, and I respect that,” he says, adding that ultimately it will be clients who will discern which reinsurers they want to place their risks with. Because the Canadian company has had strong results in recent years, including after-tax profit of $7 million in 2002, clients here can be assured of the company’s financial strength, he says, adding that the Canadian company has taken a disciplined approach to assuming risks as supported by capital. “Those that know us well know that financially we are in excellent shape in this country.”

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