HAMILTON, Bermuda, Oct 17, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- White Mountains
Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) today announced the election of Steven E.
Fass as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He
remains a director of the Company. Mr. Fass succeeds Ray Barrette, who has
decided to retire from his management positions with the Company, and, since
he is no longer an executive, to leave the Board. Mr. Barrette will work with
Mr. Fass and the White Mountains leadership team to ensure a smooth
Mr. Fass has been a senior partner at White Mountains for nearly a decade
as head of reinsurance operations. Under his leadership, White Mountains Re
has become one of the largest and most sophisticated reinsurance operations in
the world with the capital, discipline and flexibility to produce superior
returns. Mr. Fass led the Company's acquisition of Sirius International in
2004 and has overseen the development of Esurance over the past five years.
Mr. Fass is also a director of OneBeacon Insurance Group, White Mountains'
largest operating subsidiary.
Jack Byrne said, "Steve is a proven, talented executive with the right
combination of industry and management experience to lead White Mountains. He
brings a wealth of expertise built over an impressive 35-year career in the
insurance industry. The entire Board has full faith and confidence in his
leadership. I look forward to actively working with Steve during the
transition and will personally see to it that he has all of the resources he
needs -- including me -- to continue to move White Mountains forward. I also
thank Ray for his passionate leadership over the past few years. I have known
Ray a long time and wish him all the best."
George J. Gillespie, III, Chairman of White Mountains, said, "On behalf of
the Board, I want to thank Ray for his leadership and valuable contributions
to our Company. While we are all sorry Ray made the decision to retire, we
are grateful for his service and for his performance, which has been nothing
short of spectacular. White Mountains has a strong balance sheet with a
significant amount of undeployed capital, our operating companies are
performing well, and our prospects are excellent. I am confident our owners
will prosper under Steve's leadership and that of our experienced and
disciplined management team."
Mr. Barrette said, "I feel privileged to have worked with such a talented
team through exciting times. I had been considering retirement for awhile.
My friend and partner, Steve Fass, now gets his chance to take the Company to
the next level. I have no doubt that he and the team have the experience,
vision and motivation required for continued success."
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Fass said, "White Mountains is a
unique and exceptional Company with a proven track record of success. I look
forward to working more closely with Jack, the Board and our talented team in
my new role. I am confident that together the Company will prosper and we
will continue to create value for our shareholders."
White Mountains is a Bermuda-domiciled financial services holding company
traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Bermuda Stock Exchange under the
symbol WTM. Additional financial information and other items of interest are
available at the Company's web site located at http://www.whitemountains.com.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
The press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of
historical facts, included or referenced in this release which address
activities, events or developments which we expect or anticipate will or may
occur in the future are forward-looking statements. The words "will,"
"believe," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "estimate," "predict"
and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements include, among others,
statements with respect to White Mountains':
* growth in book value per share or return on equity;
* business strategy;
* financial and operating targets or plans;
* incurred losses and the adequacy of its loss and loss adjustment expense
reserves and related reinsurance;
* projections of revenues, income (or loss), earnings (or loss) per share,
dividends, market share or other financial forecasts;
* expansion and growth of our business and operations; and
* future capital expenditures.
These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by
White Mountains in light of its experience and perception of historical
trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other
factors believed to be appropriate in the circumstances. However, whether
actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and
predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially from expectations, including:
* claims arising from catastrophic events, such as hurricanes,
earthquakes, floods or terrorist attacks;
* the continued availability of capital and financing;
* general economic, market or business conditions;
* business opportunities (or lack thereof) that may be presented to it and
* competitive forces, including the conduct of other property and casualty
insurers and reinsurers;
* changes in domestic or foreign laws or regulations, or their
interpretation, applicable to White Mountains, its competitors or its
* an economic downturn or other economic conditions adversely affecting
its financial position;
* recorded loss reserves subsequently proving to have been inadequate;
* other factors, most of which are beyond White Mountains' control.
Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this press
release are qualified by these cautionary statements, and there can be no
assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by White
Mountains will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will
have the expected consequences to, or effects on, White Mountains or its
business or operations. White Mountains assumes no obligation to update
publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.
David Foy, +1-203-458-5850, or Eric Brielmann, +1-212-355-4449 both of White