Aspen Re’s departing CEO Thomas Lillelund will be free to attend a major gathering of senior AIG executives in New York later this week and will be released from his employment obligations almost nine months earlier than his maximum contractual terms, the Bermudian (re)Insurance group confirmed late last week.
In an SEC filing after markets closed on Friday (31 August) Aspen said the London-based Danish executive would be free to join AIG from 1 November this year.
The announcement came in the same week that the Bermuda-domiciled firm accepted a $2.6bn offer from Apollo Global Management after a sale process that took up much of the year.
Lillelund will become the boss of AIG’s newly created Luxembourg European insurer, AIG Europe, reporting to AIG’s CEO of international general Insurance Chris Townsend. Last week’s announcement means he will now be in place ahead of the firm incepting its first risks on 1 December 2018.
The SEC filing confirms a report by re-Insurance.com on 16 August that Aspen was in talks with Lillelund following his resignation to reflect his good leaver status and the fact he is not joining a direct competitor. His employment contract contained a 12-month notice period, which is not uncommon for senior executives under UK employment law.
AIG is one of Aspen Re’s largest clients and broking sources suggested at the time of the discussions that Aspen was hopeful its consideration would be recognised in future AIG renewals.
In addition to AIG, other top-ten Aspen Re clients are thought to include Axa, Lloyd’s, RSA, XL and Zurich.
Following Lillelund’s resignation, Aspen acted swiftly by promoting his number two, New York-based Emil Issavi, to replace him.
Aspen Re is regarded as the group’s most attractive franchise. It posted a combined ratio of 89 percent for the second quarter of 2018.
In a 31 August letter to Lillelund accompanying the SEC filing, Aspen group’s head of HR Heather Brown wrote: “Notwithstanding the 12 months’ notice set out in Clause 17.2 of the service agreement, we have agreed to your request to release you early such that your employment with the company will cease on 31 October 2018.”
He will no longer be entitled to any benefits, including equity entitlements that have not already vested, after that date, the letter continued.
Brown added: “It has been agreed that you may [also] attend AIG’s leadership offsite meeting in New York in early September 2018.”