Syncora Announces Leadership And Board Structure Changes
HAMILTON, Bermuda, October 5, 2016
Syncora Holdings Ltd. today announced a plan for senior leadership and Board structure changes designed to continue the Company’s progress with its newly strengthened capital structure.
Michael P. Esposito, Jr., Syncora’s Chairman, said, “Our current management team has done an outstanding job leading Syncora through a successful comprehensive financial restructuring, and creating approximately $5 billion in statutory surplus since the depths of the financial crisis. We are now in a position to look positively to the future. We will move forward with new leadership that enables Syncora to be equally successful as we set our sights on business opportunities that can be sustainable sources of strategic and economic value. At the same time, we will continue improving the financial condition of our insurance entities through our risk remediation and asset recovery efforts. We believe that the plan we are announcing today will provide for a smooth, seamless transition in the leadership of the Company.”
Syncora’s Chief Executive Officer and President, Susan Comparato, and the Board have agreed that this is the appropriate time to initiate a succession plan in which she will depart from the Company in mid-2017, after helping to ensure a smooth transition of her duties and responsibilities to her successor, who is anticipated to be Frederick Hnat, Syncora’s Senior Vice President and Executive Committee member. Fred will be promoted to a new position, Chief Operating Officer, effective January 1, 2017.
As part of this succession plan, Syncora’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer, Claude LeBlanc, and the Board have agreed that he will depart from the Company effective December 31, 2016, after helping to ensure a smooth transition of his duties to the new leadership team. He will continue to serve as Syncora’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer until his departure. As part of the transition of his Chief Financial Officer responsibilities, Claude will assist David Grande, Syncora’s current Controller, who will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer, effective January 1, 2017. At that time, the Chief Restructuring Officer position will be eliminated.
Fred Hnat brings more than two decades of deep legal, operational and financial experience to his COO role. He served as COO of the Company’s London-based subsidiary, Syncora Guarantee (UK) Limited, where he developed relationships with many of the Company’s current European institutional stakeholders, and prior to that he served as General Counsel and Secretary of Syncora Guarantee Inc. More recently, Fred has been instrumental in many of Syncora’s key remediations and has managed reinsurance relationships and the recently completed process to repatriate the Company’s UK policies to the US.
Board Structure Changes
The Company noted that with the completion of the restructuring, there will be a reduction in the Board size at Syncora and its principal operating entities. The new Board composition is anticipated to be effective by early 2017.
In addition, the Board’s Finance and Risk Oversight Committee is expected to be eliminated as of January 1, 2017. Its responsibilities relating to the financial affairs, risk tolerance and risk management of Syncora and its consolidated subsidiaries will be discharged by the full Board.
Mr. Esposito concluded, “Our Board truly appreciates the guidance and wisdom that all of Syncora’s directors have provided over many years. With the completion of the restructuring, we are confident that now is the appropriate time to streamline the Boards.”
As previously announced, under the terms of its Transaction Support Agreement with certain holders of Syncora Guarantee Inc.’s long-term and short-term surplus notes and certain preferred shareholders, the Company received notice of three nominees for its Board of Directors: Mr. Alan Carr, Mr. Frederick Arnold and Mr. Robert Mills. Mr. Carr was reappointed for a new three year term that will automatically expire at midnight on August 22, 2019. The New York Department of Financial Services is considering the applications for Messrs. Arnold and Mills; however, no assurances can be given as to whether or when approvals of these nominations will be granted.