Berkshire Hathaway reinsurance unit names new CEO

Fri May 20, 2016 10:21am EDT
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(Reuters) - The General Re unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote) on Friday named longtime reinsurance executive Kara Raiguel as its new chief executive officer, replacing the retiring Tad Montross.

Raiguel will report to Ajit Jain, who oversees Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group and has long been viewed as a potential successor to Buffett at Berkshire itself.

In an internal memo issued on Thursday and obtained by Reuters, Jain said Raiguel has been a "key player" at his reinsurance division for more than 15 years, his "secret weapon" for 10 years, and a "true renaissance woman in the insurance and reinsurance industry."

Jain highlighted her work including the creation of a large California workers' compensation program, and a foray into India's reinsurance market.

Montross had been chairman and CEO of Stamford, Connecticut-based General Re since 2008, and reported directly to Buffett.

Raiguel was not immediately available for comment. The memo was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Reinsurers provide protection for traditional insurers.

Berkshire paid about $16 billion for General Re in 1998 and after initial struggles the unit has performed better recently.

Buffett nonetheless warned on April 30 at Berkshire's annual meeting that the industry will fare less well in the next decade as more investors enter the business and push prices down.   Continued...

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders walk by a video screen at the company's annual meeting in Omaha May 4, 2013.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking