Last month, Assurant (AIZ) announced its first quarter earnings and it was good news for the company’s shareholders. The company’s net income was up $20 million from the first quarter of 2013 and its earnings per share were $1.86.
Now, two of the company’s senior executives are planning to leave the company on a high note and retire this year.
The company announced on Tuesday that Robert Pollack (pictured below, left), the company’s president and chief executive officer, plans to retire as an office and director at year-end, “following a distinguished 33-year career with the company.”
According to Assurant, the company’s board of directors has “long had a succession planning process” and has begun a comprehensive search to evaluate both internal and external candidates for the CEO post. Russell Reynolds Associates will assist the board in identifying Pollock’s successor.
“It’s been my honor to lead a great team at Assurant and build a strong foundation for future profitable growth and long-term shareholder value,” Pollock said. “We’ve demonstrated our resilience, agility and commitment to help our customers protect what matters most to them. Now is the right time for a leadership change to further the transformation of Assurant. I look forward to working with the Board and my successor to ensure a seamless transition.”
Under Pollock’s leadership, the company grew book value per share at an average annual rate of 11% and generated more than $4 billion in operating cash flow.
“Rob Pollock is an outstanding CEO and the Board is deeply grateful for his disciplined guidance of the company,” said Elaine D. Rosen, chair of the Assurant board. “Rob has consistently provided visionary leadership and built Assurant into a strong Fortune 500 insurance company. He was instrumental in navigating through challenging times and multiple market transitions. His strategic mindset, commitment to customers and shareholders, and respect for employees are key qualities we will seek in his successor.”
The company also announced the Michael Peninger (pictured right), Assurant’s executive vice president and chief financial officer will retire this year after 29 years with the company. Christopher Pagano, 50, currently Assurant’s executive vice president, chief investment officer and treasurer, will succeed him as CFO, effective Aug. 15, 2014.
“Mike’s financial, business and operational acumen have made an indelible mark as we have evolved as a leader in specialty insurance,” said Pollock. “Under his guidance, Assurant has developed a highly effective global financial strategy, strengthened our robust financial policies and procedures and maintained a strong balance sheet during challenging economic times. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside him.”
Pagano (pictured bottom left) has served as executive vice president, chief investment officer and treasurer since 2007, and president, Assurant Asset Management since 2005. He previously was executive vice president and head of fixed income, Assurant Asset Management.
“We are proud of our deep bench of talent at Assurant,” Pollack added. “Chris brings his comprehensive knowledge of our company and global financial expertise to his new and expanded role. During the past 18 years, Chris has played a critical role in implementing Assurant’s capital management strategy, strengthened our investment portfolio and led the development of our risk management methodology. Mike and Chris are working to ensure a seamless transition.”