Camargue Underwriting Managers has announced that its board has moved to appoint Gerhard de Bruin as its new group managing director. de Bruin took over the seat from current managing director, Mitch Marescia, on 15 September 2016. Marescia who is the co-founder of the business and has successfully grown the company into a leading specialist underwriting management agency (“UMA”), remains in the business and will move into the role of chairman.
The process for selection of the new Camargue managing director was simplified by the fact that de Bruin has extensive experience in the financial services industry which uniquely equips him for the role. Not only does he have a longstanding history in the industry - he has a strong entrepreneurial background and managed his own UMA for nearly 10 years. He has performed the role of financial director for Camargue since 2013. In this position he has been instrumental in not only the day-to-day operation and financial management of the business, but he has also been responsible for driving the group’s strategic plans. He also played an instrumental role in the negotiations surrounding the investment agreement with Brit Limited (“Brit”) (announced last month).
In addition to Camargue’s four divisional directors, de Bruin will be ably supported by his fellow directors, including operations director, Lucian Carciumaru, non-executive director and the group chief executive officer of Brit, Mark Cloutier, and Marescia who has been at the helm for the past 15 years. An executive with enormous experience and vested in the industry, never before has the Camargue management team been as strong.
This year celebrating 15 successful underwriting years, Camargue is in an exciting growth phase and de Bruin brings relevant skills to achieve the company’s ambitious future goals. According to Marescia, de Bruin has determinedly contributed to Camargue’s development and has demonstrated commitment to the execution of the company’s expansion and acquisition plans. “He will now continue to drive the business forward and there is no one more qualified to keep Camargue on course for success. We are preparing for the next chapter of development with Brit as our partner and as our new managing director, de Bruin, in close cooperation with our board, management and colleagues, will focus on establishing new territories and an even stronger footprint in the niche liability sector.”
Commenting on his appointment de Bruin says, "I am pleased to take up this new professional challenge in my career; an opportunity to contribute to, consolidate and grow our group as a global leader in our niche insurance class. I am surrounded by a team of strong people in the company who share the same vision: to see Camargue become a globally recognised brand that is respected for its proficiency and innovative approach to insurance. A team of nonconformists – we will continue going beyond insurance and creating value for all our stakeholders.”
It is often said that a company takes on the personality of the CEO, and de Bruin says that Camargue is a perfect example of this. “Marescia’s relentless focus on service, innovation, knowledge transfer, and change for good campaigns, are values ingrained in Camargue. This has all contributed towards the strength of the position we find ourselves in today. And that, plus a healthy balance of fun, is what keeps Camargue unique. We plan to continue and carry this ethos with us on our journey forward,” says de Bruin. “I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Camargue team at this exciting time in our history and look forward to continuing these traditions.”
Since its inception, Marescia has been responsible for the development of the group’s reputation for being the hottest provider of risk management solutions and specialised insurance products. Remaining in the business, he will provide continuity in his new role as Chairman. In addition to supporting de Bruin as managing director, he will focus on activity within the wider Brit global family, seeking new investment, product and expansion opportunities that will further support the group’s global security and the strength of its paper.
De Bruin is a chartered accountant and has been working in the insurance and accounting profession for more than 25 years. He is part of the Camargue Chili Cycle Clan – supporting charity rides with the team whenever possible. He is married and expecting his first child later this year.