Kara Raiguel to become CEO of Berkshire Hathaway’s General Reinsurance unit

Ajit Jain, who is viewed as a potential successor to Warren Buffet, has described Kara Raiguel as a “true renaissance woman in the insurance and reinsurance industry”.

With Tad Montross set to retire from the General Reinsurance unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Kara Raiguel is all set to take the top job as its new CEO.

Raiguel will report to Ajit Jain, who oversees the performance of Berkshire Hathaway’s Reinsurance Group and is viewed as a potential successor to Buffet at Hathaway Berkshire.

In a secret memo written by Jain, he has portrayed Raiguel as a “key player” who has more than fifteen years of experience in his reinsurance division and more importantly has been his “secret weapon” for the previous ten years. He has described her as a “true renaissance woman in the insurance and reinsurance industry.”

Highlighting her outstanding work, Jain said her contributions include the creation of the California workers’ compensation program and the foray into India’s massive reinsurance market.

Montross had been the chairman and CEO of Stamford since 2008 and had reported directly to Buffett.

Raiguel was not immediately available for comment.

The reinsurance business provides insurance to traditional insurers.

Berkshire acquired General Reinsurance in 1998 for $16 billion and after initial struggles the unit has performed well.

On April 30 this year, at Berkshire’s annual general meeting, Buffet had warned that the insurance sector could see troubled times in the next decade as the sector will see an increase in the number of players which will push down prices.

In a memo, Jain too has said that the industry faces “serious headwinds” and that Raiguel’s first priority in the next ninety days will be to decide on how on to add business without sacrificing underwriting disciplines and business integrity.

Currently Berkshire Hathaway owns nearly 90 businesses including clothing, food, railroad and energy companies.

Of late, Berkshire Hathaway has become less dependent on insurance and on the reinsurance business as it has diversified its revenue streams. Its General Reinsurance unit makes most of its mullah by investing and acquiring “float[s]”, which essentially is the amount of insurance premiums collected before claims are paid.

As of March 31, the General Reinsurance unit has contributed nearly two-thirds of Hathaway’s $88 billion float.



Categories: HR & Organization, Strategy

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