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Michael Lee resigns as head of Tower Group International


Michael H. Lee, chairman, president and CEO of financially troubled reinsurer Tower Group International Ltd., has resigned effective immediately, the company said Friday.

Mr. Lee resigned from Hamilton, Bermuda-based Tower Group and its board of directors to pursue personal and other career opportunities, the company said in a statement.

Succeeding Mr. Lee as chairman of the board will be Jan R. Van Gorder, the lead independent director of Tower Group's board and a member of the board's audit committee, compensation committee and corporate governance and nominating committee, Tower Group said in its statement.

William W. Fox Jr., who had served as a member of the board of directors and of the board's audit committee and corporate governance and nominating committee until his resignation on Dec. 31, is expected to succeed Mr. Lee as president and CEO of Tower, the company said.

Early last month Tower Group said it would be bought by Bermuda-based ACP Re Ltd., a privately owned reinsurer, for $172 million.

Tower Group's shares fell about 82% last year as the company repeatedly delayed filing second-quarter results and tripled its expected loss reserves. Its financial strength rating was cut to B++ from A- by A.M. Best Co. Inc. on Oct. 8.