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AmTrust revamps leadership in turnaround effort

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AmTrust Financial Services Inc. announced a series of executive changes Wednesday as the struggling New York-based insurer continued to implement its turnaround plan.

Michael Saxon, executive vice president of U.S. commercial lines in New York, and Max Caviet, CEO of AmTrust International Ltd. in London, retired effective Dec. 31, AmTrust said in statement. Both will continue in a consultative role, the statement said.

Christopher Foy, who heads AmTrust’s specialty program business, will replace Mr. Saxon, and Peter Dewey, CEO of AmTrust’s Lloyd’s business, will replace Mr. Caviet.

In addition, AmTrust, which is a significant workers compensation insurer for small and midsize businesses and recently reverted to private ownership, launched a strategic plan to refocus its business.

“Our vision for AmTrust is to be a leading specialty commercial (property/casualty) insurer. We believe we can achieve this by focusing on local markets and niche products where we can add significant value,” said Barry Zyskind, chairman and CEO of AmTrust.

AmTrust has been under pressure since 2017, when reports emerged that its accounting practices were under investigation.

A plan to take the insurer private last year had to be sweetened to satisfy activist shareholder Carl Icahn, and AmTrust was downgraded by A.M. Best Co. Inc. in July over concerns about adverse reserve development.

The insurer also sold much of its reinsurance business, Maiden Holdings Ltd., and last week announced that it replaced Maiden Re with Swiss Reinsurance America Corp. as the reinsurer for its $2.9 billion book of U.S. small commercial business.