AXIS Capital appoints Lead Independent Director Henry Smith as Chairman-elect

– BERMUDA, Pembroke –  AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE: AXS) today announced that Michael Butt, OBE, Chairman of the Board of Directors, will retire from the Company, effective September 16, 2020, and will be succeeded by Henry B. Smith, who has served as a member of the Board of Directors since May 2004 and as Lead Independent Director since May 2012.

A co-founder of AXIS and a member of the Insurance Hall of Fame, Mr. Butt is a recognized industry leader who is credited for his instrumental role in establishing Bermuda as one of the world’s foremost insurance hubs.

“I want to express my deep appreciation to Michael for all he has done for our Company since its inception, and for the many contributions he has made to the insurance industry over the course of his career,” said Albert A. Benchimol, AXIS President and CEO. “Michael’s impact on our industry and our Company has been immense. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with Michael and call him my mentor, colleague, and friend.”

Mr. Butt added: “I wish to express my gratitude to the many people who have made my nearly two decades at AXIS so enjoyable. I particularly want to thank my fellow Board Directors and AXIS colleagues, as well as our shareholders, clients, and partners in distribution. I am confident AXIS is in good hands under the leadership of our CEO Albert Benchimol and the incoming independent Board Chairman Henry Smith, and believe the firm is very well-positioned to be a leader in the specialty insurance and global reinsurance industry.”

About Henry Smith

Mr. Smith is the former CEO and President of W.P. Stewart & Co., Limited. Previously he served as the CEO of the Bank of Bermuda Limited, a position he held for seven years until the acquisition of the bank by HSBC Holdings plc. At AXIS, in addition to the role as Chairman-Elect of the AXIS Board of Directors, Mr. Smith is the current Chair of the Executive and Compensation Committees and a member of the Corporate Governance & Nominating and Risk Committees.

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