Noonan to step down as American Re head

He leaves American Re, a subsidiary of the world's largest reinsurer Munich Re, following 18 years at the firm. John Phelan, the current president of Munich Re Company (MROC) of Canada, will take over as American Re president.

The timing of Noonan’s resignation prompted speculation that it could be related to Munich Re’s euro2.2 billion write-down due to losses related to the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11. The attacks prompted a fundamental rethink of Munich Re’s risk management.

A Munich Re spokesman declined to comment on Noonan’s motives for leaving, but pointed to the three-month transition phase as an indication that there were no major differences in opinion between Noonan and his German masters. “This demonstrates that there is a good professional relationship,” said the spokesman.

Phelan will take on a much larger premium business at American Re compared with RMOC. But Munich Re does not see this as a problem. “John has steered RMOC through the cycle very, very successfully. It’s a question of profit-orientation and not so much volume,” said the spokesman.

Kenneth Irvin will take over as president of MROC, where he previously held the role of executive vice-president.

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