Michael Butt, former chairman of Axis Capital Ltd. and a long-time market leader in London and Bermuda, died on Wednesday.
Mr. Butt, 80, worked as a broker, underwriter and reinsurer, managed several public companies during his career and was a key figure in the establishment of the modern Bermuda reinsurance market.
In an email published on social media last Thursday, Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of Axis, called Mr. Butt “a stately figure and a trailblazer in our industry.”
Mr. Butt began his career in London and was chairman of Sedgwick Ltd., a brokerage house that was later bought by Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., from 1982 to 1986. He then moved to the multi-line insurance company Eagle Star Holdings Ltd., where he was chairman and CEO from 1987 to 1992.
After Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, he became president and CEO of Bermuda-based Mid Ocean Ltd., the first specialized property catastrophe reinsurer to form on the island after the storm.
In an interview with Business insurance last year reflected Mr. Butt on how the cat reinsurers transformed the Bermuda market after Andrew.
Mid-Ocean was acquired by XL Capital Ltd. 1998 and Mr. Butt was a board member of XL until he joined Axis in 2002. He retired as chairman of Axis in 2020.
Among many board assignments and awards, Mr. Butt was a member of the Geneva Association, chaired the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bermuda Insurance Institute and was a member of the Board of Directors of INSEAD.