HAMILTON, Bermuda, Oct. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Syncora Holdings Ltd. ("Syncora" or the "Company") today announced a plan for senior leadership and Board structure changes designed to continue the Company's progress with its newly strengthened capital structure.
Michael P. Esposito, Jr., Syncora's Chairman, said, "Our current management team has done an outstanding job leading Syncora through a successful comprehensive financial restructuring, and creating approximately $5 billion in statutory surplus since the depths of the financial crisis. We are now in a position to look positively to the future. We will move forward with new leadership that enables Syncora to be equally successful as we set our sights on business opportunities that can be sustainable sources of strategic and economic value. At the same time, we will continue improving the financial condition of our insurance entities through our risk remediation and asset recovery efforts. We believe that the plan we are announcing today will provide for a smooth, seamless transition in the leadership of the Company."
Syncora's Chief Executive Officer and President, Susan Comparato, and the Board have agreed that this is the appropriate time to initiate a succession plan in which she will depart from the Company in mid-2017, after helping to ensure a smooth transition of her duties and responsibilities to her successor, who is anticipated to be Frederick Hnat, Syncora's Senior Vice President and Executive Committee member. Fred will be promoted to a new position, Chief Operating Officer, effective January 1, 2017.
As part of this succession plan, Syncora's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer, Claude LeBlanc, and the Board have agreed that he will depart from the Company effective December 31, 2016, after helping to ensure a smooth transition of his duties to the new leadership team. He will continue to serve as Syncora's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer until his departure. As part of the transition of his Chief Financial Officer responsibilities, Claude will assist David Grande, Syncora's current Controller, who will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer, effective January 1, 2017. At that time, the Chief Restructuring Officer position will be eliminated.
Mr. Esposito commented, "The Board is very grateful for all Susan and Claude have accomplished in leading Syncora through a tumultuous period, from the depths of the financial crisis to sound financial footing for the future. They orchestrated several major restructurings with significant achievements in risk reduction, litigation settlements and remediations, and now they and the Board have agreed that the time is right to begin to transition leadership."
Mr. Esposito continued, "Susan has worked tirelessly to advance Syncora, taking it through the financial crisis and leading the way through our restructurings while maintaining strong working relationships with our regulators. Her leadership and strategic direction for the Company's key business initiatives have positioned Syncora extremely well for this next phase. We look forward to her continued leadership during the transition period ahead."
"Claude has successfully led the Company through its various comprehensive restructurings and remediations and achieved a milestone in the first phase of the Company's strategic plan, creating substantial value for all of our stakeholders. His leadership and strategic vision were instrumental in positioning Syncora for its next phase. We greatly appreciate and thank Claude for his significant effort and contributions to get us to where we are today," Mr. Esposito concluded.
Fred Hnat brings more than two decades of deep legal, operational and financial experience to his COO role. He served as COO of the Company's London-based subsidiary, Syncora Guarantee (UK) Limited, where he developed relationships with many of the Company's current European institutional stakeholders, and prior to that he served as General Counsel and Secretary of Syncora Guarantee Inc. More recently, Fred has been instrumental in many of Syncora's key remediations and has managed reinsurance relationships and the recently completed process to repatriate the Company's UK policies to the US.
Commenting on Mr. Hnat, Mr. Esposito said, "With this move, the Board has created a succession plan that anticipates Fred becoming CEO concurrent with Susan's departure. He is a talented executive with the industry knowledge, experience and capability to drive our business forward and see Syncora meet its potential for delivering value to all our stakeholders."
David Grande brings more than 16 years of finance experience to the CFO role, including three and a half years as Syncora's Controller, with strong capabilities in financial reporting, developing financial processes, controls and reporting systems, and determining the financial and accounting effect of complex transactions. David joined Syncora from PricewaterhouseCoopers in January 2013. His responsibilities as CFO will include all finance, accounting, financial planning and analysis, and treasury functions.
The Company also announced that Mary Jane Constant has been named to the newly created position of Chief Remediation Officer, effective January 1, 2017, and will report to Fred Hnat. She currently is Managing Director for Risk Management, and has been a leader in many of Syncora's key credit remediations. In this new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the Company's ongoing remediation and risk reduction efforts to secure value within the insurance portfolios.
"As we prepare for the future of Syncora, I am confident that we will have the right leadership team. Fred, David, Mary Jane, and the rest of our management team will build on our achievements to date and pursue profitable business opportunities. Together, they will serve in these key leadership positions within Syncora as our company implements strategies to position Syncora to timely deliver added value for our stakeholders," added Mr. Esposito.
Board Structure Changes
The Company noted that with the completion of the restructuring, there will be a reduction in the Board size at Syncora and its principal operating entities. The new Board composition is anticipated to be effective by early 2017.
In addition, the Board's Finance and Risk Oversight Committee is expected to be eliminated as of January 1, 2017. Its responsibilities relating to the financial affairs, risk tolerance and risk management of Syncora and its consolidated subsidiaries will be discharged by the full Board.
Mr. Esposito concluded, "Our Board truly appreciates the guidance and wisdom that all of Syncora's directors have provided over many years. With the completion of the restructuring, we are confident that now is the appropriate time to streamline the Boards."
As previously announced, under the terms of its Transaction Support Agreement with certain holders of Syncora Guarantee Inc.'s long-term and short-term surplus notes and certain preferred shareholders, the Company received notice of three nominees for its Board of Directors: Mr. Alan Carr, Mr. Frederick Arnold and Mr. Robert Mills. Mr. Carr was reappointed for a new three year term that will automatically expire at midnight on August 22, 2019. The New York Department of Financial Services is considering the applications for Messrs. Arnold and Mills; however, no assurances can be given as to whether or when approvals of these nominations will be granted.
About Syncora Holdings Ltd.
Syncora Holdings Ltd. (OTC: SYCRF) is a Bermuda-domiciled holding company. Syncora Guarantee Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Syncora Holdings Ltd. For additional information, please visit www.syncora.com.
Syncora Holdings Ltd.
This press release contains statements about future results, plans and events that may constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws. The Company cautions you that the forward-looking information presented in this press release is not a guarantee of future events, and that actual events may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking information contained in this press release. In addition, forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "plan," "seek," "comfortable with," "will," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe" or "continue" or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's control. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors described in the Company's historical filings with the New York Department of Financial Services, and in the Company's, Syncora Guarantee Inc.'s and Syncora Capital Assurance Inc.'s GAAP and statutory financial statements, as applicable, posted on its website at www.syncora.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect the impact of circumstances or events that arise after the date the forward-looking statements are made.
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SOURCE Syncora Holdings Ltd.