Grahame Chilton on life at Gallagher - people, deals, integration and the future

Future

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Grahame Chilton on life at Gallagher - people, deals, integration and the future

Team work

Future

Chilton may or may not see further buys.

He will remain in the CEO role for some time with no precise date set yet for him to give it up.

I am going to be associated with Gallaghers for a very long time

Irrespective of this he will stay engaged with the group over the longer term.

Prior to taking on the CEO role in 2015, Chilton had launched Capsicum Re as a joint venture with Gallagher in 2013.

He has always maintained the chairman position and will return to it.

“I am going to be associated with Gallaghers for a very long time,” he confirmed.

Chilton praised the successes that have continued under Rupert Swallow and colleagues as he looked forward to having more time to work with the reinsurance broker.

The business has grown to around 120 employees in six locations around the world with in excess of $3bn of premium.

“I’m a deal junky. I love a deal. I will be out there producing business and working with my colleagues to continue the spectacular growth of Capsicum Re.”

Grahame Chilton

Various sources told Insurance Age that Chilton’s departure had long been expected and that when he took on the role it was always time-bound.

At the end of this year Gallagher have the option to acquire Capsicum Re.

“I cannot advise the company to buy the company that I am a significant [part of],” Chilton recognised.

And so his departure has been long in the planning. He will be handing over to Matson over a suitable period.

Matson is currently head of Gallagher’s London market specialty and Alesco businesses.

He founded wholesale broker Alesco in a joint venture with Gallagher in 2008.

“I have the highest regard for Simon, he was a strong part of my leadership team with the specialty and wholesale business,” Chilton detailed.

Chilton described a “strong and robust” process involving the non-executive directors and owners to find his successor from a “deep raft” of internal candidates. Potential external candidates were also considered.

There are still enormous opportunities for Gallagher. There are a great series of products that we can bring to our clients all over the UK and I think Simon will be a fabulous leader of that business

As to Matson’s appointment he declared: “I could not endorse it more.

“I know he will do an absolutely great job. Don’t forget he is an entrepreneur,” he continued describing Alesco as a “powerhouse” and its growth as “legendary”.

“He runs a good team and is well liked by his team members. I know he will slip into my role very easily.”

After the handover the ultimate direction of the business will of course be defined by Matson.

Chilton sees a positive future.

“There are still enormous opportunities for Gallagher. There are a great series of products that we can bring to our clients all over the UK and I think Simon will be a fabulous leader of that business.”

What then does he think will be his legacy?

“The UK is a flagship whereas it was a potential problem,” he concluded returning to his favourite topic of team work.

“I think we have achieved a lot, at times people haven’t quite noticed what has been achieved.

“If you know all the facts, numbers and everything else it is an extraordinary journey that we have been on. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

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