28 March 2017Insurance

LeStrange replaced by another Endurance co-founder on Orchid Underwriters' board

Former Endurance CEO Ken LeStrange retired as the chairman of US-based Orchid Underwriters' board of directors, the company said. He will be replaced by Steven Carlsen, who was also a founding member of Bermuda-based Endurance Specialty Holding.

LeStrange co-founded Endurance in 2001, and served as its CEO and chairman until 2010. He  joined Orchid as chairman in 2014.

Carlsen served as an active director of Orchid since Gryphon’s (Orchid majority owner) investment in 2014 and supported Gryphon’s due diligence of Orchid before that. At Endurance, he served as the company's chief operating officer, chief underwriting officer and as president of its US reinsurance subsidiary.

"On behalf of the Orchid board of directors and Gryphon Investors, I would like to thank Ken for his exceptional leadership and the many contributions he has made to Orchid’s strong performance," said Alex Earls, a partner at Gryphon and an Orchid director. "Ken’s achievements in the industry are well known and his achievements at Orchid further enhance his stellar track record."

He added: "We are extremely fortunate to have Steve in place on the Orchid board and appreciate his willingness to assume the responsibilities of chairman. He brings a 38-year career in the insurance industry, much of it focused on underwriting and managing catastrophe exposures, and this deep expertise will be a great asset to Orchid."

The Vero Beach, Florida-based Orchid provides property insurance on coastal properties throughout the US and the Caribbean. The company has also announced the promotion of Brad Emmons to the position of CEO, who joined Orchid in 1998 and previously served as its president.

"The board is very pleased to announce Brad’s appointment as chief executive officer," said Philip Petrocelli, an operating partner at Gryphon and an Orchid Director. "Under his skilled leadership and oversight, Orchid has achieved strong growth and financial performance and significantly enhanced its strategic market position."

LeStrange commented: "I have enjoyed working with the management team at Orchid and with my partners Gryphon Investors. We have accomplished a great deal in just two and a half years, and I want to thank everyone at Orchid for their hard work, support, and best wishes."

Carlsen added: "I have spent half of my career working with Ken LeStrange, and was pleased to be asked to join him and Gryphon in their work on Orchid. Ken did a wonderful job advancing Orchid to where it is today, and I look forward to working with Brad and the rest of our Orchid colleagues to continue that progress. We appreciate everything that Ken has done and wish him the very best."

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More on this story

26 November 2014   Ken LeStrange, the co-founder and former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Endurance Specialty, has joined Orchid Underwriters as chairman.