American Club Rings in Posidonia 2014
Top underwriter says his farewells to Greece
The American Club held its traditional party on the evening of Thursday, May 29 to mark the start of Posidonia week. More than 600 guests from the club’s expanding Greek membership, as well as club directors and representatives from the Greek maritime industry, attended a buffet reception on the rooftop of the Royal Olympic Hotel in central Athens.
The event was also attended by Miltiades Varvitsiotis, the Greek Minister of Shipping and the Aegean, together with senior diplomats from the U.S. Embassy to Greece.
In the presence of so many illustrious guests, the occasion proved to be an ideal opportunity for the club’s leading underwriter, Stuart Todd, to say his farewells to the Greek shipowning community, in which he has been a prominent P&I figure for more than a generation, ahead of his official retirement on June 30. He leaves the insurance market after more than 40 years’ distinguished service within the P&I world. However, he will continue as a consultant to Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc., based in London.
Todd joined SCB in the autumn of 2001, having previously held senior positions with a leading International Group P&I club and at Lloyd’s of London. He moved to head office in New York in early 2002 to assume chief responsibility for the American Club’s underwriting operations.
Speaking at the Athens reception, Joe Hughes, chairman and ceo of SCB, said that Stuart Todd commanded great respect within both the shipping and insurance communities, especially those in Greece. He had made a great contribution to the club’s strategy of growth and diversification. He left a legacy of considerable achievement, not only through the growth in premium and tonnage, but also in the diversity of membership, which gained impetus during his 13 years with the club. He had been instrumental in building a strong team to enhance the club’s underwriting capabilities both for the present and for the future.
As a tribute to Stuart’s retirement, guests were shown and applauded a video put together by the managers that tracked his life and career, via photographic and other material, to illustrate his more than 40 years’ contribution to P&I insurance.
Hughes went on to say that Todd’s withdrawal from his full-time commitments had entailed certain changes to the way in which SCB managed its underwriting and business development activities on behalf of the American Club. Some of these changes had already been made.
Importantly, the main feature was that the club’s underwriting and business development functions were now operated on a regional basis. The four regions in questions corresponded to the four main constituencies of the club’s membership, being North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Greater China and North Asia, and South and Southeast Asia. Details had been announced at the end of 2013. According to Mr. Hughes, the favorable results of the 2014/2015 renewal in February was evidence of how this initiative had progressed to such notable effect.
In concluding his remarks for the evening, Hughes noted the great importance to the American Club of its Greek membership, and also paid tribute to the exemplary role played by the club’s local office in Greece in servicing the needs of its members in Greece.
Dorothea Ioannou, who heads up the club’s Greek operations, and is also its business development director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, also spoke at the event. She thanked the local shipping community for their support of the club and expressed her enthusiasm for growing and ever closer cooperation with the Greek maritime industry over the years to come.