Jan. 11--Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, who orchestrated the merger of Travelers and Citicorp in the 1990s, has been named chairman of a Bermuda-based reinsurer.
Weill, 80, will lead the board of directors of Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd., holding company for Hamilton Re, the company announced Thursday.
"Sandy Weill is an icon in the financial services sector, someone who has been at the forefront of change throughout his career," Hamilton CEO Brian Duperreault said in a statement. "Under his leadership, and with our forward-thinking management team, I have no doubt that our goal of establishing a leading insurance and reinsurance business will be realized. It's an honor to serve with Sandy."
Weill said in a statement, "I think it is rare to have an opportunity to be involved with people who have an exemplary record in what is necessary to run a successful insurance company."
Weill's company Primerica Corp. acquired the former Travelers during deals in 1992 and 1993 at a time when Travelers was suffering from losses in commercial real estate-related investments.
During Weill's tenure at Citigroup, Travelers Group Inc. bought the former Aetna Property Casualty Corp. in 1996 for $4 billion, which resulted in about 1,500 jobs eliminated in Connecticut, and 3,300 nationwide. The deal provided capital to Aetna, helping it to buy U.S. Healthcare, a Pennsylvania-based HMO company, in 1996 for $9 billion, beginning Aetna's new era as a health care giant.
In 1998, Weill held a teleconference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York to announce the merger of Travelers Group Inc. and Citicorp. It was the largest merger in history, forming a colossal financial services company with 100 million customers in 100 countries, $700 billion in assets and $50 billion in net revenue.
At the time, Travelers was both a property-casualty and life insurance company, selling life insurance and annuities through banks, trade groups and about 8,000 independent agents. Citicorp had about 450 sales branches in the U.S., 40 million Citicorp credit card customers and sales outlets in 100 counties.
Citigroup spun off Travelers Property Casualty Corp. in 2002, a decision by Weill who said at the time the property-casualty business had lower growth rates and returns than Citigroup's other businesses. Citigroup sold Travelers Life & Annuity to MetLife in 2005.
One of Weill's lasting legacies is his love for the red umbrella.
Weill's Primerica took on the umbrella and the Travelers name when he acquired the Hartford insurer in the early 1990s.
Citigroup retained rights to the umbrella when Travelers Property Casualty Corp. was spun off in 2002, and the former Travelers Life & Annuity dropped use of the umbrella when it was acquired by MetLife, which is well known for its Snoopy logo. The umbrella was finally reunited with Travelers in 2007 when it was bought from Citigroup for undisclosed millions of dollars.
Weill retired as CEO of Citigroup in October 2003 and continued to serve as chairman April 2006.
Cornell University's Medical College, founded in 1898, was renamed in 1998 to the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Weill holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell. The Weills have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the medical school.