Safety Insurance is the second largest P/C insurer in Massachusetts
Safety Insurance’s President and CEO David Brussard is to retire. Mr. Brussard, who has helmed the Commonwealth’s second largest property and casualty insurer since 2001, will retire on March 31, 2016. He will remain on with the Safety Insurance Group, Inc., however, as the company’s Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Our success is closely tied to the ongoing commitment and support of our independent agents and our employees,” said Mr. Brussard. “The Board of Directors and I are confident that George is the right leader to continue this strategy which has resulted in building significant value for our shareholders. George will continue to be backed by a stable and committed leadership team.”
Under the direction of Mr. Brussard, Safety Insurance has grown over the last 15 years to become a publicly traded property and casualty insurer with over $1.2 billion dollars of assets and nearly $800 million in premiums, resulting in a history of consistent position shareholder returns.
New Safety President & CEO is a 27-year veteran of the company
The Board of Directors named George M. Murphy as the company’s new President and CEO, effective April 1, 2016. Mr. Murphy, who first began his career with Safety in 1989, has spent the past 27 years in a variety of positions with the insurer. Over the course of his career, he has focused on building strong personal relationships with Safety’s independent agency partners. Mr. Brussard said that Mr. Murphy was the natural choice as his successor.
The Board of Directors and I are confident that George is the right leader to continue this strategy which has resulted in building significant value for our shareholders. George will continue to be backed by a stable and committed leadership team.”
Since October 1, 2005, Mr. Murphy has served as Safety’s Vice President of Marketing. During his decade in this position, Mr. Murphy has been credited with increasing the profile of the Safety brand and its recognition as a leading property and casualty insurer in New England. In looking at the new stage of his career with Safety, Mr. Murphy says maintaining strong relationships with the company’s network of independent agents will continue to be a priority for him.
I plan to work collaboratively with senior leadership at Safety to execute on our established business strategy, with a focus on maintaining strong relationships with independent agents and their customers. This will allow us to build on our history of strong shareholder returns,” said Mr. Murphy.
Public shareholders and senior management well-rewarded for successful business model
Mr. Brussard and the senior management team at Safety Insurance can look back on fifteen years of accomplishment following the company’s initial public offering of shares in 2002.
As reported by Safety Insurance Group, Inc. to the S.E.C. in early 2015, the total shareholder cumulative investment return from the first public share sale on November 22, 2002 until December 31, 2014, equaled 670% as per the graph below.
On December 31, 2015, the closing share price for the Safety Insurance Group equaled $64.01. On the date of the announcement of Mr. Brussard’s retirement, January 4, 2016, the share had dropped over the course of 2015, to close at $56.14. This drop, consistent with the overall market for 2015, still left investors with substantial gains over the original share offering price.
Besides the public shareholders, senior management at the Safety Insurance Group have also been well-rewarded for their efforts in building the company into the success it is today.
The same S.E.C. filing shows. per the table below, the handsome cash and non-cash compensation for the 2014, 2013 and 2012 fiscal years awarded to Mr. Brussard as CEO, along with the company’s CFO, and the three other most highly compensated executive officers of the company for those years for their efforts.