Alan I. Kirshner retiring as Markel Corp. executive chair
After 59 years working for Henrico County-based Markel Corp., the company's executive chairman and chairman of the board, Alan I. Kirshner, announced Thursday that he will be retiring.
Kirshner will not stand for re-election at Markel's 2020 annual shareholders meeting on May 11. Steven. A. Markel, the current vice chair of Markel's board, will succeed Kirshner as chairman of the board. A holding company for insurance, reinsurance and investment operations, Markel employs 17,400 workers around the world. It was founded in 1930.
“I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as chairman of Markel these last 33 years, working alongside terrific leaders and great employees, all of whom come to work each day determined to build one of the world's great companies,” Kirshner said in a statement. “This coming year I'll celebrate both my 85th birthday and 60th anniversary at Markel, and believe these milestones mark the perfect time for me to retire from the board and pass on the chairman role to another proven leader, my good friend and longtime colleague, Steve Markel.”
Kirshner, who joined Markel in 1960, will be named chairman emeritus upon his retirement in May. He joined Markel's board in 1978 and became chairman of the board and CEO in 1986, the year Markel went public. He served as CEO through 2015 and became executive chairman in 2016. Kirshner led the company with board vice chairs Anthony F. “Tony” Markel and Steven Markel, growing the company to $25 billion in total assets.
“Alan has led Markel with tremendous passion, honesty and fairness,” said Steven Markel, who has been with the company since 1975. “He has always been a visionary, challenging leadership and the organization to embrace change, to innovate, create and strive for a better way. And, as the lead author of The Markel Style, the company's values statement, his purpose and principles will live on within Markel forever.”
A board director since 1978, Steven Markel has been a member of the Markel Corp. leadership team since 1986, focusing on finance and investments. He has served as vice chair since 1992.