Industry Veteran John Charman to retire from Sompo International; James Shea to succeed him as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


PEMBROKE, Bermuda, May 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sompo International Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based specialty provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, announced today that after 8 years with the company and over five decades of unparalleled success in the industry, John Charman will retire from Sompo International at the end of his current contract in April 2022. James Shea has been selected to succeed Mr. Charman in his role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sompo International Holdings Ltd. and Chief Executive Officer of Overseas Insurance and Reinsurance Business, Sompo Holdings, Inc. In addition, he will be appointed Chief Executive Officer of Sompo International Holdings. All of Mr. Shea’s appointments will be effective September 1, 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. He will report to Mr. Kengo Sakurada, Group Chief Executive Officer of Sompo Holdings Inc.

John Charman shared, “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a relatively short time at Sompo International. We have delivered on our promise of creating a truly formidable, integrated, global franchise that now has the scale, ratings, capital, talent and desire to compete and win in any market we choose to operate in. Having accomplished what we set out to do following the acquisition of Endurance by Sompo in 2017, I believe that the time is now appropriate for me to hand over the reins to Jim and to retire when my current contract expires. I am both very happy and extremely confident that Jim will continue to lead with the values that Sompo International has become known for – standing behind the promises we make to our clients, business partners and employees. Jim is an outstanding professional and he has my total support in his new role.”

Mr. Shea will inherit the leadership of a segment that represents more than 30% of Sompo Holdings Group’s projected adjusted profit, employs approximately 6,600 people in over 29 countries and regions and more than $12 billion in gross premiums. The segment includes SI’s Commercial Property and Casualty operations led by CEO Chris Gallagher, and SI’s Retail platform, led by CEO Katsuyuki Tajiri.

Mr. Shea has over 25 years of global insurance experience, most recently serving as the CEO of Commercial Insurance for Zurich Insurance Group and as a member of their Executive Committee based in Zurich, Switzerland. Prior to his role with Zurich Insurance, Jim spent nearly 20 years at AIG in a variety of underwriting and leadership roles in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Singapore.

Sakurada-san commented, “We are extremely grateful for the immense success and advancement that Mr. Charman has contributed to the Sompo Group. He will leave our organization in a much stronger position than when he began and his dedication, accomplishments and legacy have impacted our company and industry significantly. Under his leadership, Sompo International transformed into a globally relevant, trusted partner to our brokers and clients and most importantly, a place where our employees are proud to work. We wish him all the very best in his upcoming retirement.”

Commenting on Mr. Shea’s appointment, Sakurada-san said, “We believe Jim has the experience, vision and confidence to build on John’s incredible record and take Sompo International to the next level. We look forward to his contribution to the overall vision and success of Sompo Holdings in this particularly challenging global business environment and to his input on group-wide strategic decisions as a member of our Global Executive Committee.”

Mr. Shea said, “I am delighted and honored to be joining Sompo at this historic point in time for the organization. Building on the extremely strong franchise, significant balance sheet and the ability to transact complex business of scale on a global basis is energizing and I am looking forward to working with the talented and highly regarded executives and colleagues at both Sompo Group and Sompo International. I would like to thank Sakurada-san and John for their confidence and support in providing me with this opportunity.”

About Sompo International

Sompo International Holdings Ltd. (Sompo International) is a global specialty provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, headquartered in Bermuda. Sompo International companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Sompo Holdings, Inc., whose core business encompasses one of the largest property and casualty insurance groups in the Japanese domestic market. Sompo International is a company driven by its core values, a carrier that holds promise, trust and the commitment to protect at the center of everything it does. We maintain excellent financial strength as evidenced by the ratings of A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best (XV size category) and A+ (Strong) from Standard and Poor’s on our principal operating subsidiaries. For more information about Sompo International, please visit

Sompo International
Cara Gallagher
SVP, Marketing & Communications
Phone: + 1 917 421 4973