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Markel expects settlement with ex-CATCo CEO Belisle in Q3


Markel Corporation is expecting to settle the binding arbitration case between it and the former Markel CATCo CEO Tony Belisle during the third-quarter of the year, putting another piece of the legal saga behind it.

legal-law-imageThis long-running legal saga began when Anthony Belisle, the founder and former CEO of retrocessional reinsurance investment manager CATCo Investment Management was fired and immediately filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful dismissal from the firm.

Markel CATCo’s owner, insurance and reinsurance firm Markel, which acquired CATCo Investment Management in late 2015, had dismissed Belisle following an internal review which found an alleged violation of company policy related to an undisclosed personal relationship between Belisle and another senior CATCo team member.

Belisle departed the firm in early 2019 and by April of last year Markel had requested the dismissal of the lawsuit filed against Markel CATCo Investment Management by Belisle, saying that the suit failed to state a reasonable claim against the firm.

A year ago, we reported that the Belisle case was heading to a binding arbitration, as a simpler and lower-cost way to settle the legal action.

Belisle was claiming loss of earnings and bonuses, including some $66 million in incentive compensation, as well as reputational damage due to the disclosures made over the alleged violation of company policy.

In an update in the Markel 10Q filing, the company explained this week that the binding arbitration is now slated to begin in August 2020 and that discussions between the parties over how to settle this dispute are already underway.

During these pre-arbitration and settlement related discussions between the two sides, Markel said that the parties, “reached an agreement in principal on a mutually acceptable settlement amount.”

As a result, Markel said that it, “expects that a settlement agreement will be entered into and the settlement amount will be recorded and reflected in the Company’s net income in the third quarter of 2020.”

Adding that, “The settlement amount is not material to the Company’s consolidated results of operations or financial condition.”

So, having called for the dismissal of the case over a year ago, it seems that Markel will now settle to put this legal dispute with the former CATCo CEO behind it.

It’s another step along the route to putting this saga behind Markel.

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