He will be succeeded by Martin Thompson, who took the reigns as interim chief executive last year

Brit’s chief executive Matthew Wilson has announced he will be stepping down as group chief executive to prioritise his health and spend more time with his family.

Wilson began his role as the group’s top boss in 2018 and later returned in September 2022, following a leave of absence in 2021 to undergo treatment for a rare form of blood cancer.

He has served at Brit since 1999 and was part of the Lloyd’s Market Association’s (LMA) board from 2011 to 2022.

A statement from Brit said Wilson had been pivotal in creating an inclusive, innovative and underwriting-centric culture – including forming the group’s digitally-driven Lloyd’s of London syndicate Ki.

As part of the move, Wilson will continue to work within the Fairfax Financial Holdings (Fairfax) Group as an executive advisory director.

He said: “In my 23 years at Brit this is without doubt one of the hardest decisions I have had to make.

“No one was more determined than I was to continue as chief executive, but it is with huge regret that I have chosen to step down so that I can focus on my family and my health.

“Brit is a truly special company, but what makes it so special are its amazing people. I will miss every one of them.

“It is this team that gives me such confidence in Brit’s future and I know that our culture of inclusivity, innovation and achievement means that this is a company that will continue to lead the way in both who we are and what we do.

“I am pleased that I will remain within the Fairfax Group and while I am stepping away from Brit, it is a company that will stay always in my heart and I will remain its greatest champion.”

Next in line

Succeeding Wilson is Martin Thompson, who stepped in as interim group chief executive during Wilson’s leave in 2021.

He joined Fairfax in September 2021 from RSA Canada, where he held several senior roles – most recently as president and chief executive.

In his new role, in addition to becoming group chief executive, Thompson will serve as executive chairman of Ki – subject to regulatory approval.

Prem Watsa, chairman and chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, said that Wilson will “always be a friend to Brit and I am pleased that we will benefit from his insight as an executive advisory director for Fairfax”.

He further noted that Thompson was the ideal successor as he demonstrated outstanding leadership during his interim role “at such short notice last year”.

Thompson, meanwhile, said: “It is an honour to succeed Matthew as chief executive.”


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