Bahamas First Holdings has appointed Alison Treco as chairman with effect from May 25, after Ian Fair retired following 19 years in the post.
The move came after the insurer's 2018 annual general meeting (AGM). Ms Treco has served as a Bahamas First director, and chair of the Board's Audit Committee, since 2012. She was appointed deputy chair in December 2017.
Ms Treco started her accounting career in 1980 with Peat Marwick Mitchell (which subsequently merged with another firm to become KPMG) in London. In 1984, she transferred to Peat Marwick's office in The Bahamas and, in 1993, became a partner at KPMG Bahamas.
Ms Treco left KPMG in 2004 to establish her own firm. In 2006 her business was merged into FT Consultants Ltd, which provides accounting, advisory and restructuring services to local and international clients.
Patrick Ward, Bahamas First's president and chief executive, said of the change: "We are pleased to announce the selection of a highly-respected professional woman to lead our Board. Ms Treco's appointment is key to our maintenance of high standards of corporate governance, leadership continuity and succession within the Board and its objectives.
"Her leadership and expertise have provided tremendous value to our organisation over the years and, with her appointment, I believe we are well-positioned to execute on strategies to drive operational excellence, continued innovation and stronger earnings growth in the longer-term."
Mr Ward thanked Mr Fair for his leadership and invaluable contributions during his time as chairman. "Ian has always been a remarkable captain over the years, skillfully navigating the company through numerous challenges with keen oversight, unwavering commitment and balanced optimism," he said.
"His leadership has allowed us to clearly identify, evaluate and exploit every opportunity that accompanied the challenges we have faced during his time with us."
A mandatory retirement age for Bahamas First Board members was set in 2002 as part of the company's corporate governance initiative. As a result, Mr Fair was not eligible for re-nomination as a director and chairman this year.
Mr. Fair said: "It has been a singular privilege and honour to serve as chairman. As the first general insurance company in The Bahamas to exceed $100m in premium income, we have made significant strides as a company and contributions to the industry over the last 19 years.
"While we have achieved many firsts, of which I am extremely proud, I am most proud of our leadership and employee development initiatives, including our signature Future Leaders Programme, and contribution to youth development through Junior Achievement and other community programmes. We have consistently provided training and advancement opportunities for our employees, and have created a knowledgeable employee and leadership team, well-positioned for future growth and success."
Optimistic about stepping into her new role, Ms Treco said: "I am humbled and extremely grateful for the confidence placed in me by our shareholders and my fellow directors. Over the last 19 years, Ian Fair's vision and leadership have built our company into a leader in the insurance industry, not only in The Bahamas but in the Caribbean; one that is intensely committed to delivering for its customers, shareholders, partners and employees.
"I am incredibly excited about the opportunity that lies ahead for Bahamas First, and for the ability to lead this next chapter. We remain deeply committed to delivering excellence and innovation to our agents, partners and clients. I couldn't be more confident in our ability to continue to grow, or more honoured to lead this great company."
Ms Treco is also a director of an offshore trust company; a listed company engaged in retail and franchise services; and a shipping company; as well as a trustee of the Governor General's Youth Awards programme.