Argo Enters into Cooperation Agreement with Voce Capital


Hamilton, Bermuda, ( - Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE: ARGO) (“Argo” or the “Company”), an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market, today announced that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with Voce Capital Management LLC (“Voce”) to effect changes to the composition of Argo’s Board of Directors (“the Board”).

Pursuant to the agreement and the Company’s ongoing process of Board refreshment, Carol A. McFate will join the Company’s Board of Directors, subject to regulatory approval and completion of customary, confirmatory due diligence. McFate will fill the seat of former CEO and director Mark Watson. She will join the Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and an additional committee as selected by the Board.

McFate brings extensive global insurance and financial expertise. As Chief Investment Officer of Xerox Corporation from November 2006 to October 2017, she oversaw over $12 billion in retirement investment assets for North American and U.K. plans. Prior to Xerox, McFate served as Executive Vice President & Global Treasurer for XL Global Services, Inc., a subsidiary of XL Capital, Ltd., a leading Bermuda-based global insurance and reinsurance company. She has also held various senior executive positions with AIG and The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Additionally, Voce will work with Argo’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee to identify and evaluate two new independent director candidates to stand for election at the Company’s 2020 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. One of those two new director candidates will be selected from the slate of individuals nominated by Voce for election at the requisitioned special general meeting of Argo’s shareholders.

“We are pleased to have reached a constructive agreement with Voce and value their input as we continue to enhance our Board composition and governance practices,” said Thomas A. Bradley, Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. “We are pleased to welcome Carol to the Board. Her strong leadership and executive experience in the insurance and investment management industries will help drive continued value creation for our shareholders.”

J. Daniel Plants, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Voce, said, “We made a substantial investment in Argo because we believe it has significant untapped value that can be realized. The appointment of Carol McFate to the Board, the addition of two other independent directors selected with Voce’s input, and the Company’s ongoing governance improvements, are substantive and positive developments that give us confidence in the new course that Argo has charted. We look forward to working with Argo’s Board and management in the shared pursuit of creating value for all shareholders.”

Voce has also agreed to certain customary standstill provisions and to withdraw its proxy solicitation to seek board changes at a requisitioned special general meeting of shareholders. The agreement between the Company and Voce will be filed on Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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