Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd.

Mark L. Ricciardelli named CEO and Executive Director of Alea - Dennis Purkiss to move to Consultancy Position

    Bermuda (ots) - Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. ("Alea" or "the Group"), the global reinsurance and specialty insurance company, today announced the promotion of Mark L. Ricciardelli from Group President and Chief Operating Officer to Group President and Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Mr. Ricciardelli has also been appointed an Executive Director of Alea.

    Dennis Purkiss, CEO of Alea since May 2000, will stay on at Alea until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition and has agreed to become a Consultant to the Group under a 12-month contract commencing 1 January 2005. He will step down from the Board of Directors with effect from 30 June 2004.

    Dennis and the Board had been discussing plans for succession for some time and Mark was appointed with that possibility in mind. Dennis has decided to accelerate the Company's succession plan.

    Mr. Ricciardelli has 28 years' experience within the reinsurance industry, having spent the last 15 years at GE, where he was most recently President and CEO, Global Casualty, of General Electric's Employers Reinsurance Corporation.

    Mr. Purkiss led Alea's listing on the London Stock Exchange in November 2003 and has begun the next phase of the Company's growth plans. As set out at the time of the initial public offering, these are to deploy new capital to capture the growth opportunity that exists in the Company's chosen markets - namely, casualty reinsurance, alternative risk, excess & surplus lines, and in Europe.

      These plans remain on track. Owing to the successful
implementation of the Group's strategy, Mr. Purkiss feels
sufficiently assured of the Group's prospects to step aside.

    John Reeve, non-executive Chairman of Alea and a former Executive Chairman of Willis Group Holdings, said "Dennis has done a tremendous job building and guiding Alea, and we wish him well. We are pleased he has agreed to continue to work for Alea to ensure a smooth transition. Mark brings with him a wealth of experience that will benefit the Group enormously as it moves into the next phase of its development."

    Mr. Purkiss said: "I am proud of what we have built at Alea and believe the Group has an exciting future. I am pleased to be and will remain a stockholder, and will act to ensure a smooth transition to Mark as CEO. I wish my colleagues and the Company well as the Group evolves and prospers."

    Mr. Ricciardelli said: "Dennis has built Alea into what it is today - a strong, diversified global insurer and reinsurer with a focused strategy and strong operating results. I am excited by the opportunity to lead Alea."

    He added: "We have an excellent team, a very strong future and our financial plan for 2004 remains unchanged. I plan to drive the Company's existing strategy and look forward to working with my Alea colleagues to achieve the next level in the Group's development."

    There will be a conference call for analysts today at 9am. The dial in number is + 44 (0) 207 784 1018.

    A replay of the conference call will be available for 1 week. The dial in number is +44 (0)207 984 7578 and the passcode is 126762 .


    Alea is a global reinsurance and specialty insurance company with expertise in a wide range of property and casualty reinsurance, insurance, alternative risk and finite risk products and services. Alea maintains a significant presence in major insurance and reinsurance markets worldwide. Alea is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda and has ongoing operations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Bermuda, Switzerland, Australia and Jersey. The Company's largest shareholder is an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Alea is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker "ALEA". For more information on the Group, see


    Mr. Ricciardelli joined Alea in March 2004, after serving as President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Casualty, of General Electric's Employers Reinsurance Corporation (GE ERC). Mr. Ricciardelli, in his most recent position for GE ERC, designed and built the organisational structure of the Global Casualty P&L. He established a new leadership team and the global product strategy for casualty for all ERC group companies. Mr. Ricciardelli's initiatives have resulted in significantly reduced portfolio volatility and dramatically improved portfolio transparency and financial performance.

    From 2001 through 2002, Mr. Ricciardelli was Senior Vice President - Facultative P&C Reinsurance North America at ERC, where he led the restructuring of underwriting and marketing for this operation. From 1997 through 2001, he was President and Chief Executive of ERC Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, based in Singapore. Mr. Ricciardelli was responsible for the Life, Non Life and Business Development activities in the Asia Pacific Region. Prior to this, he served for a year as Senior Vice President with GE Capital's Equity Capital Group in Stamford. He began his tenure at GE as manager of the GE ERC New York Branch from 1989 through 1995.

    Mr. Ricciardelli started his career in insurance with Travelers Insurance Company in 1976. In 1978, he moved to the Swiss Re-North American Re group of companies where, over eleven years, he held positions of increasing underwriting and leadership responsibility and ultimately served as Vice President, Director of Marketing and a member of the Executive Committee for Western Atlantic Re.

      This information is provided by RNS        The company news service
from the London Stock Exchange

ots Original Text Service: Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. Internet:

Contact: Investors

Alea Mark L. Ricciardelli Phone +44 20 7621 3233

Amanda Atkins Phone +41 41 767 0402

Gabriela Stadler Phone +41 41 767 0415

Analysts & Media

Financial Dynamics Robert Bailhache Phone +44 20 7269 7200 Charles Armitstead

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