USF&G; names restructuring chief to top financial job


USF&G; Corp. said yesterday that it named Dan L. Hale, hired two years ago to lead the insurance company through a radical restructuring, as its new chief financial officer.

Mr. Hale, 49, replaced Edwin G. Pickett, who left the company to become chief financial officer of TIG Holdings Inc., a former TransAmerica Corp. subsidiary that was spun off in a public stock offering in April.

Mr. Hale spent the first year of his tenure at Baltimore-based USF&G; selling off a host of non-insurance-related subsidiaries, including oil and gas partnerships, asset management companies and others, in an effort to bring stability back to a company that was reporting heavy losses.

Recruited in February 1991 by Norman P. Blake Jr., USF&G;'s chairman, president and chief executive, Mr. Hale has served as executive vice president for diversified insurance and investment operations.

"Dan is an enormously talented executive who has demonstrated his extensive financial industry expertise over our 20-year working relationship," Mr. Blake said in a statement. Several years before Mr. Blake joined the company in late 1990, the two men worked together at GE Credit Corp., now called GE Capital Corp.

After GE, Mr. Hale was a managing director of the Kidder, Peabody Group investment firm and later became president and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Leasing Co.

The Yale University graduate serves on the boards of Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., and the newly created Renaissance Reinsurance Ltd., of which USF&G; owns about 14 percent (though Mr. Hale said he's not sure he'll have the time to remain on that board).

Mr. Hale said his main job at this point was to "continue the significant progress that we have made here" in restoring the company to strong financial health.

After losing $569 million in 1990 and $176 million in 1991, USF&G; reported a $28 million profit last year, despite $80 million in losses from Hurricane Andrew. In the first quarter of this year, the company earned $13 million.

Mr. Pickett, 46, has shared in the credit for turning USF&G; around since 1991. One of the few top officers to survive Mr. Blake's management shakeout, he had been chief financial officer since January 1991, more than a year after he joined the company from American General Corp.

He will join TIG in a few weeks as senior vice president and chief financial officer, replacing Edward D. Santos, who is "resigning to pursue other interests," the company said.

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