Spirit of the Valley Award Luncheon, Aug. 21

YMCA of Kanawha Valley offers free health and wellness programs to hundreds of area children, families and people in need, made possible by fundraising efforts that support its Community Assistance Fund, which is heavily supported by the annual Spirit of the Valley Campaign. The award recognizes a community member who exemplifies community service, and the effort engages a group of 300 volunteers who conduct outreach in generating pledges for the fund.

The 2019 Spirit of the Valley recipient is Mr. Marty Becker.

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Marty Becker is a seasoned insurance executive with a career that spans 35 years and has included leadership positions in insurance, reinsurance, and insurance brokerage organizations, as well as insurance-related private equity, advisory, and investment banking roles. He also has significant experience on the Boards of Directors of several public, private, and non-profit entities in a variety of industries.

Professional Experience

Mr. Becker currently serves as Chairman of the Board of QBE Insurance Group (QBE.AX), a top 15 global property and casualty insurer. The company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia and writes over $15 billion of annual premium through operations on 5 continents.  He was appointed to the Board in 2013 and became Chair in 2014.

Mr. Becker served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Alterra Capital Holdings Limited (Alterra) (Nasdaq-ALTE), and its predecessors from 2006 to 2013. Alterra is a global specialty insurance and reinsurance company headquartered in Bermuda. Prior to its May 2013 acquisition by Markel Corporation (NYSE-MKL), Alterra had assets of $11 billion, shareholders’ equity of $3 billion, and wrote $2 billion of gross premiums annually from its major underwriting platforms in Bermuda, Ireland, the US, the UK, and Latin America. Mr. Becker joined Alterra’s predecessor Max Capital Group Ltd. in 2006 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, having been a director since 2004. In 2010, he was instrumental in the successful merger of Max Capital with Harbor Point to form Alterra. Mr. Becker also played a crucial role in the subsequent sale of Alterra to Markel, which was awarded 2013 Carrier M&A Transaction of the Year by Insurance Insider.

From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Becker led the restructuring and wind-down of Trenwick Group Ltd, a $3 billion, publicly traded, Bermuda-domiciled insurance company that formerly wrote specialty insurance and reinsurance in the United States, the UK and Bermuda. As Chairman and CEO of Trenwick, he orchestrated a workout effort that included the sale of several subsidiaries and the negotiation of a regulator-approved Run-Off Plan, as well as the creditor-approved, prepackaged Chapter 11 filing from which Trenwick emerged in early 2005.

From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Becker served as non-executive chairman of Hales & Company, a boutique insurance industry investment bank and private equity investor specializing in the insurance brokerage industry.

Mr. Becker served from 1996 to 1999 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orion Capital Corporation, a NYSE-listed company with assets exceeding $4 billion. A premier specialty property and casualty insurance business based in Farmington, Connecticut, Orion was sold in an industry-leading transaction to Royal and SunAlliance in November 1999. Mr. Becker continued as Vice Chairman and Director of Royal & SunAlliance USA until December 2000.  Before becoming Chairman and CEO of Orion, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of DPIC Companies, an Orion Capital subsidiary, from 1994 to 1996.

From 1986 to 1994, Mr. Becker was President and CEO of McDonough Caperton Insurance Group, a regional insurance brokerage and third-party health claims administrator. McDonough Caperton became the country’s third-largest privately held brokerage firm prior to being sold to Acordia, Inc. in 1994 (now Wells Fargo Insurance Services), and it remains one of Wells Fargo’s most successful insurance divisions. Mr. Becker joined McDonough Caperton in 1978 after starting his career with the public accounting firm of Ernst & Young.

Board Memberships

Mr. Becker has served on a variety of corporate boards in the financial services, media, manufacturing, and non-profit sectors.

Insurance: Chairman of the Board of QBE; Director of BrickStreet Mutual Insurance in Charleston, West Virginia, and Dorado Insurance in Hamilton, Bermuda.  BrickStreet is a regional workers’ compensation insurance carrier and Dorado is a manager of captive insurance companies.

Investments: Advisory Board member of private equity funds American Securities, Cohesive Capital, and 1347 Capital, LLC.

Media: Chairman of West Virginia Media Holdings, a statewide media company Mr. Becker co-founded in his home state in 2001. WVMH has eight television stations and a newspaper that reach 90 percent of West Virginia’s population.

Construction: Director of The Mountain Companies of Parkersburg, W.Va.,a southeastern US roofing and sheet metal contractor.

Non-profit: Member of the Board of Governors of West Virginia University; Director of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the West Virginia Roundtable; Chair of the capital campaign of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences.

Previous Board Service Includes:

Insurance: Director of Beazley Group (London – BEZL), Selective Insurance Group (Nasdaq-SIGI), and Trenwick Group (NYSE-TWK).

Banking: Director of United Bank, West Virginia’s largest bank.

Industrial: Director of McJunkin Corporation. McJunkin now is MRC Global (NYSE-MRC) and an international distributor of pipes, valves and fittings.

Healthcare: Hartford Hospital, Thomas Hospital and West Virginia/United Hospital System

Non-profit: Director of the West Virginia University Foundation (Chairman from 1987-89); Director of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers; the Reinsurance Association of America; Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute; the American Insurance Association; the Advisory Board of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics; and numerous others.

Education and Awards

Mr. Becker earned both his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees from West Virginia University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Various awards have been bestowed on Mr. Becker, including the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni, the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, the Leading CPA in Business designation of the West Virginia Society of CPAs, and the Delta Tau Delta National Alumni Achievement Award.


Married to Katharine Becker with two children, James and Todd. Mr. Becker resides in Jupiter, Florida and Charleston, West Virginia.

YMCA Spirit of the Valley Logo

Past Recipients
1985 – John M. Wells Sr.
1986 – Sidney P. Davis Jr.
1987 – Bert Bradford Jr. M.D.
1988 – Lawson W. Hamilton Jr.
1989 – James M. Poindexter
1990 – Isaac N. Smith Jr.
1991 – James R. Thomas II
1992 – Warren Point, M.D.
1993 – Lyell B. Clay
1994 – Martha G. Wehrle
1995 – William T. Brotherton Jr.
1996 – Angus E. Peyton
1997 – Thomas E. Potter
1998 – John L. McClaugherty
1999 – Bertie Cohen
2000 – Thad D. Epps
2001 – Joseph C. Jefferds Jr.
2002 – Lewis N. McManus
2003 – John F. McGee
2004 – Betty Schoenbaum
2005 – John Wells Jr.
2006 – Edward H. Maier
2007 – Dr. Ed Welch
2008 – J. Holmes Morrison
2009 – Charles T. Jones
2010 – Brooks F. McCabe Jr.
2011 – Nelle Ratrie Chilton
2012 – T. Randolph Cox
2013 – K. Richard C. Sinclair
2014 – Governor Gaston W. Caperton III
2015- John Elliot
2016 – Mary Jean Davis
2017 – Thomas A. Heywood
2018 – Dr. Dan Foster