Fla.’s Citizens Property Insurance President Ricker Resigns

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. announced the resignation of President and Executive Director Robert L. Ricker effective November 1, 2006.

Ricker led Citizens for the past three years and tendered his voluntary resignation at a Tuesday morning meeting of the Citizens board of governors.

In a letter to the media, Ricker said he was recruited by the board to come in and drive the operational turnaround of Citizens.

Regarding his decision not to renew his contract, Ricker said, “I want to assure the board that I have not had any discussions with anyone about my post-citizens employment. I have not had any discussions and have not received offers of any kind. This is strictly a personal decision.”

Speaking on behalf of the board, Chairman Bruce Douglas accepted Ricker’s resignation with regret, and praised his tactical leadership and strategic vision, calling him “the right man in the right place at the right time.”

“His talents will be sorely missed,” Douglas said. “The board is grateful to Bob Ricker for a job superbly done.”

Ricker, 44, a father of two, with an annual salary of $220,000, is resigning for family reasons: “I recently missed my son’s birthday for the second day in a row – I was traveling on Citizens’ business. I completely missed or had to cut short the last two Christmas vacations with my family because of the 2004-2005 hurricanes and have worked through or cut short every other vacation since taking the helm at Citizens. I am mentally and physically exhausted.”

Ricker’s three-year contract is up at the end of October. He is Citizens’ first president and will remain as a consultant to Citizens through December. He said that the company’s rate of growth over the past three years has left it “understaffed in all areas.”

Douglas credited Ricker for the dramatic turn-around in catastrophe claim response during the 2005 hurricane season, building a solid professional senior management team and overseeing the strengthening of Citizens claim-paying ability with $3.7 billion of financing this year.

Ricker recommended Scott R. Wallace, current senior vice president of operations, as his replacement. Wallace was hired by Citizens in January after a national search. Board members delayed until Oct. 2 a vote on Wallace’s promotion to give members who did not participate in the national search an opportunity to meet with him.

Under legislation enacted this year, the engagement of Citizens’ president/executive director is subject to confirmation when the Florida Senate next convenes.

Source: Citizens Property Insurance Corp.