Markel Corporation (NYSE – MKL) is a holding company for insurance, reinsurance, and investment operations around the world. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and founded in 1930, Markel reports its ongoing underwriting operations in three segments, and products originate from four insurance divisions and one reinsurance division. Through Markel Ventures, they allocate capital to invest in opportunities outside of insurance.
Company founder Samuel A. Markel formed the Mutual Casualty Association and established the Mutual Casualty Company in Norfolk, Virginia. The company headquarters later moved to Richmond, Virginia. Sam Markel’s four sons, Lewis, Irvin, Stanley, and Milton, joined the growing business in the 1930s, and Markel Service, Inc. was created. During this time, Markel was actively involved in efforts to develop safety and other standards aimed at legitimizing the growing bus and trucking industries. Markel also assisted in passing the National Motor Carrier Act of 1935.
By the 1940s, Markel Service, Inc. earned a national following and developed a reputation for industry-leading claims adjusting and safety engineering. American Fidelity & Casualty, a sister company covering fleets of trucks and buses, also became the largest insurer of these risks in the USA. In 1980, the company became an insurance carrier when Essex Insurance Company was incorporated and licensed to write excess and surplus lines business.
In 1986, the Markel Corporation was listed on the NASDAQ exchange, with an IPO offered at $8.33 per share. The company’s trading was moved to the NYSE in 1997. Markel gained access to specialty international markets in 2000, when Terra Nova Holdings, Ltd. was acquired and the London office opened. Branch offices later opened in the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Canada. With a “permanent capital” investing approach, Markel Ventures acquired AMF Bakery Systems in 2005 and continued to acquire other varied and scalable businesses. With the $3.1 billion acquisition of Alterra Capital Holdings Limited, Markel added two additional insurance divisions, Markel Global and Markel Reinsurance.
In 2015, Markel acquired Bermuda-based CATCo, a specialist investment management business; and Markel Ventures announced a majority interest in CapTech.
Today, the company is led by Executive Chairman Alan I. Kirshner, who is one of the authors of the Markel Style.
4521 Highwoods Parkway
Glen Allen, VA 23060
+1-800-446-6671 (toll free)