Percy 'Pi' Chubb, Scion of Insurer's Founding Family, Dies at 81

  • Chubb rose to vice chairman of company started in 1882
  • Firm was bought by Evan Greenberg's Ace Ltd. this year

Percy Chubb III, former vice chairman of Chubb Corp. and a fourth-generation member of the insurer’s founding family, has died. He was 81.

The executive, known as Pi Chubb, died Friday, his wife Sally Chubb said in a phone interview Tuesday.

He was the great-grandson of Thomas Caldecot Chubb and grandson of Hendon Chubb, who founded Chubb & Son in 1882, according to a statement Tuesday from Chubb Ltd. No cause of death was given in the statement.

Pi Chubb joined the firm in 1958 as a trainee in New York after graduating from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and serving two years in the U.S. Army. He held roles tied to marine underwriting in Detroit and life insurance and aviation risks in New Jersey, and was elected a director of the company in 1978 and vice chairman in 1986. His day-to-day duties included information technology, marketing and human resources.

“It was a joy to work with Pi,” Paul Krump, president of Chubb’s North America commercial and personal insurance, said in the statement. “He was both student and teacher. He was constantly asking questions to better understand issues and opportunities while generously sharing his insights.”

Center Field

He was called Pi to avoid confusion with his father, Percy Chubb II, who ran the company when the son came aboard. It was a family nickname borrowed from a center fielder of the Newark Bears, a minor league baseball team. Pi Chubb retained an office at the company’s Warren, New Jersey, headquarters after retiring in 1997 and was a mentor to staff.

The company, which became one of the largest property-casualty insurers in the U.S., was sold this year to Evan Greenberg’s Ace Ltd. for more than $29 billion. Greenberg named the combined entity Chubb Ltd. to honor a brand that had survived more than a century.

“Pi Chubb exemplified the principles that defined the great company he helped to build and lead over many years,” Greenberg said in the statement.

Sally Chubb said her husband was involved in the city of Newark, New Jersey, through his position as board president of the Victoria Foundation, which assists people in poverty and funds education reform. His hobbies included fly fishing, tennis, sailing, hunting and skiing.

His survivors include a son, Lee, and daughters Sarah and Lucy, according to his wife.

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