ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FG Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: FGF, FGFPP) (the “Company”), a reinsurance and investment management holding company focused on opportunistic collateralized and loss capped reinsurance, while allocating capital to SPAC and SPAC sponsor-related businesses, today announced that John S. Hill, Chief Financial Officer of FG Financial Group since the founding of the Company, has decided to retire effective August 6. Mr. Hill will be succeeded by Hassan R. Baqar who will become CFO of FG Financial Group effective August 6. The Company also announced that Brian Bottjer has been appointed Chief Accounting Officer.
Larry Swets, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “First and foremost, I would like to congratulate John Hill and thank him for his numerous contributions to FG Financial Group during his tenure as Chief Financial Officer. John was with us at our founding and during his tenure he has played an important role in a number of the company’s strategic and financial business initiatives. We wish him a happy and well-deserved retirement.”
Mr. Baqar joins FG Financial with over 20 years of experience in financial services with considerable experience in the reinsurance and special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) industries. Mr. Baqar has served as the founder and managing member of Sequoia Financial LLC, a financial services and advisory firm, since 2019. Mr. Baqar has also served as Chief Financial Officer of Insurance Income Strategies Ltd., a Bermuda based reinsurance company since 2017, as a director of GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. (TSXV: GFP) since 2019, as Chief Financial Officer of GreenFirst from 2016 to 2020 and as a director of Fundamental Global Reinsurance Ltd. since June 2020. Mr. Baqar was recently Chief Financial Officer of FG New America Acquisition Corp., a SPAC that concluded a successful business combination with OppFi, Inc in July 2021. He is currently serving as Chief Financial Officer of SPAC Aldel Financial Inc. (NYSE: ADF). He also holds a Certified Public Accountant designation.
The Company also announced that Brian Bottjer has been appointed Chief Accounting Officer. Since 2014, Mr. Bottjer has been a Senior Vice President at FG Financial. From 2006 to 2014, he was controller at Biovest International. Previously he served as Assistant Controller at Stewart Title and began his career as Account Supervisor at Raymond James Financial from 2000 to 2005.
Mr. Swets continued, “We are extremely excited to announce Hassan Baqar as our new Chief Financial Officer. Hassan brings a wealth of valuable knowledge to this role including extensive reinsurance and SPAC experience. I have worked with Hassan directly for many years and look forward to FG Financial benefiting from his broad experience and business acumen. We are also pleased to appoint Brian Bottjer to the position of Chief Accounting Officer. Brian has been an integral member of the team since 2014, has deep knowledge of our business and finances and will play an important role at the company as we grow.”
FG Financial Group, Inc.
FG Financial Group, Inc. is a reinsurance and investment management holding company focused on opportunistic collateralized and loss capped reinsurance, while allocating capital to SPAC and SPAC sponsor-related businesses. The Company’s principal business operations are conducted through its subsidiaries and affiliates.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These statements are therefore entitled to the protection of the safe harbor provisions of these laws. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “budget,” “can,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “envision,” “estimate,” “expect,” “evaluate,” “forecast,” “goal,” “guidance,” “indicate,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “might,” “outlook,” “plan,” “possibly,” “potential,” “predict,” “probable,” “probably,” “pro-forma,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “target,” “view,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result” or the negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. In particular, discussions and statements regarding the Company’s future business plans and initiatives, are forward-looking in nature. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates, and projections. While we believe these to be reasonable, such forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, and may impact our ability to implement and execute on our future business plans and initiatives. Management cautions that the forward-looking statements in this release are not guarantees of future performance, and we cannot assume that such statements will be realized or the forward-looking events and circumstances will occur. Factors that might cause such a difference include, without limitation: market conditions and risks associated with our limited business operations since the sale of our insurance operations in December 2019 (the “Asset Sale”); risks associated with our inability to identify and realize business opportunities, and the undertaking of any new such opportunities, following the Asset Sale; our ability to spend or invest the net proceeds from the Asset Sale in a manner that yields a favorable return; general conditions in the global economy, including the impact of health and safety concerns from the current outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus; our lack of operating history or established reputation in the reinsurance industry; our inability to obtain or maintain the necessary approvals to operate reinsurance subsidiaries; risks associated with operating in the reinsurance industry, including inadequately priced insured risks, credit risk associated with brokers we may do business with, and inadequate retrocessional coverage; our inability to execute on our investment and investment management strategy, including our strategy to invest in real estate assets; potential loss of value of investments; risk of becoming an investment company; fluctuations in our short-term results as we implement our new business strategy; risks of not being unable to attract and retain qualified management and personnel to implement and execute on our business and growth strategy; failure of our information technology systems, data breaches and cyber-attacks; our ability to establish and maintain an effective system of internal controls; our limited operating history as a publicly traded company; the requirements of being a public company and losing our status as a smaller reporting company or becoming an accelerated filer; any potential conflicts of interest between us and our controlling stockholders and different interests of controlling stockholders; potential conflicts of interest between us and our directors and executive officers; volatility or decline of the shares of FedNat Holding Company common stock received by us as consideration in the Asset Sale or limitations and restrictions with respect to our ownership of such shares; risks of being a minority stockholder of FedNat Holding Company; and risks of our inability to continue to satisfy the continued listing standards of the Nasdaq following completion of the Asset Sale.