Citizens Property CEO retiring

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Chief Executive Officer Richard Robertson said Tuesday he plans to retire June 1.

“I’m going back to Michigan,” Robertson said.

Robertson had been general manager of Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association, Michigan’s state-backed insurer, for 20 years before taking the job at Citizens.

There was no real earth-shattering reason behind the decision to leave Citizens, Robertson said. His contract with Citizens ends Sept. 1, Robertson said, but he has a few personal matters to attend to up north.

Robertson’s retirement announcement is on the agenda for the board’s Thursday meeting.

Robertson said his decision had nothing to do with Citizens’ inability to give him a raise.

In November, the Citizens board voted to raise Robertson’s pay by $50,000 to $290,000 a year.

A day later, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon rejected the pay increase, despite agreeing that Robertson deserved it. Donelon said state employees hadn’t gotten a raise in three years and it wasn’t the right time for a raise.

Although Robertson will be leaving as hurricane season is beginning, he said other members of Citizens’ staff will make sure the state-backed insurer of last resort is ready for the storm season.

Citizens catastrophe planning and reinsurance coverage, the insurance that insurance companies buy, will be in place before he leaves, Robertson said.