The deathof Michael Karfunkel,National General Holdings Corp.'sfounder, chairman and CEO, hung over management's conference call to discuss first-quarterearnings.
Karfunkel'sson Barry, who has succeeded him as CEO, is in mourning and was not present forthe call. CFO Michael Weiner told analysts that the company would continue to moveforward with the M&A strategy Karfunkel guided, saying he would have wantedit that way.
"Wehave a very seasoned management team. … Michael provided strategic direction forthe company and has actually programmed his own DNA into the company," he continued."He was a fierce builder of teams."
Weinerdiscussed the integration of National General's most recent acquisitions, those of Century-National Insurance Co. and the lender-placed insurancebusiness of
NationalGeneral still expects the Century-National deal to close around June 30 and expectsto have $50 million or so of "unencumbered cash" afterward. The businessacquired from QBE is undergoing a sales reorganization to become more aggressive,Weiner said.
"Inthe six or seven months since we've owned this business, we've done more marketingprobably than … QBE did in the five years prior," he said.
Management'spriority is integrating those deals before considering other large deals.