Mark James Byrne,
55, passed away in Montreal, Canada on Thursday (April 6, 2017) surrounded by his loving wife Rebecca, his four cherished children, Sophie, Jacqueline, Matthew and Christopher, his mother Dorothy Byrne and his brother-in-law Tim Knox.
Mark was much loved and admired by all his family and friends and his charitable nature and influencing presence left a lasting impact on all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His enthusiasm for business was matched by his ardour for flying, sailing, cooking as well as golfing, scuba diving and skiing which ensured he led a full and adventurous life. However, his overriding passion was as a husband and father.
He is survived by his wife, Rebecca, four children, Sophie, Jacqueline, Matthew and Christopher, mother Dorothy Byrne, brothers John and Patrick, nieces Noelle, Kaelee and Ava; mother-in-law Betty Knox, father-in-law Dalton Knox, brothers-in-law Tim and James Knox and Mike Hase and sisters-in-law Rachel and Sherril Knox.
Mark completed his studies at Dartmouth College and The Amos Tuck School of Business where he obtained an MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. Upon completion of his studies he was awarded the honor of becoming an Edward Tuck Scholar (top 5%). His brilliant mathematical mind and passion for business led him to commence his career as an FX Options Trader for Salomon Inc.
Over the next decade Mark worked in offices around the world including Japan, London, Paris and Bermuda progressing his career within the trading industry, with amongst others, Lehman Brothers Inc and Credit Suisse First Boston, culminating in his leadership role of Global Head of Fixed Income Arbitrage at CSFB. It was during this period he also founded Haverford (Bermuda) Limited, which he remained Chairman to this day. Mark was Founder and Chairman of West End Capital Management Bermuda Limited (1998), a Fixed Income Investment Management firm with net assets over $1 billion with offices in Bermuda, London and Dublin. Mark accepted the challenging role of Director and Chairman of Gen Re Securities in 2000, which held assets over $10 billion and had 300 employees and offices in 5 locations. His business success continued with Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings Limited (2005) which he was Founder and Chairman and named Reinsurance Magazine “Reinsurer of the Year” June 2010. Flagstone went on to become NYSE listed with A-Credit ratings from three major agencies, with offices in 12 countries and over 500 employees.
Mark also founded and served as Chairman of St. Bernard Assure Limited a Gibraltar Insurance and reinsurance company. He was involved in the insurance and reinsurance business as an owner/investor and board member for many years and served on the boards of a number of insurance companies including three public companies prior to Flagstone: White Mountains Insurance Group, Terra Nova (Bermuda) Holdings and Markel Insurance. He was currently serving on the Board of Overseers of the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth and served proudly on the Advisory Board of LeapFrog Investments, which grew nearly 10x in assets in the 7 years he served and now reaches 91 million people with healthcare or financial tools – of whom 74 million are low income. Mark felt strongly about bringing Microinsurance to the developing world.
Mark held a pilot’s license since he was teenager and was an avid recreational pilot, flying all types of aircraft and traveling the world. In 2003, he resolved to establish a charter company in Bermuda, motivated in large part by the awareness that emergency medical transportation was not available on short notice from Bermuda. After nearly a year of challenging effort, Mark’s company, which he named Longtail Aviation after the national bird of Bermuda, was awarded the first Air Operating Certificate issued by the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation in over 40 years. Mark’s vision has grown into a global air carrier which operates Boeing 737 worldwide.
Mark and Rebecca initiated the establishment of the Byrne Charitable Trust in 2002 and over the years have supported many charitable causes close to their hearts. Mark personally flew medical doctors and supplies in 2010 to Haiti to provide relief for earthquake victims, as well as numerous other relief flights to the Caribbean over the years.
Sailing was a huge part of Mark’s life and he actively participated in many sailing regattas over the years with much enjoyment and success. Such was his love for sailing Mark, Rebecca and their four children spent a year sailing around the world on their family yacht. Mark, his family and crew were well known and highly regarded in the yachting world.
Viewing hours will be on Monday, April 17th from 6:00-8:00pm at Rand-Wilson Funeral Home in Hanover, New Hampshire. Mass will be held on Tuesday, April 18th at 11:00am at St. Denis Roman Catholic Church in Hanover, New Hampshire. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions to be made to The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative Care in Lebanon, N.H.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover, NH.
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