29. CONSTANTINE IORDANOU
$273 MILLION (WallMine)
New York University (Engineering); Married, 3 children
Constantine ‘Dinos’ Iordanou, 71, was president, CEO and Chairman of the board of Arch Capital Group, Ltd, a Bermuda-based insurance/reinsurance global entity until 2018.
The son of a policeman, Iordanou was born in Cyprus, the eldest of six children. In an interview with Risk & Insurance, Iordanou recalls that in the house of his father “you were expected to work hard and make something of yourself. All of the kids had jobs after school. The money they earned was theirs for pocket money – but sometimes it was needed to help the family cover its grocery bills.”
When Iordanou was 17, he boarded the SS Queen Anna Maria to the United States by himself. After 17 days, he arrived in America and called his father who asked him whether he had gotten a job already and whether he had registered for school – not whether he was OK. Iordanou settled in Astoria, NY with one of his uncles. His first job was pumping gas at a Shell station; he also washed dishes in a nursing home, drove a cab, and worked as a cook. Iordanou ended up working his way through New York University, earning a BS in aerospace engineering (and playing on the school’s soccer team!) before entering the insurance industry as a trainee at American International Group (AIG). He started working upwards of 80 hours a week – not because it was asked of him, but because he wanted to.
According to Risk & Insurance, Iordanou’s big break came after the passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1976, which called for closer governance of hazardous waste disposal. Iordanou was given the responsibility of creating an environmental liability group at AIG. It was after this that Hank Greenberg, then AIG chairman, noticed him. In 1987 he moved on to Berkshire Hathaway, where he worked his way up to heading their commercial casualty operations. From March 1992 through December 2001, Iordanou served in various capacities for Zurich Financial Services and its affiliates
Iordanou then joined Bermuda-based Arch (NASDAQ: ACGL) in December 2001 as its president and member of its board of directors. In 2003, Iordanou was appointed president and CEO of Arch Capital Group, Ltd. and five years later he was appointed chairman of the board. In 2015, Fortune Magazine named him as one of its businesspersons of the year. He retired from the company in March 2018, his stated reasons for retiring were to spend more time with his grandchildren, focus on philanthropy, play golf, travel for leisure, and many other activities.
Iordanou is also a director at Verisk Analytics, Inc. and has served as chairman of the American Insurance Association (AIA) and the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR). He is a founding member and lifetime trustee of the Pancyprian Association of America which was established in 1975. He is also a founding member of Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism.
In September of 2020, the Bank of Cyprus added Iordanou to its board of directors. Additionally, in December, Iordanou and another longtime industry executive, Greg Hendrick, launched a Bermuda-based private equity backed insurer and reinsurer, Vantage Risk. Private equity firms The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman, together with Vantage’s management, have invested $1 billion in the company.
Iordanou has previously served as a trustee of Roosevelt University and the College of Insurance and Risk Management. His awards include the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1999).
Iordanou is married to Marianne Iordanou and they have three children. In May of 2018, Iordanou and Marianne received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Our Lady of Mercy Academy for his philanthropic efforts and in May of 2016 by the PanCyprian Association, whose president, Philip Christopher, said that they were honoring him in particular because he never forgot his roots. Christopher said, “he has been a trustee of our association from day one and as CEO of Arch, he went to Cyprus and opened an office there employing 20 Greek Cypriots. Hopefully other companies will follow.”