John joined Holborn in 1962, ultimately succeeding his father, Jack, as the steward of the firm. John’s career at Holborn lasted for more than 40 years. In the 1960s and 1970s, much of Holborn’s reinsurance business was placed in the London Market, and John was instrumental in expanding the firm’s reach with reinsurers outside of Lloyd’s, to the benefit of its clients. John was always a hit in the Lloyd’s market, which he would visit regularly, and, in 2003, Lloyd’s recognized John as its Reinsurance Broker of the year. In 2005, John became the Chairman of Holborn as Frank Harrison assumed President and CEO responsibilities. “John was a reinsurance industry pioneer of his time. He loved the business and will always be remembered as a key figure in the storied history of Holborn.”, said Mr. Harrison, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
As was noted in John’s obituary, he passed on Saturday, December 2nd at the age of 85. As also noted in his obituary, prior to his time at Holborn, John attended Trinity College School, in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. After high school, John signed up for the Naval ROTC program and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. After graduation in 1960 with a BS in Economics, John fulfilled his naval commitment by serving two years in active duty on the island of Guam.
John is survived by his wife of 60 years, Gillett (Jill). His legacy lives on through his children and grandchildren: John N. Gilbert, III and his children Kira and Jin; Marcella Ayers Gilbert Boelhouwer, her husband Pieter Boelhouwer and their children Willem, Charlotte and Juliet; and Thomas Edwards Gilbert and his wife Molly Barber and their children Kai and Thea.
A memorial service to celebrate John’s life will be held at Grace Church, 254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, NY on Friday, January 5th at 11 am.