Syncora Holdings Ltd., whose bond insurance subsidiary Syncora Guarantee Inc. continues to negotiate with counterparties to commute billions in structured finance exposures, appointed four new independent directors to its board, the firm announced last week.

The appointees include Duncan Hennes, who was the chairman of the consortium that took control of Long Term Capital Management, and Edward Muhl, who has served as the top insurance regulator in both New York and Maryland.

"The new appointees bring a wealth of restructuring, insurance regulatory, and reinsurance expertise to our board of directors," Susan Comparato, acting chief executive officer and general counsel of Syncora, said in a statement. "Their collective expertise and insights will be extremely valuable as we continue our negotiations with the financial counterparties and execute the next phase of our restructuring."

The appointments related to an earlier deal in which former Syncora parent XL Capital Ltd. transferred its remaining ownership interest in Syncora into a trust on Nov. 18. The trust will hold the shares for the benefit of Syncora Guarantee until it strikes a deal with its financial counterparties, when the shares will be held for their benefit.

An extended deadline for talks between Syncora and the counterparties expired Oct. 31, but they continue to negotiate. Syncora has said in regulatory filings it cannot promise another extension will be granted or that an agreement will be reached.

Both Syncora and the counterparties approved the appointments. Syncora's board of directors now has nine members.

Hennes, currently the co-founder and principal at Atrevida Partners LLC, has nearly 30 years of financial services management experience. He led the workout board at LTCM while at Bankers Trust Co.

In addition to his state regulatory positions, Muhl also served as president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Currently the owner and CEO of a consulting firm, Muhl once was a partner and national leader of PricewaterhouseCooperse_SSRq insurance regulatory and compliance practice group.

Thomas Norsworthy, a former insurance executive, and Robert White, a reorganization and restructuring attorney, also joined the board.

Mary Hennessy recently resigned from the board, citing its increased demands and her own work commitments.

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