Detlef Steiner

Obituary of Detlef Steiner

Detlef Steiner died unexpectedly on January 17, 2017 at The Osborn in Rye, NY. He was 70. The Purchase, NY resident was born on June 13, 1946 to Heinz and Hedwig Steiner in Bielefeld in post-war Germany. An avid track and field athlete in his youth he was training for the 1968 Summer Olympics, but missed his chance due to injury. Then, initially setting out for an academic career, he completed his Master’s degrees in Mathematics & Physics at the University of Muenster prior to obtaining his PhD in Mathematics and serving as Assistant Professor at the Technical University in Munich. It was there when he met Rosie, his wife of almost 39 years. In a twist of fate he entered the corporate world in the insurance business, which would take him across the globe in various roles. He started at Bavarian Re (now Swiss Re), where he built-up and led the non-proportional reinsurance business prior to becoming at that time the youngest insurance executive in Germany at life insurer Deutscher Lloyd. While at Zurich Financial Group, he served as corporate executive in charge of the European operations; a move which saw his family relocate to Switzerland and which gave the avid skier more time to spend in the mountains. Ever passionate about the business and building out operations, ‘Delo’ – as he was called – crafted the initial strategy and start-up for Zurich Re, the assumed reinsurance arm for ZFG prior to leaving in 1998. One year later he joined the executive board of Hannover Re, overseeing the North American operations prior to being asked to move to New York and assume the role of CEO of Clarendon Insurance Group in 2001. In 2005 Delo moved on to his next and final business venture and founded Delos Insurance Group, where he served as president and chairman to build out a business focused on lean underwriting of program business, until his retirement in 2008. Outside of work he enjoyed an active lifestyle playing volleyball, squash and tennis. He also loved to ski, golf and collect French Bordeaux wines. He had a zest for adventure and would travel with his family all over the world; off the beaten path to explore different cultures. It was always important to him to have his children experience many other perspectives. This action packed life was juxtaposed with a distinctly mellower, reflective period for the last 8 years of his life. Delo is survived by his wife Rosie and children Sara and Alex. A funeral mass will be held at 10:00am on Wednesday February 1, 2017 at the Church of the Resurrection in Rye, NY with a reception following at nearby Rye Bar and Grill. Delo loved his wine and food so it is only appropriate to honor him this way. Graham Funeral Home in Rye, NY is in care of arrangements. In lieu of flowers donations may also be made in memory of Detlef Steiner to The Nature Conservancy ( Further details can found by visiting his obituary at


10:00 am
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Church of the Resurrection
910 Boston Post Road
Rye, New York, United States


A reception immediately following the funeral Mass will be held at: Rye Grill & Bar 1 Station Plz, Rye, NY 10580 (914) 967-0332
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