Arthur J. Gallagher Names Cavaness to Replace McGurn as Head of U.S. Wholesale Business

February 2, 2016

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced a leadership transition in its U.S. wholesale brokerage business, Risk Placement Services (RPS).

The international brokerage firm said David E. McGurn Jr., current RPS chairman, who has been with Gallagher since 1978, is stepping away from his daily responsibilities. He will be taking on a new role with Gallagher as a special advisor, providing strategic guidance to the company’s growing wholesale and retail operations, according to the announcement.

Joel D. Cavaness, current president of RPS, will take his place but retain the titles of president of RPS and corporate vice president. He will join the Gallagher Executive Management Committee and report directly to J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Cavaness will continue to provide day-to-day leadership for the business unit.

The company noted that McGurn and Cavaness were co-founders in 1997 of RPS, which today markets itself as one of the largest managing general agents and underwriting managers in the country with 1,300 RPS employees in more than 30 states.

McGurn joined Gallagher in 1978 as an account executive, moving up the leadership ranks from unit sales manager, to divisional executive vice president, to divisional chairman. He was named a corporate vice president  in 1994 and served on Gallagher’s board of directors from 1993 until 2001. He began his career in the insurance industry in 1976 as a management trainee for Aetna Insurance Co.

Cavanessl joined Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in St. Louis as a marketing representative in 1986, working his way up to area vice president by 1990. In 1996, he moved to Itasca as president of International Special Risk Services Inc.

In 1997, he was named president of RPS and in 2000 he was appointed a corporate vice president of Gallagher.

In 2014 and 2015, RPS acquired nine companies including Monument, Excel Insurance Services and American Wholesalers Underwriting.

Source: Arthur J. Gallagher

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