September 5, 2005

Harleysville Group Inc. has appointed Robert G. Whitlock Jr. as senior vice president and chief underwriting officer. He will assume senior management responsibility for Harleysville’s commercial lines and personal lines underwriting operations, along with its reinsurance organization.

The Pennsylvania-based company also announced that Allan R. Becker, a 20-year insurance industry veteran, has joined Harleysville and will become chief actuary, replacing Whitlock in that role.

Both appointments will become effective Oct. 1, 2005.

Whitlock has been with Harleysville nearly 15 years since joining the company in 1991 as assistant vice president and actuary. He was named vice president in 1993, and was elected senior vice president and chief actuary in 1995.

Becker joins Harleysville from ACE USA, where he was vice president and senior actuary. In that position, he managed actuarial pricing support for the company’s U.S.-based workers’ compensation, commercial umbrella, primary casualty and environmental lines of business. During his 18 years with ACE USA and its predecessor organization, CIGNA Property & Casualty, he held a variety of actuarial management roles.

Professional Insurance Agents of New Hampshire Inc. elected its officers for 2005-2006 at its recent annual meeting. Thomas O’Dowd of Wolfeboro will serve as president. O’Dowd is president of the J. Clifton Avery Agency in Wolfeboro. He served as president-elect in 2004-2005 and as chairperson of PIA’s Government Affairs Committee. He also is a member of the Nominations, Executive/Budget & Finance and Membership Committees.

In other PIANH election news:

Judith George of Contoocook will serve as president-elect. George is vice president of commercial lines for Lakeside Insurance Agency in Windham.

Gerald L. Guilbert of Bedford, will serve as vice president. Guilbert is president of The Holt Agency in Milford.

Steven Wainwright of Gilford will serve as secretary/treasurer. Wainwright is president of Wainwright Insurance Services Inc. in Gilford.

Scott Brown of Pittsfield will serve as immediate past president. Brown is owner of the Paige Insurance Agency in Pittsfield.

AutoOne Insurance, a division of OneBeacon Insurance Group in Boston, has named Paul DiFrancesco to the new position of chief operating officer. He will report to AutoOne President and CEO Carey Benson. DiFrancesco has 26 years of experience in the insurance industry. Most recently, he served as vice president of the specialty automobile division at St. Paul Travelers and was also president of Mendota Insurance Company, St. Paul Travelers’ nonstandard auto operation.

AutoOne Insurance, an assigned risk policy service provider, is based in Melville, N.Y.

The Citizens and Hanover Insurance Companies in Worcester, Mass., have named John C. Robinson regional president of its emerging Midwest region, effective immediately. In this role, he will manage all aspects of sales and distribution for the companies’ commercial and personal lines operations in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, further developing the companies’ presence in these areas.

Robinson comes to Citizens and Hanover from Liberty Mutual, where he served in various senior leadership roles over the last eight years. Most recently, he was president and chief executive officer for Liberty Mutual’s Regional Agency Markets Montgomery Insurance Company, in Sandy Spring, Md. From 2001 to early 2003, Robinson was president and chief executive officer of GoAmerica Auto Insurance in Indianapolis, Ind., and America First Insurance located in Dallas, Texas. From 1997 to 2001, he served as regional vice president for Indiana Insurance.

Before joining Liberty Mutual, Robinson held several senior management positions with the Netherlands Insurance Companies, a division of ING’s U.S. property and casualty operations. Robinson began his career as a senior staff accountant with Ernst & Young in Toronto.

Swett & Crawford announced the appointment of Neal Abernathy as chief operating officer, effective immediately. Abernathy will serve in the position until the retirement of CEO David Hartoch. Hartoch is expected to retire at the end of 2006, at which time Abernathy will succeed him.

Abernathy’s most recent responsibility has been as the regional manager of the broker’s Southeast marketing territory. He also has been instrumental in planning for Swett & Crawford’s expected divestiture from its parent company, Chicago-based Aon Corporation.

Edward Levy, president and chief executive officer of Delaware Valley Underwriting Agency Inc. in Hatboro, Pa., named Rob C. Rigsby to the position of professional liability manager. Rigsby will be responsible for managing the professional liability division, including all production results. Rigsby will work under the direction of Hatboro manager and vice president, Rita Hanebury. Rigsby joins DVUA with 15 years experience in insurance sales management, excess and surplus lines, workers’ compensation, healthcare/medical insurance management, and risk management.

DVUA, which specializes in general casualty, “hard to place” products and general liability, professional liability, commercial property and transportation risks, is a member company of United America Indemnity Ltd.

CNA Financial Corporation announced that Michael Smith has joined CNA insurance companies as vice president of its Reading, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa. branches; and Katherine Fenwick has been appointed underwriting director in Reading and Philadelphia.

Smith has almost 30 years of experience in the industry. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, client executive practice leader for the Philadelphia region of Marsh & McClennan. Prior to this, Smith spent 13 years with Kemper Insurance Companies serving in various commercial lines roles and leaving as resident vice president for its Philadelphia branch.

Fenwick joins CNA from the Earl A. Klein Agency in Towson, Md., where she managed a Fireman’s Fund program. Her insurance experience also spans nearly 30 years and includes service with Atlantic Mutual and Kemper Insurance Companies where she held underwriting, marketing and agency management roles.

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West September 5, 2005
September 5, 2005
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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