Willis Group Holdings Limited has amended the employment agreement with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. Plumeri to extend its term for an additional year. The employment agreement, which was scheduled to expire Oct. 15, 2008, will now expire Oct. 15, 2009.
In announcing the decision Willis board of directors issued the following statement: “For more than six years, Joe Plumeri and his team have instilled passion, discipline and a common sense of purpose throughout Willis. This has clearly been reflected in the outstanding earnings and share price performance of the group over the same timeframe.”
Beecher Carlson, based in Atlanta, Ga., has expanded its National Casualty Practice with the appointment of Sharon D. Brainard as senior vice president. Brainard brings 13 years of experience with specialization in large casualty and alternative risk programs. Brainard has worked with clients in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and hospitality industries.
Prior to joining Beecher Carlson, Brainard was employed by Aon as a senior casualty broker in the southeast, where she was responsible for national accounts.
The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”) has hired Jason Spence as its new assistant vice president for federal government affairs, effective March 12. Spence comes from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he served as senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions and coordinated policy areas including insurance regulatory reform, terrorism insurance, banking, capital markets and Sarbanes-Oxley Act issues. Prior to his tenure at Treasury, Spence worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as a legislative counsel handling financial services issues. He also practiced law at Chaffe McCall in New Orleans.
Spence replaces Brendan Reilly, assistant vice president of federal government affairs at the Big “I” since 2005, who recently accepted a position as the senior vice president of government relations for the Commercial Mortgage Securities Association.
In addition, Elizabeth Furey, who has been with the Big “I” since 2005, is assuming the new title of director of federal government affairs and grassroots. Furey will continue her grassroots work while expanding her role to formally join the federal lobbying team. Prior to joining the Big “I” Furey worked in the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.). She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
Bliss and Glennon Inc., a managing general agency and surplus lines broker, has announced its expansion into the Central and Southeast regions of the country. Robert P. Abramson, director of Excess and Surplus Lines, announced that Bliss & Glennon Central, formerly Surplus Inc. of more than 32 years, will operate in Conroe, Texas, under the leadership of Regional Vice President Lyle Ashley. Ashley has been in the insurance industry for 41 years.
Bliss & Glennon Southeast, formerly Dominion Specialty Group, will continue to operate out of Lake Mary, Fla. Regional Vice President Jeff Dussault will lead the Southeast office.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has expanded its federal advocacy capabilities by hiring Kate Prible as director, federal government affairs. Prible comes to PCI after six years as director, federal legislative affairs with the Credit Union National Association. Previously, she worked in the House of Representatives for almost three years, for Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nevada, and then-Rep. John LaFalce, D-N.Y.
In her time at CUNA, Prible engaged in legislative advocacy with members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee on issues involving regulation, data security and small business and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts for credit unions, among others. Additionally, she traveled to state association conferences to brief members on key legislative issues and represented CUNA at various conferences, fundraisers and other political events.
ACE Limited has elected the company’s chief executive officer, Evan G. Greenberg, to the position of chairman of the board of directors. He will succeed ACE founder Brian Duperreault, who will remain on the ACE board, at the expiration of his term.
Willis Group Holdings named Valerie Di Maria as its new senior vice president and group marketing and communications director. She will lead worldwide marketing, brand and reputation management, executive communications, media relations, employee communications, government affairs, community relations, corporate philanthropy, and events.
Di Maria has 20 years of public relations and marketing experience. Most recently, she was with Motorola, the global telecommunications leader. Prior to Motorola, she was at GE Capital.
The Atlantic Companies announced the promotions of Janine B. Turner to senior vice president, comptroller and treasurer, and Claudia L. Wetteland to senior vice president, marketing/field administration.
Turner’s new title reflects her role as the top financial executive at the company for the accounting, treasury, tax, general finance, budget and reporting functions, which she assumed in 2006. Turner joined The Atlantic Companies in 1991 and rose within the finance department to become vice president, comptroller and treasurer in 2002.
Wetteland, in her new role, assumes responsibility for field administration in addition to the marketing, product development, and producer management functions. After joining the company in 1990, Wetteland served in a variety of managerial roles in the finance department and personal lines division and was most recently vice president, marketing.
Aon announced that William M. Choate has been appointed executive vice president in charge of the middle market and head of Aon Risk Services’ Southern Region. In his new role at Aon, Choate will develop middle market strategies as well as oversee client and carrier relationships, sales and marketing, and business operations in the south. Choate will be based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A 25-year industry veteran, Choate came to Aon from Wachovia, where he served as managing director of Wachovia Insurance Services and senior vice president.