April 7, 2008


Willis Group Holdings extended its employment agreement with Joseph J. Plumeri, the company’s chairman and CEO. The agreement, which was originally scheduled to expire Oct. 15, 2009, will extend Plumeri’s tenure as leader of Willis through April 2011. That means Plumeri will oversee the completion of the firm’s current “Shaping our Future” strategic plan that includes financial targets through 2010.

“I am as passionate about Willis today as the day I started,” Plumeri said.

Meanwhile, Plumeri created several new senior management roles and appointments.

Grahame Millwater, chief operating officer, was promoted to president, Willis Group Holdings. Millwater, who has been with Willis for 23 years, will focus on developing global businesses, Willis’ Global Marketing, relationships with underwriting markets and supporting Willis Re, Willis’ global reinsurance unit.

To allow Millwater to focus on his new role, Willis is creating two group chief operating officer positions: one will focus on operations, and one on finance and administration.

One of the new group chief operating officers will be Tim Wright, effective Sept. 2008. Wright will assume responsibility for the execution of the “Shaping our Future” initiatives and will also oversee the group’s operational processes, service centers and information technology. He joins Willis from Bain & Co., where he is head of UK Financial Services. Wright brings more than 20 years of international experience in the insurance and financial services industries.

Patrick Regan, chief financial officer, was named a group chief operating officer, overseeing the company’s finance and administrative activities. The additional role reflects Regan’s contributions since he joined as CFO in January 2006, and his increasingly wider responsibilities. Those include risk management, global real estate, capital markets, and accounting and settlement.

BMS, a reinsurance intermediary based in Philadelphia, appointed James T. Buysse CEO of its North American operations, BMS Intermediaries Inc.

Buysse has 25 years of experience in the reinsurance industry. He began his reinsurance career at Towers Perrin Reinsurance in 1979. In 1993, he joined Greg Fester as president and CEO of U.S. operations. After Greg Fester was acquired by Benfield Ltd. in 1998, Buysse spent nine years in various senior management positions. He left Benfield early in 2007 to form his own reinsurance intermediary, Buysse and Associates Inc.

Colemont Insurance Brokers named Tim Conlon vice president and broker specializing in equipment maintenance insurance in the San Francisco office. Conlon will be a member of the property team and will also be growing sales across all lines with current and new retail brokers and agencies.

Prior to joining Colemont, Conlon was director of Tri-City Brokerage’s Western region equipment maintenance program, then vice president in charge of equipment maintenance services at Arrowhead Wholesale Insurance Services.

Debra Jackson was named president and CEO of the Alliance of Insurance Agents and Brokers.

Jackson of Trident Insurance Agency in Woodland Hills, Calif., is the second generation in her family to serve as Alliance president. She follows in the footsteps of her father, Nel Burdick, who served two terms in the 1980s.

The Alliance Board also installed several new officers:

Ken May is vice president and will chair the Alliance’s North San Diego meetings.

Ramon Altamirano, of the Insurance Center in Citrus Heights, is chief financial officer and will chair the group’s Sacramento meetings.

Jerry Conrey, of Conrey Insurance Brokers and Risk Managers in Tustin, is secretary.

Mark Ruggles was named president of Venbrook Insurance Services, a subsidiary of Venbrook Group LLC, headquartered in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Ruggles previously served as executive vice president at Brown & Brown. He will oversee sales and operations of the holding company’s brokerage unit.

Venbrook also named Greg Hill chief financial officer of Venbrook Group. He previously was senior vice president and western regional controller of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Midlands Management Corp. of Oklahoma City, Okla., named Richard Jonathan Bird executive vice president and chief operating officer. He will assist in leading all aspects of Midlands, including strategic marketing, business growth, implementation of new business opportunities and allocation of business resources.

Bird has 19 years of experience in the insurance industry, including international expertise. During the past 16 years, he focused primarily on the workers’ compensation, casualty, life and health lines of insurance. His background includes work with insurance markets based in Europe, the United States and Bermuda, significant participation in Treaty Reinsurance and Programs, and direct product placement.

West Chester, Pa.-based Venture Insurance Programs named Joseph Dolce as executive vice president, and Mary Teter senior vice president of underwriting of Venture’s National Accounts Division.

Dolce will oversee the National Accounts Division, which offers alternatives for larger accounts – primarily golf management companies, resort properties and other large hospitality risks – that have national presence or require significant risk management services. That division gives qualified accounts access to alternative risk financing structures such as large deductibles or captives and specialized risk management services.

Dolce has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, including serving for 10 years as casualty underwriting director for Philip J. Harvey & Co., and also as casualty wrap-up and national account specialist in the Mid-Atlantic region for Crum & Forster Insurance Group.

As senior vice president of underwriting, Teter will be responsible for underwriting and reviewing new submissions, negotiating with carriers, overseeing implementation of risk management programs for each account, and providing service and support to brokers.

Teter has 20 years of insurance industry experience, recently serving as senior underwriter for Venture’s Preferred Club Program.

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Insurance Journal West April 7, 2008
April 7, 2008
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