Business Moves

July 19, 2010

Insight Insurance Consulting

Laurie Zangwill-Infantino, former president of the Insurance Skills Center (ISC), has formed a new consulting firm, Insight Insurance Consulting. The company will focus on professional development for agents and brokers, as well as insurance companies, staff and their clients.

“The goal of Insight is to be a resource to the insurance industry on many levels: to provide technical and sales training; to be a mentor to new people entering the industry; to be a resource for information; and to provide new and innovative ideas and solutions to improve the profitability for insurance agents/brokers and insurance companies,” Zangwill-Infantino said.

At the end of this summer, Zangwill-Infantino also will be launching the Insurance Community Center, a business networking platform at

Throughout Zangwill-Infantino’s 30-year tenure as president of ISC, she designed and taught hundreds of insurance courses on both personal and commercial lines topics. She conducted audits for insurance brokers on specific accounts as well as operational procedures. She wrote the procedure manual used by ISC, which is used by agents and brokers to establish the correct standards and procedures for operating their firms.

Zangwill-Infantino is well known in the agricultural insurance industry as well. She helped to create the agricultural designation, AFIS, and plays a key role in the program by teaching and consulting on the curriculum.

ACE Global

International specialty insurer, ACE Global Markets (AGM), opened a new U.S. Political Risk and Credit operation based in Los Angeles. The office will serve the West Coast region and is headed by Ray Tizabi as its new vice president, Trade Credit.

Tizabi joins AGM from Pinebridge Investments, where he was a vice president in its leveraged loans group. Prior to this, he was West Coast regional manager for AIG Global Trade Credit, a role he held for five years.

The new Los Angeles-based operation will service to existing West Coast clients.


CNA Financial Corp. opened a new branch office in Los Angeles to extend the company’s geographic footprint and enable closer proximity to its agents, brokers and customers.

“Our new Los Angeles branch is a tangible symbol of our strategy to be closer to our producers to, ultimately, better serve our customers,” said Tom Motamed, chairman and CEO. “The new branch also enables CNA to penetrate the robust market and diverse industries of Los Angeles, particularly in our key areas of expertise such as technology, education, real estate, manufacturing and distribution, and business/professional services.

In addition, CNA will add resources and point-of-sale authority in this location and its nearby Woodland Hills, Calif., office. Connie Taylor, recently appointed branch vice president, will lead the Los Angeles office.

In addition to this office, CNA has opened new branch offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Birmingham, Ala. A new branch office is scheduled for later this year in Westchester County, N.Y.

Wells Fargo, Kinney

Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc., part of Wells Fargo & Co., on July 1 acquired Kinney Agency Inc., a single office, commercial insurance brokerage firm located in Albuquerque, N.M. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bart Kinney, managing shareholder of Kinney Agency, said customers will continue to be served by the same team of insurance professionals.

Kinney Agency has served New Mexico customers since 1963 and provides commercial property/casualty insurance. The company specializes in contractor’s general liability, contract surety bonding, and other construction-related risks, as well as retail and light industrial risks. The firm also offers customers employee benefits and personal insurance services.

One Risk

One Risk Group LLC opened a new location in the Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton, Calif., to accommodate 30 employees.

A retail property/casualty brokerage with a range of insurance and risk management products and services, One Risk Group works with mid-sized and large employers to develop a customized strategic plan for minimizing exposure and protecting assets across the gamut of business risk.

One Risk Group services cover commercial insurance (property loss, claims management, workers’ compensation, fleet insurance, general, and umbrella liability), general business (employee benefits, executive management liability, employment practices, bonding), risk management and financial planning (self-insured plans, large deductibles, captives, environmental, business continuity, and disaster planning and recovery).

Towers Watson, Algorithmics

Global professional services company Towers Watson sold its VIPitech, an actuarial and financial modeling software unit, to Algorithmics, a unit of the Fitch group, in accordance with commitments it made to the European Commission (EC).

The sale of VIPitech was a condition to the EC’s clearance of the merger between Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin, according to the company.

As part of the sale, Towers Watson will retain a license to use the VIPitech software to enable it to support its current and future clients who use VIPitech. In addition, Towers Watson has agreed to assist Algorithmics while the VIPitech business is being established.

First Mercury, Valiant

First Mercury Financial Corp., based in Southfield, Mich., reported that its principal insurance subsidiary, First Mercury Insurance Co., is acquiring Valiant Insurance Group Inc., a subsidiary of Ariel Holdings Ltd.

The purchase price for Valiant, an amount equal to Valiant’s tangible book value, is anticipated to be approximately $55 million at closing. First Mercury will use cash from its insurance subsidiaries to complete the transaction.

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Insurance Journal West July 19, 2010
July 19, 2010
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Excess, Surplus & Specialty Markets Directory, Vol. II