Leadership Turnover, and Women Executives, Rule at Fireman’s Fund

By | July 18, 2011

Lori Dickerson Fouché was named president and CEO of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., making her the company’s fourth CEO in recent years.

Fouché succeeds Michael LaRocco, at the helm of one of the nation’s largest property/casualty companies.

Her appointment means that four of the top executive posts at the company are held by women: president/CEO, chief financial officer, chief distribution/sales and marketing officer, and chief counsel/secretary.

“Fireman’s Fund has a strong commitment to diversity throughout our organization, and like the saying goes, ‘it all starts at the top,'” spokesman Atle Erlingsson said.

Fouché was chosen to lead the German-owned, California-based insurance company by Fireman’s parent company, Allianz SE.

Fouché is the fourth person to lead the company since January 2007, when LaRocco’s predecessor, Chuck Kavitsky became president of Allianz of America. Kavitsky’s departure, however, was made brief by his successor’s resignation. Joseph Beneducci left Fireman’s Fund after less than six months in the executive office. Kavitsky returned to Fireman’s Fund as interim CEO until March 2008, when LaRocco’s tenure began.

The tide of leadership changes at Fireman’s Fund has not gone unnoticed by industry analysts, including Moody’s Investor Service Vice President Alan Murray in New York.

At Fireman’s Fund, there is a “high level of turnover, especially at a CEO level,” the senior credit officer for Moody’s Insurance-Financial Institutions Group said. “It’s clearly an area of interest to us, but would likely be of greater concern were Fireman’s Fund an independent, publicly traded company,” Murray said.

Widely considered a pioneer among female insurance industry executives, Fouché was named president and CEO less than six years after she joined Fireman’s Fund as a marketing executive. She parlayed that mid-level marketing position into one over the entire company, with stints in-between as chief operating officer to the company’s specialty insurance division and president of Fireman’s Fund commercial insurance business. Prior to Fireman’s Fund, Fouché was as a senior vice president for Chubb & Son Inc., a New Jersey-based subsidiary of Federal Insurance Co.

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Insurance Journal West July 18, 2011
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