People and Places

October 25, 2004
William Hickey
William Hickey

Chicago-based insurance industry investment banker Cochran, Caronia & Co. has named William Hickey its chief operating officer. Hickey is responsible for spearheading the firm’s strategic planning initiatives and overseeing all facets of operations. He leads the firm’s recruiting, training, business expansion, marketing, compliance and financial functions.

Before joining Cochran, Caronia & Co., Hickey was chief financial officer and executive vice president of the Kemper Insurance Cos., a now defunct property/casualty insurance provider. He joined Kemper in 1989 as a financial analyst with Kemper Corp., then the publicly-held, diversified insurance and financial services arm of the Kemper group of companies. In 1996, he moved to Kemper Insurance Cos. as director of corporate development.

The Lansing, Mich.-based Insurance Institute of Michigan has named a former lobbyist for the auto industry as its new executive director.

Peter Kuhnmuench
Peter Kuhnmuench

Peter Kuhnmuench started Oct. 11, 2004 and previously served as legislative affairs director for the Auto Dealers of Michigan. In this capacity, he represents both the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. Prior to joining the Auto Dealers, Kuhnmuench was vice president of governmental affairs for the Michigan Retailers Association and legislative analyst for the Michigan Department of Commerce.

Kuhnmuench will oversee the association’s governmental affairs and communications functions. He will represent 43 property/casualty insurance company members that write more than $8 billion in annual premiums in Michigan. IIM serves as the official spokesperson for the property/casualty insurance industry in Michigan.

Terry Adams
Terry Adams
Ray Peretti
Ray Peretti
Donna Pile
Donna Pile

The new national officers of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents were installed during the group’s recent board of directors meeting held in Orlando, Fla. Terry Adams of Ashland, Ore., will become president of PIA National; Ray Peretti of Renton, Wash., will become president-elect; Donna Pile of Lexington, Ky., will be vice president; and Robert Page of Houma, La., will become secretary treasurer. Outgoing PIA National President Carl Stoecklin of Cincinnati, Ohio, will serve as immediate past president.

Wayne F. White, president and chairman of Home Mutual Fire Insurance Co., has been elected chairman of the board of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos. The election took place during the association’s business meeting, held at the 109th annual convention. In addition, Robert A. Wadsworth, president and CEO of Preferred Mutual Insurance Co., was named vice chairman. Gerald P. Schmidt, president of Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Co., was elected vice chairman, and John T. Hill II, president and chief operating officer of Magna Carta Cos., continues as secretary/treasurer.

Sharon A. Koches joined the American Institute for CPCU and the Insurance Institute of America as marketing director, responsible for marketing activities in her 12-state, southern region. Koches works with organizations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Formerly, Koches was an account manager of the alternative markets and large accounts department for Selective Insurance Co. Koches’ background on the agency side includes having served as director of membership and member services and as assistant director of E&O for the Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey.

Chicago-based brokerage giant Aon Corp. announced that the company is implementing its management succession plan and has begun a search for a new president and chief executive officer.

Patrick Ryan, 67, will continue to serve as CEO until a successor is named and, thereafter, will continue as chairman of the Board of Directors. Andrew McKenna, who heads the board’s corporate governance committee, will lead a search committee, which will be assisted by an executive recruiting firm to be selected shortly.

Ryan has served as the CEO of Aon and its predecessor company for 40 years. Aon’s current president and chief operating officer, Michael D. O’Halleran, told the board he doesn’t want the job. Instead, he’ll become senior executive vice president of the company with continued responsibility for global reinsurance brokerage, wholesale brokerage and managing underwriting activities.

Insurer Ohio Casualty Corp. announced that Jeffery L. Haniewich, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the commercial lines division of the Ohio Casualty Insurance Co., has left to pursue other career opportunities.

The company has commenced a search for a successor, but did not say in a statement what opportunities Haniewich had chosen to pursue. Haniewich, 57, joined the Fairfield, Ohio-based company in 1998 as regional vice president of the Raleigh, N.C., regional office. He had been in his most recent position since 2001. The Ohio Casualty Group is ranked 48th among U.S. property/casualty insurance groups based on net premiums written.

Zurich North America named Gary Kaplan as chief underwriting officer for its commercial unit and head of its technical center.

Kaplan most recently served as senior vice president and program executive for underwriting-related initiatives with the Strategic Initiatives Group, a part of Zurich North America Commercial. His tenure includes leading the underwriting of large property business for the former diversified products business unit and serving as senior vice president and director of energy property.

Wayne F. White, president and chairman of Home Mutual Fire Insurance Co., has been elected chairman of the board of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos. The election took place during the association’s business meeting, held at the 109th annual convention. In addition, Robert A. Wadsworth president and CEO of Preferred Mutual Insurance Co., was named vice chairman. Gerald P. Schmidt, president of Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Co., was elected vice chairman, and John T. Hill II, president and chief operating officer of Magna Carta Cos., continues as secretary/treasurer.

Sharon A. Koches joined the American Institute for CPCU and the Insurance Institute of America as marketing director, responsible for marketing activities in her 12-state, southern region. Koches works with organizations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Formerly, Koches was an account manager of the alternative markets and large accounts department for Selective Insurance Co. Koches’ background on the agency side includes having served as director of membership and member services and as assistant director of E&O for the Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey.

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Insurance Journal West October 25, 2004
October 25, 2004
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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