October 9, 2006

Ernie Csiszar, the Romania-born former South Carolina regulator who two years ago was named president and chief executive officer of the then newly-formed Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, resigned from PCI effective Sept. 30.

Csiszar indicated that he plans to pursue a variety of personal and professional interests. “I’ve been a lawyer, a college professor, an investment banker, an insurance company CEO, a regulator and a trade association executive,” said Csiszar. “And I’ve enjoyed each phase of my career. I plan to continue to work within the financial and insurance industries. I leave PCI in the capable hands of a strong board and a talented staff.”

PCI has launched a national search for a new CEO. In the meantime, June Holmes, PCI’s current chief operating officer, will serve as the interim CEO.

PCI was created in January 2004 through the merger of the Alliance of American Insurers and the National Association of Independent Insurers.

Dave Evans has been named the new executive director of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s Trusted Choice, the association’s consumer marketing identity program. Evans will oversee the association’s communications department and serve as publisher of Independent Agent magazine. Prior to joining the IIABA, Evans worked for a major insurance company, a national employee benefits consulting firm and as co-founder of his own firm. He replaces Jeff Myers, who has decided to pursue other opportunities.

The Allstate Corporation announced a leadership transition, which will occur over the next 18 months. Edward M. Liddy, currently chairman and chief executive officer, plans to step down as CEO at the end of 2006. Thomas J. Wilson, currently president and chief operating officer, who has been elected to the Allstate board of directors, will succeed him at that time as CEO. Wilson will retain the role and title of president. The chief operating officer role will not be filled.

Wilson joined Allstate in 1995 as vice president of finance and was elected chief financial officer later that year. He was appointed president of Allstate Financial in 1999 and president of Allstate Protection, the company’s largest business unit, in 2002. He assumed his current role of president and COO in May 2005.

Liddy will remain chairman until his retirement from the company in the spring of 2008. Liddy, who will be 62 at the time of his retirement in 2008, has served as chairman and chief executive officer since January 1999. He previously served as president and chief operating officer from 1994 to 1998.

American International Group Inc. named a former Citigroup president and chief operating officer, Robert B. Willumstad, as chairman, effective Nov. 1. He succeeds Frank G. Zarb, who has served as interim chairman since April, 2005. Zarb remains an AIG director and will continue to serve as a non-voting member of each standing committee of the board.

Willumstad was elected to the AIG board in January 2006. He retired in 2005 as president and chief operating officer of Citigroup Inc. Prior to the formation of Citigroup, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Travelers Group Consumer Financial Services.

Andrew Shaw has joined PMC Insurance Group, based in Needham Mass., as vice president. His responsibilities include new business development, agency relationship management and product expansion. Before joining PMC, Shaw was the vice president of marketing and policyholder services at AIG Specialty Workers Compensation division. PMC Insurance Group is a nationwide workers’ compensation wholesaler.

The Main Street America Group’s president and chief executive officer, Tom Van Berkel, has also been elected chairman of its operating companies’ boards. In June 2001, he was elected president and chief operating officer and a member of its board. Van Berkel was elected chief executive officer in January 2002.

Also, Susan Mack has joined Main Street America Group as senior vice president, general counsel. She will head the firm’s legal department and be responsible for determining the organization’s legal posture, will be a member of its senior management team. Previously, Mack was senior vice president and general counsel with Transamerica Reinsurance of Charlotte, N.C.

Don Bailey has been named chief executive officer of Willis North America. Bailey, currently Willis North America’s chief operating officer, succeeds Mario P. Vitale, who is joining Zurich. Concurrent with his promotion, Bailey joins the Willis Partners Group, the company’s management committee.

Bailey joined Willis in March 2003 to lead the firm’s North American Executive Risks Practice, and has since served as CEO of the company’s North American large account practice. He was named COO of Willis North America in March 2006.

Zurich has named Mario P. Vitale as chief executive officer of its Global Corporate North America operations, effective Oct. 2. In this newly created position, Vitale will report to Geoff Riddell, CEO of Zurich Global Corporate, and will work closely with Axel P. Lehmann, CEO of Zurich North America Commercial, to ensure optimal alignment of the two business divisions. Pete Connors, president of Zurich Global Energy and John Kelm, president of Global Corporate Customer, North America, will report to Vitale, who will be based in New York City. Vitale joins Zurich from Willis Group Holdings Limited.

Miles R. Afsharnik has joined Wachovia Insurance Services Inc. as a vice president and national claims and legal resource director for the Executive Liability Advisors group in the New York office. Afsharnik will serve as clients’ advocate on complex management liability claims. Afsharnik was most recently with Arch Insurance Group as claims counsel and prior to that he spent several years with Marsh.

Warren Heck, chairman and chief executive officer of Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company, New York, N.Y., was the 2006 recipient of the Chairman’s Award from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. Heck has served as a member of NAMIC’s Regulatory Structure Focus Group and offered the NAMIC board guidance on regulatory reform initiatives. One of the association’s experts on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, he has testified on behalf of NAMIC on “The Future of Terrorism Insurance,” before the House Financial Services Committee of the U.S. Congress.

The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc. has elected officers for the 2006-2007 administrative year, including David Dickson of Fairport, N.Y., as its new president. He is a member of Bailey, Haskell and LaLonde Inc. in Oneida, N.Y. He has more than 35 years in the insurance industry.

Dickson served as vice president of the association in 2005-2006 and has been active on numerous PIANY committees. He has served as an industry consultant on privacy and regulatory issues and has co-authored insurance laws in several states.

In addition, PIANY elected the following:

Martin Koles of Forest Hills, N.Y., was elected president-elect. He is principal of M. Koles & Associates Inc. in Forest Hills and vice president of Kraus Insurance Brokers Inc. of Long Island City.

D. Scott Liebert of Nanuet, N.Y., was elected first vice president. He is chairman of CLG Financial Corp. in Nanuet.

Kevin Ryan of Kingston, N.Y., was elected vice president. He is president and chief executive officer of The Valley Group Inc. in Kingston.

Rich Savino of Warwick, N.Y., was elected vice president. He is partner and president-CEO of Warwick Resource Group in Warwick.

Donna Chiapperino of Blauvelt, N.Y., was elected treasurer. She is director of marketing for Jimcor Agencies in Montvale, N.J.

Michael Paluba, LUTC, of Middle Island, N.Y., was re-elected secretary. He is owner of Hermitage Insurance Brokerage in Middle Island.

J. Carlos Viana of Latham, N.Y., will serve as immediate past president. He is vice president of Marshall & Sterling Inc. in Glenville.

All Risks Ltd., a national insurance wholesale broker and managing general agent headquartered in Hunt Valley, Md., has opened a District of Columbia branch office. The D.C. office joins forces with the current All Risks operations in Hunt Valley, Md., and Richmond, Va., to round out the Mid-Atlantic geographic region. Darlene Raphael has been named marketing director for the new office. Raphael joins All Risks with 16 years of experience in the areas of loss control, product development, management and business development. Most recently, she served as the branch manager for AIG in Washington, D.C. Raphael is charged with continuing growth in the Mid-Atlantic region focusing on metropolitan D.C. and surrounding areas.

Harleysville Insurance in Pennsylvania has appointed Donna M. Dever as senior vice president of Performance Excellence. In this position, she directs the company’s initiative to make the its operational processes more effective and efficient using various methodologies, including Six Sigma. Dever will report to Michael L. Browne, Harleysville Group’s president and chief executive officer. Dever joined Harleysville in 1996, and most recently served as vice president and associate general counsel. Prior to Harleysville, she served as an attorney with a Philadelphia law firm.

Cora Barran has been elected president of the Insurance Marketing Communications Association for the 2006-2007 year. Barran is advertising manager for Farmers Insurance Group in Los Angeles, where she oversees national brand and local agent co-op advertising campaigns. Barran joined IMCA in 1999 and has been a member of the board since 2003, including serving as executive vice president in 2005.

Ron Rice, events marketing manager for Russell Investment Group and IMCA president from 2004-2006, will serve as immediate past president.

Other IMCA officer and director appointments include:

Richard Look, director of communications, Venture Programs, will serve as executive vice president. Mitch Dunford, CEO and publisher, Insurance Journal, will serve as vice president. Linda Collins, corporate communications manager, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., will serve as secretary/ treasurer. Reg Pierce, managing partner, InMarket Partners, will serve as past president at large.

Also elected to the board of directors for 2006-2007 are: Darin Barney, MiniCo; Gregg Calestini, Mercator Risk Services; Jack Makuch, Allstate Insurance; Rob Martin, The Co-operators General Insurance Company; Madeline Johnson, Cincinnati Insurance Companies; Randy Clinger, Swiss Re; Peter Broadbent, Wahlstrom Group; Mimi Keller, TM Advertising; Gary Kimball, Kimball Communications; and Tom Wetzel, Wetzel & Associates.

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Insurance Journal West October 9, 2006
October 9, 2006
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