September 24, 2007

The National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices named new officers and directors for the 2007-2008 term. Officers include: President Mary Ellen Rozzell of Continental/Marmorstein & Malone, Paramus, N.J.; Vice President John F. Wood III of Specialty Risk Associates Inc., Shreveport, La.; Secretary Dale H. Pilkington of Colony Insurance Co., Richmond, Va.; and Treasurer Marshall P. Kath of Colemont Brokerage Group Inc., Dallas.

Also, Kevin T. Westrope of Westrope, Kansas City, Mo., was nominated for a new three-year term on the board. Steven R. Gross of Metro Insurance Services Inc.; Marshall P. Kath of Colemont Brokerage Group Inc.; Tom Mulligan of Western World Insurance Group; and Gary Tiepelman of Scottsdale Insurance Co., were re-nominated for three-year terms.

Reinsurance and risk intermediary Benfield created a dedicated capital markets unit within Benfield Advisory, its specialist corporate finance and advisory business. The new unit will be led by Michael Steel in London, in conjunction with Edward Torres and Ron Collins in New York. The unit will handle nontraditional risk transfer solutions including sidecars, catastrophe bonds, industry loss warranties (ILW), collateralized reinsurance, derivatives and other indexed linked securities. It will also manage a dedicated “ILW desk” to enhance the group’s offering in this market.

The Capital Markets Division will operate alongside Benfield Advisory’s existing Corporate Advisory Division, which offers strategic advice on corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, management buyouts and capital raising. The Corporate Advisory Division is led by Tristan McDonald in London and Scott Maries in New York.

Additionally, Mike Cain was appointed chief operating officer and general counsel for Benfield Advisory. Cain comes from Benfield’s legal team.

Ronda Ashley joined insurance broker Bollinger Inc. as vice president in the Sports Insurance Division. Ashley will operate from Colorado Springs, Colo., where she will be responsible for developing new business and sports programs.

Ashley comes to Bollinger from Summit America Insurance Services, where she specialized in sports and recreation insurance programs. She has 21 years of industry experience and has held positions in marketing and underwriting, and has helped launch sports and recreation-related insurance products.

U.S. Risk Insurance Group Inc. named Monte Stringer executive vice president and national brokerage manager of U.S Risk Brokers, the company’s wholesale excess and surplus lines insurance brokerage operations. Stringer will have direct managerial responsibility for all of U.S. Risk Brokers’ branch offices and departments.

Most recently, Stringer was executive vice president of marketing and manager of the Dallas office of U.S. Risk Brokers. He has worked in the insurance industry for 30 years, including experience at two national insurance carriers. He joined U.S. Risk Insurance Group in 1996 and held positions of increasing responsibility during his 10 years with the company, including chief information officer.

W. R. Berkley Corp. in Greenwich, Conn., named Robert W. Standen president of Key Risk Insurance Co. and its affiliate, Key Risk Management Services Inc., both based in Greensboro, N.C. He succeeds Joe W. Sykes, who will continue in his role as Key Risk’s chairman and CEO.

Standen has been with Key Risk since 2003, and most recently served as its executive vice president and chief claims officer. He has more than 18 years of experience in the commercial insurance and third-party administration industries.

Marsh UK named Douglas Ure a senior risk consultant for its Risk Strategies Services team. He is based in Marsh’s London office and will provide advice around risk identification, assessment and management to public and private organizations worldwide.

Ure joins Marsh from Primary Group Ltd., an insurance services company, where he was group risk manager. He has also worked with Accenture.

Miller Insurance Services Ltd. named Victoria Barrett broker and associate director of professional risk. She will be based in Miller’s London office. Barrett joins Miller from Integro Insurance Brokers.

San Mateo-based Edgewood Partners Insurance Center named Teri Zanders vice president of business development and client services. Zanders will serve as the client liaison for EPIC’s employee benefits and property/casualty divisions. Zanders has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance brokerage industry, having spent 15 years at ABD Insurance & Financial Services.

Diane Lawrence was promoted to underwriting manager for California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund.

She began her State Fund career as a marketing consultant at the organization’s San Francisco corporate office in 1981. As a member of the adverting/promotion Unit for the Marketing Department, she was responsible for the creation of a number of award-winning brochures and advertisements. In 1985, she was promoted to advertising and promotion supervisor. Her most recent post was program manager for the Project Services Office.

Yates & Associates of Tustin, Calif., is expanding its transportation division and added Mike Thompson as underwriter. Thompson will be responsible for underwriting and issuing commercial auto applications.

Thompson began his career in 1974 at Farmers Insurance, where he was a multiline agent for 28 years. Most recently, he was with a local wholesaler as the commercial auto supervisor.

ACE USA, the U.S.-based retail operating division of the ACE Group of Companies, appointed John Nilson senior vice president, western region for ACE Risk Management. Nilson will be based in Los Angeles and oversee ARM branch operations for the western region, working with brokers in managing new business development and underwriting activities, as well as serving middle and large account commercial customers.

Nilson joined ACE USA in July 1999 as an underwriter for ARM in its Los Angeles branch. He has more than 14 years of experience in the insurance arena with a focus on serving clients with large casualty programs. Previously, he was with CIGNA Special Risk Facilities in Houston.

The appointment is part of the company’s continued strategy of establishing a regional presence across the United States through representation of “One ACE” to customers, brokers and prospects through various distribution channels, according to Joseph S. Clabby, president of ACE USA West.

Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. named Russina Sgoureva regional vice president of auto product management for California.

Previously, she spent more than five years with Progressive Insurance as product manager for independent agency auto. She has worked on a range of regulatory and legislative matters in California, as well as in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon. Prior to Progressive, Sgoureva worked as a vice president of client service at KPE in Los Angeles, and a senior consultant at McKinsey & Co. in Los Angeles and Orange County.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Edgewood Partners Insurance Center named John Greenfield vice president, specializing in property/casualty insurance.

Greenfield began his career at ABD Insurance and Financial Services. At ABD, he managed a large book business, which included a range of high-tech, retail, manufacturing, medical device and life science companies. Greenfield has expertise in commercial insurance with an emphasis on executive and corporate liability, professional liability and intellectual property liability.

Zurich named William “Bill” Blake regional executive for its southwest region. Blake will be based in Zurich North America Commercial’s Glendale, Calif., office. He will be responsible for Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Southern Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Blake has 18 years of insurance experience. He joined Zurich in 1997 as a senior account executive. In his career with Zurich, he took on increasing responsibilities across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest and Southwest regions for Zurich’s construction business, including the role of the regional vice president of both the Northwest and Southwest regions. In 2005, he joined Zurich’s Commercial Markets business unit as its platform executive, responsible for integrating mid-platform customer needs into the commercial markets business strategy.

Los Angeles-based Executive Perils named Bridget Livingston vice president/broker. Livingston graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in finance. She is close to completing her MBA in finance.

Chatsworth, Calif.-based The Harry W. Gorst Co. promoted Nelson Oliva to underwriter for the personal lines department. Oliva joined the firm in 2004 as assistant underwriter.

San Francisco-based Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. will be expanding its senior leadership team in 2008. Effective Jan. 1, 2008, Charlie Rosson will take the helm as CEO, and Mary Sklarski will be chief operating officer. In conjunction with those promotions, Susan Hunt and Stan Loar will become vice chairpersons on the company’s board. Doug Morton will continue as the chairman of the board.

Rosson has been with Woodruff-Sawyer for three years, and has 16 years of experience in employee benefits and insurance. As a partner in the firm and practice leader, he has more than doubled the size of the Benefits Practice and has participated in client service delivery and carrier relations. Prior to joining Woodruff-Sawyer, Rosson held senior leadership positions at brokerage and consulting firms in Northern and Southern California.

Sklarski has been with Woodruff-Sawyer since 2002 and has 25 years of experience. She has been a firm partner and practice leader responsible for the leadership and profitability of Woodruff-Sawyer’s Technology and Commercial Practices. She is a past president of the Golden Gate Chapter Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society and has served on national committees for CPCU.

Insurance broker Marsh Inc. named five senior insurance brokerage executives to lead the firm’s Middle Market operations in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and the Carolinas.

Henry N. Watkins Jr. will lead Marsh’s Middle Market operations in New York; Kevin Daley takes charge in Los Angeles; Samuel D. Daume Jr. in Boston; Mark Freeman in San Francisco, and James P. Breeney in the Carolinas.

Watkins, who has 26 years of experience in insurance and related risk advisory roles, was vice president and Northeast regional director of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs.

Daley, who has 13 years insurance industry experience, joins Marsh from American International Group, where he had regional leadership responsibilities for one of the firm’s property/casualty operations in Los Angeles.

Daume joins Marsh from Aon Risk Services Inc., where he was a managing director and resident sales director for New England and Upstate New York. Previously, he was with Marsh in Boston.

Freeman has more than 27 years of experience in the insurance industry. Most recently, he was with Arthur J. Gallagher in San Francisco, where he was area president.

Breeney, who will be based in the Charlotte, N. C., office, has more than 25 years of experience in insurance. Most recently, he was executive vice president of U.S. regional operations for Aon Risk Services.

Houston-based international specialty insurance group HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. appointed Lisa A. Moore vice president of human resources. Moore has served in human resources and legal departments since 1983, and most recently was vice president of human resources for Landry’s Restaurants Inc.

Van Gilder, based in Denver, added Brent Hartman to its staff as a wellness consultant, initiating the company’s wellness program. Hartman has been involved in wellness endeavors throughout his career.

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Insurance Journal West September 24, 2007
September 24, 2007
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Salute to Surplus Lines Brokers/NAPSLO; Personal Lines Markets; Product Liability