March 10, 2008

Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker reports it has extended the employment agreement with Joseph J. Plumeri, its chairman and chief executive officer.

The agreement, which was originally scheduled to expire Oct. 15, 2009, will extend his tenure as leader of Willis through April 2011. This means Plumeri will oversee the completion of the firm’s current “Shaping our Future” strategic plan that includes specific financial targets through 2010.

“I am as passionate about Willis today as the day I started,” said Plumeri, who announced the creation of several new senior management roles and appointments.

Grahame Millwater, chief operating officer, has been promoted to the new role of president, Willis Group Holdings. Millwater, who has been with Willis for 23 years, will specifically focus on developing global businesses, Willis’ Global Marketing, relationships with underwriting markets and supporting Willis Re, Willis’ global reinsurance unit.

To allow Millwater to focus on his new role, Willis is creating two group chief operating officer positions; one will focus on operations, and one on finance and administration.

One of the new group COOs will be Tim Wright, effective Sept. 2008. Wright will assume responsibility for the day to day execution of the “Shaping our Future” initiatives and will also oversee the group’s operational processes, service centers and IT. He joins Willis from Bain & Co., where he is currently head of UK Financial Services. Wright brings more than 20 years of international experience in the insurance and financial services industries.

Patrick Regan, currently chief financial officer, is also named a group chief operating officer, overseeing all the company’s finance and administrative activities. This additional role reflects Regan’s contributions since he joined as CFO in January 2006, and his increasingly wider responsibilities. These include risk management, global real estate, capital markets, and accounting and settlement.

Wright joins the Executive Committee, Willis’ senior leadership team. In addition to Plumeri, Millwater, Regan and Wright, members include Don Bailey, CEO North America; Adam Ciongoli, group general counsel; Allan Gribben, CEO International; Peter Hearn, CEO Willis Re; David Margrett, chairman and CEO of Willis Limited; and Sarah Turvill, chairman International and CEO Emerging Markets.

New York-based Valiant Insurance Group Inc. has hired Adrian Scott as senior vice president and head of the group’s professional liability practice.

Scott is the former managing director of the global professional liability practice at Marsh USA. He formerly worked at Aon Risk Services and Minet in the professional liability insurance arena.

Christie Azzolini has joined NIP Group in Woodbridge, N.J. as a program manager. Azzolini will lead the newly-developed SitePro insurance program, which targets site preparation and land improvement contractors.

Azzolini comes to NIP Programs after spending two years as a senior broker for a wholesale brokerage, specializing in the placement of construction related risks. Prior to that, she worked in the construction risk management division within AIG.

Daniel Wilson, a former insurance defense attorney, has been named legal specialist for the insurance fraud program of the Virginia State Police in Richmond.

Wilson will act as a liaison between the insurance industry and the insurance fraud program, conduct training on fraud and evaluate all relevant insurance fraud legislation.

Wilson was formerly staff counsel for Travelers Insurance in the law offices of Mark J. Beachy, where he defended workers compensation, general liability, property and auto claims.

West Chester, Pa.-based Venture Insurance Programs named Joseph Dolce as executive vice president, and Mary Teter as senior vice president of underwriting of Venture’s National Accounts division.

As executive vice president, Dolce will oversee Venture’s National Accounts division, which offers alternatives for larger accounts – primarily golf management companies, resort properties and other large hospitality risks – that have national presence or require significant risk management services. Dolce began his career with Venture in 1993 as director of underwriting and most recently served as executive vice president of underwriting.

Before joining Venture, Dolce served for 10 years as casualty underwriting director for Philip J. Harvey & Co., and also as casualty wrap-up and national account specialist in the Mid-Atlantic region for Crum & Forster Insurance Group.

As senior vice president of underwriting, Teter will be responsible for underwriting and reviewing new submissions, negotiating with carriers, overseeing implementation of risk management programs for each account, and providing service and support to brokers.

Teter joined Venture in 1993, most recently serving as senior underwriter for the Preferred Club Program. Prior to joining Venture, she was employed at Philip J. Harvey & Co.

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. has promoted Lizabeth H. Zlatkus to executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Hartford, replacing CFO David M. Johnson, who earlier this year announced plans to leave the company. In her new role, she will oversee corporate strategy, finance, capital and enterprise risk management, investor relations, real estate, and corporate information systems functions. Zlatkus serves currently as the co-chief operating officer — with John C. Walters — of The Hartford’s life operations and president of International Wealth Management and Group Benefits.

Bruce Hayden has joined online insurer Berkley Net Underwriters in its business development unit.

As director of specialty markets, Hayden will lead BerkleyNet’s effort to expand its focus on specialty niche opportunities and non-traditional distribution sources.

Hayden joins BerkleyNet with a background in workers’ compensation that includes underwriting, marketing, program development and management.

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Insurance Journal West March 10, 2008
March 10, 2008
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