April 7, 2008

Gov. John Baldacci recently swore in Mila Kofman as superintendent of the Maine Insurance Bureau, Kofman has been an associate research professor at the Georgetown University, where she led health-related research projects on the uninsured and fraud. From 1997 to 2001, Kofman worked on state and federal health care reforms at the U.S. Department of Labor. Kofman won a legislative committee’s endorsement on a party-line vote after Republicans balked over the nomination.

Patrick G. Ryan, founder and executive chairman of the largest insurance intermediary, Aon Corp., said he intends to retire from Aon effective Aug. 1, 2008.

“After 41 years as CEO and three years as executive chairman, it is time to retire from active involvement. I will of course continue to be a dedicated and interested shareholder,” he said.

Ryan said the firm’s transition to a new management team under CEO Greg Case is complete.

Ryan, 70, founded Aon, which has its origin in a small insurance agency he started in 1964. That agency eventually became Ryan Insurance, a firm focused on a strategy of providing advice, consulting services and distribution of insurance products to the automotive industry.

In 1978, Ryan Insurance purchased the insurance brokerage subsidiaries of Esmark Corp., expanding into risk management services for commercial and industrial clients. In 1982, following a merger with Combined Insurance Co. of America, the company acquired Rollins Burdick Hunter, then the seventh largest insurance broker. The company continued to expand through organic growth and acquisition, and in 1987 changed its name to Aon Corp. Through the late 1980s and into the 1990s the company continued its strategy of acquisition. Today Aon operates with more than 500 offices in 120 countries generating revenues in excess of $7 billion.

Ryan will continue as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University, and as chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016, the effort to bring the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games to Chicago.

Woodbridge, N.J.-based The Marquis Agency has named Shawn Young and James Konzelmann to senior positions in its newly expanded transportation practice. Marquis is a business unit of NIP Group, and operates in all 50 states except Alaska.

Young, a 20-year veteran of insurance industry, will serve as senior vice president and head of the practice. He served previously as vice president in the casualty brokerage for Mercator Risk Services, and led that firm’s national transportation practice.

Konzelmann wil serve as vice president of the transportation practice group. He has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, and most recently served as regional vice president for Velocity Express Inc., a national transportation and logistics firm, and he has also served as a senior financial executive at U.S. Delivery Systems Inc., a national courier service.

When long-time regulator Leonard Crouse retires as deputy commissioner of the Vermont Captive Insurance Division in June, David F. Provost will step up to the post.

Provost is an assistant chief examiner in the division who has risen in the ranks under Crouse’s leadership since 2001. He has a total of 18 years in the captive insurance field in both the private and regulatory arenas. He has handled client advisory services, accounting, systems management, program development, marketing, captive formation, licensing and regulation.

Provost previously worked for AIG Insurance Management Services, and managed accounts and systems at Sedgewick Management Services (US) Ltd., and Johnson and Higgins Services, Inc. He has served as treasurer of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association.

Fairfax, Va.-based commercial and personal insurance agency Johnson & Strachan Inc. said it has hired Charlie Venus as vice president of operations, and has promoted Richard Dygve to senior vice president.

Venus, who retired from The Hartford in 2006 following a 30-year career, joins Johnson & Strachan from Travelers where he had been managing underwriting director for select accounts in the company’s Washington, D.C. office. Over the course of his career at The Hartford, Venus held a number of management positions including loss control manager, commercial business unit manager and market strategy manager.

Dygve, who started his own insurance agency in 1983 and merged it with Johnson & Strachan in 2003, will increase his responsibilities at the firm. Before starting his own agency, Dygve was a sales representative for Travelers.

Willis Group Holdings has appointed Timothy Clarke as regional growth leader for the New York region and executive vice president of Willis of New York Inc. Clarke’s responsibilities include leading client retention and growth for Connecticut and New York State including New York City and Long Island.

Clarke was most recently a managing director and senior client executive in Marsh’s Client Services Group in New York, where he handled Fortune 500 financial institution, consumer products and real estate accounts.

New York-based specialty insurer Hiscox USA has hired Lisa Zanotelli and Derek Rogers to develop and underwrite stand-alone kidnap and ransom insurance coverage. The two have a combined 30 years experience in kidnap and ransom insurance. Zanotelli is the former executive vice president of Willis’ special contingency risks practice, and Rogers was senior vice president for Willis’ special contingency risks practice. In those roles, the two provided clients with unique expertise as the only insurance brokers focused solely on kidnap and ransom insurance in North America.

Before joining Willis, Zanotelli led operations for AIG’s crisis management division in North America for security related products such as kidnap and ransom, product tampering, work place violence and terrorism. Rogers was the underwriting manager for the U.S. Northeast region and Canada for the same division.

The coverage will be written on an admitted basis through Hiscox USA’s two New York locations in Armonk and Manhattan.

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Insurance Journal West April 7, 2008
April 7, 2008
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