September 22, 2008

Swiss Re appointed Walter A. Bell chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corp. He will provide supervisory governance of the Americas businesses and also will oversee and direct regulatory and public affairs for all of Swiss Re’s North America businesses, helping provide state and federal legislators, regulators and others with the insights they need for effective policy-making.

Bell most recently was insurance commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance, a position he has held since 2003.

American Special Risk Insurance Services, a surplus lines professional liability managing general agent/wholesaler based in Woodland Hills, Calif., appointed Rocio L. Orta president and CEO. She will be responsible for developing and implementing strategic and operating plans focusing on ASR’s growth, executing day-to-day general management, and solidifying existing customer liaisons while developing new customer relationships.

Orta formerly headed the professional liability division at WSS in Pasadena, Calif. She has 25 years of insurance experience, 18 in professional lines. She is vice chair of the Southern California Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Steering Committee.

Sacramento, Calif.-based InterWest Insurance Services named Keith Schuler CEO. He will be in charge of guiding the company toward a $500 million increase in premiums managed and keep the company independently owned.

Schuler, who has been with InterWest for more than 21 years, was previously the president of the company’s Northern Division. Along with Schuler’s appointment, InterWest’s executive committee announced that the only way to fulfill its mission was to resist attempts to be merged or acquired.

San Francisco-based Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. hired Tony Procaccini as vice president, global benefits.

He will focus on business development and provide strategic consulting and brokerage services to clients with global exposure. For more than 25 years, Procaccini has expanded his benefits focus to include specializations including financial planning, client management and business development. Before joining Woodruff-Sawyer, he was director of the western region for CIGNA International Expatriate Benefits.

Edgewood Partners Insurance Center expanded its Southern California presence, adding four people to its staff.

Toni Erickson, who has more than 30 years of insurance industry experience, was appointed principal. Debbie Santistevan was hired as account executive, Jhoanna Fore as senior account manager and Susan Garganera as technical underwriter consultant. Additionally, the company appointed Dennis Tumminia principal of Employee Benefits in its San Francisco office.

Erickson’s responsibilities include developing programs to help employers meet their financial goals, maintaining programs that are competitive in the client’s marketplace and recruiting and retaining employees. She previously was a senior vice president of benefits at USI in Irvine, Calif.

Santisteven has more than 20 years of benefits industry experience. Her area of expertise includes the self-funded plan arena and the fully insured market. As an account executive, she will support clients in the management and implementation of claims resolution, claims administration and customer service. She will also assist management in building successful, long-term client-carrier relationships.

Fore holds a life insurance license and has more than 12 years of benefits insurance experience. Her responsibilities include managing and servicing existing accounts, assisting producers with developing new business, negotiating renewal rates and coordinating open enrollment meetings with carriers. She will also oversee and direct account team administrators.

Garganera brings more than 25 years of industry experience to her position. Her responsibilities include renewal projections, rate negotiations, marketing analysis, employer and employee contribution scenarios, funding alternatives and other benefits-related cost analysis and projections. She previously held positions at John Hancock, Transamerica, Provident, CIGNA, USI of Southern California, Hays Companies, Marsh McLennan and William M. Mercer.

Tumminia recently served as the director of the employee benefit consulting practice for MOC Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco. He also formerly was the area vice president for Gallagher Benefit Services and the director of employee benefits at Frank Crystal and Co. of California Inc. He has 30 years of experience.

West Chester, Pa.-based Venture Insurance Programs named Michael Rogers executive vice president and managing director of a new specialty property unit.

Rogers will establish a startup program for Venture that specializes in the production and management of a property and inland marine book of business. His primary focus will be coastal property. In addition, Rogers will serve as a property expert to other Venture programs.

Rogers most recently served as new business manager and property manager for the NIF Group, where he was responsible for growth and development of property brokerage business for the New York City office.

Honolulu-based Island Insurance Co. Ltd. appointed Michael A. Onofrietti vice president of actuarial services, product development and management. In this newly created position, he will be responsible for developing techniques for pricing insurance products, analyzing lines of business portfolios as well as the development, management and implementation of new products.

Prior to joining Island Insurance, Onofrietti was vice president and actuary, director of underwriting and product management, senior underwriting officer of AIG Hawaii Insurance Co.

Venbrook Insurance Services promoted Bryan Nuesca to senior vice president of brokerage sales.

He will be working in the Woodland Hills, Calif., office. Nuesca has been with Venbrook for 12 years, previously having overseen the commercial brokerage servicing department.

Jamie Boyce was promoted to vice president of brokerage services. He also will be working in the Woodland Hills office. He has been with the company for eight years, specializing in construction and real estate.

Nuesca and Boyce will be responsible for production of commercial property and casualty insurance, with specialization in surety, construction, real estate and industrial.

Venbrook also hired James Kelly as vice president, specializing in healthcare. He will lead the brokering team for healthcare risks and will work in the Woodland Hills office. Kelly has 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, most recently he was with HRH of Los Angeles.

The company also hired Danny DeBeikes as vice president, concentrating on workers’ compensation. He will be responsible for production of workers’ compensation by helping companies bring their experience mods under control. He will work out of the Woodland Hills office. DeBeikes most recently served as vice president at Sander Kessler.

Additionally, Scott Anderson was named a vice president, with a focus on transportation. He will lead a team in building a national transportation program to include trucks, buses, shuttles, taxis and limousines. Anderson has more than 10 years of experience and most recently owned SDA Insurance Brokers.

Clyde Williams joined All Risks in San Francisco as a senior broker. His product line specialties include primary general liability, excess liability and umbrella for construction risks, habitational, chemical, medical products and life sciences, and architects and engineers.

Williams came to All Risks from Tri City Brokerage.

Phoenix-based Sterling Grant & Associates named Eric Shunk a broker. Shunk specializes in comprehensive health, life, property and casualty insurance.

Shunk began his career in the information technology industry in 1993, having worked with companies such as SalesLogix,, and Scottsdale Insurance.

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Insurance Journal West September 22, 2008
September 22, 2008
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