January 24, 2010

Colemont Insurance Brokers has promoted Tara Plourde to broker in the company’s Hartford, Connecticut office. She joined Colemont in 2008. Prior to Colemont, she was a commercial lines underwriter at a standard lines carrier. She specializes in casualty accounts, focusing on environmental placements.

The Seltzer Group, specialists in insurance services, has hired insurance professional Gregory DeMedio as part of its expansion in suburban Philadelphia. DeMedio is an 18-year veteran of the insurance industry and co-founded the insurance agency Collegeville Financial Group. He will be based in Limerick. The Seltzer Group, part of Keystone Insurers Group, offers insurance and employee benefits programs and other services.

CNA Financial Corp. has appointed Sherri Marsalese vice president of its Pittsburgh branch. She will manage relationships with the insurer’s producers in the Pittsburgh area. Marsalese joins CNA with more than two decades of insurance experience, including positions of increasing responsibility at Travelers and General Accident Insurance Co. She most recently served as vice president of marketing for Travelers National Accounts.

Jeffrey R. Fenster has been appointed executive director of the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. Prior to joining the board, Fenster served as a litigation associate with the New York law firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, where he represented institutional clients in complex commercial litigations, arbitrations and government investigations. He previously worked at WR Capital Management, a hedge fund based in Connecticut

Elizabeth “Beth” Sammis has been appointed Interim Maryland Insurance Commissioner, overseeing the regulation of Maryland’s $26 billion insurance industry. Sammis has served as deputy commissioner for the Maryland Insurance Administration since 2007 focusing on legislative and regulatory policy, with an emphasis on health insurance. She replaces Ralph S. Tyler, who took the position of chief legal counsel to the federal Food and Drug Administration. Prior to her appointment, she served as vice president of government affairs for United Healthcare.

New York-based XL Insurance has expanded its U.S. Aviation underwriting team with an aviation branch office in San Francisco and by adding to its New York-based underwriting staff. In San Francisco, Mark Sacco is officer, class underwriter. XL Insurance also added Karl Jorda as assistant vice president, class underwriter to its New York-based underwriting team. Jorda brings more than 20 years of aviation insurance experience to XL Insurance, most recently working as chief underwriting officer-aviation for Britt Paulk. His career also includes various underwriting management positions with AXA and United States Aircraft Insurance Group.

Global property/casualty insurer Chartis Inc., formerly AIG, has named Thomas Scherer as senior vice president and general counsel, responsible for worldwide legal operations. Most recently, Scherer worked for seven years at Swiss Re Group where he served as special litigation counsel and chief compliance officer. While at Swiss Re, he also served as chief operating officer and general counsel for the Financial Markets Division and as group deputy general counsel. Prior to Swiss Re, Scherer worked at Morgan Stanley in New York and in Hong Kong.

WRM America, a New York-based specialty insurance and alternative risk management company, reports that Jeffrey S. Johnson has joined WRM America Indemnity Co. (WRMAI) as regional marketing officer for the Midwest region.

National Specialty Underwriters Inc. has hired Kim Gooch as healthcare sales executive in its Chicago, Ill., branch office. Gooch has more than 16 years of experience in healthcare underwriting and production. She will be focused on Healthcare facility-based business in the Midwest and Northeast.

Scott R. Hudson has joined Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. subsidiary Gallagher Bassett Services Inc. as its president and chief executive officer. He joins Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s Executive Management Committee as a corporate vice president. Hudson has more than 25 years of experience as a business consultant specializing in the insurance and financial services industries. He began his consulting career with Anderson Consulting (now Accenture), and over the years he has held key leadership positions with Information Consulting Group; McKinsey & Co. Inc.; Renaissance Worldwide Inc.; and, most recently, Bridge Strategy Group in Chicago, where he served as director, Insurance Practice.

James J. Maguire, founder of Philadelphia Insurance Cos., has retired as chairman of the board of directors. He will continue to serve on PHLY’s board of directors and will devote more time to his philanthropic endeavors through his charitable organization, The Maguire Foundation. Jamie Maguire, PHLY’s president and CEO, succeeds him.

Tom Considine has been nominated as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. The MetLife vice president was named to the job by incoming Gov. Chris Christie. Considine has extensive government relations and financial services experience. The post is subject to Senate confirmation.

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