February 7, 2010

Willis Group Holdings has extended the contract of its chairman and CEO, Joseph J. Plumeri, until July 7, 2013. His previous agreement was set to expire on the date of the company’s annual meeting in April 2011.

Plumeri was first named chairman and chief executive in October 2000 and by 2001, he had taken Willis from private to public ownership. During that year, the company was recognized as the third best performing IPO listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Today Willis is firmly entrenched as the third largest global insurance broker with more than 300 offices in more than 100 countries.

Pulmeri was the first non-insurance executive to head the 175-year-old firm. He previously spent 32 years at Citigroup and its predecessor companies.

Thomas Galbraith has been appointed director of Fine Art Services at Palm Beach, Fla.-based Bruce Gendelman Insurance Agency. Before joining Gendelman, Galbraith served as a fine art expert for the U.S. division of AXA Art Insurance and helped start up the insurer’s Canadian operations. He also worked previously at the Art Loss Register and in Chartis Private Client Group.

Specialty construction insurer NationsBuilders Insurance Services Inc., of Atlanta, has named William C. Tepe as chief financial officer. Tepe will be responsible for directing the financial and accounting functions of the organization. As a senior member of the organization, he will collaborate with the leadership team. He joined NBIS from American Safety Holdings Corp. where he held the role of CFO. Prior to this role, he held the position of vice president, global controller and CFO at GAB Robins, Inc.

Specialty insurer Ironshore Inc. expanded its U.S. field operations with the appointment of Scott Fitzmaurice as regional executive for the Southeast.

Fitzmaurice will report to Steve England, executive vice president, Ironshore Insurance Services LLC, and be responsible for business development in the Southeast. In this expanded role, he will retain his existing responsibilities with IronPro, Ironshore’s management liability division. Prior to joining Ironshore in January 2008, Fitzmaurice was a regional manager for AIG Management Liability.

Grange Insurance, based in Columbus, Ohio, named Robert V. James as president and CEO. Retiring president and CEO Phil Urban will serve in an advisory capacity until Feb. 26.

James has more than 36 years of experience with Allstate, AIG, MetLife and CNA. Most recently, he held the position of senior vice president of mortgage operations and insurance executive at Bank of America, where he managed the bank’s consumer insurance, commercial insurance and reinsurance operations. Prior to Bank of America he was vice chairman, president and CEO of Countrywide Insurance Group.

Socius Insurance Services Inc., a San Francisco-based management liability and property/casualty insurance wholesaler, has appointed Cynthia A. Zimmerman as vice president in its Miami office. She is charged with new business development for management liability and professional liability in Florida and the eastern United States.

Zimmerman began her insurance career in 1985 at Britamco Underwriters/Preferred National Insurance, where she was most recently manager of professional lines. After 14 years of company underwriting and management experience, she became a manager and wholesale broker with Hull & Co. Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

St. James Insurance Group in Orlando, Florida has promoted Jonathan Mertz, vice president and operations manager, to marketing director. His new responsibilities will include all marketing and sales initiatives, distribution network management and program development. Mertz is assuming the duties of former marketing director, Neil J. Biscuiti, who passed away in November.

St. James Insurance Group is an insurance program manager specializing in personal lines and homeowners.

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