Aon Corporation will expand its underwriting operations to include direct property and casualty insurance and reinsurance policies, the company announced on Oct. 12. This coverage will be provided in addition to existing warranty, specialty property and casualty lines, accident, health and life insurance through the operations to be spun-off as Combined Specialty Corporation (CSC).
Much of the infrastructure to underwrite these expanded lines currently resides within CSC, including licensed insurance companies and solid financial strength, which will facilitate the raising of additional capital and the efficient introduction of new products.
“We had been preparing for a turn in the insurance cycle through our spin-off plans announced in April of this year,” stated Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Aon Corporation. “The events of Sept. 11 have emphasized the need for enhanced property and casualty capacity. Through our already planned spin-off, CSC will be well-positioned to provide disciplined underwriting capacity to the market.”
Kenneth J. LeStrange, currently head of Aon’s retail brokerage operations for the Americas, will become chairman and CEO of Combined Specialty Corporation, effective immediately. LeStrange has extensive insurance and reinsurance industry experience including direct insurance, excess and surplus lines, facultative reinsurance, treaty reinsurance and alternative risk transfer. He began his career at Hartford Insurance Group and held management positions at Swiss Re. Prior to joining Aon, he worked at American Re-Insurance Company for twelve years, most recently as executive vice president responsible for underwriting, alternative risk transfer and strategic planning.
Ryan will be a board member of CSC and will be its largest individual stockholder. Richard Ravin will continue to lead all accident and health insurance business within CSC, and David Cole will continue to run all warranty operations. Both will be members of CSC’s board of directors. Kevin Brooks will focus on specialty property and casualty coverage as previously announced. Additional executive management appointments are expected to address the expansion into direct property and casualty and reinsurance lines.
Mike O’Halleran will continue as president and COO of Aon Corporation and will focus his leadership and management skills on the Aon retail brokerage business in the Americas.