Harleysville Insurance President/COO Michael Browne to Retire in May

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. announced that Michael Browne, president and chief operating officer of the Harleysville Insurance, a member of the Nationwide family of companies, will retire effective May 1, 2014.

Following Browne’s retirement, Kevin Toth, who has been serving as regional vice president of mid-Atlantic operations at Harleysville Insurance, will become senior regional vice president of Harleysville Insurance and serve as the senior leader at Harleysville Insurance’s headquarters in Harleysville, Penn.

Toth will report to Tom Clark, senior vice president of field operations for Des Moines, Iowa-based Allied Group, the independent channel distribution arm of Nationwide. More than 900 associates work at the Harleysville, Penn., campus, which is undergoing an 18-month, $20 million renovation.

Michael Browne

Browne has led Harleysville since 2004 and also played a critical role in the strategic combination of Harleysville and Nationwide, a merger completed in 2012. He was elected non-executive chairman of Harleysville Mutual and its subsidiary Harleysville Group in 2003 and became president and CEO of Harleysville Mutual and CEO of Harleysville Group the following year. He has been serving as president and COO of Harleysville Insurance since the completion of his company’s merger with Nationwide.

Prior to joining Harleysville, Browne was head of the international insurance practice group at the law firm of Reed Smith, LLP, in Philadelphia. Browne also served as insurance commissioner of Pennsylvania from 1980 to 1983. He is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat “V” and attained the rank of captain in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.