The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) announced that Sean Kevelighan, most recently with Zurich Insurance, has been named president and chief executive officer, effective Aug. 8.
Kevelighan brings with him 18 years of public affairs, communications and media relations experience, including leadership roles in the global property/casualty insurance industry. Most recent Kevelighan, age 43, was global head of Public Affairs for Zurich Insurance Group, where he was responsible for setting the corporation’s global public policy and corporate responsibility agendas.
Before his time at Zurich, Kevelighan was group head of Global Consumer Banking Public Affairs for Citigroup. He has also worked as head of North American Group media relations for Zurich, as well as in President George W. Bush’s Administration both for the Treasury Department and as press secretary for the White House Office of Management and Budget.
As president and CEO of I.I.I., Kevelighan will provide strategic oversight for the organization and act as a key spokesperson for the property/casualty insurance industry as a whole.
“Over nearly two decades, Sean has attained impressive accomplishments in public affairs and communications as well as a deep technical knowledge of insurance issues,” said Bruce Kelley, president and chief executive officer of EMC Insurance Companies and chairman of the I.I.I.’s board of directors. “The search committee screened dozens of high-caliber candidates, but the final vote was unanimous. Sean is an ideal fit for the CEO role due to his success as a media spokesperson in both corporate and government settings, as well as his international insurance industry experience.”
Kevelighan will be succeeding Dr. Robert Hartwig, who is stepping down from his role to become a faculty member in the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. He will also be co-director of the Moore School’s Risk and Uncertainty Management Center. Hartwig, an economist who has headed the organization since 2007 announced his plans in February.
“Although my decision to leave the Institute after 18 years was an extremely difficult one, it is made much easier knowing that I will be leaving the organization in such capable hands,” said Hartwig. “I love this organization and this industry and I’m confident that Sean will be a strong, strategic leader for the I.I.I. and a persuasive spokesperson for an industry that I remain fully committed to.”
Hartwig will retain a formal relationship with the organization, periodically writing research reports, delivering presentations and offering testimony to public policymakers on the I.I.I.’s behalf.
Kevelighan will report directly to the I.I.I.’s board of directors; reporting to him will be the Institute’s executive team including the executive vice president, chief economist, chief actuary, and chief communications officer.
“It’s an honor to have been given this opportunity,” said Kevelighan. “Insurance is the lifeblood of any economy, as it enables individuals to be better prepared for the unexpected and, in turn, to live more freely. Over the years I have truly grown passionate about insurance and, quite frankly, feel it deserves more credit for the value it brings to society.”
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