David Hartoch, an executive long active in the wholesale insurance business, passed away on July 29.
Hartoch served as president and CEO of Sherwood Insurance Services from 1991 to 1997 and then served as chairman and CEO of wholesale brokerage Swett & Crawford from 1997 to 2003, after which he served in a consulting role. Swett & Crawford was then the nation’s largest wholesale insurance broker. In 2005, Aon Corp. appointed Hartoch as acting president and chief executive officer of Swett & Crawford. Neal Abernathy succeeded him in 2006 and Hartoch stayed on as chairman.
In 1993, he served as president of the wholesalers’ trade association, the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Officers (now WSIA). In 2003, he was awarded the Vincent Donahue/Charles McAlear Industry Award, NAPSLO’s highest distinction.
He also served on the board of directors of Argonaut Insurance Holdings.
The Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association issued this statement on Hartoch’s passing:
“Many of our industry colleagues remember Dave for his visionary approach to unifying the NAPSLO membership during a time of change for the industry and for the way he embraced new technologies as they were emerging for transactional brokers and MGAs. During his time as NAPSLO President, Dave’s insights regarding the need for designated networking at the NAPSLO Convention led to the formation of the Brokers’ Lounge, which continues to be a cornerstone of today’s WSIA Annual Marketplace. We are all indebted to his efforts on behalf of our industry.”
In an interview with Insurance Journal in July, 2002 as he readied for his retirement, Hartoch reflected on why the surplus lines market is so important.
“I think the innovation of the surplus lines’ arena is the most valuable. You look at some of the products common place today in the standard market, were originated in the surplus lines marketplace. I think you’ll find that to continue,” he said in that interview.
A tribute published by the Los Angeles Times noted that a memorial service honoring his life will be held on Monday, August 5 at 2:00 p.m. at Valley Oaks Mortuary, Westlake Village, Calif. His family suggests memorial contributions to the UCLA Department of Neurology.
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