Best's Review


Executive Changes
American Family Insurance Names CEO-Elect

Also, AIG names CEO of general insurance; Chubb chooses leaders for North America and global underwriting, claims; USAA creates chief brand officer role and Woodrow Cross, founder of Cross Insurance, dies at 103.
  • October 2020
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Bill Westrate

Bill Westrate

Jack Salzwedel

Jack Salzwedel

American Family Insurance Group has named Bill Westrate to succeed Jack Salzwedel as chief executive officer.

Westrate, currently American Family Enterprise president, will transition to CEO-elect in January 2021, and will replace Salzwedel as CEO on Jan. 1, 2022. Salzwedel, who has been with the company for 37 years, has decided to step back to spend more time with his wife and family, but will continue in the role of board chair. The succession plan was initiated by Salzwedel two years ago and developed with the board of directors, according to a company statement.

Salzwedel's time with American Family spans back to his childhood when he helped out at the office of his father, American Family agency owner Tom Salzwedel. He joined American Family in 1983 as a claims adjuster. Two years later, he became an American Family agency owner and over time advanced into sales management.

Westrate has served as president of the American Family enterprise since 2017. Most of his 26-year career in the insurance industry has been at American Family. He joined the company in 1996. He was elected chief operating officer in 2014, a role he filled until becoming enterprise president.

After serving in a variety of executive positions, Salzwedel become CEO and chair in 2011, succeeding David Anderson. During Salzwedel's CEO tenure, American Family increased its investment in its exclusive agency owners through extensive product and technology development, while simultaneously expanding into new geographic markets and distribution channels through acquisitions of three other insurance companies, the company said.

—Staff Report

David McElroy

David McElroy

AIG Names CEO of General Insurance

American International Group Inc. promoted David McElroy to chief executive officer, general insurance and executive vice president, AIG.

McElroy, previously president and CEO of the North American operations of general insurance, transitions to his new role immediately. He will lead the general insurance executive leadership team and join the AIG executive leadership team, reporting to Peter S. Zaffino, AIG's president and global chief operating officer. Zaffino had been CEO of general insurance, a role he maintained after being promoted to president last December.

McElroy joined AIG as president and CEO of Lexington Insurance Company in October 2018 and was promoted to president and CEO of North America, general insurance in June 2019. Before joining AIG, he held numerous leadership roles within the insurance industry, including executive chairman of Arch Insurance Group Inc. and vice chairman of Arch Worldwide Insurance Group.

Eileen Currie

Eileen Currie

Insurtech eMaxx Names CEO for Insurance Operating Companies

EMaxx, a commercial property/casualty insurtech, has named Eileen Currie as president and chief executive officer of eMaxx's insurance operating companies.

In her new role, Currie will lead the insurance operations in underwriting, client services and distribution for its alternative risk captive insurance programs.

Currie's background includes leading a national field and marketing organization; product design and management; building agent/broker relationships; geographical expansion and creating specialized offerings and services. She served in various capacities within Arbella Insurance Group, Crum &Forster, the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., Columbia Insurance Agency Inc., and Cigna.

John Lupica

John Lupica

Paul Krump

Paul Krump

Chubb Taps Leaders for North America and Global Underwriting, Claims

Chubb Ltd. named John Lupica, currently vice chairman of Chubb Group and president, North America major accounts and specialty insurance, as president, North America Insurance. It is the company's largest division.

Lupica was to transition to his new role Sept. 1 and has executive responsibility for all Chubb general insurance business in the United States, Canada and Bermuda including commercial P/C, personal lines, agriculture, and accident-and-health insurance, according to a company statement.

His responsibility will include all products, underwriting, marketing and sales, claims, actuarial and support functions related to these business lines.

Also, Chubb Ltd. named Paul Krump, currently executive vice president of Chubb Group and president, North America commercial and personal insurance, to the newly created role of vice chairman, global underwriting and claims.

Krump also was to transition to his new role on Sept. 1 and will oversee high-level underwriting policy and standards-setting, and provide operational direction and oversight in underwriting across Chubb's property/casualty insurance product lines.

In partnership with the presidents of the company's North American and international P/C operations, Krump will share accountability for underwriting standards and the profitability of the P/C books of business.

Krump will also retain his current senior executive responsibility for global claims and risk engineering for the company.

Tony Wells

Tony Wells

Mayra Rivera

Mayra Rivera

Lindsey O'Neill

Lindsey O'Neill

USAA Names Leader in Newly Created Chief Brand Officer Role, Two Other Promotions

USAA has named Tony Wells to the newly created role of chief brand officer and promoted Mayra Rivera to chief marketing officer. Also, Lindsey O'Neill has been promoted to chief communications officer.

In his new role, Wells will have oversight of several functions, to include marketing, military affairs, corporate communications, brand shared services, diversity and inclusion and corporate responsibility, including the USAA Foundation and the USAA Educational Foundation. Wells has led marketing teams at USAA since 2017.

Rivera has been with USAA for 20 years. She has led creative/campaign development, client management, media, sponsorships, and agency management and has helped to establish USAA's national advertising and sponsorship programs.

O'Neill joined USAA in 2014 and has held various roles within corporate communications and served as chief of staff for USAA's chief executive officer and property/casualty insurance company president. Prior to USAA, she led communications teams at National Instruments.

Vadim Lipovetsky

Vadim Lipovetsky

Assurant Names Chief Investment Officer

Assurant Inc. has named Vadim Lipovetsky as chief investment officer.

In his new role, Lipovetsky will have oversight for asset management functions, including Assurant's outsourced investment managers. He will also lead an internal team, whose responsibilities will include portfolio strategy, investment risk analytics and compliance.

Most recently, Lipovetsky served as senior vice president, head of investment actuarial. Lipovetsky joined Assurant in 2003 as vice president, investment strategy and risk management. Prior to Assurant, Lipovetsky served in several quantitative modeling and analytics roles at Fortis, including assistant vice president, investment actuary. He began his career at MetLife as an actuary.

Noelle Eder

Noelle Eder

Cigna Names Chief Information Officer

Cigna has named Noelle Eder global chief information officer.

Eder was to transition to her role on Sept. 14 and will also serve as a member of the enterprise leadership team. She will lead Cigna's global technology strategy, and oversee the development and delivery of leading-edge capabilities and solutions that enables Cigna to transform the health care experience for those the company serves.

Eder joins Cigna from Hilton Worldwide Holdings, where she served as the company's chief information and digital officer.

Principal Financial Group's Chief Risk Officer to Retire; Successor Announced

Principal Financial Group has named Ken McCullum to succeed Julia Lawler as chief risk officer.

McCullum has assumed the new responsibilities and will fully transition following Lawler's departure in early November. Lawler is retiring after 36 years with the company.

Principal also announced Dwight Soethout, vice president of finance for the Principal General Account, will succeed McCullum as chief actuary for the organization.

McCullum has served as the company's chief actuary the past five years after joining Principal from Delaware Life Insurance Co.

Woodrow Cross

Woodrow Cross

Founder of Cross Insurance Dies at 103

Woodrow Cross, founder of Cross Insurance, died at the age of 103 in Bangor, Maine.

Cross developed his business savvy at an early age. After his father's sudden death during the Great Depression, Cross, then 21 years old, took over the family's country store to help support his mother and younger siblings. In 1945, he was married; several years later, he and his wife decided to sell the family store and move to Bangor.

In 1954, the World War II veteran started a new business selling insurance at his kitchen table and sold his first insurance policy for just $7. He worked from home for the next nine years, until he hired his first employee and moved from his home to an office in downtown Bangor.

He built Cross Insurance into the largest independent insurance agency in New England and one of the largest in the nation. He was also quick to adapt to new technologies and industry automation and relished going to work every day with his sons Royce and the late Brent Cross and grandsons Jonathan and Woodrow II. The family business has now grown to 1,000 employees in over 40 locations across eight states, according to his obituary.

Cross was also predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Janette Bean Cross, who passed in 1992.

Helene Westerlind

Helene Westerlind

Zurich Names CEO for WellCare Business

Zurich Insurance Group has created a WellCare business and has named Helene Westerlind to the newly created position of chief executive officer, Zurich WellCare.

The WellCare business aims to provide retail, small and medium enterprise, and commercial insurance customers with health and wellness solutions tailored specifically to their needs, according to a company statement. In this newly created role, Westerlind will develop and execute the global WellCare strategy and deploy the offering across markets in close alignment with Zurich's country offices.

Westerlind joined Zurich in Stockholm in 2003 and most recently was global head of international programs within Zurich's commercial insurance business.

Pranav Pasricha

Pranav Pasricha

Swiss Re Appoints Global Head of P&C Solutions

Swiss Re has named Pranav Pasricha to succeed Eric Schuh as global head of P&C solutions for the company's global reinsurance business unit.

Pasricha was to transition to his new role on Aug. 3 and replaces Schuh, who is leaving Swiss Re near the end of 2020 to pursue a new challenge outside the group. Pasricha will become a member of the casualty leadership team, based in Armonk, New York.

For the past six years, Pasricha was the chief executive officer of Intellect SEEC, an insurance technology company.

FedNat Holding Co. Names COO

FedNat Holding Co. has named Patrick S. McCahill in the newly created position of chief operating officer.

McCahill will have primary oversight of operations including underwriting, claims and information technology. He most recently served as president of American Platinum Property and Casualty Insurance Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Insurance Holdings Inc. McCahill began his career at Universal with Blue Atlantic Reinsurance Corp. and later served as vice president of product development for Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Co. Previously, he was a reinsurance broker at TigerRisk Partners.

McCahill served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising to the rank of major. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan as a platoon commander, company executive officer, and company commander.

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