Best's Review



Executive Changes
Marsh Names Leader to the Newly Created Role of Head of Cyber, International

Also: Geico names successor to retiring CEO as do American Equity and Beta Healthcare Group; Philadelphia Insurance names chairman and president.
  • March 2020
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Sarah Stevens

Sarah Stevens

Marsh has named Sarah Stephens to the newly created role of head of cyber, international. Stephens is responsible for the strategic development and delivery of Marsh JLT Specialty's cyber insurance and placement capabilities across the business's international division, which includes all geographies outside North America. She will also work with Marsh's regional cyberrisk experts to develop integrated risk and advisory services. She will continue to be based in London and will report to Flavio Piccolomini, president of Marsh's International division and Paul Denny, CEO, UK Financial and Professional Practice, Marsh JLT Specialty.

Stephens assumes her new responsibilities in addition to her role as cyber, media and technology leader within the UK FINPRO practice. Before joining JLT in 2015, Stephens spent 12 years with Aon in a variety of senior roles, most recently as head of cyber and commercial errors and omissions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Commenting on the appointment, Piccolomini said: “Sarah is a true innovator and has led the development of many pioneering initiatives in the cyber insurance market. She will play a pivotal role in delivering the next generation of insurance solutions clients need to help mitigate cyberrisk and capitalize on the exciting opportunities new and emerging technologies present.”

—Barbara Edwards

Beta Healthcare Group Names Successor to Retiring CEO

After conducting a nationwide search, Beta Healthcare Group's governing body, the Beta Council, has named Corey Grove, senior vice president of insurance operations, to succeed Tom Wander as chief executive officer.

Grove has been promoted to chief operating officer immediately and will transition to CEO March 31. He will begin working with Wander to ensure a smooth transition to CEO in March. Wander said he will retire May 31, after 27 years as CEO.

Grove joined Beta in 1995 as a professional liability representative in the claims department and then held senior management positions in both marketing and underwriting. In January 2004, he was promoted to vice president of underwriting and client services and in 2018 was named senior vice president of insurance operations at Beta, where he led all aspects of claims, underwriting, marketing and alternative risk and insurance services.

Bob O'Leary

Bob O'Leary

Philadelphia Insurance Names Chairman and President

Philadelphia Insurance Cos. has promoted Bob O'Leary, president and chief executive officer, to succeed Jamie Maguire as chairman.

John Glomb, chief underwriting officer, was tapped to succeed O'Leary as president.

O'Leary has more than 35 years of experience at the company and has held several leadership positions, including chief marketing officer, before becoming president and CEO in 2013.

Glomb joined Philadelphia Insurance in 2007 as senior vice president of the management and professional liability division. He became chief underwriting officer in 2011.

Todd Combs

Todd Combs

Geico Names Successor to Retiring CEO

Geico has named Todd Combs to succeed Bill Roberts as chief executive officer.

Combs transitioned into his new role on Jan. 1 and replaces Roberts, who will retire from Geico in December 2020. Roberts became vice chairman effective Jan. 1.

Roberts began his career at Geico in 1984 as an officer in the marketing department. Over his 35-year career, he has helped lead Geico to become the second-largest automobile insurance company in the United States.

Combs has been an investment manager at Berkshire Hathaway since 2010 and in addition to becoming Geico's CEO, he will continue to manage $14 billion of investments for Berkshire Hathaway. Prior to joining, he worked at Progressive Insurance Co.

Successor Named as American Equity CEO Retires

American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. has named Anant Bhalla chief executive officer effective March 1.

Bhalla was to begin his employment with American Equity on Jan. 27 as president and also be appointed to American Equity's board on that date.

John M. Matovina, who is retiring as CEO effective March 1, and retired as president, effective Jan. 27 remains on the board as nonexecutive chairman.

Bhalla has nearly 20 years of experience in publicly traded companies across insurance, asset management and wealth management sectors. From 2016 to 2019, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Brighthouse Financial Inc. He joined MetLife in 2014 as chief financial officer of retail business. He played a broad role in MetLife's direction of that business and co-led the creation of Brighthouse Financial in 2016. Since leaving Brighthouse in the spring of 2019, Bhalla has been a partner of Bhalla Capital Partners.

Matovina became CEO and president in June 2012 and succeeded American Equity's founder, David J. Noble, as chairman of the board of directors in April 2017. He joined the board of directors in June 2000 and began his employment with the company in June 2003 as vice chairman. He served as chief financial officer and treasurer from January 2009 to June 2012.

Allan Yu

Allan Yu

Tahoe Life Names Chief Executive Officer

Tahoe Life Insurance Co. Ltd. named Allan Yu as chief executive officer.

Yu has more than 45 years of experience in the general and life insurance industry including underwriting, pricing, reinsurance, claims and product development. Previously, he had various senior management roles in international and local insurance companies, including CEO of the Hong Kong branch of a Swiss international insurer. In 2016, he worked for Tahoe Investment Group Co. Ltd. on the acquisition of Dah Sing Life Assurance Co. Ltd. and Dah Sing Insurance Services Ltd.

In 2017, Yu became executive director of Tahoe Life following the completion of the acquisition. In October 2019, he rejoined the company. Past positions included chairman of the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Hong Kong, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers, chairman of the HKFI's General Insurance Council and director of Employees' Compensation Insurance Residual Scheme Bureau Ltd.

Geraldine DelPrete

Geraldine DelPrete

SterlingRisk Promotes Senior Vice President to President of Programs

SterlingRisk, an independently owned insurance brokerage, has promoted Geraldine DelPrete to president of programs.

DelPrete joined SterlingRisk in 2018 as director of programs, senior vice president. She held senior reinsurance and program development positions at some of the world's largest insurance brokers, including Aon Re.

DelPrete began her career at the investment banking firm, J. Henry Schroeder, before launching her reinsurance career at Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC, where she held several positions over a 12-year period. She later joined Aon Re, rising to senior vice president of the catastrophe management group, and after six years joined American Re, where she led national accounts. DelPrete went on to join Willis Re to assist in developing Willis Re's New York team/business unit and became one of Willis Group's leading producers. Prior to joining TigerRisk Partners in 2008, DelPrete was senior executive vice president for Gallagher Re.

Christopher Castaldo

Christopher Castaldo

Christopher Castaldo

Tom Fitzgerald

QBE North America Names Two Executives

QBE North America has named Christopher Castaldo as chief financial officer, subject to the completion of regulatory requirements.

Castaldo will transition into his new role in March and will also serve as a member of the QBE North America executive committee. He will be based in New York and report to Todd Jones, chief executive officer, QBE North America.

Castaldo has almost 20 years of experience in the financial services and property/casualty insurance field. He has been with QBE for eight years, most recently as group head of FP&A, based in Australia. Prior to joining QBE, Castaldo spent five years at American International Group in a series of roles.

Also, QBE North America named Tom Fitzgerald as president, specialty and commercial.

Fitzgerald was to begin his new role in February. One of the largest businesses within QBE North America, the specialty and commercial division consists of commercial property/casualty and specialty products and services.

Fitzgerald has almost 30 years of experience and most recently served as chief executive officer of Aon Risk Solutions' global broking operations. His other roles at Aon included CEO of retail operations, chief broking officer of U.S. commercial risk and president of private risk management. He also led Aon's entry into the technology industry with the creation of the Aon risk solutions technology practice.

Ascot Names Head of Cyber and Commercial E&O

Ascot has named Drew Walter as executive vice president and head of cyber and commercial E&O. Tracy O'Hara, Abigail Oliver, Greg Garijanian, and Ben Mancuso will also join the team.

In his new role, Walter will build a business writing cyber alongside technology, media, and miscellaneous errors and omissions classes. The team will be based in New York.

Walter joins Ascot after almost 10 years with Axis Capital, where he was head of global cyber and technology underwriting delivery.

Hamilton's New US Reinsurance Platform Names Property Reinsurance Head

Hamilton Insurance Group has named Brad Sforza as senior vice president, head of property reinsurance, for its new U.S. reinsurance platform.

Sforza brings 20 years of industry experience to his new position. He joins Hamilton from PartnerRe, where he was vice president, property and multiline treaty. Prior to his role at PartnerRe, he spent over 14 years at Willis Re, most recently as executive vice president with responsibility for client management and business development.

He joins Steve Wilson, head of casualty and specialty insurance, in Hamilton's New York office.

Dennis Levesque

Dennis Levesque

W.R. Berkley Names President of Preferred Employers Insurance

W.R. Berkley Corp. named Dennis J. Levesque to succeed Steven A. Gallacher as president of Preferred Employers Insurance.

Gallacher was appointed chairman of Preferred Employers Insurance. He will be based in Connecticut.

Levesque has more than 30 years of experience in the property/casualty insurance business. He most recently served as the president of the regional insurance segment of Sentry. He also held roles at Liberty Mutual, Golden Eagle and Peerless Insurance.

Gallacher joined Preferred Employers Insurance as president in 2010.

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