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Executive Changes
Houston International Insurance Group Names CEO

Also: Topa names president and CEO, Maryland has new commissioner, Chubb names chief accounting officer and insurance industry loses two former leaders.
  • July 2020
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Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson

The Westaim Corp. and Houston International Insurance Group Ltd. have named Andrew Robinson to succeed Stephen L. Way as chief executive officer of HIIG.

Way, HIIG's founder, resigned as CEO and chairman of the board, but will continue to serve as a director of the company.

Robinson has more than 30 years of experience working globally in the insurance industry and in management and strategic consulting. He was with Hanover Insurance Group for 10 years, most recently as president of specialty insurance, executive vice president of corporate development and chief risk officer, and subsequently at Crawford & Co., where he was global chief operating officer and executive vice president.

While at Hanover, his responsibilities included all aspects of the company's U.S. specialty businesses, including profit and loss and strategic and operational oversight. He also was responsible for acquisitions, divestitures, business integration, and enterprise risk management for the broader enterprise. Prior to his time at Hanover, he was managing partner of global insurance at Diamond (now PwC) Consulting, and most recently as executive in residence and senior adviser at Oak HC/FT.

Westaim describes itself as a Canadian investment company specializing in providing long-term capital to businesses operating primarily within the global financial services industry. HIIG is an insurance holding company formed in 2007. Based in Houston, HIIG has underwriting segments focused on accident and health, commercial, excess and surplus lines, and specialty.

—Staff Report

Sumit Dangi

Sumit Dangi

Jewelers Mutual Group Names Chief Financial Officer-Treasurer

Jewelers Mutual Group has named Sumit Dangi as chief financial officer and treasurer.

Dangi comes to Jewelers Mutual from HSBC Global, where he was senior vice president and CFO. He has led cross-functional teams for more than 20 years in countries spanning Asia, North America and Europe.

Along with his experience, Dangi's family has been in the jewelry business for four generations.

Kathleen A. Birrane

Kathleen A. Birrane

Birrane Succeeds Redmer at Maryland Insurance Administration

Kathleen A. Birrane, a former principal counsel to the Maryland Insurance Administration, has been named the state's insurance commissioner.

She succeeds Al Redmer Jr., Maryland's insurance commissioner since 2015, who stepped down from his position to take over as executive director of the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund.

Birrane has been with the law firm DLA Piper since 2012, where she was a partner in the insurance sector and the litigation and regulatory practice. Her practice is focused on insurance and regulatory matters, including criminal investigations related to insurance.

Her father, Edward Birrane Jr., held the position of Maryland insurance commissioner from 1977-1982.

Redmer served twice as insurance commissioner. He was appointed in 2003 and served until 2005. Gov. Larry Hogan then appointed him commissioner after his election victory in 2014. He was reconfirmed in 2019 for a term that was to have expired in 2022.

David Perez

David Perez

Liberty Mutual Names CUO for Global Risk Solutions

Liberty Mutual Insurance has named David Perez to succeed James Slaughter as chief underwriting officer for global risk solutions.

Slaughter was to leave the company effective June 30. In his new role, Perez will work with underwriting leaders across GRS to drive underwriting strategy and operations.

Perez has been with Liberty Mutual since 2012, most recently as chief underwriting officer for North America. Previous roles included president of Glaucon Risk Group, president and CUO at Torus Insurance and president P/C severity claims at Chartis Insurance.

Fritz Gerber

Fritz Gerber

Fritz Gerber, Former CEO at Zurich Insurance Group, Roche, Dies at 91

Fritz Gerber, honorary chairman and former chief executive officer at Zurich Insurance Group and former CEO and chairman at Roche Holdings, died of a stroke at the age of 91 on May 10.

Born March 22, 1929, in Huttwil, Switzerland, Gerber joined Zurich in 1958. In 1969, he was appointed general manager and was named CEO in 1974, a position he held until 1991. From 1977 until 1995, he served as Zurich's chairman, and had been honorary chairman ever since, according to a Zurich statement.

At Roche, Gerber held a dual role as group CEO (1978-1998) and chairman of the board (1978-2001). He remained closely associated with Roche throughout his life as honorary chairman, according to a Roche statement.

“Fritz Gerber was a remarkable leader and is rightly considered one of the greatest company managers in Switzerland,” said Michel M. Liès, Zurich's chairman, in a statement.

Roche Chairman Christoph Franz in a statement noted Gerber led both Roche and Zurich at the same time for 17 years, “which made him one of the most influential Swiss managers of global stature at the time.” He said Gerber was a member of numerous other boards of directors, including that of IBM.

In June 1995, Gerber retired as chairman at Zurich Insurance Group.

Michael Day

Michael Day

Topa Insurance Names President and CEO

Topa Insurance Group has named Michael Day as permanent president and chief executive officer.

Day has been leading Topa Insurance Group on an interim basis since the end of 2019 when he succeeded John Donahue, who resigned.

Day has more than 35 years of diverse financial and business experience, including 13 years of industry experience. Since 2016, Day has been a member of the Topa Insurance Group board of directors, working closely with the executive team.

Salvatore D. Zaffino

Salvatore D. Zaffino

Former CEO of Guy Carpenter Salvatore D. Zaffino Dies at Age 75

Salvatore D. Zaffino, former chief executive officer of Guy Carpenter, has died.

Born Aug. 11, 1945, Zaffino was appointed chairman of Guy Carpenter in 1999 and retired from the firm in 2007, but remained as a nonexecutive chairman of the firm until 2009 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, according to his obituary.

He served more than 40 years in many senior positions in the insurance and reinsurance industry. Zaffino previously had served as chairman and CEO of Sedgwick Re North America from 1993 to 1998. From 1985 to 1993, he was chairman of Crump Re, an organization he created and continued to manage until its merger with Sedgwick Re. He began his insurance career as an underwriter for American Mutual.

Zaffino also served his country as a sergeant in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged in the late 1960s.

A defining moment of Zaffino's career came on Sept. 11, 2001, during his tenure as CEO of Guy Carpenter, whose world headquarters were located in Two World Trade Center. He led the company through that difficult period and received several awards globally for his personal contribution to restoring operations, according to his obituary.

Zaffino was also a committed philanthropist and was involved in several charities. In particular, he established a foundation benefiting HARC, in Hartford, Connecticut, in honor of his late grandson Alex, his obituary said.

Zaffino is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marion, sons Peter and Jonathan, daughter Jacqueline and 11 grandchildren.

Annmarie Hagan

Annmarie Hagan

Chubb Names Chief Accounting Officer

Chubb Ltd. has named Annmarie Hagan to succeed Paul Medini as vice president of Chubb Group and chief accounting officer.

Medini, who has been with the company for 17 years, is retiring. He has served as chief accounting officer since 2003 and will remain with the company until August.

Hagan has more than 35 years in insurance, accounting and financial management. She has served as global controller of Chubb since 2016. She joined the company's combined insurance business in 2014 as senior vice president in operations and finance.

Earlier in her career, from 1999 to 2001, she also served as a vice president in finance with Chubb.

Prior to rejoining the company in 2014, Hagan served in executive leadership positions, including CFO for Cigna Corp. and chief operating officer and president of the specialty businesses at WellPoint Inc.

Derrick Irby

Derrick Irby

Catalina Holdings Names Group Chief Financial Officer

Catalina Holdings has named Derrick Irby to succeed Chris Fleming as group chief financial officer.

Irby transitioned to his new role on May 1 and replaces Fleming who has been with Catalina since its first acquisition of OPRe in 2005.

Irby will oversee Catalina's Group finance function and will be based in Bermuda. He has 22 years of experience advising and leading the finance activities of insurance and reinsurance companies. His most recent role was head of finance, P/C insurance and reinsurance at Axa XL.

Matthias Grass

Matthias Grass

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Names Chief Financial Officer

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has named Matthias Grass to succeed Martin Mueller as chief financial officer.

Grass transitions to his new role on July 1, subject to approval by the relevant authorities. Mueller had been CFO since November 2017, and has been appointed head global finance transformation for the Swiss Re Group.

Grass joined Swiss Re in 2013 and has served as CFO of group operations and CFO for Swiss Re's service companies. Previously, Grass spent eight years with McKinsey & Co., where he held numerous positions of increasing seniority.

Pacific Life Names Chief Risk Officer

Pacific Life has named Alessandro Papa to succeed John Dieck as chief risk officer.

Papa replaces Dieck, who was appointed to chief financial officer of the life insurance division.

Papa joins Pacific Life from MetLife Inc., where he served as chief of staff to the president and chief executive officer and was responsible for driving major strategic initiatives and managing MetLife's reinvestment fund. Previously, he served as head of insurance and product risk management and as U.S. chief risk officer.

Mary A. Griffin

Mary A. Griffin

Life Insurance Council of New York CEO to Retire in Early 2021

The Life Insurance Council of New York has announced Mary A. Griffin, the group's president and chief executive officer, will be retiring in early 2021.

Griffin joined the association in 2016 after the retirement of former CEO Thomas Workman.

Before joining LICONY as CEO, Griffin was a senior vice president in the state and local government affairs practice at Citigroup, and worked as the chief government affairs representative for New York State for the American Insurance Association. Prior to that, she served for 18 years in New York State government, including nine years at the Department of Insurance, the forerunner to the Department of Financial Services.

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