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AM BEST'S MONTHLY INSURANCE MAGAZINE



Executive Changes
Progressive Chief Marketing Officer, Responsible for Flo/Superstore and Dr. Rick Campaigns, to Retire

Jeff Charney, slated to leave in 2022, created an award-winning internal creative shop during his tenure. Also, at Beazley plc Adrian Cox succeeds CEO Andrew Horton, who is headed to QBE, and Ryan Specialty Group expands leadership team.
  • May 2021
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Jeff Charney

Jeff Charney

Progressive Insurance Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Charney, responsible for campaigns featuring Flo, Dr. Rick and other iconic characters, plans to retire in 2022.

Charney's retirement was announced early to allow time for an external search for his successor. He has been CMO since 2010 and is expected to retire in January 2022, but that will depend on finding his replacement and ensuring a seamless transition, according to a company statement.

In the past 10 years Charney's campaigns have included Flo/Superstore, parenta-life coach Dr. Rick, half-man-half-motorcycle Motaur, stadium-dwelling Baker Mayfield, bumbling NFL line markers Mark &Marcus, Baby-man, Sign Spinner, and parent-leeching Rebel, according to the company.

Charney built a marketing team by combining external and internal agencies, the company said. This content pipeline feeds the company's media budget, which has more than quadrupled since Charney's arrival to become the No. 3 spender in the country. His team's marketing efforts helped the company achieve eight consecutive years of sales and prospect growth in the hypercompetitive insurance marketing category, according to Progressive.

Charney also pioneered “in-housing” creative work by establishing an award-winning internal creative shop, Ninety6, which provides the company with an efficient, speed-to-market creative alternative—lessening its reliance on outside creative agencies. When Ninety6 launched in 2011, in-house agencies were considered a rarity among large brands. Now, the in-house model is increasingly being replicated and adopted, the company said.

Before joining Progressive, Charney served as CMO at insurer Aflac, retailer QVC, and real estate aggregator Homestore.com (now Move.com), according to the company.

—Staff Report


Jasmine Jirele

Jasmine Jirele

Allianz Life Names Successor to Retiring CEO

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has named Jasmine Jirele to succeed Walter White as president and chief executive officer.

Jirele will transition to her new role on Sept. 1, subject to independent auditor and standard regulatory filings.

White will step down from the role on Sept. 1 and will retire on Dec. 31. After his retirement, White will be nominated to serve as an independent director on the company's board of directors, according to a statement.

Jirele has leadership experience in strategy, product innovation, marketing, operations, and digital and experience management. She has served as Allianz Life's chief growth officer since 2018, responsible for defining the company's growth strategy including its expansion into new markets, and leading product innovation, marketing, communications, Allianz Ventures and enterprise agile, according to the company.

Prior to re-joining Allianz Life in 2018, Jirele was an executive vice president within Wells Fargo's consumer bank division, and was previously a senior vice president in Wells Fargo's wealth and investment management division. She also held various leadership roles in marketing, product innovation and operations at Allianz Life.

Brian Boornazian

Brian Boornazian

New Leadership Team Named at Ryan Re Underwriting Managers

Brian Boornazian has been named executive chairman, and Emil Issavi has been named chief executive officer and president, of Ryan Re Underwriting Managers LLC, a subsidiary of RSG founded in 2019.

The moves are part of a new leadership structure announced by Ryan Specialty Group.

Boornazian and Issavi will be actively engaged in all aspects of Ryan Re's management, underwriting and business development, according to a company statement.

Boornazian has been in the reinsurance business since 1982, with prior experience at Gen Re, Guy Carpenter, Cologne Re, NAC Re, XL Re and, most recently, Aspen Re. He was the founding president and CEO of Ryan Re upon its formation in 2019.

Issavi joined Ryan Re in 2019 as a senior executive and previously was president, chief underwriting officer and managing director of the Americas, Aspen Re, where he worked for 12 years. He has more than 25 years in the reinsurance business.

Ryan Re also appointed Steve Capodanno as chief operating officer. Capodanno will retain his responsibilities as head of claims in addition to his new role.

Will Fuller

Will Fuller

Aegon Names President-CEO of Transamerica

Aegon has named Will Fuller to succeed Mark Mullin as president and chief executive officer of Transamerica.

Mullin will succeed Don Shepard, who retired, as chairman of the Transamerica board of directors. Mullin has worked for Aegon/Transamerica for 33 years and served as president and CEO since 2009, according to a company statement.

Fuller also will join the management board of Aegon N.V. Formerly executive vice president of Lincoln Group, Fuller has worked for almost 30 years in insurance, annuities, retirement plans and wealth management, leading Lincoln's strategic shifts on product and the growth and diversification of distribution sources.

Amy Barnes

Amy Barnes

Marsh Names Leader for Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy

Marsh has named Amy Barnes head of sustainability and climate change strategy.

Barnes transitioned to the newly created role last month and will relocate later this year from Houston to London. She will be responsible for leading Marsh's global strategy on climate and sustainability-related initiatives for clients, particularly in relation to the impact of a changing physical risk landscape, improving access to capital for green initiatives, and a more thorough understanding of climate-related project risk. She also will participate in Marsh McLennan's sustainability and climate change program, according to a company statement.

Barnes most recently was U.S. and Canada energy and power leader within Marsh JLT Specialty, assisting clients across a range of risk and insurance issues, particularly in relation to the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. She joined Marsh in 2001 as an environmental consultant and has held a number of senior international insurance and risk advisory positions over the past 20 years in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Kent Chaplin

Kent Chaplin

Delta Insurance Group Names Chief Operating Officer

Delta Insurance Group, an underwriting agency, has expanded its management team and named Kent Chaplin chief operating officer to support its global growth plans.

Currently an advisory board member, Chaplin was the chief executive officer and regional head for Lloyd's in Asia-Pacific. He brings a familiarity with the global insurance world and culture, including regulatory, technical and claims knowledge, from his time with Lloyd's, according to a company statement. Chaplin joined Delta in 2019 as an adviser to the board.

The decision to appoint a COO came from Delta's strategic planning sessions in late 2020 as the company looked at the long-term future of the business and the insurance industry.

Joseph Brandon

Joseph Brandon

Alleghany Corp. Starts Succession Plan for Retiring CEO

Alleghany Corp. has named Joseph Brandon to succeed Weston M. Hicks as president and chief executive officer.

Hicks has announced his decision to retire as CEO at the end of 2021 after almost 19 years at the company, the past 17 as CEO, according to a company statement.

Kerry J. Jacobs will succeed Brandon as executive vice president of Alleghany, and she will continue as chief financial officer until her successor is named.

Brandon transitioned to president in April, and he will become CEO at year-end 2021. He also will be appointed to the board of directors at the end of 2021. He joined the company in 2012 as executive vice president and has worked closely with Hicks overseeing Alleghany's insurance and reinsurance operations and corporate strategy matters.

Jacobs joined Alleghany in 2014 as vice president, finance.

Adrian Cox

Adrian Cox

Successor Named as Beazley's CEO Makes Move to QBE

Beazley plc has named Adrian Cox to succeed Andrew Horton as chief executive officer.

Horton, who had been CEO since 2008, is expected to start his new position as CEO of QBE Insurance Group Ltd. in Australia, on Sept. 1.

Cox, who transitioned to his new role in April, has been with Beazley for 20 years, most recently as chief underwriting officer, and has more than 25 years of industry experience. He has been a member of the Beazley plc board since 2010, the company said.

Bethany Greenwood will be the interim CUO of long-tail underwriting (cyber and executive risk and specialty lines), and Tim Turner will be the interim CUO of short-tail underwriting (marine, market facilities, political, accident and contingency, property and treaty). These responsibilities will be in addition to their current roles, while the company conducts the process to appoint a new CUO, according to a company statement.

Mike Sapnar

Mike Sapnar

Ken Brandt

Ken Brandt

TransRe President-CEO to Leave Company

TransRe President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Sapnar has announced he will be stepping down from his positions to pursue other opportunities.

Ken Brandt, TransRe's co-president of Global Underwriting, will succeed Sapnar, the company said.

Brandt has been a member of TransRe's senior leadership team since 2006 and will continue to serve on its board of directors. In addition, Paul Bonny, who is also co-president of Global Underwriting, has been named executive vice chairman.

Brandt has served as co-president of Global Underwriting and as president of the Americas, overseeing all of TransRe's U.S, Canada, Bermuda, Latin America and Caribbean teams. Prior to joining TransRe in 2006, Brandt was with Employers Reinsurance Corp., serving in a number of leadership roles, it said.

Timothy Turner

Timothy Turner

Ryan Specialty Group Announces Expanded and Revised Leadership Team

Timothy Turner, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryan Turner Specialty since its 2010 inception, has been named president of Ryan Specialty Group in addition to his current responsibilities.

The move is part of an expanded and revised leadership team announced by Ryan Specialty.

Jeremiah R. Bickham, currently global treasurer and head of corporate development, will succeed Diane M. Aigotti as chief financial officer. Aigotti has announced her decision to retire from RSG after 11 years, according to a company statement.

Michael T. VanAcker will become chief operating officer of RSG. He has been the COO of RT Specialty and joined RSG in 2011. Janice M. Hamilton will become chief accounting officer of RSG. She has been controller of RSG since 2018 and will retain these responsibilities going forward.

Mark C. Melander will become chief administrative officer, business services of RSG. Prior to joining RSG in September 2020 with the acquisition of All Risks, Melander was the chief administrative officer of All Risks Ltd.

Noah S. Angeletti will become treasurer of RSG. He has been vice president of treasury and corporate development for RSG and has been with the company since 2014, according to the company.

Bradley London

Bradley London

Berkley Agribusiness Names President

W.R. Berkley Corp. has named Bradley London to succeed Michael Ekiss as president of Berkley Agribusiness.

Ekiss will continue to work on special projects and initiatives throughout the organization, according to a company statement.

London has nearly 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, with a particular focus on underwriting for agricultural businesses. Most recently, he served as senior vice president and chief underwriting officer for Berkley Agribusiness. Prior to joining the company in 2009, he served in leadership roles for the agriculture practice at a number of U.S. insurers, the company said.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ascot Promotes Chief Underwriting Officer to Bermuda CEO

Ascot has promoted Ian Thompson, currently executive vice president and chief underwriting officer, to succeed John Berger as chief executive officer, Bermuda, pending regulatory and immigration approval.

Thompson will assume leadership of Ascot's multifaceted Bermuda business, which includes specialty insurance, reinsurance and alternative capital capabilities underwritten from the group's Bermudian platform. Berger was to retire after three years helping to establish a presence in Bermuda. He will continue to advise and consult for Ascot, according to a company statement.

Thompson joined Ascot in 2017 as head of casualty and specialty, before being promoted in 2020 to his current role as EVP and CUO, casualty and specialty. He joined Ascot after almost 10 years at Hiscox Re as head of casualty and specialty. Thompson also worked at Catlin, heading the health care and professional lines practice in London.

Sierra Signorelli

Sierra Signorelli

Zurich Insurance Names Group Chief Underwriting Officer

Zurich Insurance Group has named Sierra Signorelli, currently group chief underwriting officer, to succeed James Shea as chief executive officer for commercial insurance and as a member of the executive committee, subject to regulatory approval.

Shea, who will be leaving Zurich, joined the company in September 2016 when the group combined its corporate and commercial businesses into a single global business unit, according to a company statement.

Signorelli joined Zurich in July 2017 and has extensive experience in the insurance industry, having held senior leadership positions in the United States, Asia and Switzerland.

Manuel Moreno

Manuel Moreno

Liberty Specialty Markets Names CUO and COO for US and Latin America

Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has named Manuel Moreno to succeed Ronald Bolaños as chief underwriting officer for the United States and Latin America, and Heath Merrill to succeed Thais Kirchner, who retired, as chief operating officer for those regions.

Moreno, based in Miami, is responsible for developing LSM's position in Latin America while overseeing the regional portfolio. Merrill, based in Boston, is responsible for delivering the operational strategy to meet the business' strategic objectives and will manage operations, claims, information technology, risk and compliance, marketing and communications.


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