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Executive Changes
Allstate Names Successor to Retiring President, Property-Liability

Aon COO moves to chief digital officer role, QBE Re appoints a permanent managing director and MetLife welcomes a new EVP-head of corporate development, M&A.
  • October 2022

Mario Rizzo

Allstate named Mario Rizzo, the company's chief financial officer, to succeed Glenn Shapiro as president, property-liability. Jess Merten succeeds Rizzo as CFO. The appointments were effective Sept. 1, according to the company. Shapiro, who joined Allstate as chief claims officer in 2016 and has held his current position since 2018, announced his decision to retire effective Sept. 30, the company said.

Rizzo became CFO in 2018 and has held many different roles since joining Allstate in 1989, according to the company. Merten joined Allstate in 2012 as CFO, Allstate Financial, and subsequently held the roles of treasurer, chief risk officer and president, Allstate Financial. “Mario's leadership capabilities and breadth of experience during his 33 years at Allstate will ensure that this momentum is maintained. Jess is ideally suited to be the chief financial officer, with success in multiple financial roles and most recently leading Allstate Financial and the divestiture of the life and annuity businesses,” said Tom Wilson, chair, president and CEO of Allstate Corp.

—Staff Report

James Platt

Becky Allison

Aon Taps COO for New Post of Chief Digital Officer

Aon plc said Chief Operating Officer James Platt will move into the newly created role of chief digital officer, overseeing digital client solutions, and Mindy Simon will join the firm as chief operating officer leading Aon Business Services.

Platt will be responsible for accelerating the digital delivery of Aon United capabilities to small business and consumer segments, the company said in a statement. Platt initially joined Aon to lead data and analytics across the firm's commercial risk business, having previously built the big data consulting practice at Boston Consulting Group and consulted with organizations on the role digital strategy plays in growth. Platt is based in London.

Simon will join the firm Oct. 10 from Conagra Brands, where she most recently served as chief information officer and oversaw global business services, information technology and cyber security. Previously, Simon held a variety of roles in finance and information technology with Conagra Brands since joining the company in 2000, according to Aon. Simon is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and will join the Aon executive committee.

In addition, Aon named Becky Allison as chief operating officer of the strategy and technology group in reinsurance solutions. She will join the reinsurance solutions' COO leadership team.

In her newly created role, Allison will be responsible for the day-to-day business operations of the strategy and technology group, including implementing its strategy to bring Aon's solutions to clients, allowing them to optimize value through more resilient enterprise structures. She will be based in London, according to a company statement.

Allison joins from WTW, where she was chief operating officer of its Europe, Middle East and Africa insurance consulting and technology business. Previously, Allison held roles as senior project leader at M&G Prudential and actuarial consulting manager at Deloitte, the company said.

Chris Killourhy

QBE Re Hires Permanent Managing Director

QBE appointed Chris Killourhy to succeed Peter Wilkins, interim managing director, as permanent managing director QBE Re, subject to regulatory approval.

Killourhy, formerly chief financial officer, QBE International, transitioned to his new role on Sept. 1. Wilkins held the role on an interim basis. He was named chief underwriting officer of QBE Re in May 2022, according to a company statement.

Killourhy has worked for international (re)insurance and consulting companies across the globe. He also spent time with the Bermuda Monetary Authority, where his responsibilities included the supervision of reinsurer capital and catastrophe models. He joined QBE in June 2015 and has held a number of roles, including chief actuarial officer and CFO for QBE's Australia Pacific division, before returning to the United Kingdom in 2020 to take up the role of CFO for QBE International, the company said.

Adora Whitaker

MetLife Appoints EVP-Head of Corporate Development, M&A

MetLife Inc. named Adora Whitaker to succeed John Hall as executive vice president and head of corporate development, mergers &acquisitions, effective Oct. 17. Hall, head of investor relations and treasury, had filled the role on an interim basis.

Whitaker will lead a team focused on identifying strategic transactions that will be accretive to MetLife's businesses and financial performance, the company said in a statement.

Whitaker joins MetLife from PJT Partners, where she was a partner in the firm's strategic advisory group. In this role, Whitaker provided solutions to insurance companies across M&A and capital structure advisory. Previously, Whitaker was a managing director in the investment banking division of Deutsche Bank. She also served on the board of directors of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Piotr Nowakowski

Peak Re Names Chief Underwriting Officer

Peak Reinsurance Co. Ltd., a Hong Kong-based global reinsurer, named Piotr Nowakowski as chief underwriting officer.

In his new role, Nowakowski, formerly director, head of product underwriting for the property/casualty business, will continue to be based in Hong Kong. He will lead the property/casualty business team with a focus on underwriting expertise, portfolio management and solution development, according to a company statement.

Nowakowski joined Peak Re in January from Echo Re Switzerland, where he served as chief underwriting officer for almost 10 years, the company said.

Michele Golunska

Aviva Names Managing Director of Wealth and Advice

Aviva named Michele Golunska to succeed Rob Barker as managing director of wealth and advice, subject to regulatory approval.

Barker left the company to pursue other opportunities. Golunska will have responsibility for Aviva's intermediary platform business, the workplace business, heritage customer solutions and Aviva's advice operations comprising of succession wealth, Aviva Financial Advisers and Sesame Bankhall Group, according to a company statement.

Golunska was formerly chief executive officer of Sesame Bankhall Group, according to the company. She previously was operations director, workplace savings and retirement for Aviva. Golunska joined the company in 2015 from Friends of Life UK, where she was operations director, retirement services and direct to customer channel director. She has also worked for JLT Employee Benefits, Paternoster and Prudential Assurance according to her LinkedIn profile.

Following her appointment, Ross Liston, Sesame Bankhall Group managing director, distribution, will take over as interim CEO of Sesame Bankhall Group, subject to regulatory approval, the company said.

Aviva is also appointing a managing director of direct wealth, to build on its existing direct operations, which comprise its direct-to-customer platform business and Wealthify. This will reinforce Aviva's ability to offer solutions to customers whether they wish to take financial advice or deal directly. Sarah Layden, interim direct wealth director, will lead the team on an interim basis, according to a company statement.

Jim Young

Commercial Insurtech Coalition Appoints First CFO

Commercial insurtech Coalition named Jim Young as chief financial officer, John Littzi as general counsel and Julie Richardson as a board member.

Young is Coalition's first CFO and he will have a critical role in scaling the firm's business and financial operations, the company said in a statement.

Young has over 20 years of experience leading global finance companies and public and private technology companies. He served as CFO at Broadridge. Prior to that, Young served in senior finance roles at Visa Inc., including senior vice president of finance, and played a lead role in Visa's $19 billion initial public offering. Most recently, he served as CFO of ag-tech company Indigo Ag, according to a company statement.

In his new role, Littzi will be responsible for the firm's global legal affairs and serves as principal counsel to Joshua Motta, the company's founder and chief executive officer, as well as its senior management team and board of directors. Littzi joins Coalition after serving as sole deputy GC of W. R. Berkley Corp. Littzi began his career as an associate in the mergers and acquisitions and financial institutions groups at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP in New York, the company said.

Richardson has over 25 years of experience on Wall Street in investment banking and private equity roles. She currently serves on the boards of UBS, Datadog and YEXT. She also recently served on the board of Hartford Financial from 2014 to 2020 and chaired the company's audit committee for three years, according to a company statement.

John Button

HDI Global Specialty SE Names Head of Global Distribution and Business Development for Global Operations

HDI Global Specialty SE appointed John Button to succeed Alan Waters as head of global distribution and business development for its global operations, effective immediately.

Waters, who held the position for more than three years, left the company by mutual agreement in June. Button previously reported to Waters and now will report to Richard Taylor, a member of the executive board and chief marketing officer, according to the company.

Button has been with HDI Global SE for eight years and has held the position of strategic relationship manager at HDI Global Specialty for the past three years. The role will work alongside parent company HDI Global SE to align its distribution strategy as one face to HDI's broker partners, according to a company statement.

Button joined the company from Arthur J. Gallagher, where he worked for more than seven years as a financial analyst, management accountant and business partner. Prior to that, he was a management accountant at Marsh for three years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Stephen Moss

Zurich Names Group Head of Financial Lines and Cyber

Zurich Insurance Group named Stephen Moss as group head of financial lines and cyber, and Andreas Schmitt as group cyber underwriting manager.

Both appointments to the group underwriting function were effective Sept. 1.

Moss will be responsible for professional indemnity, directors and officers, financial institutions, mergers and acquisitions, cyber and legal indemnities. He will continue to be based in the United Kingdom, the company said.

Moss joined Zurich in 2017 as head of specialties, United Kingdom, and has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. Throughout his career, Moss has held various senior underwriting and broking roles, including casualty portfolio underwriting director, and underwriting director for financial risks, according to a company statement.

Moss joined Zurich from Britt Insurance, where he worked for more than 12 years, lastly as underwriting director. He also held roles at HSBC and American International Group Inc., according to his LinkedIn profile.

In his new role, Schmitt will work closely with Zurich's country offices worldwide to ensure a consistent and enhanced cyber underwriting approach and provide product expertise and counsel to optimize underwriting performance. He will be based in Switzerland, according to the company.

Schmitt joins Zurich from Munich Re, where he was head of cyber, Asia. Schmitt has spent his entire career in insurance and reinsurance and brings more than 30 years of underwriting experience to the role, having worked and led diverse teams on all continents, the company said.

Jessica Snyder

Argo Group International Appoints Former GuideOne Exec as President, US Insurance

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. hired Jessica Snyder to serve as president, U.S. insurance.

Snyder has almost 30 years of industry experience and joins Argo from GuideOne Insurance, where she most recently served as its president and chief executive officer from 2017 through 2022. During her time at GuideOne, Snyder led the company's restructuring to a mutual holding company, expanded its niche commercial and excess and surplus insurance product lines, reconfigured its reinsurance program, and strengthened the leadership team and board with experienced executives, according to a company statement.

Prior to GuideOne, Snyder held multiple leadership positions in the property/casualty industry. She served as senior vice president of commercial and specialty lines at State Auto Insurance. She also served as senior vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Rockhill Insurance Group, and as CFO at Citizens Property Insurance, according to the company.

Adrian Poxon

Scor Names Successor to Retiring Chief Underwriting Officer of Aviation

Scor named Adrian Poxon to succeed Andrea Sommerlad as chief underwriting officer aviation.

As of Sept. 1, the aviation team is led by Poxon, who takes on this role in addition to his existing duties as CUO of global specialty lines for marine and energy, engineering, aviation and space, the company said in a statement.

Sommerlad, who retired after 25 years with the company, led the team through events such as 9/11, the Boeing 737 Max incidents, COVID-19 and most recently the Russia/Ukraine/Belarus crisis, according to a company statement.

Poxon spent the first half of his career in the London market, starting out in aviation insurance before changing direction to marine when he moved from the company market into Lloyd's. He joined Scor in January 2022 as chief underwriting officer of the global specialty lines for marine & energy, engineering, aviation and space, the company said.

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