Best's Review


Executive Changes
Progressive Insurance Names Former 3M Exec to Succeed Retiring Chief Marketing Officer

Also, Aon appoints a new chief executive officer for its Nordic region and Beazley fills chief underwriting officer role.
  • December 2021
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Remi Kent

Progressive Insurance tapped Remi Kent to succeed Jeff Charney as chief marketing officer.

Kent, who began her new duties Nov. 1, will report to Tricia Griffith, Progressive's president and chief executive officer. She also will serve on the Progressive executive leadership team, according to a company statement.

Charney announced in March his intention to retire after 11 years in the role. At the time, the company put his expected retirement date as January 2022, but said the timing would depend on finding a replacement and ensuring a seamless transition.

During his tenure at Progressive, Charney introduced a variety of humorous campaigns featuring such characters as fictional salesperson Flo, her family, her sidekick Jamie and the rest of the Superstore squad; 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.

Kent comes to Progressive from 3M, where she worked for eight years, most recently as senior vice president and global CMO of the consumer business group. In that capacity, she led e-commerce, media, insights and analytics and integrated marketing globally, according to the company.

Kent joined 3M in 2013 as global brand and strategy leader for the consumer business group before taking on the role of global business director for the Post-It and Scotch brands in 2017.

Before joining 3M, she spent 13 years with Procter & Gamble, according to a company statement.

Bobby Heerasing

Justin Brenden

SiriusPoint Fills New Business Development and Chief Actuary Posts

Bobby Heerasing will join SiriusPoint Ltd.'s senior leadership team in the newly created role of head of international strategic business development, the company said.

Heerasing will be responsible for the strategy and development of SiriusPoint International's growth objectives, managing strategic partnerships with key industry partners and clients and helping to advance the company's position, the company said in a statement.

He has more than 25 years of experience and joins the company from Asia Capital Re Holdings, where he served as group chief executive officer and was a member of the board. In his three years leading ACR, Heerasing was instrumental in improving the financial performance of the company, SiriusPoint said.

Before ACR, he spent 19 years working in the property treaty and casualty treaty reinsurance market at XL Catlin Ltd., serving as underwriting and distribution director, insurance.

In addition, SiriusPoint named Justin Brenden as chief actuary, subject to approval by the Bermuda Department of Immigration.

Brenden will lead the company's actuarial organization, with responsibility for global reserving and aligning pricing to drive to the company's objective of improving underwriting profitability. He will be based in Bermuda, the company said in a statement.

Prior to the merger between Third Point Re and Sirius Group in early 2021, Brenden served as executive vice president, chief reserving actuary at Third Point Re. He joined Third Point Re in its first year of operations and played a significant role in the growth and development of the company. Brenden began his career as an actuarial consultant at Ernst &Young, where he primarily served the reinsurance industry, according to a company statement.

In other company news, Patrick Charles was hired as head of Americas property/casualty insurance.

In his new role, Charles will be responsible for managing and growing the U.S. P/C insurance business, including expansion of key SiriusPoint strategic partnerships and the launch of products and services to support these relationships, according to a company statement.

Charles has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry and joins from Zurich Insurance Group, where he held North American leadership roles in underwriting and strategy for the past 10 years. Before Zurich, he spent time at McKinsey & Co., Alliance Bernstein and the St. Paul Cos. He began his career as an actuary, the company said.

Liam Jones

Mosaic Names Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development

Bermuda-based international specialty insurer Mosaic appointed innovation strategist Liam Jones as senior vice president and head of business development.

Jones, based in London, also will serve as a member of the leadership team and will focus on global product innovation and insurtech strategy. He will work to enhance existing coverage and address emerging exposures through the evolution of new products across the firm's specialty lines.

Jones has 15 years of experience in the global specialty underwriting sector and has worked in the Lloyd's, U.S. and Bermuda markets. Previously, he served as head of underwriting strategy for Liberty Specialty Markets, where he also ran the financial lines, health care and special risks divisions. He is a mentor in the Lloyd's Lab incubator and holds advisory board positions at several insurtech companies, according to the company.

Also based in London will be Adam McGrath, who was named Mosaic's senior vice president, head of international war and terrorism, political violence.

McGrath will be responsible for building out the global book of business, while complementing work by the division's North American team. He also will represent Mosaic as a member of the Lloyd's Market Association panel on political violence, according to a company statement.

McGrath joins the company from Axa XL, where he spent eight years expanding its political violence line, and also worked at Hiscox. Prior to underwriting, McGrath served as a broker for Aon's crisis-management division focused on terrorism, according to the company.

Political violence coverage was the first product line launched globally by Mosaic in March, just a month after setting up with headquarters in Bermuda and Lloyd's of London Syndicate 1609. The company currently writes the business from Bermuda, London, and New York, according to a statement.

Mosaic combines Lloyd's Syndicate 1609 with a wholly-owned syndicated capital management agency, enabling the company to identify, source and underwrite business on behalf of itself, along with other trade-capital partners. Its six lines of business launched to date include transactional liability, cyber, political risk, political violence, financial and professional lines, according to a company statement.

Johan Forsgård

Aon Appoints CEO for Nordic Region

Aon plc has named Johan Forsgård as chief executive officer for Aon's Nordic region.

He will join the firm in the fourth quarter of 2022. Allan Karlsen, chief executive officer for Aon Denmark and Nordic chief operating officer, will continue to lead the region along with the Nordic leadership team for the next year.

In his new role, Forsgård will lead the acceleration of Aon's growth strategy, according to a company statement.

Forsgård joins Aon after 16 years with Willis Towers Watson, most recently leading its Nordic region, in addition to holding the position of chief executive officer for Sweden, according to the company.

Caroline Wagstaff

London Market Group's Interim CEO Takes Up Position Permanently

The board of the London Market Group named Caroline Wagstaff as permanent chief executive officer. Wagstaff has been working in the role on an interim basis for the last six months when she succeeded Clare Lebecq, who left the company.

Wagstaff will be “tackling big issues such as cultural change, climate change and technological change in the London market on behalf of our organization and members,” Matthew Moore, chairman of the LMG, said in a statement.

Wagstaff has more than 20 years of experience in the London Market. She has depth of expertise in crisis communications, but also works with clients to identify issues and messages and then to communicate them consistently across the right channels, LMG said in March.

Wagstaff has spent the past 25 years in the financial and professional services, including commodity trading, spread-betting, accountancy, money broking, legal services and particularly commercial insurance. She spent five years as head of marketing and communications at Lloyd's.

David Ovenden

Axa UK Names Chief Underwriting Officer for Axa Commercial Business

Axa U.K. tapped David Ovenden to succeed David Williams as chief underwriting officer for the Axa commercial business. Ovenden, who joins the company from Willis Towers Watson, will begin his new duties this month.

Williams will leave at the end of the year after 41 years with Axa in a variety of roles and will pursue non-executive opportunities upon his departure, according to a company statement.

Ovenden, who also will join the commercial executive committee, will be responsible for delivering pricing and underwriting programs and further developing the underwriting strength of the commercial business. He will report to Jon Walker, chief executive officer, Axa commercial, the company said.

At Willis Towers Watson, Ovenden successfully led, developed and grew the pricing and underwriting practice over the last few years. Prior to his move into consulting, he worked for both Aviva and RSA, leading underwriting businesses in the U.K., Canada and across Europe, according to the company.

Kate Roy

Canopius Group Appoints Chief Operating Officer, Bolsters Space Team

Canopius Group, a global specialty (re)insurer, hired Kate Roy as chief operating officer. She succeeds Laurie Davison, who left Canopius at the end of October, according to the company

Roy will transition to her new role in early 2022 and will report to Neil Robertson, deputy chief executive officer, the company said.

Roy has worked in broker and carrier organizations as well as an outsource service provider during her 33-year career, the company said. She joins Canopius from Willis Towers Watson, where, since 2015, she has held the role of COO for Great Britain and Willis Ltd. She also previously held senior positions at American International Group Inc. and Capita Insurance Services, according to the company.

In other company news, Canopius appointed Richard Parker as joint head of space alongside Chris Gibbs and Kelly Bromley as underwriting assistants. These appointments make Canopius' space team one of the largest in the market, according to the company.

Parker has more than 34 years of space insurance experience in international markets. Most recently, he was divisional president of Assure Space LLC, an underwriting agency he founded in 2011. He has held senior roles within the space divisions of Partner Re and Axa.

Bromley has 30 years of business management experience, having spent 22 years in the satellite insurance market, primarily focused on treaty management and technical accounting. She joins from Assure Space, of which she was also a founding member, and held the position of reinsurance treaty manager.

Windy Lawrence

Sompo International Names Former Axa XL Executive as General Counsel

Sompo International Holdings Ltd. named Windy Lawrence to succeed John Del Col as general counsel of Sompo International. Lawrence also will serve on the SI executive leadership team.

Del Col is retiring at the end of the year after almost 20 years with the company. Lawrence will be based in the New York office, according to a company statement.

Lawrence joins Sompo International with 20 years of corporate legal experience, most recently as the head of legal, corporate and strategic transactions with Axa XL, where she worked for 17 years, according to her Linked In profile.

David Bruce

Marsh Taps New CEO for Marsh Commercial

Marsh announced that David Bruce will succeed Anthony Gruppo as chief executive officer of Marsh Commercial, subject to regulatory approval.

Bruce, who also will join Marsh's U.K. and Ireland executive committee, will transition to his new role on Jan. 1, 2022. Gruppo will retire from the industry in early 2022.

In his new role, Bruce will oversee Marsh Commercial's U.K.-wide network of 50 offices, and the Enterprise Centres of Excellence, which provide insurance broking, risk management and employee benefits solutions to individuals and businesses, Marsh said in a statement.

Bruce joined Marsh Commercial in 2018 as chief operating officer. He has more than 30 years of experience and has held a number of senior broking and underwriting roles. Before joining Marsh, he served as chief executive of commercial underwriting at Towergate Insurance and also was previously CEO of insurance intermediary Cullum Capital Ventures and director of distribution, partnerships, at Aviva, according to the company.

Christopher Coleman

Aspen Insurance Names Group CFO

Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. appointed Christopher Coleman to succeed Kevin Chidwick as group chief financial officer.

Chidwick is retiring and will leave Aspen at the end of the year, according to the company.

In his new role, Coleman also joined the executive committee.

He most recently was CFO of Third Point Re until its merger with Sirius Group.

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