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Now on to our weekly round-up of the latest announcements, press releases and notices on career and company news of interest to our community…Have an announcement you would like to share? Contact us here.
Kingstone, a property and casualty insurance holding company, announced today the Kingstone Board of Directors accepted the request to retire by Dale Thatcher, for personal reasons. Mr. Barry Goldstein, KINS Executive Chairman and its largest shareholder, agreed to immediately return to the CEO role at the request of the Board. Mr. Goldstein served as the Company’s CEO from 2001 through 2018.
“I’m delighted to reassume the post of CEO of a company I worked so hard to build and that is so dear to my heart. I have one immediate goal. That is, while our growth rate continued in Q2, we must now be laser focused on taking those actions needed to enhance our underwriting profitability and post results more consistent with our long history of excellent returns.
Boston Mutual Life Appoints Marie Loughran Vice President Of Sales Operations
Boston Mutual has announced the appointment of Marie Loughran as Vice President of Sales Operations in its Distribution and Underwriting Strategic Business Center. In her new role, Ms. Loughran will be responsible for overseeing the development, training, and expansion of Boston Mutual Life’s insurance sales support team to assist the company’s growing sales efforts, as well as developing multi-department efforts to meet business and producer needs. Ms. Loughran most recently served as Second Vice President of Sales Operations in the same department, and will continue to serve as part of the life insurance carrier’s Senior Leadership Team.
“With her extensive experience at the company and in our industry, Marie brings key oversight and deep market knowledge to the team,” said Jim Jacobsen, Executive Vice President of Distribution and Underwriting at Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company. “It’s important as we grow to have a strong, strategic leadership structure in place, and with management like Marie, we’ll continue to deliver on our commitments to our producer partners and policyholders.”
Ms. Loughran has worked for Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company for over 30 years. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University.
Risk Strategies Adds Blair Wunderlich to National Fine Art Practice
Risk Strategies, a privately held, rapidly growing national insurance brokerage and risk management firm, today announced it has added Blair Wunderlich as a Senior Account Manager and Producer to its DeWitt Stern national fine art practice.
Previously an account executive at fine art specialty insurance brokerage Aon Huntington T. Block (HTB), Wunderlich comes to the Risk Strategies DeWitt Stern fine art practice with 10 years of experience working with private collectors, galleries and museums. She was recently named to the 2019 Power Broker list by Risk & Insurance, which recognizes insurance brokers who stand out amongst their peers in industry knowledge, problem solving skills and exceptional client service.
“Risk Strategies understands that specialty knowledge is the key to delivering real client value,” said Mary Pontillo, Risk Strategies’ DeWitt Stern National Fine Art Risk Practice Leader. “Blair has exactly the right combination of experience, education and attitude that will ensure great success in the DeWitt Stern fine art practice.”
While at Aon Huntington T. Block, Wunderlich’s business development focused on museums, foundations, corporate collections, galleries and high net worth clients. In addition, she developed new policy coverage targeting younger private collectors and developed a focus on cyber risks and coverage programs.
“I am thrilled to be joining Risk Strategies’ Dewitt Stern fine art practice,” said Wunderlich. “Joining a firm that both understands the client value of true expert specialization and is structured to enable collaboration and initiative is just what I was looking for at this stage in my career.”
Prior to her time at Aon HTB, Wunderlich worked as a fine art specialist in the private client group at insurance brokerage Willis, where she focused on helping high net worth individuals and multi-generational families manage and mitigate risks associated with their fine art, jewelry and wine collections.
Wunderlich is a graduate of St. John’s College in New Mexico with a degree in philosophy and holds a Master of Arts in Old Masters from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London.
The Hartford Names Jonathan Bennett Head Of Group Benefits
The Hartford has appointed Jonathan Bennett to head Group Benefits, effective Aug. 5. He succeeds Mike Concannon, who is retiring after a 24-year career with The Hartford. Bennett will report to The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO Christopher Swift.
“Jonathan is a trusted financial and strategic executive whose extensive knowledge of the company and discerning insight have made him successful in a variety of roles during his 20-plus years with The Hartford,” Swift said. “Jonathan is able to draw from a multi-faceted career that includes head of Personal Lines and Small Commercial, as well as other leadership positions in finance, data and analytics, digital commerce and strategic ventures. We have great confidence in Jonathan and the Group Benefits team, and we look forward to their continued success.”
Swift added, “We thank Mike for his many significant contributions to The Hartford. Under his leadership, Group Benefits has consistently delivered year-over-year earnings growth. Mike led Group Benefits as we successfully acquired Aetna’s U.S. group life and disability business, creating a combined $5.4 billion operation that achieved record core earnings last year.”
Bennett will oversee a business unit that is No. 1 in group disability and No. 4 in group life1. Most recently, Bennett has served as the chief financial officer and head of strategy for both Property & Casualty and Group Benefits for the past seven years. He has held a variety of executive roles in Personal Lines, Commercial Markets, Ventures and Digital Commerce & Customer Analytics. Prior to joining The Hartford in 1999, Bennett held leadership roles in Cigna’s Retirement and Individual Insurance divisions. He also worked at Arthur Andersen LLP as an auditor and consultant. Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Hartford.
Concannon joined The Hartford in 1995 and has held leadership positions across the company, including Personal Lines and Sales & Distribution. As head of Group Benefits, he strengthened the unit’s financial performance to a market-leading position. Concannon has been a driving force behind the company’s long-standing conviction that people should be defined by what they can do versus perceived limitations. This is represented in the company’s involvement in U.S. Paralympics, Ski Spectacular and the Ability Equipped program.
Vermont Mutual Named a Top 50 Insurance Company for Eleventh Year in a Row
Ward Group, an Aon Hewitt company, has again recognized Vermont Mutual Insurance Group® as one of the top 50 property and casualty insurers in the United States. This is the eleventh consecutive year Ward Group has affirmed Vermont Mutual’s place as a “Ward’s 50®” insurer. Every year, Ward Group conducts a comprehensive financial analysis of approximately 3,000 U.S. property and casualty insurers. The “Ward’s 50” identifies the top 50 P&C carriers in the U.S. for their consistency, safety and superior financial performance.
Dan Bridge, Chairman, President & CEO of Vermont Mutual, stated “We are in an industry that continues to evolve and increase in complexity. To excel at the level that places us in the top 2% of insurance companies nationally, and to do so for more than a decade, is an accomplishment we’re very proud of and one that aligns well with what our agency partners and policyholders should expect from an insurance carrier. But we’re not ready to rest on our accomplishments. We remain committed to investing in our business and leveraging opportunities that will allow us to continue to produce best in class results for years to come.”
Vermont Mutual Executive Vice President and COO, Mark McDonnell, added “This recognition by Ward Group could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of the entire Vermont Mutual team and the expert service and support provided by our Independent Agency Partners. It’s thanks to them that we continue to produce the exceptional results that garner recognition like this from Ward Group.”
Every company recognized by Ward Group as a Top 50 Insurer has demonstrated superior performance based on a comprehensive examination of the past five years of operation and passed all safety and consistency screens. This is the 29th year Ward Group has conducted the analysis. As a recipient of the Ward’s 50 designation for eleven consecutive years, Vermont Mutual has again affirmed its position as a leading provider of automobile, homeowner and business insurance in the Northeast, and ranks their performance in the top tier of all companies nationwide since 2009.