10 People on the Move

The hiring of six attorneys practicing in the financial institutions and insurance space, in addition to announcements from RT Specialty, are among recent insurance industry hiring and promotion announcements.
By: | April 21, 2023

Norton Rose Fulbright Adds Six Partners

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has added six partners to its U.S. teams to boost its expertise in two of the firm’s key sectors: financial institutions (including insurance) and technology.

The new team includes a four-partner transactional and regulatory insurance group consisting of Kevin Fischer, Bruce Baty, Jodi Adolf and Michael Schwartz who will be based in Norton Rose Fulbright’s St. Louis office, and a two-partner technology transactions team based in Atlanta, consisting of Sean Christy and Chuck Hollis.

These arrivals will strengthen the firm’s global insurance practice in the U.S. and also continue the firm’s expansion in the Midwest.

Norton Rose Fulbright has more than doubled its Midwest presence by lawyer headcount over the last year, including the opening of a Chicago office, which now has 24 lawyers, and the onboarding of an 11-lawyer trial team in Minneapolis.

This new group will help grow Norton Rose Fulbright’s practices in the U.S., in line with the firm’s strategic priorities.

Sean Christy, Sean Christy, partner technology transactions, Norton Rose Fulbright

Jodi Adolf, partner, Norton, Rose, Fulbright

The six-partner team will bring expertise in insurance transactional and regulatory work, M&A and private equity, technology transactions and outsourcing.

Ryan Specialty Announces Two Promotions

Ryan Specialty Holdings has promoted Brenda Austenfeld and Chris Houska to CEO and president of their respective RT Specialty practices.

Brenda Austenfeld
CEO and President
RT Specialty National Property Practice

Brenda Austenfeld, previously president of RT Specialty’s national property practice, joined RT Specialty in 2013 and has helped to escalate RT Property’s success to be a leader within the property arena.

Chris Houska, previously CEO and president of RT Specialty’s national casualty practice, joined RT Specialty as part of the founding group in 2010 and has led RT Specialty’s casualty practice to become a prominent casualty team in the industry.

Tim Turner, Chairman & CEO of RT Specialty and president of Ryan Specialty, praised Brenda and Chris’s leadership skills, business acumen, and ability to grow their respective practices.

Brenda’s promotion to CEO in addition to being president acknowledges her role in RT Specialty’s exponential growth, while Chris’s promotion recognizes his deep relationships within the industry and his instrumental role in cultivating acquisitions and growing the casualty practice.

Falcon Risk MGA Adds Two New Senior Execs

Falcon Risk Holdings LLC (Falcon), the U.S. financial, professional, and cyber lines MGA has announced two senior appointments to its team.

Bruce Simmons joins as vice president of miscellaneous professional liability, and Mike Sacco joins as senior vice president of architects and engineers and west region leader.

Bruce Simmons, vice president of miscellaneous professional liability, Falcon Risk Holdings LLC

Bruce Simmons joins Falcon to serve as vice president of miscellaneous professional liability. He brings more than thirty years of insurance industry experience and has extensive knowledge underwriting in the professional liability space. He was previously at Nexus Group serving as vice president of MPL. Prior to Nexus, Bruce was CUO of ZONRe where he developed P&C product verticals on a digital platform.

Along with building out Falcon’s A&E practice, Mike Sacco will serve as Falcon’s senior underwriting representative for western region brokers. He has more than 12 years of underwriting experience and specializes in professional liability.  Mike joins Falcon from Verus Specialty Insurance (a Berkley Company) where he was vice president, professional liability. Mike has experience in multiple lines including A&E, MPL, LPL and cyber.

EVP of cyber and professional liability, John Merchant commented: “We’re very excited to welcome professionals of such caliber and experience. Both Bruce and Mike bring a high level of product and market knowledge to the Falcon team.  I’m looking forward to growing Falcon’s portfolio in the MPL and A&E segments with them leading the way.” &


Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].

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