11 People on the Move

A 2019 Fine Arts Power Broker® has accepted a new role, RiskFirst continues its rapid growth, four members of the Geneva Council are announced and more in this edition of People on the Move.
By: | August 1, 2019

2019 Power Broker Winner Joins Risk Strategies

Blair Wunderlich, a former Aon Huntington T. Block fine arts insurance broker, has been appointed senior account manager and producer for national fine art practice DeWitt Stern, A Risk Strategies Company.

She was also named 2019 Risk & Insurance® Power Broker® in the Fine Arts category.

Wunderlich’s practice is focused mainly on museums, foundations, corporate collections, galleries and high net worth clients.

Blair Wunderlich, senior account manager and producer, DeWitt Stern, A Risk Strategies Company

“Risk Strategies understands that specialty knowledge is the key to delivering real client value,” said DeWitt Stern national fine art risk practice leader Mary Pontillo, also a multiple Power Broker winner.

“Blair has exactly the right combination of experience, education and attitude that will ensure great success in the DeWitt Stern fine art practice.”

“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.”

Applications for the next round of Power Broker awards are due by mid-October.

Olympus Acquires New Vice President of Marketing and Sales

Olympus Insurance Company, a Florida-based property and casualty insurer, named Jim Carpenter assistant vice president of marketing and sales.

When he was first emerging in the industry, Carpenter worked as an underwriter. “When I graduated, I was offered an underwriter position at Tower Hill Insurance in Gainesville, Florida or a job as a manager trainee with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I chose insurance and never looked back.”

He eventually spent two years working as an underwriting manager for Vanguard, before switching to the sales side. “I enjoyed underwriting, but I really liked sales because I enjoy talking to people and learning about them,” said Carpenter.

“We’re pleased and excited to have Jim Carpenter join the team,” said Olympus vice president Crystal McInnis. “Jim has over two decades of experience in the Florida insurance market, both in underwriting and marketing, and brings valuable perspective to the role of Assistant VP.”

Olympus insures $40 billion worth of residential and investment properties.

Holmes Murphy Appoints Regional Vice President of Business Development 

Holmes Murphy welcomes a new executive with extensive industry expertise.

Don Harrison has been chosen as vice president of business development for South and Central Texas. In his role, Harrison will lead business development and client relationship services.

Travis Brashear, vice president, South and Central Texas market leader, expressed his excitement in working with Harrison for a second time in both of their careers.

Don Harrison, vice president of business development for South and Central Texas, Holmes Murphy

“After spending nearly a decade working with Don in the past, I’m thrilled to get another opportunity to join forces. With the goal of building the most talented brokerage and consulting team in the industry, there is no better leader than Don,” Brashear said.

“He has built his career on finding solutions based on the needs of his clients and understanding the challenges of HR and risk leaders in our community, as well as attracting the right talent to deliver for clients.”

Harrison has spent the entirety of his career in Houston. He has over 25 years of relevant experience in health care, technology and other consulting services.

“I have spent my entire career in the city of Houston and in the area of HR services. I grew up in Houston and have watched the careers of many talented people blossom into very successful leaders. In addition, I feel emotionally attached to the city, the companies that call Houston home, and the people working here,” said Harrison.

“I wanted to find an organization that shares my attachment to the city and wants to see the people and the organizations here grow successfully. I found those genuine beliefs in Holmes Murphy and am excited to be a part of this organization.”

Prior to joining Holmes Murphy, Harrison grew Houston Willis Towers Watson, into one of the region’s largest consulting practices.

In this role, Harrison was responsible for providing leadership, financial management, development of client and marketing strategies, and hiring.

Brett Flagg Named to Texas Mutual Insurance Board of Directors

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott appointed Brett Flagg to the Texas Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors, which became effective July 1. His term will expire on July 1, 2025.

Flagg has extensive experience in law and as a director. He is an attorney and owner of his own firm, Flagg Law Group, PC. He is also a State Bar of Texas member.

Flagg is a member and former board of directors member of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, member of the e3 Partners Ministry Board of Directors, and member of the Stonebriar Community Church Board of Elders. He is a former member of the Trinity Christian Academy Board of Trustees and the Baptist Church Loan Corporation Board of Directors.

Governor Abbot appoints five out of the nine members to Texas’ Mutual Board from multiple regions and industries across the state. Policyholders appoint the remaining members.

RiskFirst Expands Already Growing Portfolio With Hiring of Torgeir Helgevold 

As it continue its U.S. Expansion, RiskFirst, the financial technology company, appointed Torgeir “Tor” Helgevold as principal technical architect.

Helgevold will head RiskFirst’s new software development office in New York City. The team will focus on product innovation as well as introducing technology to benefit the company’s asset managers.

Torgeir “Tor” Helgevold, principal technical architect, RiskFirst

“We are committed to growing our capabilities and providing exceptional service to our valued clients in the US; delivering innovative solutions that meet their evolving needs. By hiring experienced, quality individuals such as Tor, we can build upon our existing offerings and continue to deliver real added value to our clients,” said Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst.

With over 10 years of experience, Helgevold has worked as a software engineer and consultant across multiple firms in the U.S.

He has a background in technology development, helping him identify the needs of the industry and bring expansive insight.

“Our client base continues to expand in the U.S.,” said CTO Nick Francis. “By forming an engineering team with local market knowledge that is focused on innovation and building out functionality for our US clients, we are reaffirming our dedication to addressing their needs and providing them with best-in-class support.”

RiskFirst provides technological solutions to asset owners, consultants and investment managers to improve and protect their quality of business.

Western Security Surplus Appoints Leaders of New Workers’ Compensation Division

Following the addition of a new Workers’ Compensation Division, ​Western Security Surplus (WSS), part of the specialty insurance distribution company XPT Group, announced the hiring of two industry veterans: Dan Rieden and Matt Rieden.

Dan will serve as executive vice president and practice leader of the new division, while Matt will be appointed to Senior Underwriter for workers’ compensation niches.

“The strength of their experience and determination to achieve strategic growth objectives align perfectly with our vision,” stated XPT CEO Tom Ruggieri in support of their hiring.

“Dan and Matt’s depth of knowledge and involvement in the workers’ compensation sector make them the ideal team to lead this new division.”

Dan has focused his 30-plus year career on the development of workers’ compensation underwriting platforms. His teams have generated more than $250 million in written premiums for small and medium sized businesses.

Matt also has an extensive background in the workers’ compensation division. His primary focus has been on specialty classes of business in that of franchised auto dealerships in the western United States.

“With over 45 years combined workers’ compensation experience, we are confident in their abilities to develop this business segment for WSS and achieve our goal of delivering the best products and services possible,” said WSS CEO Kyle Stevens.

Western Security Surplus Headquarters is located in Plano, Texas with additional offices in California.

Geneva Association Appoints Four New Board Members

Yuansiong Lee, co-CEO, Ping An Insurance Company of China

Charles F. Lowrey, CEO, Prudential Financial

Jianmin Miao, chairman, The People’s Insurance Company of China

Maurice Tulloch, CEO, Aviva

The Geneva Association, a global organization of industry chief executive officers, has announced the appointment of four new board members.

The elected members include: Yuansiong Lee, co-CEO, Ping An Insurance Company of China; Charles F. Lowrey, CEO, Prudential Financial; Jianmin Miao, chairman, The People’s Insurance Company of China; and Maurice Tulloch, CEO, Aviva.

The members were selected at the Geneva Association’s 46th Assembly in Buenos Aries, Brazil, on May 30, 2019.

Lee was hired by Ping An in 2004. He was quickly promoted and held a variety of executive positions, most recently as executive director to which he was appointed in 2013.

Prior to assuming his current role as CEO of Prudential, Lowrey acted as executive vice president and chief operating officer of international businesses.

Miao joined the People’s Insurance Company of China as vice president and chairman in 2017. Notably, he served as president of China Life Insurance Company from 2013-2017.

Tulloch has held previous positions throughout Aviva and around the globe. Most recently he was named CEO of International Insurance and assumed responsibility for operation in France, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, Italy and India.

Chairman of the Geneva Association, Charles Brindamour, expressed his approval for the appointments in a statement.

“I am pleased that such prominent insurance leaders have accepted to serve on our board of directors. Yuansiong Lee, Charles F. Lowrey, Jianmin Miao and Maurice Tulloch bring with them a wealth of experience and backgrounds; their voices will bring a tremendous addition to our board in times of unprecedented economic, social, environmental and technological changes for the industry,” said Brindamour. &


Emily Spennato is a former staff writer with Risk & Insurance.

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