6 People on the Move

Everest adds a property executive; Ametros names a senior managing director; Joe Zuk joins Orchid; Anders elected president of NAMSAP
By: | February 28, 2019 • 6 min read

Everest Picks Up Kevin Flaherty in Property

Everest Insurance added Kevin Flaherty to its retail property team in the East Region. Kevin, who is based out of the Everest Insurance New York City office, will report to Jason Ventling, vice president and head of retail property.

Advertisement




Commenting on the addition, Ventling said, “We are excited to have Kevin join our team of talented and skilled underwriters in our growing retail property group at Everest. The knowledge and experience Kevin has developed over his many years in the industry, coupled with his leadership experience, make him a valuable addition to our group.”

Kevin was most recently an assistant vice president at Ironshore, having previously worked as an underwriter at Liberty International and AIG. Kevin holds a B.A. from St. Joseph’s University.

Tower MSA Partners’ Dan Anders Elected Treasurer of NAMSAP

Daniel M. Anders, JD, MSCC, the chief compliance officer for Tower MSA Partners, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals, Inc. (NAMSAP) and will serve on its executive committee as treasurer for 2019.

Dan Anders, chief compliance officer, Tower MSA Partners

An attorney who holds the Medicare Set-Aside Consultant Certified and Certified Medicare Secondary Payer Professional credentials, Anders also co-chairs NAMSAP’s Policy and Legislative Committee.

Anders and Tower have been active in the organization for several years; Tower’s CEO Rita Wilson is the immediate past president, and Wilson and Anders frequently speak at its conferences and webinars.

“We’re dedicated to continuing our work with NAMSAP,” Wilson said. “It provides timely and comprehensive education and is the leading advocate for Medicare Secondary Payer compliance policies and practices that serve all stakeholders.”

NAMSAP is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005. Members include attorneys, nurses, settlement planners, claims professionals and others.  The organization was formed to help individuals and organizations address claims impacted by the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute (MSP). The MSP is federal legislation designed to prevent the shifting of responsibility from a primary payer to the federal government in liability and workers’ compensation cases.

Joe Zuk Joins Orchid

Orchid Underwriters Agency, LLC, a specialty underwriter of catastrophe-exposed property insurance, announced that Joe Zuk has joined Orchid Insurance as managing director of corporate development & strategy, a new position within the organization. This new role reports to Brad Emmons, president and CEO at Orchid.

Zuk is responsible for Orchid’s corporate development and strategic initiatives across the enterprise. As a member of the executive team, Zuk will work with Emmons and the company’s partner, TowerBrook Capital Partners, in leading Orchid’s continued growth and expansion of business through mergers and acquisitions, organic growth opportunities and conceiving and executing upon innovative and value-creating strategic initiatives.

Zuk comes to Orchid with more than 15 years of experience and developed relationships throughout the insurance and reinsurance verticals. Prior to joining Orchid, Zuk served a dual role at Atlas General Holdings as president of the commercial and property divisions. There, he grew the business as well as directing and executing upon Atlas’ corporate growth and development strategies. Previously, Zuk was a reinsurance broker and underwriter. Zuk is a graduate of New York University.

“We are excited to have Joe join Orchid,” said Emmons. “Joe is bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience throughout the industry, which will bolster our platform’s capabilities and deepen our expertise.”

Paul H. Sighinolfi Joins Ametros as Senior Managing Director

Paul H. Sighinolfi has joined the Ametros Senior Leadership team as senior managing director. Bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, he will provide thought leadership and lead regulatory and policy initiatives, while providing meaningful strategic direction and insight.

“Paul and I have known each other for several years. He brings years of experience and a unique perspective,” said Marques Torbert, CEO of Ametros. “We are happy to have him on board to help Ametros continue to innovate and provide thought leadership in our industry.”

Ametros strives to enhance the lives of injured parties with innovative and affordable settlement solutions. Ametros focuses heavily on improving the health and well-being of injured workers ensuring that they live happier, healthier and more productive lives post-settlement.

Paul Sighinofi, senior managing director, Ametros

Sighinolfi is an attorney who brings over 30 years of experience in the workers’ compensation industry, most recently as executive director and chair of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board. Previously, he was a partner at Rudman-Winchell, LLC, directing the workers’ compensation practice group. He also coauthored Maine Employment Guide: Workers’ Compensation and has been a frequent speaker throughout the country on various workers’ compensation topics.

“Paul’s experience as the head of the workers’ compensation system in Maine, in addition to previously serving as both a plaintiff and defense attorney gives him a complete view of all sides of our workers’ compensation system and makes him a wonderful fit for our company,” Torbert said.

The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions elected Sighinolfi to its Board of Directors in 2014, and he served as its board vice president until earlier this year. He is a fellow of the American Bar Association, College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and was formerly on the executive committee of the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators.

Sighinolfi earned his master’s degree at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and his law degree at the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C.

“I’ve worked in many aspects of workers’ compensation, and I truly believe what Ametros is doing is on the cutting edge of the industry,” said Sighinolfi. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Ametros team.”

Marsh’s Sastry Durvasula Honored

Sastry Durvasula, chief digital officer and chief data & analytics officer for Marsh, is among the 2018 Top Ten Insurtech Leaders identified by ACORD, the global data standards-setting body for the insurance industry.

ACORD spoke to industry stakeholders globally and evaluated vision, impact and execution to identify the leaders with the greatest current and potential ability to change the industry through Insurtech.

Durvasula joined Marsh in August 2017, to lead the strategic design, development and delivery of Marsh’s digital capabilities, data and analytics, and client-facing technology across the firm’s global business.

Edward Levin Takes Key Role with AIG

AIG announced  the appointment of Edward Levin as global head of accident & health, General Insurance. He will report to Christopher Townsend, CEO of AIG International General Insurance, and will start next month based in London.

In this new role, Levin will be responsible for the global A&H portfolio, including distribution and underwriting strategy. He will develop a global A&H strategy, identify growth opportunities and create a diverse distribution pipeline.

Advertisement




Levin joins AIG from Chubb, where he served in senior roles, including division president of international A&H and most recently as group digital business officer. Previously he spent four years at ACE Europe as executive vice president of A&H, life and personal lines. Earlier in his career, he held roles at Citigroup and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Townsend said: “Edward’s deep understanding of the A&H business and his experience in building out digital platforms and products will add value as we develop next-generation digital capabilities for AIG. I am pleased to welcome Edward to AIG as we position our A&H business for growth in an evolving industry.”

Levin added: “I’m looking forward to joining AIG to build a market-leading A&H business. AIG has a strong heritage of product innovation and distribution leadership in this area; with this renewed focus, we will be well positioned to deliver products and services that add value for our customers.”

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]

Exclusive | Hank Greenberg on China Trade, Starr’s Rapid Growth and 100th, Spitzer, Schneiderman and More

In a robust and frank conversation, the insurance legend provides unique insights into global trade, his past battles and what the future holds for the industry and his company.
By: | October 12, 2018 • 12 min read

In 1960, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was hired as a vice president of C.V. Starr & Co. At age 35, he had already accomplished a great deal.

He served his country as part of the Allied Forces that stormed the beaches at Normandy and liberated the Nazi death camps. He fought again during the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star. He held a law degree from New York Law School.

Advertisement




Now he was ready to make his mark on the business world.

Even C.V. Starr himself — who hired Mr. Greenberg and later hand-picked him as the successor to the company he founded in Shanghai in 1919 — could not have imagined what a mark it would be.

Mr. Greenberg began to build AIG as a Starr subsidiary, then in 1969, he took it public. The company would, at its peak, achieve a market cap of some $180 billion and cement its place as the largest insurance and financial services company in history.

This month, Mr. Greenberg travels to China to celebrate the 100th anniversary of C.V. Starr & Co. That visit occurs at a prickly time in U.S.-Sino relations, as the Trump administration levies tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods and China retaliates.

In September, Risk & Insurance® sat down with Mr. Greenberg in his Park Avenue office to hear his thoughts on the centennial of C.V. Starr, the dynamics of U.S. trade relationships with China and the future of the U.S. insurance industry as it faces the challenges of technology development and talent recruitment and retention, among many others. What follows is an edited transcript of that discussion.


R&I: One hundred years is quite an impressive milestone for any company. Celebrating the anniversary in China signifies the importance and longevity of that relationship. Can you tell us more about C.V. Starr’s history with China?

Hank Greenberg: We have a long history in China. I first went there in 1975. There was little there, but I had business throughout Asia, and I stopped there all the time. I’d stop there a couple of times a year and build relationships.

When I first started visiting China, there was only one state-owned insurance company there, PICC (the People’s Insurance Company of China); it was tiny at the time. We helped them to grow.

I also received the first foreign life insurance license in China, for AIA (The American International Assurance Co.). To date, there has been no other foreign life insurance company in China. It took me 20 years of hard work to get that license.

We also introduced an agency system in China. They had none. Their life company employees would get a salary whether they sold something or not. With the agency system of course you get paid a commission if you sell something. Once that agency system was installed, it went on to create more than a million jobs.

R&I: So Starr’s success has meant success for the Chinese insurance industry as well.

Hank Greenberg: That’s partly why we’re going to be celebrating that anniversary there next month. That celebration will occur alongside that of IBLAC (International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council), an international business advisory group that was put together when Zhu Rongji was the mayor of Shanghai [Zhu is since retired from public life]. He asked me to start that to attract foreign companies to invest in Shanghai.

“It turns out that it is harder [for China] to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

Shanghai and China in general were just coming out of the doldrums then; there was a lack of foreign investment. Zhu asked me to chair IBLAC and to help get it started, which I did. I served as chairman of that group for a couple of terms. I am still a part of that board, and it will be celebrating its 30th anniversary along with our 100th anniversary.

Advertisement




We have a good relationship with China, and we’re candid as you can tell from the op-ed I published in the Wall Street Journal. I’m told that my op-ed was received quite well in China, by both Chinese companies and foreign companies doing business there.

On August 29, Mr. Greenberg published an opinion piece in the WSJ reminding Chinese leaders of the productive history of U.S.-Sino relations and suggesting that Chinese leaders take pragmatic steps to ease trade tensions with the U.S.

R&I: What’s your outlook on current trade relations between the U.S. and China?

Hank Greenberg: As to the current environment, when you are in negotiations, every leader negotiates differently.

President Trump is negotiating based on his well-known approach. What’s different now is that President Xi (Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China) made himself the emperor. All the past presidents in China before the revolution had two terms. He’s there for life, which makes things much more difficult.

R&I: Sure does. You’ve got a one- or two-term president talking to somebody who can wait it out. It’s definitely unique.

Hank Greenberg: So, clearly a lot of change is going on in China. Some of it is good. But as I said in the op-ed, China needs to be treated like the second largest economy in the world, which it is. And it will be the number one economy in the world in not too many years. That means that you can’t use the same terms of trade that you did 25 or 30 years ago.

They want to have access to our market and other markets. Fine, but you have to have reciprocity, and they have not been very good at that.

R&I: What stands in the way of that happening?

Hank Greenberg: I think there are several substantial challenges. One, their structure makes it very difficult. They have a senior official, a regulator, who runs a division within the government for insurance. He keeps that job as long as he does what leadership wants him to do. He may not be sure what they want him to do.

For example, the president made a speech many months ago saying they are going to open up banking, insurance and a couple of additional sectors to foreign investment; nothing happened.

The reason was that the head of that division got changed. A new administrator came in who was not sure what the president wanted so he did nothing. Time went on and the international community said, “Wait a minute, you promised that you were going to do that and you didn’t do that.”

So the structure is such that it is very difficult. China can’t react as fast as it should. That will change, but it is going to take time.

R&I: That’s interesting, because during the financial crisis in 2008 there was talk that China, given their more centralized authority, could react more quickly, not less quickly.

Hank Greenberg: It turns out that it is harder to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.

R&I: Obviously, you have a very unique perspective and experience in China. For American companies coming to China, what are some of the current challenges?

Advertisement




Hank Greenberg: Well, they very much want to do business in China. That’s due to the sheer size of the country, at 1.4 billion people. It’s a very big market and not just for insurance companies. It’s a whole range of companies that would like to have access to China as easily as Chinese companies have access to the United States. As I said previously, that has to be resolved.

It’s not going to be easy, because China has a history of not being treated well by other countries. The U.S. has been pretty good in that way. We haven’t taken advantage of China.

R&I: Your op-ed was very enlightening on that topic.

Hank Greenberg: President Xi wants to rebuild the “middle kingdom,” to what China was, a great country. Part of that was his takeover of the South China Sea rock islands during the Obama Administration; we did nothing. It’s a little late now to try and do something. They promised they would never militarize those islands. Then they did. That’s a real problem in Southern Asia. The other countries in that region are not happy about that.

R&I: One thing that has differentiated your company is that it is not a public company, and it is not a mutual company. We think you’re the only large insurance company with that structure at that scale. What advantages does that give you?

Hank Greenberg: Two things. First of all, we’re more than an insurance company. We have the traditional investment unit with the insurance company. Then we have a separate investment unit that we started, which is very successful. So we have a source of income that is diverse. We don’t have to underwrite business that is going to lose a lot of money. Not knowingly anyway.

R&I: And that’s because you are a private company?

Hank Greenberg: Yes. We attract a different type of person in a private company.

R&I: Do you think that enables you to react more quickly?

Hank Greenberg: Absolutely. When we left AIG there were three of us. Myself, Howie Smith and Ed Matthews. Howie used to run the internal financials and Ed Matthews was the investment guy coming out of Morgan Stanley when I was putting AIG together. We started with three people and now we have 3,500 and growing.

“I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

R&I:  You being forced to leave AIG in 2005 really was an injustice, by the way. AIG wouldn’t have been in the position it was in 2008 if you had still been there.

Advertisement




Hank Greenberg: Absolutely not. We had all the right things in place. We met with the financial services division once a day every day to make sure they stuck to what they were supposed to do. Even Hank Paulson, the Secretary of Treasury, sat on the stand during my trial and said that if I’d been at the company, it would not have imploded the way it did.

R&I: And that fateful decision the AIG board made really affected the course of the country.

Hank Greenberg: So many people lost all of their net worth. The new management was taking on billions of dollars’ worth of risk with no collateral. They had decimated the internal risk management controls. And the government takeover of the company when the financial crisis blew up was grossly unfair.

From the time it went public, AIG’s value had increased from $300 million to $180 billion. Thanks to Eliot Spitzer, it’s now worth a fraction of that. His was a gross misuse of the Martin Act. It gives the Attorney General the power to investigate without probable cause and bring fraud charges without having to prove intent. Only in New York does the law grant the AG that much power.

R&I: It’s especially frustrating when you consider the quality of his own character, and the scandal he was involved in.

In early 2008, Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap arranging a meeting with a prostitute at a Washington Hotel and resigned shortly thereafter.

Hank Greenberg: Yes. And it’s been successive. Look at Eric Schneiderman. He resigned earlier this year when it came out that he had abused several women. And this was after he came out so strongly against other men accused of the same thing. To me it demonstrates hypocrisy and abuse of power.

Schneiderman followed in Spitzer’s footsteps in leveraging the Martin Act against numerous corporations to generate multi-billion dollar settlements.

R&I: Starr, however, continues to thrive. You said you’re at 3,500 people and still growing. As you continue to expand, how do you deal with the challenge of attracting talent?

Hank Greenberg: We did something last week.

On September 16th, St. John’s University announced the largest gift in its 148-year history. The Starr Foundation donated $15 million to the school, establishing the Maurice R. Greenberg Leadership Initiative at St. John’s School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science.

Hank Greenberg: We have recruited from St. John’s for many, many years. These are young people who want to be in the insurance industry. They don’t get into it by accident. They study to become proficient in this and we have recruited some very qualified individuals from that school. But we also recruit from many other universities. On the investment side, outside of the insurance industry, we also recruit from Wall Street.

R&I: We’re very interested in how you and other leaders in this industry view technology and how they’re going to use it.

Hank Greenberg: I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.

R&I: So as the pre-eminent leader of the insurance industry, what do you see in terms of where insurance is now and where it’s going?

Hank Greenberg: The country and the world will always need insurance. That doesn’t mean that what we have today is what we’re going to have 25 years from now.

How quickly the change comes and how far it will go will depend on individual companies and individual countries. Some will be more brave than others. But change will take place, there is no doubt about it.

Advertisement




More will go on in space, there is no question about that. We’re involved in it right now as an insurance company, and it will get broader.

One of the things you have to worry about is it’s now a nuclear world. It’s a more dangerous world. And again, we have to find some way to deal with that.

So, change is inevitable. You need people who can deal with change.

R&I:  Is there anything else, Mr. Greenberg, you want to comment on?

Hank Greenberg: I think I’ve covered it. &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]