8 People on the Move

Ryan Specialty announces new head of diversity, equity and inclusion, Satellite Agency Network (SAN) Group names new COO and more in this edition of People on the Move. 
By: | August 24, 2022

Ryan Specialty Appoints Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Michael Blackshear, chief compliance and privacy officer, head of diversity, equity and inclusion, Ryan Specialty

Ryan Specialty announced that the firm’s chief compliance and privacy officer, Michael Blackshear, will take on additional responsibilities as the enterprise’s head of diversity, equity and inclusion.

This role will enable Blackshear to lead the firm’s DEI efforts and will help the firm continue to build strong alliances within the insurance industry. 

“There are critical moral and ethical reasons for promoting DEI throughout our society, our firm, and the insurance industry,” Patrick G. Ryan, founder, chairman and CEO of Ryan Specialty, said. 

“The ‘business case’ for building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace has never been clearer. Since joining our firm, Michael has been a proactive force with operationalizing our  regulatory and compliance function and has done so with a keen collegial understanding of our business, our people, and the clients we serve. We need a strong leader that will guide us on the next segment of our DEI journey, and I am pleased that Michael will be that leader.”

Prior to assuming his role at Ryan Specialty, Blackshear was the North America chief compliance officer for Chubb Insurance Group and he has held various leadership positions at Marsh & McLennan Companies during his 30-year career in the financial services industry. 

 “Being a change agent for DEI has been my passion and inner calling. This is important to me, and to so many individuals that I have had the privilege of listening to that are seeking fair and equitable opportunities for growth, advancement, and just to have their voice heard,” Blackshear said. 

“I thank Pat Ryan and Tim Turner for making this one of our key strategic objectives for growth, attracting and retaining top talent, and for doing the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do.”  

Alexander & Schmidt Promotes John M. Natale to CEO

John M. Natale, MS, CPCU, ARM, ALCM, CEO, Alexander & Schmidt

John M. Natale, MS, CPCU, ARM, ALCM, will take the reins as CEO of the commercial lines risk assessment and risk control services firm Alexander & Schmidt. He will be the first non-family member to serve as CEO. 

Natale was promoted into his new position after serving as executive vice president of business development for the firm since May 2018. Since joining the firm, he’s developed a number of new approaches to the firm’s loss control services and he’s led a number of technological innovations, including increasing the company’s use of streaming video for performing risk assessments and integrating new applications for third-party data.  

“We were extremely fortunate four years ago when John joined our leadership team as Executive Vice President for Business Development,” Alexander & Schmidts current CEO and cofounder Jim Schmidt said. Schmidt will assume a chairman role and continue to have a hand in the business. 

“I appreciate what Jim has created at Alexander & Schmidt and I look forward to our continuing work together. The team here has a tremendous passion for, and dedication to high-quality Loss Control,” Natale added. 

“As a manager and leader, one looks forward to an opportunity like this — to contribute to developing, strengthening and sustaining a business on into the future. It’s a unique opportunity in a career.”

AmTrust Europe Limited Announces Two Board Appointments

AmTrust Europe Limited (AEL), a subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., has brought Andrew Bulley and Peter Goddard onto its board.

Bulley will serve as chair of the board and chair of its remuneration and nomination committee. He came to AmTrust last year as chair of AEL’s risk and compliance committee after serving as a partner in Deloitte’s EMEA center for regulatory strategy. 

Bulley will be replaced by Goddard as chair of AEL’s risk and compliance committee, pending regulatory approval, per a press release announcing the appointments. He came to the firm earlier this year as an independent non-executive director. 

“I am delighted with Andrew’s appointment as Chair of AEL’s Board and with Peter’s addition to the Board,” Angel Mas, CEO, AEL and managing director, AmTrust international specialty business unit, said. Previously, he served as chief legal and compliance officer for the employee benefits provider Unum UK. 

“We continue to benefit from Andrew’s broad regulatory and industry sector experience, which has made him a hugely valuable addition to the Board. We will also benefit immensely from Peter’s knowledge of the market, underwriting and distribution expertise as we continue to pursue growth in our key lines of business.” 

RT Specialty Promotes Drew Rothman to Senior Consultant, Environmental and Construction Professional Practice

Drew Rothman, senior consultant, environmental and construction professional practice, RT Specialty

RT Specialty announced the promotion of Drew Rothman to senior consultant for the environmental and construction professional practice (ECP) where he has helped agents and brokers analyze, negotiate, and assess the risk management strategies since 2018. 

In his new role, he will continue to help general contractors, design builders, real estate developers, architects and engineers find risk management solutions that suit their diverse needs. 

Rothman came to RT Specialty after a more than ten year career as a litigator who specialized in construction, architectural and engineering cases at law firms based throughout greater Philadelphia. He first cut his teeth in the insurance industry during a stint as a claims manager in the architects and engineers department of the Beazley Group. 

“Drew transitioned from a successful law career to exhibiting a significant presence in our practice,” Joseph Nawa, executive vice president – production, RT, ECP, said.

“His team building skills, dedication and in-depth industry knowledge have all furthered our goal of being recognized nationwide as one of the industry’s premier industry resources for environmental- and construction-related risk management solutions.” 

Satellite Agency Network Group Names New COO

Satellite Agency Network (SAN) Group, an alliance of independent insurance agencies in the Northeast, named Tom Lizotte as chief operating officer. Larry Rose, the organization’s current chief operating officer, will stay on as SAN’s president. 

“Tom brings a proven track record of success and a strong commitment to the independent agency channel to his role,” Rose said. 

“We are very excited to have him on the team.”

Previously, Lizotte held various roles at Liberty Mutual Group.

When he ended his time with them he was serving as assistant vice president and region director Safeco Insurance where he was responsible for a team of New England-based senior territory managers and oversaw 860 agencies across 1,250 locations.

K&L Gates Brings on New Antitrust, Competition, and Trade Regulation Partner

Guillermo Christensen will join the law firm K&L Gates LLP as a partner in its antitrust, competition, and trade regulation practice. 

He comes to the firm after doing a stint as managing partner at the Washington D.C. based law-firm Ice Miller LLP. He has represented clients all over the world in matters ranging from complying with anti-corruption laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to OFAC investigations and voluntary disclosures.

Previously, Christensen served as an intelligence officer with the CIA for 15 years in a variety of domestic and international assignments. Going so far as to be selected by the CIA Director to serve as the National Intelligence Fellow to the Council on Foreign Relations — a position designed for officers who are “on the cusp of senior leadership within the U.S. intelligence community,” per a press release announcing the appointment.

“We are incredibly excited to have Guillermo join our international trade and national security practices,” said David L. Wochner, co-leader of K&L Gates’ global policy and regulatory practice area. 

“Globally, the trend of increased engagement by government in highly regulated sectors of the economy is increasing, and nowhere is that more apparent than in high-tech, defense and critical infrastructure sectors. Guillermo’s depth of knowledge in these areas, coupled with his practical experience based on years in the intelligence community, brings to our clients a valuable resource providing strategic counsel on challenging issues.”

Deborah Rimmler Joins Sigma7 as General Counsel

Deborah Rimmler, general counsel, Sigma7

Sigma7, a global risk advisory platform, has brought on Deborah Rimmler as its general counsel. She will oversee Sigma7’s legal and compliance operations in her new role. 

“Beyond her impeccable legal credentials, Deborah brings significant cybersecurity, security, technology and intelligence experience. We’re looking forward to Deborah’s contributions to our legal platform, product development, and beyond,” Andrew Hersh, CEO of Sigma7, said. 

In her previous role at the law firm Dentons, Rimmler offered security and privacy advice to the firm and its clients and negotiated collaborative agreements with various vendors, including those in the privacy breach notification, employee security evacuation, and compliance control space. 

Prior to that, she served as general counsel to the global energy services and software firm Nexant where she managed day-to-day legal operations alongside building global programs in ethics, anti-corruption, renewable energy and certificate management.  &

Courtney DuChene is a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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