8 People on the Move

Willis Re announces a new Health Practice leader and IOA grows it's Western region presence; all of this and more in this edition of People on the Move. 
By: | April 1, 2020

Willis Re Announces a New Health Practice Leader

Willis Re, the reinsurance business of Willis Towers Watson, announced the appointment of Dan Melanson to senior vice president and Health Practice leader.


Melanson will serve on the Life, Accident and Health (LAH) senior management team and be responsible for creating and executing strategies to grow the Willis Re LAH business. 

The appointment is effective immediately. He will report to Rob Fast, executive vice president and LAH segment leader.

Melanson has nearly 30 years of health care industry experience. Most recently, he served as managing director in the Health Care practice at Guy Carpenter. He also previously held a number of senior roles, including leadership positions with One Beacon and RBS/HM Insurance. 

“Willis Re continues to grow its talent base and expertise by strategically adding key leaders throughout the organization. Dan brings great talent and has the values and team-based approach that are great complements to Willis Re’s growing team of experienced leaders,” Fast said.  

Commenting on the appointment, Jim Bradshaw, chief executive officer of Willis Re North America, said, “We are delighted to welcome Dan to the team.

“With his extensive experience, expertise and leadership skills, he will be an invaluable asset as we realize our growth ambitions and continue to bolster our footprint and client offering.”

Insurance Office of America Grows Its Western Presence

Paul Carroll, employee benefits services division, Insurance Office of America

Insurance Office of America is growing its presence in the Las Vegas marketplace by adding insurance industry veterans Paul Carroll and Jeri Ballew to its employee benefits services division.

Carroll founded The Westek Group, which specializes in the design, implementation, and administration of employee benefit plans, where he served as president alongside Ballew, who served as vice president. Both bring over 20 years of employee benefits experience to IOA.

“We are fortunate to have Paul and Jeri join our expert advisors on the employee benefits team as they continue to provide the best service possible to our customers and partners,” commented Chris Labrecque, president of IOA’s employee benefits services division.

“Because IOA is the largest independent agency in Nevada, Jeri and I now have the ability to provide new resources and unmatched services to our clients,” said Carroll. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to join an organization that believes in social responsibility and corporate philanthropy.”

“We are extremely pleased to have both Paul and Jeri join our Las Vegas office. They bring the knowledge, enthusiasm, and expert care that our clients seek,” said IOA Western Region President John Tenuto.

In addition to Carroll and Ballew, insurance industry veteran Steve Miller has been appointed to lead the mobility and innovation group. He will be based in Pleasanton, California.

“We are excited to have a professional of Steve’s caliber join the IOA family,” said Tenuto. “His deep commitment to his clients and community soundly align with our mission and vision.”

Before joining IOA, Miller served as vice president at McGriff Insurance Services. He has 15 years of industry experience. 

A pioneer in the autonomous vehicle arena, Steve’s expertise covers the gamut from delivery robots to semi trucks. 

“Steve brings a deep level of experience to our western region team. He’s an industry veteran with the knowledge needed to help our clients strengthen their insurance programs in meaningful and impactful ways,” said IOA chairman and chief executive officer Heath Ritenour.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Announces Three Appointments 

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has announced Ali Shahkarami as its first chief data officer. In this newly created position, Shahkarami will be responsible for the development and the delivery of AGCS data strategy and will report directly to chief operating officer Bettina Dietsche.

Shahkarami will focus on aligning various data initiatives, tools and investments with AGCS’s business and data strategy as well as Allianz Group’s data strategy. The AGCS Data Solutions & Architecture team will report to him. 

Shahkarami joined AGCS in 2012 as head of Catastrophe Risk Research where he was responsible for research and development activities to capture risks of man-made and natural catastrophes. 

Shahkarami has held various positions as risk modeler and obtained a PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Alessandro Carriglio, strategy officer, Underwriting Portfolio Management of the Americas, Financial Lines North America, AGCS

Peter Kiernan, head of North American Reinsurance, ART division, AGCS

This month, the insurance carrier has also announced the appointment of Alessandro Carriglio to strategy officer of Underwriting Portfolio Management of the Americas, Financial Lines North America.

Carriglio will be based in New York City and report to Paul Schiavone, Regional Head of Financial Lines North America and Regional Head of Corporate Long Tail Lines and Allianz Risk Transfer (ART).

Carriglio most recently held the position of Deputy Regional Head of MLC Financial Lines, North America & Regional Head of Financial Lines, South America.

“Alessandro is an integral part of the Financial Lines team. This well-deserved promotion is testament to his dedication and expertise helping AGCS clients across the globe meet their risk management needs,” said Schiavone.

In addition, Peter Kiernan has also joined AGCS as head of North American Reinsurance in its Allianz Risk Transfer (ART) division.

Kiernan will be based in Bermuda. He most recently held the position of chief underwriting officer and president of Axis Re Bermuda.

“We are delighted to welcome Pete to the team. He brings a wealth of portfolio management, underwriting and relationship management experience, which will be instrumental to supporting our North American ART clients and expanding our business in the region,” said ART chief underwriting officer Richard Boyd.

Hi Marley Welcomes Dan Keenan as Head of Growth

Hi Marley, software provider offering the first AI-enabled conversation platform made specifically for the insurance industry, announced industry veteran Dan Keenan has joined the company as its new head of growth. 


Keenan has decades of experience leading insurance industry sales. 

“I’m thrilled to be in the insurance space, supporting so many clients and friends with whom I’ve worked closely over many years,” commented Keenan. “We’re on a mission to find ways to make our customers successful. This is the best part of the job.”

Most recently, he served as chief revenue officer for Sphera. Prior to that, he spent many years at CCC Information Services, a leading provider of data, analytics, and software for the auto insurance, financial services and automotive industries. 

“Dan’s intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, and his posture of wanting to come alongside and help — that’s an incredible combination,” said Mike Greene, chief executive officer, Hi Marley.

“It’s no surprise he’s built long-standing relationships of deep trust.”

Jessica Niehaus Joins Assurance Agency

Jessica Niehaus, vice president, real estate practice, Assurance Agency

National insurance brokerage Assurance announced that Jessica Niehaus joined the agency as vice president in its real estate practice.

Niehaus will bring an extensive legal and real estate insurance background, primarily focusing efforts on providing in-depth coverage analysis, identification and management of risk exposures, and building tailor-made programs to meet client goals and objectives.

“Jessica’s combined legal background and real estate expertise brings a new element of specialized service to the real estate practice at Assurance,” said Michael Alberico, senior vice president, construction and real estate practice leader at Assurance.

“Not only is Jessica analytical, but she’s creative and we’re looking forward to witnessing her in action,” said Alberico.

Niehaus practiced law in Chicago prior to joining Assurance. She holds a Juris Doctor from DePaul University – College of Law as well as a CLCS designation. &

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

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Scenario

The Betrayal of Elizabeth

In this Risk Scenario, Risk & Insurance explores what might happen in the event a telemedicine or similar home health visit violates a patient's privacy. What consequences await when a young girl's tele visit goes viral?
By: | October 12, 2020
Risk Scenarios are created by Risk & Insurance editors along with leading industry partners. The hypothetical, yet realistic stories, showcase emerging risks that can result in significant losses if not properly addressed.

Disclaimer: The events depicted in this scenario are fictitious. Any similarity to any corporation or person, living or dead, is merely coincidental.


Elizabeth Cunningham seemingly had it all. The daughter of two well-established professionals — her father was a personal injury attorney, her mother, also an attorney, had her own estate planning practice — she grew up in a house in Maryland horse country with lots of love and the financial security that can iron out at least some of life’s problems.

Tall, good-looking and talented, Elizabeth was moving through her junior year at the University of Pennsylvania in seemingly good order; check that, very good order, by all appearances.

Her pre-med grades were outstanding. Despite the heavy load of her course work, she’d even managed to place in the Penn Relays in the mile, in the spring of her sophomore season, in May of 2019.

But the winter of 2019/2020 brought challenges, challenges that festered below the surface, known only to her and a couple of close friends.

First came betrayal at the hands of her boyfriend, Tom, right around Thanksgiving. She saw a message pop up on his phone from Rebecca, a young woman she thought was their friend. As it turned out, Rebecca and Tom had been intimate together, and both seemed game to do it again.

Reeling, her holiday mood shattered and her relationship with Tom fractured, Elizabeth was beset by deep feelings of anxiety. As the winter gray became more dense and forbidding, the anxiety grew.

Fed up, she broke up with Tom just after Christmas. What looked like a promising start to 2020 now didn’t feel as joyous.

Right around the end of the year, she plucked a copy of her father’s New York Times from the table in his study. A budding physician, her eyes were drawn to a piece about an outbreak of a highly contagious virus in Wuhan, China.

“Sounds dreadful,” she said to herself.

Within three months, anxiety gnawed at Elizabeth daily as she sat cloistered in her family’s house in Bel Air, Maryland.

It didn’t help matters that her brother, Billy, a high school senior and a constant thorn in her side, was cloistered with her.

She felt like she was suffocating.

One night in early May, feeling shutdown and unable to bring herself to tell her parents about her true condition, Elizabeth reached out to her family physician for help.

Dr. Johnson had been Elizabeth’s doctor for a number of years and, being from a small town, Elizabeth had grown up and gone to school with Dr. Johnson’s son Evan. In fact, back in high school, Evan had asked Elizabeth out once. Not interested, Elizabeth had declined Evan’s advances and did not give this a second thought.

Dr. Johnson’s practice had recently been acquired by a Virginia-based hospital system, Medwell, so when Elizabeth called the office, she was first patched through to Medwell’s receptionist/scheduling service. Within 30 minutes, an online Telehealth consult had been arranged for her to speak directly with Dr. Johnson.

Due to the pandemic, Dr. Johnson called from the office in her home. The doctor was kind. She was practiced.

“So can you tell me what’s going on?” she said.

Elizabeth took a deep breath. She tried to fight what was happening. But she could not. Tears started streaming down her face.

“It’s just… It’s just…” she managed to stammer.

The doctor waited patiently. “It’s okay,” she said. “Just take your time.”

Elizabeth took a deep breath. “It’s like I can’t manage my own mind anymore. It’s nonstop. It won’t turn off…”

More tears streamed down her face.

Patiently, with compassion, the doctor walked Elizabeth through what she might be experiencing. The doctor recommended a follow-up with Medwell’s psychology department.

“Okay,” Elizabeth said, some semblance of relief passing through her.

Unbeknownst to Dr. Johnson, her office door had not been completely closed. During the telehealth call, Evan stopped by his mother’s office to ask her a question. Before knocking he overheard Elizabeth talking and decided to listen in.


As Elizabeth was finding the courage to open up to Dr. Johnson about her psychological condition, Evan was recording her with his smartphone through a crack in the doorway.

Spurred by who knows what — his attraction to her, his irritation at being rejected, the idleness of the COVID quarantine — it really didn’t matter. Evan posted his recording of Elizabeth to his Instagram feed.

#CantManageMyMind, #CrazyGirl, #HelpMeDoctorImBeautiful is just some of what followed.

Elizabeth and Evan were both well-liked and very well connected on social media. The posts, shares and reactions that followed Evan’s digital betrayal numbered in the hundreds. Each one of them a knife into the already troubled soul of Elizabeth Cunningham.

By noon of the following day, her well-connected father unleashed the dogs of war.

Rand Davis, the risk manager for the Medwell Health System, a 15-hospital health care company based in Alexandria, Virginia was just finishing lunch when he got a call from the company’s general counsel, Emily Vittorio.

“Yes?” Rand said. He and Emily were accustomed to being quick and blunt with each other. They didn’t have time for much else.

“I just picked up a notice of intent to sue from a personal injury attorney in Bel Air, Maryland. It seems his daughter was in a teleconference with one of our docs. She was experiencing anxiety, the daughter that is. The doctor’s son recorded the call and posted it to social media.”

“Great. Thanks, kid,” Rand said.

“His attorneys want to initiate a discovery dialogue on Monday,” Emily said.

It was Thursday. Rand’s dreams of slipping onto his fishing boat over the weekend evaporated, just like that. He closed his eyes and tilted his face up to the heavens.

Wasn’t it enough that he and the other members of the C-suite fought tooth and nail to keep thousands of people safe and treat them during the COVID-crisis?

He’d watched the explosion in the use of telemedicine with a mixture of awe and alarm. On the one hand, they were saving lives. On the other hand, they were opening themselves to exposures under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. He just knew it.

He and his colleagues tried to do the right thing. But what they were doing, overwhelmed as they were, was simply not enough.


Within the space of two weeks, the torture suffered by Elizabeth Cunningham grew into a class action against Medwell.

In addition to the violation of her privacy, the investigation by Mr. Cunningham’s attorneys revealed the following:

Medwell’s telemedicine component, as needed and well-intended as it was, lacked a viable informed consent protocol.

The consultation with Elizabeth, and as it turned out, hundreds of additional patients in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, violated telemedicine regulations in all three states.

Numerous practitioners in the system took part in teleconferences with patients in states in which they were not credentialed to provide that service.

Even if Evan hadn’t cracked open Dr. Johnson’s door and surreptitiously recorded her conversation with Elizabeth, the Medwell telehealth system was found to be insecure — yet another violation of HIPAA.

The amount sought in the class action was $100 million. In an era of social inflation, with jury awards that were once unthinkable becoming commonplace, Medwell was standing squarely in the crosshairs of a liability jury decision that was going to devour entire towers of its insurance program.

Adding another layer of certain pain to the equation was that the case would be heard in Baltimore, a jurisdiction where plaintiffs’ attorneys tended to dance out of courtrooms with millions in their pockets.

That fall, Rand sat with his broker on a call with a specialty insurer, talking about renewals of the group’s general liability, cyber and professional liability programs.

“Yeah, we were kind of hoping to keep the increases on all three at less than 25%,” the broker said breezily.

There was a long silence from the underwriters at the other end of the phone.

“To be honest, we’re borderline about being able to offer you any cover at all,” one of the lead underwriters said.

Rand just sat silently and waited for another shoe to drop.

“Well, what can you do?” the broker said, with hope draining from his voice.

The conversation that followed would propel Rand and his broker on the difficult, next to impossible path of trying to find coverage, with general liability underwriters in full retreat, professional liability underwriters looking for double digit increases and cyber underwriters asking very pointed questions about the health system’s risk management.

Elizabeth, a strong young woman with a good support network, would eventually recover from the damage done to her.

Medwell’s relationships with the insurance markets looked like it almost never would. &


Risk & Insurance® partnered with Allied World to produce this scenario. Below are Allied World’s recommendations on how to prevent the losses presented in the scenario. This perspective is not an editorial opinion of Risk & Insurance.®.

The use of telehealth has exponentially accelerated with the advent of COVID-19. Few health care providers were prepared for this shift. Health care organizations should confirm that Telehealth coverage is included in their Medical Professional, General Liability and Cyber policies, and to what extent. Concerns around Telehealth focus on HIPAA compliance and the internal policies in place to meet the federal and state standards and best practices for privacy and quality care. As states open businesses and the crisis abates, will pre-COVID-19 telehealth policies and regulations once again be enforced?

Risk Management Considerations:

The same ethical and standard of care issues around caring for patients face-to-face in an office apply in telehealth settings:

  • maintain a strong patient-physician relationship;
  • protect patient privacy; and
  • seek the best possible outcome.

Telehealth can create challenges around “informed consent.” It is critical to inform patients of the potential benefits and risks of telehealth (including privacy and security), ensure the use of HIPAA compliant platforms and make sure there is a good level of understanding of the scope of telehealth. Providers must be aware of the regulatory and licensure requirements in the state where the patient is located, as well as those of the state in which they are licensed.

A professional and private environment should be maintained for patient privacy and confidentiality. Best practices must be in place and followed. Medical professionals who engage in telehealth should be fully trained in operating the technology. Patients must also be instructed in its use and provided instructions on what to do if there are technical difficulties.

This case study is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be a summary of, and does not in any way vary, the actual coverage available to a policyholder under any insurance policy. Actual coverage for specific claims will be determined by the actual policy language and will be based on the specific facts and circumstances of the claim. Consult your insurance advisors or legal counsel for guidance on your organization’s policies and coverage matters and other issues specific to your organization.

This information is provided as a general overview for agents and brokers. Coverage will be underwritten by an insurance subsidiary of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd, a Fairfax company (“Allied World”). Such subsidiaries currently carry an A.M. Best rating of “A” (Excellent), a Moody’s rating of “A3” (Good) and a Standard & Poor’s rating of “A-” (Strong), as applicable. Coverage is offered only through licensed agents and brokers. Actual coverage may vary and is subject to policy language as issued. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. Risk management services are provided or arranged through AWAC Services Company, a member company of Allied World. © 2020 Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd. All rights reserved.

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