Gen Re And AIG Executives Plead Not Guilty, Plus Other People News

The four former executives of General Re and American International Group who were indicted earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission have reportedly pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud.

• The four former executives of General Re and American International Group who were indicted earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission have reportedly pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud. Each faces a maximum of 95 years in prison if convicted and more than $7 million in fines.

The charges laid against them in a district court for the eastern district of Virginia relate to a deal between AIG and General Re that increased AIG’s loss reserves by $500 million, and cost former AIG chief executive Hank Greenberg his job last year.

The four charged were: General Re’s ex-chief executive Ronald Ferguson, its ex-CFO Elizabeth Monrad, its former senior v.p. and assistant general counsel Robert Graham, and AIG’s former v.p. of reinsurance Christian Milton.

• South African insurance group Old Mutual has named Julian Roberts chief executive of Skandia, the Swedish life and savings company is has recently bought. Roberts will also join Old Mutual’s board of directors.

If Skandia’s board approves the appointment at an extraordinary general meeting on Feb. 21, Roberts will succeed Hans-Erik Andersson as Skandia’s chief executive the following day.

Roberts now serves as group finance director of Old Mutual. If appointed to lead Skandia, he will relinquish his duties as a non-executive director of Old Mutual’s subsidiaries at their respective annual general meetings in May, but continue to act as an executive director on the Old Mutual board.

Richard Hoskins, deputy finance director of Old Mutual, will act as group finance director from March 1 until a replacement for Roberts has been found.

• U.S. property insurer Vesta Insurance Group has appointed David Lacefield as its new president and chief executive. He succeeds Norman Gayle. Lacefield has also been elected a member of the board of directors. Lacefield joined Vesta in 2001 from Southwest Actuarial Forum, where he served as vice-chairman of the board of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service.

American International Group board members William Cohen and Carla Hills have decided not to seek re-election to the firm’s 17-member board of directors at the firm’s 2006 shareholders’ meeting.

Hills, a former U.S. trade representative and head of consultancy firm Hills & Company, notified the company of her decision on Feb. 7. Cohen, a former U.S. defence secretary and U.S. senator, and present head of consultancy firm The Cohen Group, notified AIG of his decision on Feb. 10.

• Broker Willis has appointed Derek Smyth as CFO of its North American operations. Smyth joins from General Electric, where he was v.p. for securitization, strategic pricing, and financial planning and analysis.

• Broker Aon has appointed Doug Pera as managing director of the North and South Carolinas division of Aon Risk Services.
Before joining Aon, Pera held several positions at Marsh & McLennan, most recently client executive practice leader of the Memphis office, and industry practice leader for the south-east U.S.

• Reinsurance broker BMS Group has hired Michael Cahill as executive v.p. of BMS Vision Reinsurance Intermediaries, the broker’s North American operation. He joins from REcentis Intermediaries.

Christopher Heidrick and Lori Dickerson Fouche have joined Allianz subsidiary Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company as heads of marketing for the company’s personal and speciality insurance divisions respectively.

Heidrick, who will serve as v.p. of personal lines insurance, joins from Marsh & McLennan, where he was senior v.p. and product manager for Marsh’s consumer and small commercial practice.

Dickerson Fouche, who becomes senior vice-president of speciality lines insurance, joins from Chubb, where she served as v.p. for Chubb Specialty Insurance.

• U.S. insurer The Hartford Financial Services Group has named Andrew Pinkes as president of Heritage Holdings, a subsidiary that oversees the firm’s property/casualty run-off operations. As of April 1, he will replace David Robb, who is retiring after 30 years with the company. Pinkes is now senior v.p. and chief operating officer of Heritage Holdings.

Separately, the insurer has named Thomas Jones v.p. of securities compliance for Hartford Life, and chief compliance officer for The Hartford Mutual Funds. Before joining The Hartford, Jones served as chief compliance officer for the mutual funds of investment advisory group SEI and for SEI Investments Management Corporation.

• Bermudian insurer and reinsurer XL Capital has promoted John Glancy to the role of chief underwriting officer for XL Insurance’s global professional insurance unit. Glancy succeeds Rich Banas, who is leaving the company to pursue other interests, but will remain at the firm until March 31 to assist in the handover.

• The Surplus Line Association of California has elected James Pettipas as its new chairman. He is the v.p. of ECM Insurance Services. The association also elected Ceil Norton of Burns & Wilcox as vice-chairman, and John Edack of Arch Specialty Insurance Agency as secretary-treasurer.

• Reinsurance broker Cooper Gay & Cashman has appointed Teresa Finkes as v.p.. Before joining the reinsurance broker, she spent 15 years at EW Blanch, now part of Benfield, as v.p. in charge of multiline insurers and underwriting managers.

• Insurance broker Oxygen has appointed Craig Kingaby and Steve Carr to join the broking team at Oxygen Insurance Brokers, the company’s Lloyd’s-accredited broking unit .Both men join from rival broker Aon. Kingaby was previously head of international property, energy and casualty at Aon Global Client Solutions, and Carr was previously senior market strategist for worldwide placements at the same unit.

• U.S. insurer CNA Financial Corporation has appointed Andrew Tisch to its board of directors. He will also serve on the board’s executive and finance committees. Tisch was recently named co-chairman of the board of cinema group Loews Corporation, which holds a 91% stake in CNA.

• U.S. health insurer Cigna HealthCare has appointed Kurt Weimer as president and general manager of its Arizona operations. He will be responsible for middle-market strategy, growth and client service, and will report to Jeff Terrill, regional v.p. for Cigna HealthCare’s Western region. Weimer has 24 years’ experience in insurance sales and operations, all with Cigna.

• The Council of Lloyd’s has appointed Ewen Gilmour as a deputy chairman of Lloyd’s. Gilmour is chief executive of Chaucer Syndicates. He replaces John Coldman, chairman of reinsurance broker Benfield, whose term of office expired on Jan. 31.

• U.S. insurer Selective Insurance Group has appointed Marston Becker to its board of directors. He will stand for election by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in April.

Becker now serves as chairman and chief executive of the run-off operations of Bermudian reinsurer LaSalle Re, and as chairman of West Virginia Media Holdings, which he co-founded in 2001.

• U.S. financial guarantee insurer Financial Security Assurance Holdings has elected Axel Miller to its board of directors. Miller is chairman and chief executive of the management board of FSA’s parent company Dexia Group.

Acordia, the insurance broking subsidiary of U.S. bank Wells Fargo, has appointed Greg Van Ness as managing director of its insurance brokerage operations in northern and central California, including San Francisco. Before his promotion, Van Ness served as executive v.p. in charge of Acordia’s northern Californian offices.

Separately, the broker has named Kristina Rickert managing director of the company’s Michigan branch office. Rickert was previously the firm’s senior v.p. and commercial services manager.