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E&S property merry-go-round spins at Napslo convention

David Bull 4 October 2016

A string of property moves between several excess and surplus lines (E&S) carriers added intrigue to the otherwise gloomy tone of meetings for underwriters at the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (Napslo) annual convention in Atlanta last week.

As revealed by The Insurance Insider at the event, the bulk of Everest National's E&S property team has decamped to Rockhill Insurance Group.

The exodus follows the earlier departure of Tracy Upton, who joined Rockhill to head its newly launched wholesale property platform after establishing a similar operation at Everest National and running it for a decade.

Click to enlarge The team of up to 14 property underwriting executives included Mike Ryan, who led Everest National's Atlanta office and had been with the carrier for around two-and-a-half years after joining from AIG, where he was a branch property manager for Lexington.

Another executive who is thought to have moved over is Trish Lewis, who joined Everest National last January as a director from Ace, having previously held underwriting roles at Zurich, The Hanover and Travelers.

Melissa Butt is also understood to have followed Upton to Rockhill. Butt is based in Tampa, Florida and is thought to have written a significant book of business in terms of premium volume.

A further member of the team, Margret Situ, was understood to be moving to Ariel Re to join up with former Rockhill executive Colin Mayo.

And as this publication revealed on 3 October, Kyle Burnett has become the latest member to leave the Everest ranks, moving from his position as property underwriting executive at the insurer to lead XL Catlin's property team in New York.

Burnett only joined Everest in April this year from PartnerRe, where he was senior underwriter for property E&S, having previously worked at Ryan Specialty managing general agency WKFC Underwriting Managers.

Quick response

But Everest and its recently hired head of US property Erik Nikodem have wasted no time in responding to the exits, making a slew of new hires from several carriers in the space with a focus on his former employer AIG and its Lexington E&S platform.

The incoming staff include former Lexington executive Chris Curtin, who will reunite with Nikodem to head up Everest's E&S property division.

Boston-based Curtin held a number of national and regional property executive positions at AIG and its Lexington platform before leaving the insurer earlier this year when it slashed its senior ranks in a cost-cutting exercise.

Everest is also thought to have brought in a team of property underwriters following Lexington's decision to close down its Tampa branch.

Ben Wilson will continue to run the team of five, which includes senior underwriter Olga Leon, who had been at AIG for 26 years.

Another former Lexington property executive to join Everest is Maria Suarez, who was most recently regional underwriting manager at Starr Companies.

Meanwhile, Everest has looked to add to its resources on the retail side of its property business with the hire of Julianne Pires from Marsh's New York office.

Rockhill's move to reposition itself in the space with the hire of Upton and his team comes after the carrier shut down its in-house E&S property operation last year after losing Mayo, who left with a number of underwriters to launch a new business at Ariel Re.

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This article was published as part of issue October 2016/1

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