Munich Re, U.S. hired a former Everest Re executive to lead a newly created commercial unit in North America. Ascot brought on two ex-Navigators executives to join its U.S. marine team. Zurich Insurance Group nominated a new board member, and another one won’t be running for re-election.


Munich Reinsurance America Inc. (Munich Re, U.S.) appointed Michael Kerner as chief executive officer for Munich Re Specialty Insurance, a new commercial insurance unit in North America.

Kerner will report to Tony Kuczinski, president and CEO, Munich Re, U.S. In this new role, Kerner will oversee the grouping of several Munich Re Group business units under the new primary specialty commercial insurance umbrella.

Kerner brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the global insurance and reinsurance market. For the past two years, he served as executive vice president, risk management and strategy at Everest Re. Before that, Kerner spent 23 years at Zurich Insurance Company in a variety of senior executive roles, including CEO of general insurance, CEO of global corporate North America, global chief underwriting officer, global head of group reinsurance, and chief operations officer of North America specialties. In the past, Kerner also held actuarial leadership roles in the industry.


Ascot Group brought on Chris Johnson and Jocelyne Factor as underwriters in its U.S. marine team. Both will be based in the new San Francisco office, expanding Ascot’s geographic footprint to the West Coast.

Johnson, to have the title of senior vice president, joins from Navigators, where he was regional vice president responsible for the western region. He has more than 41 years of industry experience. Factor, to have the title of vice president, also joins from Navigators, where for 12 years she was involved in all ocean marine product lines and worked on developing regional business.

The team is also joined by its first claims hire, Laura Block, vice president, who will develop the U.S. marine claims function from New York as the team gears up to start writing business, expected to be in the 2019 first quarter.

Ascot is a Bermuda-domiciled global specialist in insurance and reinsurance.


One Zurich Insurance Group board member is stopping down and a separate executive will be nominated to join the company board.

Zurich said its board plans to nominate Jasmin Staiblin for a position on the company’s board. She was proposed for election to the board in March 2018 but withdrew her candidacy at that time due to other corporate commitments. Right now, she is CEO of Alpiq, a Swiss energy services provider and electricity producer in Europe, but plans to step down from that position at the end of 2018. She is also a non-executive director of Rolls-Royce and Georg Fischer.

Meanwhile, David Nish, a member of the Zurich board since 2017, will not stand for re-election at the next annual general meeting, which is scheduled for April 3, 2019.

Sources: Munich Re, Ascot Group, Zurich

Topics USA Reinsurance