Insurers Recruit Crime Insurance Talent From AIG

By Zachary Tracer and Laura Davison | October 16, 2014

Beazley Plc hired Matt Barone from American International Group Inc., becoming the second insurer in a month to recruit from AIG to build groups that sell coverage protecting corporate clients against crimes.

Barone joins the fidelity bond and crime team in New York, according to a statement from Dublin-based Beazley. The policies guard companies against theft by their employees or losses from third parties, including those tied to forgery or computer fraud.

Commercial insurers are seeking to expand sales of specialty coverage to help counter a decline in the prices that they charge for protection from natural disasters. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Sept. 23 that it hired Brian O’Neill from AIG to lead a push into the fidelity and crime market. Beazley, a Lloyd’s of London insurer, said Barone will help with expansion in the U.S.

“We are excited to welcome an underwriter of Matt’s depth and experience to our team, and look forward to growing our business, with a particular focus on the larger market and Fortune 500 accounts,” Bill Jennings, underwriter for Beazley’s fidelity bond and crime insurance products, said in the statement.

Beazley has been expanding in the U.S. as the world’s largest economy recovers, hiring more than 20 new underwriters and opening offices in Miami and Dallas, in the last two years. Adrian Cox, head of Beazley’s specialty lines division, relocated to the U.S. last year to oversee the expansion.

AIG Departures

AIG has seen managers and top executives depart since Peter Hancock was named chief executive officer to replace Robert Benmosche. Jay Wintrob, who led the U.S. life and retirement business for New York-based AIG, was hired as CEO by distressed-debt firm Oaktree Capital Group LLC. In Asia, Marc Breuil and Marcus Portbury left AIG for Berkshire, a person familiar with the matter said in August.

“We fully expected management changes with the new CEO,” Gloria Vogel, an analyst at Drexel Hamilton LLC, said in an Oct. 13 research note. “We expect other executives could still leave by year end.”

Matt Gallagher, a spokesman for AIG, didn’t return messages seeking comment.
Barone worked for AIG for 16 years, and his focus for the past 12 has been underwriting commercial crime business in the West Coast, Beazley said. He is a graduate of St. John’s University, according to the statement.

(With assistance from Sarah Jones in London.)

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