The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas announced on July 23 that Regan Ellmer has joined the government affairs team at the state association. Ellmer was named director of government affairs, as IIAT announced the promotion of Lee Loftis to chief legislative officer. Ellmer served six years as a legislative staffer, including service as chief of staff for Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Kerrville, from 2015-2018. Most recently, Ellmer was a government affairs specialist at the Texas Department of Insurance. Loftis has served in the director role since 2006. “We are excited about the plans for our Government Affairs division,” said IIAT President and Executive Director Marit Peters. “Lee and Regan will make a strong team, and we will continue to make a lasting impact for our industry.”
Jeffrey M. Klein was named to the board of directors of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas as a non-public member. Klein serves as counsel to the D.C.-based insurance regulatory firm McIntyre and Lemon, PLLC. Klein holds over 40 years of experience representing carriers, brokers and financial institutions in regulatory and government relations matters. Klein has also served on the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Legal Counsels Working group, the AIA Government Affairs committee and the NAIC SERFF board. He received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. in political science from New York University. Two non-public vacancies existed on the board prior to Klein’s appointment, board positions held by Rosemarie Marshall, Amwins Group, who transferred to the office in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Kori Johanson, who became general counsel of Corvus Insurance in June.
Representing Texas, Daniella Rodriguez, CIC, CRM, CISR, Higginbotham, is among the 2021 Outstanding CSR of the Year state winners chosen by The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research to compete for the National Outstanding CSR of the Year award. To be eligible for the award, candidates must be an insurance customer service representative or have primary responsibility for insurance customer service duties. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Outstanding CSR of the Year Award, the competition started in 1991 to honor customer service representatives and account managers who have made significant contributions to the insurance and risk management industry
The Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas has shouted a big “Yeehaw” about meeting in person again at the Jim Millerman Insurance Conference on Nov. 4 at the Irving Convention Center. Themed Back in the Saddle, the event will include a morning workshop, a C.E. class, a keynote luncheon, a trade show and awards. Registration for attendees and exhibitors is available online at iiadallas.org. Cost to attend is $200 for members, $250 nonmembers.
PIA Texas has slated its 2021 Convention and Expo for Oct. 6 at San Antonio’s Pedrotti’s Ranch in Helotes, Texas. Events will run from 11:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., including registration, a luncheon, annual meeting, keynote speech, roundtable and expo. Preregistration is required, $68 for members, $85 for nonmembers. Expo only attendees may register for $32 members, $40 nonmembers. Nearby hotels include DoubleTree Hilton, San Antonio Southwest; Elain Hotel and Spa, and La Cantera Resort and Spa. For more information, visit piatx.org.
The Dallas Chapter of the National African-American Insurance Association has set its bimonthly general business meetings for upcoming months: Sep. 16, Nov. 18, Jan. 20, March 17, May 19 and July 21. Meetings continue to be 11:30 a.m. Zoom meetings until further notice. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. Members are requested to update their NAAIA profiles, so no one misses out on information about upcoming events.
On July 30, H.R. 4866 was introduced to abolish the Federal Insurance Office. The abolishment proposal was introduced by Rep. Ben Cline, R-Virginia, with cosponsor Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wisconsin. PIA supports this legislation as well as the Senate version that was introduced in March by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. PIA supports the protection of the state insurance regulatory system without the specter of unnecessary federal bureaucracy created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The PIA Advocacy Blog cites as an example of the threat posed by the FIO’s continued existence, the Biden’s administration’s recent directive to have the FIO “assess climate-related issues or gaps in the supervision and regulation of insurers.”
The Young Insurance Professionals of the Independent Insurance Agents of Houston will host its second annual Charity Corn Hole Tournament at Little Woodrow’s Midtown on Sept. 22. Teams of two will compete for prizes, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Beneficiary of the fundraiser is Team Rubicon Disaster Response, a service organization that provides free services to uninsured and under-insured rural and urban populations damaged by wildfires, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Registration is $50 for individuals, $100 for teams. Online registration and sponsorship opportunities are available at iiah.org.
The Independent Insurance Agents of Houston will host its annual Fishin’ with a Mission on Oct. 14-15. Fishing will run from dawn until 1:30 p.m., with a weigh-in at Saltwater Pavilion in Rockport. Awards luncheon will follow. The event includes an opening night reception and dinner, a fishing shirt, one-day guided fishing and a goodie bag. Cost to enter is $500 per member of a two-person team; $1,000 for individual anglers. Sponsorships are also available. The event will benefit Brookwood Community, Camp Hope and Company on Stage. Registration is available online.
Brookfield Asset Management Reinsurance Partners Ltd. is acquiring American National Group Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at $5.1 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 9. Under the agreement, American National shareholders would receive $190 in cash for each share they own at the closing of the transaction, a roughly 10 percent premium over the company’s closing price on Aug. 6. American National’s board of directors unanimously approved the merger, it said. Brookfield intends to maintain American National’s headquarters in Galveston and League City, Texas, and operational hubs in Springfield, Missouri, and Albany, New York, the company said. The deal, which is expected to close later this year, is subject to regulatory approval, including antitrust clearance, it said. Brookfield Asset Management announced the establishment of its reinsurance operation in June, according to AM Best. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is a global alternative asset manager with more than $600 billion of assets under management across real estate, infrastructure, renewable power, private equity and credit, according to its web site. American National Insurance Co. last year announced a reorganization plan under which it would become a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of newly formed holding company American National Group Inc.
Ryan Specialty Group has raised $1.34 billion in its initial public offering debut July 21, Bloomberg reported. Shares of the wholesale broker and managing underwriter sold for $23.50 in the IPO. They rose to $25.60 the following morning before hitting $28 in the afternoon, giving the company a market value of $7.15 billion. According to Bloomberg, RSG sold nearly 57 million shares on July 21. Bloomberg also reported that Chairman and CEO Patrick G. Ryan, who founded RSG in 2010 after founding Aon and serving the firm as chairman and chief executive for 41 years, will retain control of 67 percent of shareholder voting power following the listing. In a press release announcing the IPO, the Chicago-based company said it intends to use the net proceeds received from the offering to acquire newly issued LLC units of Ryan Specialty Group, the equity of an entity through which an affiliate of Onex Corporation holds its preferred unit interest in Ryan Specialty Group and outstanding LLC units of Ryan Specialty Group from certain existing holders of LLC units.
Sarasota, Florida-based Gulfstream Property and Casualty, along with its affiliates, was ordered liquidated on July 18 by the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County, Florida. All of Gulfstream’s policies will be cancelled on Aug. 27; Texas policies began being non-renewed in June 2020. The deadline for filing claims in the Gulfstream receivership is July 28, 2022. The company was admitted to do business in Texas Feb. 14, 2014, according a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Insurance. In 2014, Gulfstream P&C was licensed to write allied coverages, fidelity and surety, fire, inland marine, and liability other than auto. Texas premium in 2020 was $1,533,016. The company began a withdrawal process in Texas in May. The Florida Department of Financial Services said on Aug. 11 that there are five open Texas claims that will be transferred to the Texas guaranty association. The Florida department’s website will be updated as soon as claim data and claim files have been gathered and forwarded to guaranty associations.
AM Best announced Aug. 10 that it has placed under review with developing implications the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) of American National Property and Casualty Company (Springfield, Missouri), and its subsidiaries, American National General Insurance Company (Springfield, Missouri); ANPAC Louisiana Insurance Company (Baton Rouge, Louisiana); American National Lloyds Insurance Company; Pacific Property and Casualty Company (San Jose, California); and its affiliates, American National County Mutual Insurance Company, Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company and United Farm Family Insurance Company (both domiciled in Glenmont, New York). These companies are property/casualty subsidiaries of ANICO, which is a subsidiary of American National Group Inc. All of the companies are headquartered in Galveston, Texas, unless otherwise noted. The rating actions follow the announcement that American National has entered into a definitive merger agreement for its sale to Brookfield Asset Management Reinsurance Partners Ltd. in an all-cash transaction of approximately $5.1 billion. The sale is expected to be completed by the first half of 2022.
The Texas Department of Insurance announced on Aug. 4 proposed changes to rules on TWIA member assessments, from calculating insurers’ share from a calendar year basis to a catastrophe year basis. An informal working draft is on the TDI website for review. Comments to the working draft are due Sept. 3.
The Texas Department of Insurance hosted a webinar on July 29 on changes to agent licensing provisions during the 87th Legislature. The changes include: increasing ethics continuing education requirements; removing the life and health insurance counselor license; removing insurance service representative license, discontinuing registration for home office salaried employees, eliminating subagent appointments and reviewing new requirements for annuity transaction standards and disclosures. A link to a replay is available on the TDI website, https://www.tdi.texas.gov/webcast/video/agent-licensing-changes-webinar-hb-1777.mp4.
On July 22, Clinton Battle, M.D., Arlington pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal workers’ compensation program and Texas workers’ compensation insurance carriers. He faces up to 20 years in prison and was ordered to pay $376,368 in restitution. The DWC Fraud Unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, and the IRS conducted the investigations.