Mark E. Schwarz was elected Executive Chairman of the Company in August 2006. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Company from January 2003 until August 2006, and as President from November 2003 through March 2006. Since 1993, Mr. Schwarz has, through Newcastle Capital Management, L.P. and Newcastle Capital Group, L.L.C., controlled the general partner of Newcastle Partners, L.P., a private investment firm. Mr. Schwarz presently serves as Chairman of the boards of directors of Rave Restaurant Group, Inc., an operator and franchisor of multi-unit pizza concepts; and Wilhelmina International, Inc., a model management and talent representation company. Mr. Schwarz is also presently a director of SL Industries, Inc., a developer of power systems used in a variety of aerospace, computer, datacom, industrial, medical, telecom, transportation and utility equipment applications. Within the past five years, Mr. Schwarz has served as a director of Bell Industries, Inc., a company primarily engaged in providing computer systems integration services; MedQuist, Inc., a provider of clinical documentation workflow solutions in support of electronic health records; and Nashua Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty papers, labels and printing supplies. He also serves as a director of various privately held companies.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Naveen Anand was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company in September 2014. Mr. Anand has over 25 years of experience in the property/casualty insurance industry with significant underwriting experience in specialty commercial lines. Most recently, Mr. Anand served as U.S. Chief Executive and Global Chief Operating Officer of Torus Insurance Holdings Ltd. In these roles, he oversaw the development of Torus’ global operating platform, U.S. Specialty underwriting platforms and all Torus business lines in North and South America. From 2002 to 2009 Mr. Anand served CNA Financial Corporation as President and Chief Underwriting Officer for their Commercial Insurance Division; President, Central Region and Vice President, New Jersey Region. From 1988 to 2002, Mr. Anand was with Chubb Group of Insurance Companies in underwriting and management roles with increasing responsibilities. He started his career with St. Paul Insurance Company.
Senior Vice President & Chief Accounting Officer
Jeffrey R. Passmore has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of the Company since June 2003, and previously served as Vice President of Business Development for the Company. Prior to joining the Company in November, 2002, Mr. Passmore had served as Vice President and Controller of Benfield Blanch, Inc. and its predecessor E.W. Blanch Holdings, Inc., a reinsurance intermediary since 2000. From 1998 to 1999, he served E.W. Blanch Holdings, Inc. as Assistant Vice President of Financial Reporting. From 1994 to 1998, he was a senior financial analyst with TIG Holdings, Inc., a property and casualty insurance holding company. Mr. Passmore began his career as an accountant for Gulf Insurance Group from 1990 to 1993. Mr. Passmore is a certified public accountant licensed in Texas.
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President - Commercial Lines
Kevin T. Kasitz was named an Executive Vice President of the Company effective April 2006 and became Chief Operating Officer in December 2006. He also serves as the interim President of American Hallmark Insurance Services, a business unit handling standard lines commercial insurance. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kasitz had been employed by Benfield Blanch Inc., a reinsurance intermediary, where he served as a Senior Vice President in the Program Services division (2000 to 2003) and Alternative Distribution division (1999 to 2000), a Vice President in the Alternative Distribution division (1994 to 1999) and a Manager in the Wholesale Insurance Services division (1991 to 1994). From 1989 to 1991, he was a personal lines underwriter for Continental Insurance Company and, from 1986 to 1989, was an internal auditor for National County Mutual Insurance Company, a regional non-standard automobile insurer.
President – Excess & Surplus (E&S) Commercial Business Unit
Donald E. Meyer was named President of Hallmark Specialty Underwriters, Inc. (formerly TGA Insurance Managers), a business unit handling primarily excess and surplus lines commercial insurance, after the acquisition of the subsidiaries comprising this operating unit in January, 2006. Mr. Meyer has served as the Vice President of the primary subsidiary within the TGA Operating Unit, Texas General Agency, Inc., since 1981. Since 1986, he has also served as the President of Gulf States Insurance Company, which was also acquired by the Company in January, 2006. Mr. Meyer served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Surplus Lines Association, an industry trade group, from 2002 through 2004. He had previously served on the Board of Directors of this organization from 1991 through 1996 and served as its President during 1995 and 1996. In 1999, Mr. Meyer was appointed by the Texas Insurance Commissioner to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas, a surplus lines self-regulatory organization, where he served as chairman in 2001.
President – Hallmark Select Business Unit
James A. Damonte was named President of Hallmark Select Companies in 2013, overseeing the operations of Hallmark Select’s subsidiary segments and their companies: General Aviation, Excess & Umbrella and Medical Professional Liability. Mr. Damonte also began serving as President of the business unit handling excess and umbrella casualty insurance in March 2010. Mr. Damonte has served as Executive Vice President of the primary subsidiary within the excess and umbrella business unit, Heath XS LLC., since August 2008 after the acquisition of the subsidiaries comprising the operating unit. Since joining Heath XS in 2004, Mr. Damonte initially served as Vice President of Underwriting and, from 2006 to 2008, later served as Executive Vice President of Jeffrey L. Heath, Inc., in charge of insurance operations. Mr. Damonte started his insurance career as a facultative underwriter for General Reinsurance Corporation in 1999 and was responsible for a portion of the Western United States handling both individual risk and program reinsurance. Mr. Damonte attended graduate school at SMU's Cox School of Business and did his undergraduate studies at University of Nevada.
President – Hallmark Personal Lines Business Unit
Michael P. Binns was named President of Hallmark Personal Lines in 2013. Mr. Binns has over 20 years of experience in Property & Casualty Personal Lines, with a significant focus on the nonstandard market. Mr. Binns joins Hallmark most recently from Healthcare Solutions where he was charged with the oversight and development of medical management products for the automobile insurance carrier market. Prior to that he held senior positions focused on personal lines product development and management for The Hanover Group, AIG Agency Auto/21st Century and Infinity Property & Casualty Corporation. Mr. Binns began his insurance career with the Workers Compensation Reinsurance Bureau in New York. Mr. Binns is a graduate of Auburn University with a BSBA degree in Finance.
President – Workers Compensation Business Unit
Benjamin A. Siddons was named President of Hallmark Workers Compensation Insurance (formerly Texas Builders Insurance Company), a business unit focused exclusively on workers’ compensation insurance. Before joining Texas Builders in 2009, Mr. Siddons served as the Director of Business Development at American Physicians Insurance Company (2005-2009) and was a surety producer at Frank Siddons Insurance from 2003-2005. Mr. Siddons has a Masters of Business Administration from Saint Edward’s University and BBA in Finance from Texas Tech University.