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Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Forney surfaces as CEO of specialty property insurer GeoVera


John Forney, who as we reported this morning has departed from United Insurance Holdings (UPC) has already resurfaced with a new lead role as Chief Executive Officer of  specialty residential property insurance company GeoVera Insurance Holdings, Ltd.

john-forney-upcForney, who is well-known in the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market given his previous firm United (UPC) was among the largest users of collateralised reinsurance and ILS fund sourced reinsurance capacity, was reported to have departed to pursue another opportunity.

That opportunity is with well-financed and growing property insurer GeoVera, another catastrophe exposed property focused primary writer and a company destined to become a user of reinsurance capacity from its most efficient sources.

GeoVera said today that under Forney’s leadership his previous employer “established itself as one of the largest and most innovative users of traditional reinsurance and ILS in the world.”

With a particular focus on catastrophe exposed property in the homeowners and residential earthquake markets, GeoVera is als a user of capacity from less traditional reinsurance sources and is likely to become a more expansive user of ILS capacity in future, we’d imagine.

Forney takes over the CEO role from Kevin Nish, who had been GeoVera’s President and CEO since November 2005 and has been managed the business since its formation as a division of USF&G in 1993. Nish will continue to serve as a member of GeoVera’s Board.

“Over the last 27 years, Kevin has built GeoVera into the leading underwriter of specialty residential property risk in the United States, and we thank him for his outstanding leadership,” commented Chris Ackerman, Managing Director of Flexpoint Ford, the Company’s financial backer and majority shareholder. “We are excited to welcome John to GeoVera and look forward to working with him to build on the legacy that Kevin has established of applying sophisticated underwriting techniques to consistently achieve attractive returns in the catastrophe exposed property insurance market.”

“I am confident that John is the right person at the right time for GeoVera. John has a proven track record in the specialty property insurance market and experience with a range of strategies that will be key to the continued success of GeoVera,” added Nish. “His extensive background in catastrophe insurance markets will provide valuable insights to the company. I have great confidence in his ability to continue to build on the excellent platform we have created at GeoVera, and I am excited to have John leading our company during its next phase.”

In his eight years as CEO at United (UPC) the insurer grew its top line by over $1 billion.

“I have watched GeoVera for years and admired the tremendous job Kevin and his team have done to build a market-leading specialty residential insurance platform,” said Forney. “I look forward to working with the employees of GeoVera to continue to serve the company’s customers and distribution partners with unique insurance solutions for catastrophe exposed property risks.”

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