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Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Universal hires Heritage’s Soleimani, promotes Luther & Ropiecki


Universal Insurance Holdings, the Florida headquartered primary insurance carrier, has announced some significant senior leadership changes, the most notable being the hiring of rival Heritage’s Arash Soleimani as Chief Strategy Officer.

universal-insurance-logoArash Soleimani was most recently an Executive Vice President and Director of Investor Relations at property and casualty insurer Heritage Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Before Heritage, Soleimani worked as a Director in the equity research division of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, prior to which he worked in Deloitte’s Audit and Enterprise Risk Services division.

Soleimani joins Universal to oversee the strategy and investor relations functions of the P&C insurance company.

In addition to the new hire, Universal also announced two senior promotions this week.

Rob Luther, who was formerly Universal’s Vice President of Corporate Development, Strategy & Investor Relations, has now been promoted to Chief Investment Officer of the company.

Meanwhile, Gary Ropiecki has been promoted to Chief Accounting Officer, stepping up from his last role at the insurer as Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller.

“I’m very pleased to announce the continued focus on key pillars of our organization. The appointment of Arash and promotions of Rob and Gary deepen our bench strength, which is imperative as we develop and execute our strategic objectives and position the Company for sustainable, long-term success,” Steve Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer of Universal explained.

All three appointments have significant industry experience and will play important role’s in Universal’s use of reinsurance and also insurance-linked securities (ILS) market capacity, which the company is known for.

Recently we reported that Universal had made an early start on the renewals of its reinsurance arrangements, as the company looks to get ahead of the market and continues to take steps to restore profitability to its Florida book.

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