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Argo Group Combines Colony and Argonaut Specialty to Form Colony Specialty

Source: Business Wire


Posted on 13 Oct 2010

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The Excess and Surplus Lines business of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. has announced plans to combine two of its companies – Argonaut Specialty and Colony – to form one company with a new name and a renewed purpose: Colony Specialty. Argo Pro, the third of the Excess and Surplus Lines businesses, will continue on as a specialty underwriter of professional business.

“We want to be more responsive and make it easier for our customers to access our products,” says E&S President Lou Levinson, “so we're flattening and simplifying our company structure, while staying true to our roots as a wholesale-only company.”

The Colony Specialty name capitalizes on the Colony brand, widely recognized and respected by customers and producers in the industry. “We're combining the strength of Colony with the power of Argonaut Specialty to create our new company, Colony Specialty,” said Mr. Levinson.
Colony Specialty's new model delivers a product structure that's more easily understood and transparent to the market, offering clients:

    •    Access to a wider array of products
    •    Increased responsiveness
    •    Faster quotes
    •    Improved ease of doing business

In addition, the new structure leverages the entire Argo Group platform, promoting efficiencies and supporting collaboration within E&S and with other Argo Group segments. The more nimble Colony Specialty will be able to respond quickly to events and market changes with a consistent and unified approach.

Key leaders have been appointed to implement the “go forward” strategy.

Michael Fleischer is the new E&S segment chief underwriting officer. Mr. Fleischer will work closely with E&S businesses leaders to help maximize profitability while providing strategic underwriting guidance.

John Keane, president of Argo Pro, also will serve as COO of Colony Specialty. Mr. Keane is responsible for overseeing our allied medical, professional liability and Insight businesses as well as our IT operations and support services.

Sam Anderson is appointed as president of sales and business development. He will have direct responsibility for producer management, marketing, new product development, and cultivating meaningful relationships with key insureds.

Mark Richards is appointed SVP of casualty. He is responsible for setting the casualty strategy of Colony Specialty.

Ron Vindivich is promoted to SVP of transportation. He is responsible for setting the transportation strategy of a soon-to-be combined garage, brokerage transportation and binding transportation organization.

The transition to Colony Specialty will be complete in January, while staff changes are immediate.

ABOUT COLONY SPECIALTY

Colony Specialty, the largest division of the excess and surplus segment of the Argo Group, is a premier specialty property and casualty underwriter in the US. Focused on excess and surplus markets, Colony Specialty is dedicated to providing specialty insurance products and superior service through an efficient network of appointed wholesale brokers. Colony Specialty has offices located in Virginia, Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, California, Colorado, New York, and New Jersey.

ABOUT ARGO GROUP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, LTD.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.  is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. Argo Group offers a full line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in four primary segments: Excess & Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, Reinsurance, and International Specialty. Argo's insurance subsidiaries are A. M. Best-rated 'A' (Excellent) (third highest rating out of a 16 rating classifications) with a stable outlook, and Standard and Poor's-rated 'A-' (Strong) with a stable outlook. More information on Argo Group and its subsidiaries is available at www.argolimited.com


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