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PIWA 2007 Annual Convention

The Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association of New York State Inc.held its Annual Convention Nov. 1-2 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn. The event was attended by almost 90 wholesalers and company representatives who participated in exceptional education courses and networking opportunities.

 
Left: Nathan Warde, president of U.S. Operations for Aspen Specialty. Right: Sam Friedman, editor-in-chief of the Property & Casualty edition of National Underwriter.

Keynote speaker
PIWA was pleased to have two prominent keynote speakers at the convention this year. Nathan Warde, president of U.S. Operations for Aspen Specialty, spoke at the opening dinner Thursday evening; and Sam Friedman, editor-in-chief of the Property & Casualty edition of National Underwriter, spoke at the closing luncheon Friday, providing a humorous and insightful perspective titled The Insurance Industry's Public Image and The Bottom Line.

Annual business meeting
The Annual Business Meeting was held Friday, Nov. 2. Directors elected for a two-year term include: Michael DeFeo, NIF Group; Michael Demetriou, Demetriou Group; Jo Ann Peri, Cowles and Connell; and Gregory Portnoy, GLN Worldwide. Officers elected for a one-year term are: Gary Ricker, Pacific Pro Intermediaries, president; Lucas Snyder, CRC Services, vice president; Jo Ann Peri, Cowles and Connell, treasurer; and David Pietrowski, LoVullo Associates, secretary. Gary Hollederer was honored for his service to PIWA as president for the past two years, and he will remain a member of the board as immediate past president.

Legislative/regulatory update
Next on the schedule was the Legislative and Regulatory Update conducted by Bob Pastel, Esq., PIWA legislative representative; and Dan Maher, Esq., executive director of the Excess Line Association of New York. Members were brought up-to-date on a number of state and federal issues affecting the wholesale community such as Gov. Eliot Spitzer's establishment of the Commission on Financial Services and Regulatory Reform, headed by Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo; the testimony provided by PIWA and other organizations on the possible expansion of the export list; ELANY's introduction of electronic filing process; discussions about establishing an interstate compact; and the status of the proposed Optional Federal Charter legislation and the Non-Admitted and Insurance Reform Act.


Bob Pastel, Esq., PIWA legislative representative; and Dan Maher, Esq., executive director of the Excess Line Association of New York conduct the Legislative and Regulatory Update.
 

Also participating in this first session was Steven Nachman, deputy superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department. He reviewed the department's positions and initiatives on the possible expansion of the export list, the "late notice of claim" legislation, and broker compensation and disclosure. He noted that the department agrees with the industry that the export list should be a "fluid document" that reflects changing market conditions and the need for efficiencies in the market as well as the need for certain exemptions. On the "late notice of claim" legislation (recently vetoed by Gov. Spitzer), he reported that a redraft of the bill has been circulated for which comments are being sought. With respect to broker compensation and disclosure, Nachman said the department is considering a regulation for retail brokers to disclose fees, but that industry comment would be solicited as this is developed.

 
Steven Weisbart, Ph.D., CLU, vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute leads a popular education session.

Education sessions
Members attended an education session titled, Property/Casualty Insurance Overview and Outlook: Focus on Excess and Surplus Lines Operations, conducted by Steven Weisbart, Ph.D., CLU , vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute. Weisbart provided a comprehensive overview and forecast for the property/casualty insurance market, with emphasis on excess and surplus lines, noting a positive outlook for p/c profits.

 
Panelists Thomas Mannion Jr., area president of Yanoff & Co., a division of Risk Placement Services of N.Y.; Shawn McGlinchey, CBCP, ARM , assistant vice president of Loss Control for Harleysville Insurance Cos.; and Louis Pietroluongo, deputy superintendent for Frauds and Disaster Preparedness, NYSID.

The last education session of the day titled Contingency Planning-A Disaster Preparedness Panel Discussion, was moderated by Joe Caligiuri, president of Risk Placement Services of N.Y. Panelists included: Thomas Mannion Jr., area president of Yanoff & Co., a division of Risk Placement Services of N.Y.; Shawn McGlinchey, CBCP, ARM , assistant vice president of Loss Control for Harleysville Insurance Cos.; and Louis Pietroluongo, deputy superintendent for Frauds and Disaster Preparedness, NYSID. The panelists shared with the attendees their experiences with disaster planning, and myriad resources which are available to assist in developing and implementing a Business Continuity Plan.

Thanks, sponsors
Many thanks to the following companies, whose support made this convention and the Abe Snyder Memorial Scholarship Dinner possible:

Burlington Insurance Group

CRC Services Inc.

The Demetriou Group

Excess Line Association of New York

General Star Management Co.

Global Facilities Inc.

Guilford Specialty Group

Hermitage Insurance Co.

Inter-Reco Inc.

Jimcor Agencies

LoVullo Associates Inc.

Morstan General Agency Inc.

Pacific Pro Intermediaries

Regional Reporting Inc./R.R.I.
Russell Bond & Co. Inc.
Scottsdale Insurance Co.

Shand Morahan and Co. Inc.

Tower Group Cos.

United States Liability Insurance Group

Western World Insurance Group

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