Reinsurance News

Universal shakes up its leadership structure

14th March 2022 - Author: Pete Carvill

Universal Insurance Holdings has made three changes to its leadership structure.

universal-insurance-holdings-logoThe firm has appointed Arash Soleimani to be its new chief strategy officer, while promoting Rob Luther and Gary Ropiecki to be its new chief investment officer and new principal accounting officer, respectively.

According to Universal, Soleimani will oversee the strategy and investor relations functions, while Luther will oversee the $1bn+ investment portfolio and support M&A activities, and Ropiecki will oversee Universal’s enterprise-wide accounting and reporting functions.

Steve Donaghy, CEO, said: “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.”

Soleimani was previously executive vice president and director of investor relations at Heritage Insurance Holdings, a property and casualty insurer. Before Heritage, he was a director in the equity research division of Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, a financial services investment bank, where he focused on the property and casualty insurance industry.

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Luther served as the vice president of corporate development, strategy & investor relations for Universal. Prior to this, he served in the Corporate Strategy and M&A group at L3Harris, where he supported transformational acquisitions, developed strategic growth plans, and led inorganic portfolio shaping optimization efforts.

Ropiecki previously served as the senior vice president and corporate controller at Universal and continues to serve as corporate secretary. He started his career at Deloitte and his experience includes roles at Hannover Re, Torus Insurance, KPMG, and E&Y.

This news follows a recent reveal that the firm reported a 17.3% increase for 2021 in net income. Back then, Reinsurance News reported that income for that year was $28.4m, compared with $24.2m in the previous year, while the Q4 loss amounted to $64.5m, following a loss of $27m for the same period in 2020.

The company has previously warned of an $80.1m hit to its Q4 results due to reserve strengthening and development actions. Accordingly, Universal’s combined ratio improved by 8.1 percentage points to 105.5% for the full-year period, but deteriorated by 7.4 points to 131.4% for the quarter.

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