Global insurer Zurich’s North America division has made a number of key leadership changes including the appointment of Jason Meador as the new Head of the firm’s Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS) unit, effective February 1st, 2022.
Currently, Meador serves as Head of Captives at Zurich North America, and takes over as leader of RCIS from Mike Day, following his impending retirement.
In his new role, Meador reports to Zurich North America Chief Executive Officer, Kristof Terryn, and will be responsible for the direction and strategic planning of the insurer’s crop insurance business.
This includes the expansion of precision agriculture and other advanced technology, and for ensuring strong relationships with stakeholders in the agriculture industry, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), crop agents, and the U.S. Congress.
As Head of RCIS, Meador will work closely with Zurich’s Government & Regulatory Relations team in Washington, D.C. on issues related to the state-backed crop insurance program.
Day will remain with the firm through March 31st to assist in the transition. He retires after almost 40 years in the crop insurance sector, which included serving on the NCIS Executive Committee and the Executive Committee of the Crop Insurance & Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB).
“Mike ensured RCIS, as one of the country’s largest and most dependable crop insurance providers, earned and held the trust of farmers and agents. Mike played a significant role in the successful transition when Zurich acquired RCIS in 2016,” said Terryn.
“We thank him for his 33 years of leadership and advocacy at RCIS. Jason will draw on Mike’s legacy and his own broad skills and experience to continue to support the strength and vitality of American agriculture.”
Meador first joined the company as a Strategy Business Partner to the former Commercial Markets business unit and Technical Underwriting function. He then became Head of Strategic Execution for North America and later moved to the former Alternative Markets business unit as its Chief Operating Officer.
Taking over from Meador as Head of Captives, effective February 1st, is Dawn Hiestand. She takes on responsibility for the overall strategy and operational management of Zurich North America’s Group Captives insurance business. She will report to Head of U.S. National Accounts, Paul Horgan.
Hiestand joined the insurer in 2000 and has held a range of leadership roles in Claims, Operational Transformation and Underwriting. Previously, she served as Chief Operations Officer for Alternative Markets before serving in the same role for Direct Markets.
Additionally, Zurich has announced the appointment of Alban Laloum as Chief Customer Officer for its North America operation, reporting to Terryn. Also effective February 1st, Laloum assumes responsibility for setting the strategic direction for the expanded Customer Office, which now comprises Distribution in addition to Marketing and Customer Experience functions.
Laloum joined the insurer from Marsh in 2013 as Global Broker Relationship Leader.
Finally, Zurich has named Kelly Kinzer, previously Head of Construction Casualty and who has been leading Zurich’s Construction business on an interim basis since November, as the official Head of Construction.
She has been in this role since January 1st, reporting to Horgan, and is accountable for delivering underwriting results, sales execution, talent management strategies and innovative products and services.
Kinzer’s career started at Zurich before she moved to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and later Marsh McLennan, where she served as Senior Vice President. She also spent time with broker WTW before rejoining Zurich in 2019.
“These newly named leaders illustrate the outstanding talent and great bench strength we have here at Zurich North America,” said Terryn.
“They will continue to keep the focus on truly knowing our customers — their challenges and their goals — and ensure we deliver the differentiated solutions and excellent service they have come to expect from Zurich.”