Palomar Specialty Insurance Company was officially founded in 2014 by a group of insurance veterans who wanted to fulfill a need in the insurance catastrophe market. Meet our esteemed leadership team, Board of Directors and Advisory Board.
Mac Armstrong - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Mac Armstrong is the former President of Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, the largest program administrator in the property and casualty (P&C) insurance space with approximately $1 Billion of written premium and over 775 employees. Armstrong led the sale of Arrowhead to Brown & Brown Insurance (NYSE: BRO) for $400 million in January 2012. He also held the positions of CFO and COO at Arrowhead. Prior experience includes Spectrum Equity Investors, a private equity investment firm where he led the insurance investing practice and Alex. Brown & Sons/ BT Alex. Brown Inc., an investment bank acquired by Deutsche Bank. Mr. Armstrong holds an AB from Princeton University. Mr. Armstrong is a member of the San Diego Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (“YPO”) and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Gillispie School.
Heath Fisher - President and Co-Founder
Mr. Fisher was most recently the Managing Director of the Orange County Office of Guy Carpenter, the largest global reinsurance broker in the insurance industry and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc (NYSE: MMC). At Guy Carpenter, Fisher focused on catastrophe placements for West Coast property, specialty and residential earthquake insurers and is recognized as an expert in terms of quantifying, structuring and placing treaty coverage for the peril of earthquake. Prior to Guy Carpenter, Mr. Fisher held various leadership positions at reinsurance brokers Collins and E.W. Blanch Company. Fisher holds an AB from Brown University.
Andy Robinson - Chief Underwriting Officer
Prior to joining Palomar Specialty, Mr. Robinson was the Vice President of Underwriting, Specialty Property Division at Colony Specialty Insurance, a subsidiary of Argo Group (NASD: AGII). At Argo, Mr. Robinson was responsible for all aspects of underwriting ranging from strategy development to underwriting policies, guidelines and procedures creation and portfolio management for a $70 million catastrophe book of business. Prior to Colony, Mr. Robinson held positions at DirectFac, where he developed a California earthquake strategy for Lloyds Syndicates, American Re, and Ohio Casualty Company. Mr. Robinson holds an MBA from University of California, Los Angeles and a BA from San Diego State University.
Jon Christianson - Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Christianson came to Palomar Specialty from the reinsurance intermediary Holborn Corporation. At Holborn, Mr. Christianson was a Vice President and functioned in a hybrid role of reinsurance broker and catastrophe modeler with a focus on catastrophe-prone property lines of business. Mr. Christianson started his career with John B. Collins Associates in Minneapolis servicing both casualty and property business. Mr. Christianson holds a BA-Economics from St. Olaf College.
Chris Uchida - Chief Financial Officer, Finance & Accounting
Mr. Uchida has 11 years of insurance industry experience at Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, Inc. (“Arrowhead”) where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, responsible for financial reporting and compliance, tax planning and compliance, premium accounting, and risk management. Prior to joining Arrowhead, he was a Tax Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Uchida holds a BS and MS from San Diego State University and is a California Certified Public Accountant.
Britt Morries - Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Morries has spent the past 25 years in technology leadership positions, including senior management positions at reinsurance intermediaries John B. Collins Associates and Aon Benfield. Most recently, Mr. Morries was the Chief Technology Officer of Minneapolis-based fitness technology company, where he oversaw the company’s product development teams for both software and hardware engineering, as well as managing production, ongoing development and support of those products.
Elizabeth Seitz - Chief Accounting Officer, Finance & Accounting
Most recently serving as the Controller of Personable General Insurance Agency, Ms. Seitz joins Palomar with 22 years of accounting experience. She served as the VP Finance/Controller of Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, starting her 13 year tenure as Tax Manager and transitioning to the Controller role in 2003. Seitz began her accounting career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She earned a BS-Mathematics from Vanderbilt University, an MS-Accounting from San Diego State University and is a California Certified Public Accountant.
John MacDonald - Senior Vice President, Marketing
Mr. MacDonald has 30 years of property and casualty industry experience in the areas of Retail and Excess and Surplus Lines Sales and Marketing. Most recently, Mr. MacDonald was the Regional Sales Director for Travelers Small Commercial Sales Division in Southern California (NASD; TRV). In this role, Mr. MacDonald led the Sales, Marketing and Distribution Management disciplines which produced over $200 million in business. Prior to Travelers, Mr. MacDonald served in Senior Sales and Marketing roles with Westrope & Associates and Royal & SunAlliance covering the Western United States. Mr. MacDonald holds a BA from West Chester University.
Jake Armstrong - Senior Vice President, Commercial Lines
Mr. Armstrong joined Palomar in October 2015 initially in a strategic role before settling as SVP, Commercial Lines. Prior to joining Palomar, Mr. Armstrong worked at Guggenheim Partners as a Vice President, where he worked on numerous corporate development initiatives, private equity investments and financings and asset management turnarounds. Prior to Guggenheim, he worked at Goldman Sachs in the Merchant Banking Division and Deutsche Bank in the Investment Banking Division. Mr. Armstrong holds a BA from Middlebury College.
Kyle Morgan - Vice President, Corporate Development
Mr. Morgan joined Palomar Specialty after 10 years as a private equity investor at Insight Venture Partners and W Capital, where he focused on the analysis and execution of new investment opportunities across multiple industries. In addition, Mr. Morgan was an active board member and advisor to portfolio companies on various initiatives including business development, capital raising, strategy and M&A. Mr. Morgan holds an AB in Economics from Princeton University.
George Dobrev - Senior Vice President, Analytics
Mr. Dobrev has ten years of industry experience, primary and reinsurance, with an emphasis on earthquake, wind and terrorism catastrophe modeling and analyses. Prior to joining Palomar Specialty, Mr. Dobrev worked in exposure management and catastrophe analytics roles at American Agricultural Insurance Company, Fireman’s Fund and GeoVera. He earned a BS-Mathematics of Computation/Business Administration Specialization from University of California, Los Angeles.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
J. Ryan Clark - Director
Mr. Clark is a Managing Director of Genstar Capital. Prior to joining Genstar, Ryan was an Associate at Hellman & Friedman LLC, a private equity investment firm in San Francisco. Previously, he worked in the Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring Department at Morgan Stanley in New York.
George L. Estes III - Director
Mr. Estes was most recently Executive Chairman of SPARTA Insurance. Mr. Estes co-founded SPARTA and from 2007-2012, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Mr. Estes was co-founder of Discover Re, a leading carrier for the alternative risk marketplace. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from inception to July 2005. Mr. Estes has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and has served on the Board of Directors of Max Capital Group and Rockhill Insurance Company.
Geoff Miller - Director
Mr. Miller is a Principal at Genstar Capital, helping to identify, evaluate and execute acquisition and investment opportunities. Mr. Miller earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and his BA degree in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences from Northwestern University.
In addition to its Board of Directors, Palomar has assembled an advisory board of exceptional insurance and business leaders.
DANIEL BILOT – Partner at Advocate Reinsurance Partners, LLC
DENNIS CHOOKASZIAN – Former CEO of CNA Insurance
BOB DOWDELL – Former CEO of Marshall & Swift/Boeckh
TOM HUTTON – Former CEO of White Mountains Re, Former President and CEO of Risk Management Solutions, Inc.
RICHARD TAKETA – CEO and President of York Risk Services Group