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 - Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Mac Armstrong has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a director since February 2014. Prior to founding Palomar, Mr. Armstrong served as the President of Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, which he joined in 2009, previously holding the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Armstrong led the sale of Arrowhead to Brown & Brown, Inc. in 2012. Mr. Armstrong’s 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 earned an A.B. from Princeton University. Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Board of Advisors of Cloverlay Investment Management LLC, a private equity investment firm, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Gillispie School.
Heath Fisher - President and Co-Founder
Heath Fisher has served as our President since February 2014. Mr. Fisher served as a Managing Director of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, the largest global reinsurance broker in the insurance industry. Prior to Guy Carpenter, Mr. Fisher held various leadership positions at reinsurance brokers John B. Collins Associates, Inc. and E.W. Blanch Company. Mr. Fisher earned an A.B. from Brown University.
Andy Robinson - Chief Underwriting Officer
Andy Robinson has served as our Chief Underwriting Officer since February 2014. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Robinson served as the Vice President of Underwriting, Specialty Property Division at Colony Specialty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. Prior to Colony, Mr. Robinson held Vice President level positions at DirectFac Inc. and American Re. Mr. Robinson earned a B.A. from San Diego State University and an M.B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles.
Jon Christianson - Chief Operating Officer
Jon Christianson has served as our Chief Operating Officer since February 2014. Mr. Christianson most recently served as a Vice President of Holborn Corporation and started his career with John B. Collins Associates in Minneapolis, where he serviced both casualty and property business. Mr. Christianson earned a B.A. in Economics from St. Olaf College.
Chris Uchida - Chief Financial Officer
Chris Uchida joined Palomar in 2015 and serves as our Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Uchida served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Arrowhead, which he joined in 2004. Prior to joining Arrowhead, he was a Tax Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Mr. Uchida earned a B.S. and M.S. from San Diego State University and is a California Certified Public Accountant.
Britt Morries - Chief Technology Officer
Britt Morries has served as our Chief Technology Officer since August 2017. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Morries served as Chief Technology Officer of Wellbeats. Prior to joining Wellbeats, Mr. Morries served in senior management roles at John B. Collins Associates and Aon. Mr. Morries attended Metropolitan State University of Minnesota, where he studied computer science.
Elizabeth Seitz - Chief Accounting Officer
Elizabeth Seitz joined Palomar in February 2014 and serves as our Chief Accounting Officer. Ms. Seitz served as the Controller of Personable General Insurance Agency, as the VP Finance/Controller at Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, and began her accounting career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ms. Seitz earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University, an M.S. in Accounting from San Diego State University and is a California Certified Public Accountant.
Jon Knutzen - Chief Risk Officer
Mr. Knutzen has served as our Chief Risk Officer since April 2019. Mr. Knutzen most recently served as a Partner at TigerRisk Partners, and previously held roles at Holborn Corporation, Guy Carpenter and John B. Collins Associates.
Jake Armstrong - Senior Vice President, Commercial Lines
Jake Armstrong joined Palomar in 2015 and serves as our Senior Vice President of Commercial Lines. Prior to joining Palomar, Mr. Armstrong worked at Guggenheim Partners as a Vice President, at Goldman Sachs in the Merchant Banking Division and at Deutsche Bank in the Investment Banking Division. Mr. Armstrong earned a BA from Middlebury College.
Robert Beyerle - Senior Vice President, Underwriting
Robert Beyerle joined Palomar in 2019 and serves as our Senior Vice President of Commercial Lines. Prior to joining Palomar, Mr. Beyerle spent 16 years with Great American Insurance Group’s Property & Inland Marine Division. His insurance experience includes 3 years at Acordia Southeast as a Commercial Insurance Producer. Mr. Beyerle earned a BA from Florida State University and has his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Associate in Reinsurance Designations.
George Dobrev - Senior Vice President, Analytics
George Dobrev joined Palomar in 2014 and serves as our Senior Vice President of Analytics. Prior to joining Palomar, Mr. Dobrev worked 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.
Michelle Johnson - Senior Vice President, People & Talent
Michelle Johnson joined Palomar in 2019 and serves as our Senior Vice President of People and Talent. Prior to joining Palomar, Mrs. Johnson spent the past 20+ years in HR leadership positions, including senior management positions at Option One Mortgage an H&R Block subsidiary, AMN Healthcare and Panasonic Avionics Corporation. Mrs. Johnson earned a BA from California State University Long Beach.
John MacDonald - Senior Vice President, Marketing
John MacDonald joined Palomar in 2014 and serves as our Senior Vice President of Marketing. He 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. 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 earned a BA from West Chester University.
Kyle Morgan - Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy
Kyle Morgan joined Palomar in 2018 and serves as our Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior to joining Palomar, Mr. Morgan served as a Principal at W Capital Partners, and started his career at Insight Venture Partners. Mr. Morgan earned an AB in Economics from Princeton University.
NON EMPLOYEE DIRECTORS
J. Ryan Clark - Director and Chairman
Mr. Clark has served as our Chairman of the Board of Directors since March 2019 and on the board of directors of our insurance subsidiaries since February 2014. Mr. Clark is the President and a Managing Director of Genstar Capital, LLC, where he has worked since 2004. Prior to joining Genstar Capital, Mr. Clark 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. Mr. Clark earned his B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Mr. Clark currently serves on the board of directors, and on the compensation and audit committees, of a number of private companies.
Robert E. Dowdell - Director
Mr. Dowdell has served as a member of our Board of Directors since March 2019 and on the board of directors of our insurance subsidiaries since October 2018. Mr. Dowdell founded Career Education Corporation and served as its Chief Executive Officer and President from September 2006 to March 2007, as a board member from 1994 until 2008, and its Chairman of the Board from 2004 until March 2008. Previously, Mr. Dowdell served as Chief Executive Officer of Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, LLC, President of National Education Centers, Corporate Controller of National Education Corp and Chamberlain Manufacturing Corp, and as an Audit Manager at Price Waterhouse Coopers. Mr. Dowdell is a Certified Public Accountant in California and Illinois. Mr. Dowdell currently serves on the boards of a number of private companies. Mr. Dowdell earned his B.B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
George L. Estes III - Director
Mr. Estes has served as a member of our Board of Directors since March 2019 and on the board of directors of our insurance subsidiaries since February 2014. Mr. Estes was most recently Executive Chairman of SPARTA Insurance Company. Mr. Estes co-founded SPARTA, serving as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2007 until 2013 and its Executive Chairman thereafter until 2014. Previously, Mr. Estes was co-founder of Discover Re Managers, Inc., a leading carrier for the alternative risk marketplace, serving as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from inception in 1989 to 2005. Prior to that, in more than 25 years of service, Mr. Estes served in a variety of management roles at General Reinsurance Corporation, Hartford Economic Development Corporation and Hartford National Corporation. Mr. Estes has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and has served on the Board of Directors of Alterra Capital Holdings Limited (formerly Max Re Capital Group) and Rockhill Insurance Company.
Catriona Fallon - Director
Ms. Fallon has served as a member of our Board of Directors since May 2019. Ms. Fallon is currently Chief Financial Officer at Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., leading the company’s global financial reporting and analysis, controllership, tax, treasury, internal audit and controls, real estate, facilities and financial shared services. Ms. Fallon serves on the board of directors for Cray Inc., the supercomputing company, and has more than 20 years of finance, corporate strategy and development experience. Prior to Hitachi, Ms. Fallon was at Itron, where she served as general manager of Silver Spring Networks. Prior to the company’s acquisition by Itron, she was Chief Financial Officer of Silver Spring Networks. Previously, Ms. Fallon served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Marin Software Incorporated, a SaaS marketing solutions company. Prior to Marin Software, Ms. Fallon held finance and strategic leadership positions across a variety of technology companies, including Cognizant Technology Solutions and Hewlett-Packard Company. She also served as an equity analyst covering software, media and technology companies at Citigroup and held roles with Piper Jaffray & Company, McKinsey & Company, and Oracle Corporation. Ms. Fallon received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in economics from UCLA. She is a two-time Olympic rower for the USA.
Martha Notaras - Director
Mrs. Notaras has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2020. Mrs. Notaras is Managing Partner of Brewer Lane Ventures, investing in early stage insurtech and fintech companies focusing on creating new business models, empowering incumbents and leveraging insights from data & analytics. Prior to joining Brewer Lane Ventures, Mrs. Notaras was a Partner at XL Innovate, investing in insurtech startups. Previously, Mrs. Notaras ran corporate development for the business data & analytics division of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc. Her prior experience includes investment banking at Merrill Lynch and commercial banking at Credit Suisse. Mrs. Notaras currently serves on the board of ATTOM Data Solutions. Mrs. Notaras earned an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Richard H. Taketa - Director
Mr. Taketa has served as a member of our Board of Directors since March 2019 and on the board of directors of our insurance subsidiaries since October 2018. Mr. Taketa serves as President of Taketa Capital Corporation, where he has worked since September 2018. Previously, Mr. Taketa served as Chief Executive Officer and President of York Risk Services Group, Inc., from January 2014 through September 2018, previously holding the positions of Chief Operating Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and President at numerous York divisions and subsidiaries since 2006. Prior to joining York, Mr. Taketa served as the Chief Executive Officer of Southern California Risk Management Associates and an associate at DLA Piper LLP. In addition, Mr. Taketa serves on the board of directors of a number of private companies. Mr. Taketa earned his B.A. in Economics from Colgate University and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.