Novato, Calif. – Michael LaRocco was recently named president and CEO of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., a $6 billion property/casualty insurance firm based in Novato, Calif.

Appointed by the company’s board of directors, LaRocco will report to Chuck Kavitsky, president and CEO of Allianz of America, parent company of Fireman’s Fund. An insurance executive with nearly 30 years of experience, LaRocco last served as president and COO of Seattle-based Safeco, a $5 billion property/casualty insurer focused on personal and business lines.

“Mike has superb credentials and is a proven leader in the P&C insurance industry,” says Kavitsky. “His background and experience make him an ideal fit.”

Prior to Safeco, LaRocco spent eight years at Chevy Chase, Md.-based GEICO Corp. in senior management roles, including regional VP with full responsibility for the $1.2 billion Northeast region. He began his insurance career at Mayfield Village, Ohio-based Progressive Corp., working eight years in a variety of management roles.

“It is a privilege to join Fireman’s Fund, a company with both a strong heritage and financial position, backed by the breadth of Allianz, a global leader in insurance and financial services,” says LaRocco.

LaRocco will assume his new role on March 17, and also serve on the International Executive Committee of Allianz SE.

The appointment comes on the heels of New York Life announcing that Ted Mathas was named CEO-elect by the board of directors of New York Life Insurance Co. Mathas will succeed longtime CEO Sy Sternberg, upon Sternberg’s retirement on June 30, 2008. Beginning July 1, Sternberg will remain chairman of the board of directors in a non-executive capacity, for a transition period.

Mathas has served as New York Life’s president since June 2007, and COO since May 2006. He will retain the president’s title upon assuming the chief executive’s role in July. Mathas will be the 18th chief executive in the New York-based company’s 163-year history. He is currently responsible for overseeing all domestic and international business operations, including life insurance, retirement income, investments, long-term care insurance and related businesses, as well as the company’s career agency system.

Sources: Fireman’s Fund, New York Life

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