Des Plaines, Ill. — Susan Hood, claims VP, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and chair of the board of governors of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) announced today that Robert Bryant will retire as NICB president and CEO, effective at the close of business today, Sept. 2, 2008.

At NICB, Bryant was the force behind the creation of Medical Fraud Task Forces and the Strategic and Tactical Information Department. He supported cutting-edge technology, such as license plate readers, bait cars and enhanced analytical tools for detecting fraud trends. He was an early and consistent voice nudging the NICB membership toward providing their salvage claims data to the public as a consumer protection against unsafe vehicles. His efforts materialized with the launch of NICB's member-supported VINCheck vehicle history service on June 30, 2008, a first-of-a-kind free benefit for the public.

In acknowledging Bryant's tenure, Hood stated, "Mr. Bryant was responsible for remaking the NICB into the premier fraud-fighting organization it is today. His leadership, foresight and passion for excellence have touched every facet of NICB's operations delivering efficiency, effectiveness and a return on member investment that has grown from 2:1 upon his arrival to 8:1, presently. This is truly phenomenal, and I know I speak for the rest of the Board of Governors in wishing Mr. Bryant a satisfying and well-deserved retirement. He will be missed."

The NICB Board elected NICB's COO, Joseph Wehrle, Jr. to succeed Bryant as president and CEO, effective at the close of business today. "I am honored by the confidence the NICB Board has placed in me, and I am excited to have the opportunity to lead this great organization. Thanks to Bob Bryant, the NICB is operationally sound and ready to move to the next level in our continued effort to accomplish our mission of combating insurance fraud and vehicle theft.

"I stand committed to continuing the cooperation that NICB extends to all of our partners including our member insurance companies, the entire property/casualty industry, law enforcement, state fraud bureaus, trade associations and all organizations focused on reducing the impact of fraud on the American public," said Mr. Wehrle.

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

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