The Tower Group is a tangled web to unravel at times. The NAIC
number for Tower Insurance of New York (a dba) is 44300, and their
NAIC Group Number is 3703. CastlePoint National is listed
under NAIC 40134. CastlePoint Florida Insurance Company is
listed under NAIC 13599.
Towergroup was a multi-billion dollar NASDAQ traded company before
they came into our field of view. Through investigation it was
discovered they had insufficient assets to cover their debt(s) and
was in essence a set of shell companies masquerading as a PONZI
Scheme. A few interesting maneuvers exposed this and the
company was bankrupted under audit, ratings, and SEC scrutiny.
Whereas this isn't the most satisfying "win", it did save a number
of people from being hurt.
Mr. Michael H. Lee currently serves as Chairman of the Board of
Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer and has held these
positions at the Company since its formation in 1995 and at its
subsidiaries since their formation. Before founding the Company’s
first insurance subsidiary, Tower Insurance Company of New York, in
1990, Mr. Lee was an attorney in private practice specializing in
advising entrepreneurs on the acquisition, sale and formation of
businesses in various industries. Mr. Lee received a B.A. in
Economics from Rutgers University in 1980 and a J.D. from Boston
College Law School in 1983. He is admitted to practice law in New
York and New Jersey. Mr. Lee has worked in the insurance industry
for over 20 years with experience in insurance, finance,
underwriting, sales and marketing, claims management and
administration and law. Mr. Lee also served as Chairman, President
and Chief Executive Officer of CastlePoint Holdings, Ltd. from its
formation in 2006 until its merger into the Company in February
Mr. Hitselberger joined the Company in December 2009 as Senior
Vice President and became Chief Financial Officer in March 2010.
Before joining the Company, Mr. Hitselberger served as Executive
Vice President of PMA Capital Corporation from April 2004 to
November 2009 and as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer,
and Treasurer from June 2002 to March 2004. He also served as Vice
President and Chief Financial Officer of The PMA Insurance Group
from 1998 to June 2002 and as Vice President of The PMA Insurance
Group from 1996 to 1998. Mr. Hitselberger is a Certified Public
Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Mr. Abano joined as Senior Vice President and Chief Information
Officer of Tower Group, Inc. in June 2008 . From 2006 to 2008, he
served as Vice President of Technology, Systems Development and
Infrastructure for QBE the Americas. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Abano
was the Chief Technology Officer in the United States Army, under
Operation Iraqi Freedom III, for the central region of Iraq. He was
awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, and other prestigious
awards during his military reserves deployment. Mr. Abano is now a
retired Lieutenant Colonel from the military reserves with 26 years
of service. Prior to his overseas deployment, Mr. Abano held the
position of Vice President and CIO for Kemper Insurance Companies
Northeast Region from 1999 - 2004, and was Assistant Vice President
of Technology and Strategic Software Development for Munich Re
America (formerly American Reinsurance Corporation) from 1993-1999.
Mr. Abano has held various positions within the insurance and
financial services industry, including with American International
Group. He currently serves as Secretary for the New Jersey Chapter
of the Society for Senior Information Managers, and was elected in
2006 to the Board of Education within his local community. Mr. Abano
received an M.B.A. in Business Management and Technology from Regis
University in 2003, and is a graduate of Brooklyn College, The City
University of New York, where he received a B.S. in Computer and
Information Science in 1986.
Mr. Orol joined the Company in December 2008 as Senior Vice
President, General Counsel and Secretary. Before joining the
Company, Mr. Orol served until November 2008 at The Navigators
Group, Inc. as Chief Compliance Officer from November 2004, Senior
Vice President and General Counsel from May 2005, and Secretary from
May 2006. Prior to joining Navigators, Mr. Orol was in private legal
practice and, from 2002 to 2003, served as Managing Director and
General Counsel of Gerling Global Financial Products, Inc. From 1999
through 2001, he was a partner with the law firm of Cozen O’Connor.
He served from 1996-1999 as Vice President, General Counsel and
Secretary of the GRE Insurance Group, and from 1987-1996 as Vice
President of The Continental Insurance Company. He currently serves
on the Board of Trustees of The Dalton School. Mr. Orol received a
B.S. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at
Binghamton, a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and an
M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Pechmann joined the Company in September 2003. Before that,
Mr. Pechmann was employed in various roles at Kemper Insurance
Companies for 32 years. His most recent position with that company
was as Northeast Region President, responsible for management and
profitability of seven operating branch offices. A 1971 graduate of
Hartwick College, Mr. Pechmann received a B.A. in English.
Mr. Joel S. Weiner has served as Senior Vice President -
Strategic Planning, Chief Actuarial Officer of Tower Group Inc since
February 2009. Mr. Weiner joined the Company in February 2009,
following the merger of CastlePoint Holdings, Ltd. into the Company.
He joined CastlePoint as Vice President in January 2006, was a
director from January 2007 through March 2007, and became Chief
Financial Officer and Senior Vice President in February 2006. Until
the merger, Mr. Weiner was also Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice
President and director of CastlePoint Re since March 2006, and held
the same positions at CastlePoint Management Corp. since May 2006.
Prior to joining CastlePoint, Mr. Weiner served as Senior Vice
President of the Company from January 2004 to April 2006. From
January 2002 until December 2003, he was employed as Managing
Director at GAB Robins Capital Partners, which provides outsourcing
for claim operations. From October 1991 to December 2001, he was
employed by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he
led that company’s U.S. middle market insurance consulting practice
and advised many property and casualty insurers on strategic issues.
He is an Associate member of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a
member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Mr. Weiner received his
B.S. from Drexel University and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School
of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Gary S. Maier joined the Company in June 2005. Before
joining the Company, Mr. Maier served from April 2002 to September
2004 as Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer of
OneBeacon Insurance Group in New York. In his role at OneBeacon
Insurance Group, Mr. Maier managed the New York and New Jersey
territories. From February 1987 to March 2002, Mr. Maier served in a
variety of positions at Chubb Insurance Group, including most
recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer of
Commercial Lines for Chubb Insurance Group’s Mid-Atlantic Region, in
which he managed a $400 million middle-market commercial portfolio
in seven states with six field offices and a regional small
commercial underwriting center.
Ms. Ranegar joined the Company in October 2003 as Vice President
of Operations. She was promoted to Senior Vice President in January
2006. She currently manages underwriting operations, with
responsibility for policy issuance service, billing and collections,
premium audit and statistical reporting. She has over 25 years of
insurance industry experience. Her most recent prior experience was
with Kemper Insurance where she was Regional Operations Director,
responsible for underwriting operations in seven branch offices
located throughout the northeast from 2002 until 2003. Before
Kemper, Ms. Ranegar held management positions at Highlands Insurance
Group, Inc. from 1996 until 2002, where she was Vice President,
Claim Field Operations, responsible for technical claim handling and
operations in the field claim offices, and Vice President,
Underwriting and Operations, responsible for a small business
service center. She began her insurance career with Aetna Life and
Casualty as a Liability Claim Representative in New York City. At
Aetna, and subsequently Travelers, she held positions of increasing
responsibility including Assistant Director responsible for the
consolidation of Aetna and Travelers claim field offices. Ms.
Ranegar graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in
Mr. Steven W. Schuster has served on the Board of Directors of
Tower Group, Inc., since 1997. Mr. Schuster has been engaged in the
practice of corporate law for over 25 years and is co-chair of
McLaughlin & Stern LLP’s corporate and securities department, where
he has been a partner since 1995. Mr. Schuster received his B.A.
from Harvard University in 1976 and his J.D. from New York
University in 1980.
Mr. Charles A. Bryan, C.P.A., F.C.A.S., C.P.C.U. has served as
Director of Tower Group Inc. since 2004, has been the President of
CAB Consulting, LLC, an insurance consulting firm that provides
general management, merger and acquisition, actuarial and accounting
services, since 2001. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Bryan served as Senior
Vice President and Chief Actuary for Nationwide Insurance Group. Mr.
Bryan is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a Certified
Public Accountant, and a Chartered Property and Casualty
Underwriter. Mr. Bryan also serves on the Board of Directors of Safe
Auto, Medical Mutual of Ohio, the Ohio Bureau of Workers
Compensation and Munich Re America (statutory company only) and its
U.S. affiliates (statutory companies only). Mr. Bryan received an
M.B.A. in General Management from Golden Gate University in 1976, an
M.S. in Mathematics from Purdue University in 1969 and a B.S. in
Mathematics from John Carroll University in 1968.
Mr. Austin P. Young III, has served as Director of Tower Group,
Inc., since 2004 and currently serves as a Director and the Chairman
of the Audit Committee of Administaff, Inc and Amerisafe, Inc.
Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial
Officer and Treasurer of CellStar Corporation from 1999 to December
2001, when he retired. Before joining CellStar Corporation, he
served as Executive Vice President - Finance and Administration of
Metamor Worldwide, Inc. from 1996 to 1999. Mr. Young also held the
position of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of
American General Corporation for over eight years. He was a partner
in the Houston and New York offices of KPMG Peat Marwick where his
career spanned 22 years before joining American General Corporation.
He holds an accounting degree from the University of Texas and is
also a member of the Houston and State Chapters of the Texas Society
of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants and Financial Executives International.
Mr. William W. Fox, Jr. who became a Director in April 2006, has
over 40 years experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry.
Mr. Fox was employed by Balis & Co., Inc. and its successor, the Guy
Carpenter reinsurance brokerage division of Marsh & McLennan
Companies, from 1962 through 1988, and again from 1992 through 1999.
Mr. Fox had a number of positions at Balis & Co., Inc., and Guy
Carpenter, including President of Balis from 1985 through 1988 and
again from 1992 through 1999. Mr. Fox also served as a member of Guy
Carpenter’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and as a
Managing Director of J&H, Marsh & McLennan. Between 1992 and 1999,
Mr. Fox was also the Chief Executive Officer of Excess Reinsurance
Company. In 1988, Mr. Fox founded PW Reinsurance Management Company
(“PW Group”), as a joint venture with Providence Washington
Insurance Company (“Providence”) to underwrite reinsurance on behalf
of Providence. Mr. Fox was a Senior Vice President of Providence
from 1988 to 1989 and was responsible for selecting and overseeing
reinsurance intermediaries. In 1989, the Baloise Insurance Group
acquired Providence and appointed Mr. Fox President of the PW Group.
Mr. Fox has served on several insurance-related boards of directors
and is currently the Chairman of the Board of MII Management Group,
the Attorney-in-Fact for MutualAid Exchange. Mr. Fox is a member of
the CPCU Society and holds a Pennsylvania Property and Casualty
Mr. Van Gorder became a Director of Tower Group, Inc. in
February 2009, upon the completion of the merger of CastlePoint
Holdings, Ltd. into the Company. Prior to joining the Company’s
Board of Directors, he served as a member of CastlePoint’s Board of
Directors from March 2007 until February 2009. Mr. Van Gorder was
employed by Erie Insurance Group from November 1981 through December
2006. He held a variety of positions at that company, including
Acting Chief Executive Officer from January 2002 to May 2002 and his
most recent position as Senior Executive Vice-President, Secretary
and General Counsel from December 1990 through December 2006. He
served as a consultant and acting Secretary and General Counsel at
Erie Insurance Group during the period January 1, 2007 through May
12, 2007. Mr. Van Gorder served as a member of the board of
directors of Erie Indemnity Company, Erie, Pennsylvania, from 1990
to 2004. Mr. Van Gorder has also served as a Director and Chairman
of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania. Mr. Van Gorder received
a B.A in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania
in 1970 and a J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1975.
Mr. William A. Robbie became a Director of Tower Group, Inc. in
February 2009 upon the completion of the merger of CastlePoint
Holdings, Ltd. into the Company. Prior to joining Tower’s Board of
Directors, he served as a member of CastlePoint’s Board of Directors
from January 2006 until February 2009. Since December 2004, he has
provided financial advisory services to the insurance industry
through his own consulting firm. From November 2002 to November
2004, Mr. Robbie was Chief Financial Officer of Platinum
Underwriters Reinsurance Ltd., a property and casualty reinsurance
company in Bermuda. From August 2002 to November 2002, Mr. Robbie
held the same position at St. Paul Reinsurance, a reinsurance
operation of The St. Paul Companies, Inc. From September 1997 to
August 2002, Mr. Robbie held various positions at XL Capital Ltd., a
Bermuda-based insurance, reinsurance and financial risk company, and
its subsidiaries, including Executive Vice President - Global
Services, Corporate Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of XL Re,
Ltd. Prior to that, he held a variety of central and senior
positions in the insurance industry, including roles as Chief
Financial Officer of Prudential AARP Operations, Chief Accounting
Officer at Continental Insurance Companies, Treasurer of Monarch
Life Insurance Company and various positions at Aetna Life and
Casualty Company. From 2005 to January 2008, Mr. Robbie was a
director and chairman of the Audit Committee of American Safety
Insurance Company. Mr. Robbie is a Certified Public Accountant. Mr.
Robbie received his B.A. from St. Michael’s College and his Master
of Accounting and M.B.A. from Northeastern University.
Mr. Robert S. Smith became a Director of Tower Group, Inc. in
February 2009 upon the completion of the merger of CastlePoint
Holdings, Ltd. into the Company. Prior to joining Tower’s Board of
Directors, Mr. Smith served as a member of CastlePoint’s Board of
Directors from January 2006 until February 2009. Mr. Smith is
currently a principal of Sherier Capital LLC, a business advisory
firm that he founded in 2005, and a Managing Director of National
Capital Merchant Banking, LLC, an investment firm that he joined in
April 2008. He was previously Chief Operating Officer (from December
1999 to April 2004) and Executive Vice-President (from April 2004 to
August 2004) of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc., where he was
instrumental, among other things, in growing Friedman, Billings,
Ramsey Group, Inc. from a privately-held securities boutique to a
nationally recognized investment bank, helping accomplish its 1997
initial public offering and the creation of an affiliated public
company, FBR Asset Investment Corporation, and the merger of the two
companies in 2003. Before joining Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group,
Inc. as its General Counsel, Mr. Smith was an attorney with the law
firm of McGuireWoods LLP from 1986 to 1996. Mr. Smith currently
serves on the Board of Asset Capital Corporation. Mr. Smith received
his LL.B. and Dip L.P. (graduate Diploma in Legal Practice) from
Edinburgh University, and his LL.M. from the University of Virginia.
The criminal activity and/or appearance thereof your company uses is really about
saving money, isn’t it? You have profited off these processes and procedures.
This could mean a corporate culture of deviants has supplied your lifestyle.
Everything you own could be at risk. We find ourselves in a very interesting place.
Your unlawful rejection of liability and perpetual abuses of the system are
causing a substantial amount of distress to victims………….Review our file. Review
my correspondence to those you have employed. In a court of law you haven’t
much to hold on to, and with each passing day we have fewer reasons to resolve
this prior to arriving at court. With every passing day our case becomes
stronger, and yours of course is weaker. Is this what your stockholders invest
for? Incompetence? Incompetence and dishonesty at all levels with ever
increasing liabilities? This is all about risk management and your group is
doing a poor job of it.
By now you might be thinking I have a head injury! How
perceptive! I do as a result of the horrible wreck your assured put me
through. I was run over by an 18 wheeler, and then run over by mishandling of
the claim. I am not sure which has produced more abuse, but my days aren’t as
good as they once were, and have been getting worse. Doctors indicate my brain
damage could be considered permanent at this point and only therapy to cope can be
As always, prompt contact to amicably resolve this is
everyone’s best option. I look forward to someone of integrity with an
interest to stop this train wreck
This notice extends to all the Tower Group
Companies, including but not limited to CastlePoint, SUA Insurance,
Tower Insurance of New York, and the myriad of shell companies and
LLC's set up apparently to avert financial responsibility for
actions and inactions.
Supreme Court ruled unanimously written by Judge William
Rehnquist concerning Hustler Magazine v Jerry Falwell
"At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition
of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters
of public interest and concern. The freedom to speak one's mind is not only an
aspect of individual liberty – and thus a good unto itself – but also is
essential to the common quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole."
Supreme Court Judge Scalia wrote concerning Pope v
"Just as there is no use arguing about taste, there is
no use litigating about it."
Copyright May 2011, All rights reserved by Ted Whidden