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GUARD Insurance Group Names New President and Chief Operating Officer

GUARD Insurance Group names new President and Chief Operating Officer; in COO role former chief administrative officer Carl Witkowski’s responsibilities will include IT, claims, customer service and underwriting; CEO Sy Foguel adds role of President.

Charged with carrying out the commercial lines carrier’s expansion plans, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based GUARD Insurance Group's CEO Sy Foguel recently assumed the role of President, and former Chief Administrative Officer Carl Witkowski was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Foguel's and Witkowski's new roles were formerly held by Susan Shoval, GUARD co-founder, who has retired from the company along with her husband and co-founder Judd Shoval. Both will remain board members.

In Witkowski's new role, he is directly responsible for information technology, claims, customer service, underwriting, managed care, human resources and legal operations for all but small business accounts, “which enables him to ensure that GUARD has the infrastructure and processes needed to support planned growth while concurrently achieving optimum effectiveness,” according to a company statement. Witkowski has been with GUARD since 1996 in several executive management positions of increasing scope and responsibility.

Foguel, former EVP of international financial conglomerate Clal Insurance Company, Ltd., has held the position of CEO since GUARD's 2007 merger with Clal, which he helped facilitate. “In that time, GUARD has achieved record profits while Foguel has created a new vision for the company's future through expansion into other lines of business insurance to complement a long-time specialty in Workers' Compensation coverage,” according to the company.

Foguel and Witkowski, along with other members of the executive management team, will carry out GUARD's expansion plans. Thus far, the group has launched a full complement of products (under the name of BizGUARD Plus) that are designed to match the P&C insurance needs of small- to mid-sized businesses. GUARD currently offers Workers' Compensation policies in 27 jurisdictions as well as a Businessowner's Policy (BOP) and Commercial Auto and Umbrella coverage in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and South Carolina. The BOP and Umbrella/Excess are also available in Maryland and New York. Over the next several years, the organization's new lines will be systematically introduced in other states, the company reports.

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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