January 8, 2018

Encino, Calif.-based Answer Financial has named Kevin Smith director of business development.

Smith will report to Tom Capp, senior vice president of business development.

Smith has more than 25 years of experience within the banking and financial services industry, with an emphasis in insurance.

Smith was previously a national sales manager for American National Insurance Co.

Answer is an auto and home insurance agency that provides third-party insurance solutions and services to businesses in complementary industries.

San Diego, Calif.-based Cavignac & Associates has named Zoixza Martin as an account administrator within its commercial department.

Martin will provide support to the department’s team members. Her primary responsibilities include processing endorsements, certificates of insurance and new and renewal policies. She also handles billing and cancellation matters, reconciles audits, reviews contracts and performs administrative follow-up and account manager tasks.

Martin previously was an enrollment and matching specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County. Previous work experience includes having served as a case manager, and a bilingual outreach coordinator for the YMCA of San Diego Childcare Resource Service division. She was also a receptionist for Smith Barney.

Cavignac & Associates is a risk management and commercial insurance brokerage firm.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has named Andrew Stolfi administrator of the division of Financial Regulation.

Stolfi’s first day at DCBS will be Feb. 1. He replaces Laura Cali, who is now the chief financial officer at the Oregon Health Authority.

Stolfi is currently the chief operating officer and chief counsel at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors in Basel, Switzerland. Before joining the IAIS in 2012, Stolfi served in various senior management roles at the Illinois Department of Insurance, including acting director, chief of staff, and special counsel for policy and legislative affairs.

Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Ascension Insurance Inc. has named Keri Lopez president of employee benefits.

Lopez will build Ascension’s employee benefits market presence nationally.

She has 19 years of employee benefits consulting experience. Lopez was previously president of Western region benefits for Ascension. She was an area vice president for Gallagher Benefit Services before that.

Ascension Insurance is an insurance agency that offers risk management and benefits consulting services across the U.S.

Pioneer Underwriters has added Zach McAbee as head of ocean marine.

McAbee is based in Seattle, Wash., and reports to Gene Hinman, chief executive officer of Pioneer’s U.S. operation.

The new division under McAbee will underwrite Hull/P&I and primary and excess marine liability, initially focusing on the northwest region of the US.

McAbee has two decades of experience in the ocean marine sector, most recently as head of ocean marine at Crum & Forster, where he launched an ocean marine department and opened and staffed three offices. Prior to this, he was vice president of ocean marine for the midwest region at Liberty International. He began his career with Travelers.

Pioneer Underwriters has offices in the U.K., the U.S. and Switzerland.

Western Security Surplus has named Sherif Azer a senior broker in its Los Angeles, Calif., office.

Azer’s focus will be commercial lines, property and liability with the placement of excess and surplus brokerage, and managing general agency risks.

Azer has 11 years of experience in wholesale at both Bass and Hull & Co.

WSS provides retail brokers a line of commercial and personal lines products, with access to both admitted and non-admitted markets.

San Diego, Calif.-based Cavignac & Associates has named Linda Lopez account administrator of its employee benefits department.

Lopez will assist the employee benefits department account manager with the daily service activities for client benefit offerings.

Lopez was previously the underwriting and customer support manager for Personable General Insurance Agency Inc., where she was employed for 10 years. Previous work experience includes having been the internal marketing representative for Arrowhead General Insurance Agency.

Cavignac & Associates is a risk management and commercial insurance brokerage firm.