Allied World has hired Stephen Leeret to run its US programs business after taking the executive from Markel, The Insurer can reveal.

Stephen Leeret – Allied World

According to sources, Leeret, who had been with the Richmond, Virginia-based insurer since 2016, officially took up the position of senior vice president and head of US programs at Fairfax Financial subsidiary Allied World this morning.

In a statement, Allied World confirmed the appointment and said Leeret will be responsible for the strategy, management and underwriting of the insurer’s US programs division.

Commenting on the hire, Allied World CEO Lou Iglesias said: “We are very excited to have Stephen leading the team. He will be instrumental in continuing to deliver niche insurance solutions to our Program Administrators.”

The insurer’s president of North American Casualty Joe Cellura added: “Stephen has an extensive insurance background with over 29 years’ experience in middle market, special risk and program underwriting, marketing and portfolio management.

“He will be a great asset as we continue to grow our Programs business.”

He was most recently head of programs at Markel Specialty. The insurer is thought to support more than $700mn in programs business.

Leeret was previously at AIG’s Lexington Insurance Company and is understood to have worked with AIG’s former head of programs Ethan Allen, who is now CUO at program carrier start-up Transverse Insurance Group.

The appointment of Leeret comes after Allied World lost Grace Meek last August when the executive left to take on the position of president and CEO of a new programs unit being set up by American Family’s Homesite Insurance affiliate.

Her most recent position had been senior vice president of specialty insurance at Allied World, with responsibility for programs, environmental, surety, and DBA Divisions after being promoted from SVP of US programs in February last year.

That position was initially filled by Claudia Carnevale, but she followed Meek to Homesite Underwriting Managers last month as SVP and chief risk officer.