Petrilli hails program market’s “golden age”

The industry is “in the golden age of program management” with the booming marketplace set to maintain its current success, Amwins’ Bob Petrilli has declared.

The executive made those comments as he accepted the Lifetime Achiever award during the 2024 Program Manager Awards on Wednesday evening.

During his speech, Petrilli said 20 to 25 years ago, the programs market “did not have the best of reputations”.

But in the years since he joined Amwins in 2018, Petrilli noted that “the rise in program and MGA business has been meteoric”.

And Petrilli said that growth is because the market now has “very responsible underwriting”.

He also hailed the entrepreneurial spirit, expertise and niche underwriting that have really come to the fore in the program space.

“It's not just about distribution anymore,” he said.

“I think we're in the golden age of program management, and I think it’s going to continue.”

Former Swiss Re Corporate Solutions executive Petrilli joined Amwins in 2018 to lead its underwriting division, which under his oversight more than doubled in size from around $1.2bn to $3.1bn of premium.

Amwins in January confirmed sister title E&S Insurer’s prior reporting that Petrilli was stepping back as president of the firm’s underwriting operation, to be succeeded by Ryan Armijo.

Another big winner on Wednesday evening was Tom Gillingham, the head of Totalis Program Underwriters, who was handed the Outstanding Contributor award.

Described as “a steward of our business” by one judge, while another highlighted his total commitment to the programs space, Gillingham was in January appointed president of industry trade body the Target Markets Program Administrators Association

Other winners include Euclid Transactional in the Individual MGA of the Year category, while MGA Platform of the Year went to DOXA Insurance, and Fair American Insurance and Reinsurance Company, or Fairco, was named Program Insurer of the Year.

The award for Fronting Carrier of the Year went to MS Transverse, and the Program Insurtech of the Year was reThought Flood.

The Program Launch of the Year award was given to Liberty Mutual and Tangram’s Animal Welfare Insurance Organization Program, with M&A Advisor of the Year going to Piper Sandler & Co.

The hotly contested Reinsurance Broker of the Year category was won by Howden Re, while USQRisk took the Innovation in Programs Award.

The Rising Star of the Year was named as BMS Re’s Ben Shapiro.