Winners of Program Manager Awards 2024 revealed

The winners of the third annual Program Manager Awards were announced during a sold-out gala event in New York City on Wednesday evening.

Following on from the Program Manager Conference earlier in the day – itself another packed event – a plethora of senior figures from across the (re)insurance industry congregated at Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan to learn who would be revealed as the winners of the 12 awards.

The first prize announced was for Individual MGA of the Year, and in a hotly contested category, the winner was announced as Euclid Transactional after the judges were impressed by its “sterling reputation”.

MGA Platform of the Year went to DOXA Insurance, a business described by the judges as “very scrappy” and a company that “is really building something”.

Fair American Insurance and Reinsurance Company, or Fairco, was named Program Insurer of the Year, with the carrier described as “a great partner” by the judging panel.

The award for Fronting Carrier of the Year went to MS Transverse, with the winner described as “a notch above the others” by one judge, while another said the firm has “done a very good job on the operational side to separate themselves from their competitors”, even as it navigates its acquisition by Mitsui Sumitomo last year.

Program Insurtech of the Year went to reThought Flood, with the start-up praised for its big data approach and helping to fill what one judge said is “a big void in the marketplace”.

The Program Launch of the Year award went to Liberty Mutual and Tangram’s Animal Welfare Insurance Organization Program, with the judges impressed by the customised solutions the offering can provide a wide selection of insureds.

When it came to the M&A Advisor of the Year award, Piper Sandler & Co was named as the winner after the judges were impressed by the firm’s brand, breadth and skillset, along with the creative structures it develops for clients.

The award for Reinsurance Broker of the Year went to Howden Re, with the firm described as “the gold standard” in the programs sector by the judging panel.

USQRisk took the prize in the Innovation in Programs category, with one judge praising the firm’s tie-up with Ascend Analytics for its revenue protection insurance program as an example of the really exciting developments within the market.

The Rising Star of the Year award has been hotly contested since the event’s beginnings, and it was no different in 2024. But BMS Re’s Ben Shapiro won out as the judges were left impressed by the strides he has taken so far in his career.

While the first 10 awards announced during the event followed a nominations process, the final two – Outstanding Contributor and Lifetime Achiever – were decided solely by the seven-strong panel of judges, which comprised Howden Re’s Matt Beard, TCH Holdings’ Tracey Carragher, Euclid Insurance Services’ John Colis, Starfish Specialty Programs’ Jeremy Hitzig, Liberty Mutual’s Tracey Sharis, Praveen Reddy and Program Manager editor Christopher Munro.

This year’s Outstanding Contributor award went to Tom Gillingham, the head of Totalis Program Underwriters, following what has been active 12 months for the executive.

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.

The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Bob Petrilli for the transformational role he played during his time leading Amwins’ underwriting division, which under his oversight more than doubled in size from around $1.2bn to $3.1bn of premium.

During the judging process, Petrilli was hailed for not only the impressive build-out of Amwins’ underwriting division, but also his development of new leaders who will bring the programs business forward in a dynamic and meaningful way.

Keep any eye out for pictures and further reporting from the event in the June edition of Program Manager.