Experience and Expertise
The AmeriTrust Group, Inc. Executive Team represents a cross section of experience and expertise in a variety of insurance specialties to serve our clients and guide us toward fulfilling our vision.
Kenn Allen, CHCM, CIC
President, Chief Executive Officer
Kenn Allen is President and Chief Executive Officer of AmeriTrust Group, Inc. and is the leader of AmeriTrust’s Executive Management Team. Prior to this appointment, he was a Senior Vice President of the Company and President of Meadowbrook Insurance Agencies (a subsidiary of AmeriTrust Group, Inc.). As President of Meadowbrook Insurance Agencies, Mr. Allen’s primary directive was the management of seven agency profit centers, and the development of future effective leaders.
Mr. Allen has been with the Company and Meadowbrook Insurance Agencies for over 30 years. During those years, Mr. Allen successfully assimilated seven Property & Casualty Benefit Agency acquisitions, developed several affinity Property & Casualty Groups and centralized commercial marketing for efficiencies. He also established multiple benchmarking metrics to drive “Best in Class”, profit accountability, and structured producers as free standing profit centers. In support of those efforts, he created a producer equity to perpetuate their books of business and to use as a recruitment tool for new producers.
Mr. Allen began his career with Safeco Insurance Company performing “safety engineering” services throughout the Mid-West. He obtained a second degree in Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene to further his safety engineering effectiveness. Mr. Allen also worked for Republic Hogg Robinson. He was one of three Senior Vice Presidents responsible for overseeing one of America’s largest third-party administrators for workers compensation, group benefits, and agency operations.
Mr. Allen has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Management from the University of Cincinnati. He also has a degree in Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene from Henry Ford Community College. Mr. Allen is a Trustee of the Michigan Opera and a past President of Doubloon Reinsurance Corporation. In addition, Mr. Allen was a past Chair, Education Chair, Membership Chair, and Forum Moderator of the Young President Organization, a/k/a World Presidents Organization. He was previously a Southfield, Michigan Chamber of Commerce Board Member. Kenn is currently the Chair of Insurance and Legal Committee for Walnut Creek Country Club, South Lyon, Michigan.
Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer
Patrick Stewart is Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of AmeriTrust Group, Inc. and is a member of the Executive Management Team. Mr. Stewart is responsible for all financial-related activities of the Company. He also manages all areas of Treasury, including Investment Management, Cash Management, Accounts Payable, Premium Receivables, Interest Rate Hedging, Goodwill Valuation, and all aspects of the Company’s Tax Strategy (Federal, State, Excise, Premium and Personal Property Taxes).
Mr. Stewart manages the daily interaction and monitoring of the investment management firms, Conning Asset Management and Munder Capital Management. He also maintains relationships with the Banking group from a credit aspect (debt covenants) and treasury management. In addition to these responsibilities, he assists in managing and evaluating aspects of due diligence, as well as, new business opportunities.
Mr. Stewart started his career as an accountant with Allstate Insurance in Northbrook, Illinois. In 1991, he moved on to become a financial auditor with KPMG in Detroit, Michigan, focused almost entirely on the financial sector. In 1995, he started managing the financial aspects as controller of a small medical malpractice operation that included an offshore Cayman captive. He assisted with the sale of that operation in 2000, after which he joined the Company as Director of Financial Analysis, managing the overall tax and budget functions.
In 2001, he left the Company and joined a small MGA operation offering non-standard auto insurance where he was Director of Finance. After assisting the sale of that operation in 2005, he re-joined the Company as Director of Financial Reporting, primarily working on internal management company accounting operations. Functions at that time included managing the overall budget process, federal and state income taxes, goodwill valuation, merger and acquisition activities (due diligence and integration), and filling in for SEC reporting. In 2008, he assisted with the purchase accounting and integration of the Century merger. In 2009, Mr. Stewart was promoted to Vice President and Treasurer, to manage and oversee all areas of the Treasury Department.
Mr. Stewart obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Michigan State University in 1990, where he worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Principles of Financial Accounting Course
Brian Zhang, ARM
Chief of Staff
Brian Zhang is Chief of Staff of AmeriTrust Group, Inc. He is also a member of the Executive Management Team and of the Board of Directors. Mr. Zhang is responsible for all marketing and business development functions. Prior to joining AmeriTrust in April, 2017, Mr. Zhang worked as Managing Director for Fosun International in their New York headquarters. He has been involved in AmeriTrust’s transition since the acquisition by Fosun International in July of 2015.
Mr. Zhang has worked in the insurance industry for over 15 years. He began his career with State Farm Insurance as a Claim Processor. In 2003 he joined Aon, as a Client Specialist where he expanded his insurance background into risk management and client support. He spent time with the Aon Natural Resource division, as a Relationship/Syndication Specialist, furthering his career with energy related accounts including sales, premium audit and account support. In 2005, Mr. Zhang took over a $75M book of business on a MGA/Program for AIG – Lexington Insurance Company. His responsibilities covered all areas including underwriting, policy management, and financial audits.
In 2008, Mr. Zhang moved to Zurich North America, in their Specialty Product division for Healthcare Professional Liability, as an Underwriting Specialist with marketing responsibilities. He managed a $28M portfolio of healthcare customers both domestic and international. His career with Zurich continued when he moved to Zurich Insurance Malaysia in 2013, as head of the Casualty Department. In 2014, he moved to Zurich Insurance company Ltd. Hong Kong, where he was the Casualty Senior Underwriting Manager for multiple lines of business. In 2015, Mr. Zhang moved back to the United States to work for Houston International Insurance Group as Vice President, HIIG Professional. Shortly after, he was recruited to join Fosun International in their New York office.
Mr. Zhang obtained a Bachelor of Science in 2001 from State University of New York at Stony Brook. His majors included Economics and Biochemistry. He participated in the Golden Key Honor Society and was on the dean’s list for eight semesters. He is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, both verbal and written, and has the professional designation, Associate in Risk Management (ARM).
Kristen M. Netschke, Esq
General Counsel and Secretary
As General Counsel and Secretary, Ms. Netschke is responsible for AmeriTrust’s corporate legal affairs and the leadership of AmeriTrust’s Legal Department, which includes the legal, corporate secretary, contract administration, corporate compliance, corporate audit, and data privacy and security functions.
Before joining AmeriTrust, she served as a law clerk to former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh and subsequently joined the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan law firm Plunkett Cooney. While at Plunkett Cooney, she specialized in appellate law, general civil litigation, and insurance coverage litigation.
Ms. Netschke graduated magna cum laude from University of Detroit Mercy Law School, where she was an associate editor of and was published in the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review. She received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.
Ms. Netschke is a Past President of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Michigan Chapter and is a member of its Board of Directors. She also serves on the Judicial & Legal Affairs Committee of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan.
Ms. Netschke has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine, an Up and Coming Attorney by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, and most recently a Top Corporate Counsel by dBusiness Magazine.
Fred Browning, CPCU, ARM
Chief Underwriting Officer
Fred Browning is Chief Underwriting Officer for AmeriTrust Group, Inc. Mr. Browning is responsible for the overall underwriting portfolio strategy, underwriting appetite, monitoring industry trends, product management, and effective controls for all lines of business. In addition, Mr. Browning and his staff of Underwriting Leaders provide referral underwriting support to the Admitted and Non-Admitted underwriters, as needed. Prior to assuming
the role of Chief Underwriting Officer, Mr. Browning was Senior Vice President of Admitted Carriers for AmeriTrust Group, Inc.
Mr. Browning has nearly 30 years of insurance industry experience. Most recently, he spent the past 4 years as Managing Partner for Overland Group, LLC, where his responsibilities included strategic planning, product research and development, reinsurance placement, and program management. From 2002 to 2012, Mr. Browning held executive positions at 3 national insurance carriers with profit and loss responsibilities, strategic planning for profit and growth, product and market segment development, and distribution management.
From 1987 to 2002, Mr. Browning held a variety of executive positions including Chairman, President and CEO of Chrysler Insurance Group, where he had full operational responsibilities for sales, marketing, underwriting, finance, legal, claims, mergers & acquisitions, and reinsurance.
Mr. Browning received his Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown College and completed the Executive Business Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He holds Charter Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management
Chief Claims Officer
Jim Flood is AmeriTrust Group, Inc. Chief Claims Officer and is responsible for managing AmeriTrust’s Claim Department. The Claim Department resolves all claims for both the Admitted and Non-Admitted operations nationwide.
Mr. Flood joined the Company in 2008, when the Company acquired ProCentury Corporation, the parent company of Century Insurance. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Operations of Century Insurance and, before that, Senior Vice President of Claims for Century Insurance.
Mr. Flood has over 45 years of insurance experience. He began his career with Continental Insurance in 1972. Mr. Flood started as a property casualty underwriter while completing his undergraduate and legal education. From 1977 to 1984 he was a defense trial lawyer. He became Continental’s Managing Trial Attorney from 1984 to 1988 and Vice President of Environmental and Mass Tort Claims from 1988 to 1992. From 1992 to 2002, Mr. Flood was the chief claims officer for Continental in New York and at CNA, in Chicago, after Continental merged with CNA. Prior to 2003, when he joined Century Insurance, Mr. Flood worked as a claims and management consultant for 2 years.
Mr. Flood received his Juris Doctor, with honors, from Capital University Law School and his Bachelor of Arts from Ohio State University. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.
Cheung Kwan, FCAS
President, Century Insurance Group
Mr. Cheung Kwan is President of Century Insurance Group, AmeriTrust Group, Inc.’s Excess and Surplus Lines Division, in the Westerville, Ohio location. In this capacity, Mr. Kwan is responsible for developing the business strategy, and enhancing the underwriting and pricing sophistication of Century’s programs and products.
Mr. Kwan has 30 years of extensive experience with all aspects of insurance company operations. His background includes extensive reserving and pricing (including predictive modeling) expertise. In addition, he has had extensive experience working closely with Claims, IT, Underwriting, Finance, Operations, and Reinsurance, including the structuring of captives. He has excellent communication skills and has a proven track record of leadership, talent development, and strategic thinking.
He most recently served as the Vice President and Senior Pricing Actuary for Hallmark Financial Services. He began his career at Geico in 1986, and spent ten years with Liberty Mutual Insurance providing Actuarial leadership on reserving and pricing. He worked within the Claims Department at the Hartford for five years, providing support for complex asbestos and environmental claims. He was with Zurich Insurance for seven years, as a senior leader within transportation programs, specialties, and group captives and finally as the Global Chief Pricing Actuary for Property Lines.
Mr. Kwan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Math and Psychology, and has been a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) since 1996.
President of Admitted Carriers
John Baird is the President of AmeriTrust Group, Inc.’s Admitted Carriers: Star Insurance Company, Ameritrust Insurance Corporation, and Williamsburg National Insurance Company. Prior to this appointment, he was the Regional Vice President of Liberty Mutual Group. In that role, Mr. Baird managed commercial underwriting and distribution operations for the states of Indiana and Michigan, along with serving as a member of the executive team, with oversight of the Midwest Region, encompassing a nine-state geography. He also served on the Board of Directors for Liberty Mutual Group companies domiciled in the state of Indiana, he was an Executive Committee member serving on the Insurance Institute of Indiana’s Board of Directors, and a board member for the Indiana Insurance Guaranty Association.
Mr. Baird obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Insurance from Ferris State University in 1989. He began his insurance career as a Commercial Rater with Ohio Casualty in Royal Oak, Michigan. Mr. Baird completed Ohio Casualty’s Underwriter Training Program in 1991, after which he held commercial field positions in underwriting and marketing. He became an Ohio Casualty Executive Officer for Personal Lines in 2001, supporting the reorganization of Personal Lines operations. In this role, he was responsible for underwriting and distribution operations for the western half of the United States. In 2005, he became the Marketing Vice President for Personal Lines. In 2007, Liberty Mutual purchased Ohio Casualty, and Mr. Baird became Regional Vice President for Commercial Lines, overseeing underwriting and distribution operations for Ohio and Kentucky. In 2012, Mr. Baird became Regional Vice President for the Midwest region of Business Insurance.
Mr. Baird has twenty-eight years of property casualty experience, building core competencies in regional and corporate strategic planning, operational management, talent management, and financial management.
Stephen J. Flechsig, CIC
President, Non-Affiliated Carriers and TPA/Fee Services
Steve Flechsig, is President of AmeriTrust Group, Inc.’s Wholesale Agency, Third-party Fee for Service Company, and Managing General Agency which includes Non-Affiliated Carriers business, underwriting, risk management, claims and distribution management for those insurance company partners that are not affiliated with AmeriTrust. Mr. Flechsig is responsible for growing non-affiliated carrier commission and fee-based revenue and developing relationships with various retail insurance agencies partners throughout the United States.
Mr. Flechsig joined the Company in August of 2015, as part of the acquisition of Mackinaw Administrators, LLC, a firm he founded in July, 1995. He has over 40 years of commercial insurance experience, including multi-line underwriting, risk management, claims and alternative risk financing. He started his career in the Management Trainee program at Marsh McLennan in Detroit, MI. He continued his insurance experience with the Hartford Insurance Company, ultimately advancing to Commercial Package Underwriter. He spent six years with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company in underwriting, marketing, commercial group development, and branch management.
In 1985, Mr. Flechsig moved to Transamerica Insurance Group where he was the Regional Commercial Lines Manger for Transamerica’s Southern California Region responsible for the regions commercial underwriting, marketing, risk control and premium audit. Transamerica promoted Mr. Flechsig in 1989 to Regional Vice President and Workers’ Compensation Center Executive. Under his leadership, in 1991, the 16 state Central States Workers’ Compensation Center received the “Pyramid Award” for the best office for Transamerica Workers’ Compensation. Prior to founding Mackinaw Administrators, he spent two years leading Citizens Management Inc.(CMI), a Third-party Administrator subsidiary of Citizens Insurance Group, specializing in excess workers’ compensation underwriting, loss control, and claims administration. As Vice President and General Manager of CMI he was responsible for bottom line profit and loss of the subsidiary. He was elected to the Board of Directors of Citizen’s Management, Inc. in July of 1994.
In 1992, Michigan’s Governor Engler appointed Steve to serve on the Board of the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Placement Facility. Also in that year, Mr. Flechsig served on the Board of Governors of the Compensation Advisory Organization of Michigan. He was elected to the board of Directors of Citizen’s Management, Inc. in July, 1994.
Mr. Flechsig holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance/Insurance and a Minor in Economics from Central Michigan University. He received his designation, Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) in 1982 and his Property and Casualty Agents license in 1976.
Brian L. Risen
President, Meadowbrook Agency Operations
Brian Risen is the President of Agency Operations for AmeriTrust Group, and is responsible for all agency operations including the management of seven agency proﬁ t centers.
Mr. Risen joined the company in 2018 as Senior Vice President, Mackinaw Underwriters, Retail Distribution Management, a member of the AmeriTrust Group, Inc. Mr. Risen has over 37 years of insurance industry experience.
Prior to joining Mackinaw Underwriters, he was Sr. Vice President of Business Development of BerkleyNet, part of the W.R. Berkley Corp. Mr. Risen has also held senior positions with Crum & Forster, Lockton Affinity and Universal Underwriters Group. He is a graduate of Illinois State University, with a Bachelor of Science Occupational Safety and Health degree. He holds the CPCU, ARM and ALCM designations and has completed Executive Development Programs at the Kellogg Business and Wharton Business Schools.
Rick Wagner, SPHR
Vice President, Human Resources
As Vice President, Human Resources, Mr. Wagner is a member of the Executive Management Team. Mr. Wagner is currently responsible for leading the Human Resources, Corporate Support Services, and Facility Management initiatives.
Mr. Wagner joined AmeriTrust Group, Inc. in June 1995 as a Financial Analyst handling cost accounting, budgeting and financial reporting duties for the fee-based operations. In 1999, he moved to Human Resources as the Benefits and Compensation Manager and was responsible for managing the company’s benefit and compensation programs. While in Human Resources, Mr. Wagner’s responsibilities have increased through the years to include managing of payroll, support services, facilities, human resources information systems, professional development, performance management, talent acquisition, and executive compensation. Mr. Wagner assumed his current role in 2014.
Prior to joining AmeriTrust Group, Inc., Mr. Wagner obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Accounting from Central Michigan University and held various finance related positions in the insurance, banking, and defense industries. While at AmeriTrust Group, Inc., Mr. Wagner obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Central Michigan University, a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation, a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation, and a Society of Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designation.