COLUMBUS, Ohio -- May 18, 2006 -- At State Auto Financial Corporation's (NASDAQ:STFC) annual meeting today, Chairman, CEO and President Bob Restrepo announced the election of new officers for STFC, State Auto Property & Casualty (State Auto P&C) and State Automobile Mutual (State Auto Mutual) reflecting new assignments for the Companies' leadership team.
"I'm pleased to announce these new assignments that both position us for greater success and offer our talented and deep leadership team new opportunities to grow, develop and contribute," Restrepo said. "These changes will also introduce fresh perspectives and stimulate teamwork, collaboration and innovation."
Joel E. Brown and Paul E. Nordman were elected Vice Presidents of Personal Lines and Commercial Lines respectively, and each will have operating accountability for the pricing, production and profit of the lines of business noted. Brown was formerly Resident Vice President of the Companies' Indianapolis Regional Office, while Nordman was previously Vice President of Underwriting.
Jean Reynolds was elected Vice President of Marketing, where she will lead a new department charged with responsibility for the development and implementation of all strategic projects requiring integrated solutions. Reynolds was formerly Resident Vice President of the Companies' Central Regional Office (CRO) in Columbus. Also named to the Marketing team were Benjamin M. Blackmon, John P. Heffernan and Timothy G. Reik. Blackmon and Heffernan were named Assistant Vice Presidents for Commercial Lines Marketing and Marketing Services, respectively. Blackmon was previously Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lines. Formerly a Territory Manager in CRO, Reik was elected Assistant Vice President - Personal Lines Marketing for State Auto P&C and State Auto Mutual. Brent K. Mackey was elected Assistant Secretary, Manager of Claims Contact Center, the position previously held by Heffernan.
Noreen Johnson was elected Vice President, Director of Administration, and will act as Mr. Restrepo's Chief of Staff. Her responsibilities will broaden to include leading State Auto's efforts to increase visibility in the industry and community.
William D. Hansen was named Vice President, Risk Management. While he retains his responsibilities over Actuarial Services, this new title reflects an expansion of his duties to also encompass risk management. Steven E. English was elected Vice President of Corporate Development and Planning for STFC, State Auto P&C, and State Auto Mutual. English was formerly Assistant Vice President, Director of Financial Planning.
A number of major leadership changes were also announced to appointed positions in the Companies' Regional Offices. Gary T. Johnson was named Regional Vice President of CRO, moving from a similar position with the companies' Eastern Regional Office (ERO). Nelson McCants, formerly Assistant Vice President of the Companies' Special Risks Division, was named Regional Vice President of ERO.
Rick L. Holbein was named Regional Vice President of the Southern Regional Office. His prior position was Assistant Vice President of Personal Lines.
"These changes will also enable better alignment and accountability for what's critical to our strategic and operational success, Restrepo noted. "We have a terrific leadership team here at State Auto. Together we share excitement and enthusiasm for our people and our great prospects."
State Auto Financial Corporation, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a property and casualty insurance holding company. The company markets its personal and commercial insurance products through more than 22,300 independent insurance agents associated with approximately 3,000 agencies in 27 states. The company has been named Forbes Magazine's "Best Managed Insurance Company in America" for 2006 and is in a select group, making up just 3% of publicly traded companies, earning the Mergent Dividend Achiever Award for having increased its dividends for ten or more years in succession. The State Auto Insurance Companies are rated A+ (Superior) by the A.M. Best Company. Additional information on the company can be found on its web page at www.STFC.com.
Except for historical information, all other information in this news release consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. The most significant of these uncertainties are described in State Auto Financial's Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports and exhibits to those reports, and include (but are not limited to) legislative changes at both the state and federal level, state and federal regulatory rule making promulgations and adjudications, class action litigation involving the insurance industry and judicial decisions affecting claims, policy coverages and the general costs of doing business, the impact of competition on products and pricing, inflation in the costs of the products and services insurance pays for, product development, geographic spread of risk, weather-related events, and other types of catastrophic events. State Auto Financial undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.