November 21, 2013
Harleysville Insurance Leader Michael Browne to Retire May 1, 2014
Columbus, Ohio - After a long and distinguished career as an insurance leader in both the public and private sectors, Harleysville Insurance President and COO Michael Browne will retire effective May 1, 2014.
Browne has led Harleysville Insurance since 2004, and the growth of the company in recent years can be traced directly to his vision, industry knowledge and commitment to Harleysville Insurance associates and agents. He also played a critical role in the strategic combination of Harleysville Insurance and Nationwide, a merger completed in 2012.
“I want to express my deep, personal appreciation to Michael for all he has done for Harleysville and the Nationwide companies, the insurance industry, and our country,” said Steve Rasmussen, Chief Executive Officer of Nationwide.
“It has been a privilege to work with Michael over the past several years and we’re proud to celebrate his accomplishments and wonderful career. His strong leadership has been critical to the success of Harleysville Insurance and the integration of our companies,” said Kim Austen, President of Des Moines, Iowa-based Allied Group, the independent channel distribution arm of Nationwide.
Browne is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat “V” and attained the rank of captain in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He also led the international insurance practice of a renowned Philadelphia law firm, served as the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, and held leadership positions in the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“I have enjoyed being a part of the Harleysville success story. We have a great group of associates and agents who are committed to serving our customers,” Browne said. “We are a key part of the Nationwide strategy. Harleysville is adding great value to Nationwide, and we'll continue doing so through our excellent talent, great distribution force, and the strong relationships we have.”
Austen also announced that effective May 1, 2014, Kevin Toth will become Senior Regional Vice President for Harleysville Insurance and will serve as the senior leader at Harleysville Insurance’s headquarters in Harleysville, Penn., following Browne’s retirement. Toth will report to former Harleysville leader Tom Clark, who is the Senior Vice President of Field Operations for Des Moines, Iowa-based Allied.
Rasmussen added: “Harleysville Insurance is a key part of Nationwide’s continued success and long-term strategy for growth and financial stability. I’m pleased with the leadership continuity we have at Harleysville, and I’m excited that Harleysville’s strong senior talent will play such an important role in achieving Nationwide’s business goals.”
More than 900 associates work at the Harleysville, Penn. campus, which is undergoing an 18-month, $20 million renovation.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.