Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Alan Jay Kaufman is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He is also the founding senior partner of a Detroit and Farmington Hills law firm, Kaufman, Payton & Chapa.
A motivated leader and entrepreneur, Mr. Kaufman identified and capitalized on the opportunity to improve client services and to expand the company through vertical integration. In 1996, Mr. Kaufman took the H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, a successful public company, private.
Under Mr. Kaufman’s leadership, both the Kaufman Financial Group and the companies in its portfolio have delivered double-digit annual growth to reach over $1.6 billion in revenue in 2014. Burns & Wilcox, Kaufman’s flagship company and one of the nation’s largest specialty insurance brokers, generated over $1 billion in annual premium.
Additionally, surgical acquisitions and global expansion have built a portfolio of companies that leverage each other’s strength and expertise.
In recognition of his entrepreneurial leadership, Ernst & Young awarded Alan Jay Kaufman the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Business Services Category for Michigan and Northwest Ohio in June 2011. In 2012, American Agent & Broker recognized Mr. Kaufman as one of the top 25 Living Legends of Insurance. Mr. Kaufman received the Distinguished Alumni award from his alma mater, Michigan State University in 2013. Most recently, he was named to the 2014 Hot 100 list by Insurance Business America in recognition for his commitment to developing talent.
Mr. Kaufman’s dedication to excellence and success can be traced back to his commitment to education and leadership training. In 2007, he founded the Kaufman Institute, which provides ongoing professional development opportunities for his valued employees through classroom and web based training and education programs for the insurance industry.
An active philanthropist, Mr. Kaufman dedicates considerable time and resources to many civic, community and business organizations.
In 2015, Mr. Kaufman established a major endowment within the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University to provide academic leadership in insurance. The Alan Jay and Sue E. Kaufman Endowed Professorship in Insurance and Risk Management reflects Mr. Kaufman’s vision in which talented students can discover the wealth of opportunities that come with pursuing insurance as a career.
In addition he currently serves as an active board member of Business Leaders for Michigan; The Detroit Economic Club; Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business Alumni Association; Walsh College; and the Boy Scouts of America Great Lakes Council.
Mr. Kaufman holds a B.A. from Michigan State University in finance, insurance, and accounting and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. He also studied international law at the London School of Economics.
Executive Vice President
Gary Batten is an Executive Vice President of Burns & Wilcox and has served the company in a leadership capacity since 1984. He is a pillar of the New Orleans and greater Louisiana insurance community. Throughout his tenure, Gary’s leadership has been key in fostering the growth of Burns & Wilcox throughout the eastern half of the United States.
Prior to joining Burns & Wilcox, Gary owned and directed an excess and surplus insurance wholesale business and previously worked as a marketing and underwriting manager.
Gary received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from Arkansas State University. Gary also earned a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter certification and an Associate in Management designation from the Insurance Institute of America.
President, Burns & Wilcox Brokerage
Denis Brady leads Burns & Wilcox Brokerage, a highly specialized team of experts solely dedicated to wholesale brokerage. Under his leadership, the group has transformed the company’s brokerage business with the resources required to handle complex brokerage accounts of all sizes.
Today Burns & Wilcox Brokerage spans the country, bringing breakthrough products to the marketplace, which delivers unique risk solutions for retail broker and agent partners.
Denis’ career in insurance spans more than 25 years and includes extensive experience in brokerage, underwriting and management. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College. In 2015, he was elected Chair of the California Surplus Lines Association.
Executive Vice President
Don Carson serves as Executive Vice President of Burns & Wilcox. He is also the Managing Director of the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas office, the largest within the Burns & Wilcox network.
During his more than 25 years at Burns & Wilcox, Don has been integral in the company’s continued domestic growth. In addition to his executive leadership, Don has responsibility for nine offices. Don has also mentored and helped develop countless professionals who share his passion for the business commitment to the long-term growth of Burns & Wilcox.
Corporate Senior Vice President
Blaise D’Antoni is responsible for operations at Burns & Wilcox’s network of Louisiana offices that include New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Monroe. With more than two decades of experience at Burns & Wilcox, Blaise was instrumental in building the Louisiana regions robust underwriting capabilities in commercial and personal lines.
During his career with Burns & Wilcox, Blaise helped lead the New Orleans office during and after Hurricane Katrina and provided agents and brokers commercial and personal wholesale surplus lines expertise after the standard admitted markets pulled out of the region.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Orleans and is a current member and past president of the Louisiana Surplus Lines Association.
Corporate Vice President
David Derigiotis is one of the country’s foremost experts on cyber and privacy liability. As Director of the Professional Liability Center of Excellence at Burns & Wilcox, David leads a diverse team of highly specialized brokers and underwriters that foster strategic partnerships with insurance companies, security firms and other industry organizations. He also serves as the Director of R.B. Jones, a specialty MGA that is focused on recreation, professional liability, general liability and the umbrella/excess product lines.
He serves as an Insurance Journal Academy of Insurance faculty member and is a licensed continuing education instructor teaching courses on professional liability and cyber and privacy issues. David has been a frequent guest on CNBC and Fox Business discussing the complexity of cyber liability insurance and has appeared in a variety of publications including The Wall Street Journal and Crain’s.
David received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Central Michigan University.
Senior Vice President
Jeff Diefenbach is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the Burns & Wilcox offices in Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee. He is also the regional executive with responsibility for Burns & Wilcox Canada.
Since joining Burns & Wilcox more than a decade ago, Jeff’s responsibilities have expanded to cover much of the Midwest. He also plays an active role in mentoring and coaching emerging leaders within the organization.
Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Wayne State University (Detroit). He is a certified Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Certified Insurance Counselor and an Associate in Underwriting.
Senior Vice President
Jim Epting is a Corporate Senior Vice President and also serves as the Managing Director of the Atlanta office. In nearly 20 years at Burns & Wilcox, Jim has transformed underwriting units into some of the company’s most successful and developed books of business that are among the firm’s longest standing relationships.
As his role has evolved from production to leadership responsibilities, Jim takes great pride in fostering the company’s next generation of leadership.
He has led the geographic expansion of Burns & Wilcox throughout the East Coast, building new opportunities with brokers, agents and insurance companies.
Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He also completed an executive leadership program at the University. Jim holds an Associate in Surplus Line Insurance (ASLI) and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation.
Corporate Vice President
Bill Gatewood brings more than two decades of experience in personal lines insurance and high net worth risk management. He oversees the organization’s Personal Insurance Center of Excellence, which has doubled in size under his leadership.
Bill is actively involved in crafting the Kaufman Financial Group’s domestic growth strategy, working to expand key strategic partnerships, develop new products and identify acquisition targets. He also serves as a senior team lead for the company’s internal accelerated management training program.
A U.S. Army veteran, Bill received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Management from the University of Central Missouri.
Executive Vice President
Harvey Goldenberg is an Executive Vice President of Burns & Wilcox and serves as the Managing Director of the San Francisco office. He also directs operations at the company’s five California offices, as well as those in Arizona and New Mexico.
Harvey has more than 35 years of experience, which includes expertise in underwriting and wholesale brokerage. Prior to joining Burns & Wilcox he managed the excess liability division of a managing general agent based in San Francisco and worked as a wholesale broker.
Harvey earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Indiana University.
Senior Vice President
Daniel J. Kaufman serves as a Senior Vice President at H.W. Kaufman Financial Group and a Managing Director of its largest subsidiary, Burns & Wilcox. His responsibilities include overseeing daily operations at the Burns & Wilcox Chicago office and working closely with other Midwestern offices, as well as Kaufman’s international operations, to explore innovative coverage solutions for complicated risks and develop products that meet the needs of emerging businesses and industries.
During his tenure, Mr. Kaufman has been a vocal advocate of attracting and retaining top talent in the insurance industry and was instrumental in developing Kaufman’s internal emerging leaders program. In 2016, Daniel was appointed to Kaufman’s Board of Directors, a position that allows him to play a greater role across the company’s global operations as a third generation leader.
Mr. Kaufman received his Bachelor of the Arts from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) then went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Loyola University (Chicago). He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and currently serves on several corporate, civic and advisory boards, including Atain Insurance Companies, City of Hope National Insurance Industry Council, Midwest Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, National Underwriter Magazine, Association of Lloyd’s Brokers, Metro Chicago Hillel and the Kaufman Family Foundation. Daniel received the 2015 William R. “Bill” Story Memorial Award from City of Hope for his leadership and professionalism in the insurance industry.
Corporate Senior Vice President Human Resources
Dr. Renee Lerche is an internationally recognized expert in employee engagement, human resources management and workforce development. She oversees the design, implementation and execution of all HR systems for Burns & Wilcox and across the Kaufman Financial Group family of companies.
Since joining the company is 2006, Renee has worked alongside Chairman, President and CEO Alan Jay Kaufman to build the industry’s premier continuing education and professional development initiatives. Today Burns & Wilcox is proud to offer its team access to unmatched emerging leadership and advanced management programs along with the company’s own corporate university.
Renee earned a bachelor’s degree from Douglass College, a master’s degree from Boston State College and a doctorate from Harvard University. She is an elected Fellow of the Douglass Society (1999) and the recipient of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s National Leadership Award. Renee also previously served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Dan Muldowney serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Burns & Wilcox and leads the company’s financial operations, strategic planning and global growth strategy. For more than 10 years, Dan has served as CFO and played a key role in transforming the company’s finance and accounting capabilities to supports its evolution as a global insurance organization.
He is an elected Fellow of the Life Management Institute and earned the “with distinction” certification from the Life Office Management Association in 1991. Dan is past-President of the Michigan Chapter of Insurance Accounting and System Association and previously served as a board member for the Michigan Chapter of the Life Office Management Association and Michigan Life and Health Guaranty Association.
Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University.
Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Corporate Vice President, Information Technology
Mike Paulin is Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Corporate Vice President, leading information technology across the H.W. Kaufman Financial Group family of companies. With more than 20 years of experience, Mike works to foster seamless global networking throughout the organization.
Under his leadership, the IT group has supplied a modern infrastructure and portfolio of enterprise applications that enables the company to quickly respond to market challenges and deliver best-in-class client service. Visualizing the future of technology in insurance, Mike is utilizing new advancements in adjacent industries to recreate, replace, and reinvent insurance sales and service processes.
Mike earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science in Information Systems at the University of Michigan.
Corporate Senior Vice President
Chris Zoidis directs the Corporate Development initiatives across the Kaufman Financial Group. He is responsible for executing the company’s global growth strategy and overseeing the Burns & Wilcox relationship with the London market. Chris is also responsible for the Burns & Wilcox Special Risk Division, a strategic underwriting and brokerage team that is home to some of the industry’s leading specialty insurance experts.
Prior to joining Burns & Wilcox, Chris spent nearly a decade in consulting, focused on insurance strategy, operations and mergers & acquisitions. Chris also has previous experience as a commercial underwriter at St. Paul/Travelers and Crum & Forster.
Chris earned a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College. He also studied at the London School of Economics and holds a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.