Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Alan Jay Kaufman is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of H.W. Kaufman 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 Kaufman, a successful public company, private.
Under Mr. Kaufman’s leadership, both Kaufman 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 and Chief Operating Officer
Danny Kaufman is Executive Vice President for the H.W. Kaufman Group, the globally recognized a leader in insurance, real estate and financial services. He also serves as Chief Operating Officer for Burns & Wilcox, a leading specialty insurance wholesaler and Kaufman’s largest subsidiary.
Representing the third generation of family leadership, Danny maintains responsibility for the daily operations of Burns & Wilcox and guides the company’s sales, marketing and digital teams across the company’s 60+ offices and 2,000+ associates. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the H.W. Kaufman Group and Atain Insurance Companies.
Danny received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and his Juris Doctor from Loyola University (Chicago). He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan.
In addition, Danny’s civil and non-profit commitments include the City of Hope National Insurance Industry Council, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts Founders Junior Council, Detroit Historical Society and the Kaufman Family Foundation.
Jodie Kaufman Davis
Corporate Senior Vice President and Managing Director
Jodie Kaufman Davis is Corporate Senior Vice President, H.W. Kaufman Group and Managing Director, Burns & Wilcox Canada. Jodie leads operations for the six Canada locations, and plays an integral role in the development and execution of the Managing General Agent’s overall growth strategy.
Under Jodie’s direction, Burns & Wilcox Canada has increased its amount of premiums written by more than 120 per cent, and its headcount by more than 80 per cent. Jodie also has been instrumental in expanding the MGA’s robust product offering in the hard-to-place specialty risks arena, such as building out the Burns & Wilcox Center of Excellence for Commercial Marine.
Jodie is actively involved in talent and business development initiatives where her forward-thinking has set up Burns & Wilcox Canada for continued success. Today, through insurance immersion days and employee programs for recent college graduates like the Kaufman Emerging Leaders Program (KELP), Jodie has helped to recruit a diverse workforce where 65 per cent of employees fall into the Millennial age range.
Recently, Jodie was appointed as the Canada Chair for Insurance Supper Club, an organization supporting the inclusion of women in the insurance industry. She also serves on the board of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Toronto, where she has been an active member for the past two years. She is a member on the Board of Directors for the United Jewish Appeal of Toronto, and recently completed a six-year program with the Jewish Federation of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. Jodie also serves on the board of Atain Insurance Companies, an H.W. Kaufman Group company.
Prior to joining H.W. Kaufman Group, Jodie spent more than seven years at the international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney. In this role, she advised Canadian and U.S. companies on mergers and acquisitions, capital market financing, and complex regulatory issues.
Jodie received a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She holds a Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario license, and is licensed across all Canadian provinces.
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
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.
Kevin M. Heckman
Corporate Vice President, Global Accounting
Kevin M. Heckman is a Corporate Vice President, Director of Global Accounting, and Interim Chief Financial Officer of H.W. Kaufman Group and its flagship organization, Burns & Wilcox.
He is responsible for the company’s global accounting and financial operations, including strategic planning and growth strategy. He also plays a pivotal role in the organization’s M&A activity, and is involved in aspects of operational leadership for several Kaufman subsidiaries.
Kevin’s career spans nearly 25 years across public accounting, investment banking, international M&A and insurance. Prior to joining Kaufman, he spent nearly 18 years in public accounting, investment banking and consulting, of which 8 years was with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in the assurance and transactions services groups.
He is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Economics with an emphasis in Accounting.
Executive Vice President and Managing Director
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.
Executive Vice President
Chris Zoidis directs the Corporate Development initiatives across Kaufman. 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.
Senior Vice President and Managing Director
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.
Corporate Senior Vice President and National Professional Liability Practice Leader
David Derigiotis is one of the country’s foremost experts on cyber and privacy liability. As the Professional Liability Practice Leader 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.
Corporate Senior Vice President and National Personal Practice Leader
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 Practice Group, which has doubled in size under his leadership.
Bill is actively involved in crafting Kaufman's domestic growth strategy, working to expand key strategic partnerships, develop new products and identify acquisition targets. He serves as a senior team lead for the company’s internal accelerated management training program. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for PRMA.
A U.S. Army veteran, Bill received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Management from the University of Central Missouri.