Company Values

We adhere to core values that continually exceed the expectations of the brokers, associates, carriers and partners that our companies serve.

  • Accountability

    We take ownership of our actions and the consequences that follow, never compromising or taking advantage of a company’s trust or situation.

  • Independence

    We will never concede to private equity or Wall Street, maintaining our family ownership to ensure we keep our allegiances to the companies we serve.

  • Stewardship

    We are committed to preparing all generations of insurance professionals to be leaders and innovators in their own right.

  • Partnership

    We take on the responsibility of improving the welfare and prosperity of our companies, making every one of our resources available to them.

  • Integrity

    We are passionate about the insurance industry and are committed to doing business the right way.

The Executive Team

Alan Jay Kaufman

Alan Jay Kaufman

Chairman, President & CEO

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.

 

An energetic 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 private the H.W. Kaufman, a successful public company founded by his late father.

 

Under Mr. Kaufman’s leadership, both the Kaufman and the companies in its portfolio have delivered double-digit annual growth to reach over $2 billion in revenue in 2016. Burns & Wilcox, Kaufman’s flagship company and one of the nation’s largest specialty insurance brokers, generated over $1.2 billion in annual premium.

 

Strategic acquisitions and global expansion have created under the Kaufman umbrella a portfolio of insurance-related companies that draw expertise and strength from each other to better serve clients.

 

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 2017 Hot 100 list for the second time by Insurance Business America in recognition of his commitment to developing talent.

 

Mr. Kaufman’s dedication to excellence and achievement 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 endowed a chair at 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 career opportunities in the insurance industry.

 

In addition he currently serves on many boards, including Business Leaders for Michigan; The Detroit Economic Club; Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business Alumni Association; Walsh College; Detroit Zoological Society; and the United Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit.

 

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.

 
Daniel Kaufman

Daniel Kaufman

Corporate 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 H.W. 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 the H.W. Kaufman 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 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.

 
Blaise D’Antoni

Blaise D’Antoni

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 brokers and agents commercial and personal wholesale surplus lines expertise after the standard admitted markets pulled out of the region.

 

He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of New Orleans and is a current member and past president of the Louisiana Surplus Lines Association.

 
Jodie Kaufman Davis

Jodie Kaufman Davis

Corporate Vice President & Managing Director

Jodie Kaufman Davis is Corporate Vice President, H.W. Kaufman Financial Group and Managing Director, Burns & Wilcox Canada. Jodie leads operations in Canada, playing an integral role in the development and execution of the Managing General Agent’s overall growth strategy. Under her direction, Burns & Wilcox Canada has increased its amount of premium written by more than 120 per cent and its headcount by more than 80 per cent. During that same time, Jodie has been instrumental in expanding the MGA’s robust product offering in the hard-to-place specialty risks arena including building out the Burns & Wilcox Center of Excellence for Commercial Marine. In addition, she currently serves on the board of Atain Insurance Companies, a Kaufman Company.

 

Jodie is actively involved in talent and business development initiatives where her forward-thinking has set Burns & Wilcox Canada up for continued success. Today, through insurance immersion days and employee programs for recent college graduates like the Kaufman Emerging Leaders Program (KELP), Jodie has recruited a diverse workforce where 65 percent of employees fall into the millennial age range. She is also a graduate of the Kaufman Advanced Management Program (KAMP), a prestigious 18-month program designed for distinguished leaders to grow their managerial skills.

 

Prior to joining H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, Jodie spent more than seven years at the international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney where she advised Canadian and U.S. companies on mergers and acquisitions, capital market financing and complex regulatory issues.

 

Jodie received a J.D. from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She also serves on the Jewish Federation of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and the Board of Directors of the United Jewish Appeal of Toronto.

 
Chris Zoidis

Chris Zoidis

Corporate Senior Vice President

Chris Zoidis directs the Corporate Development initiatives across H.W. 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.

 
Daniel T. Muldowney

Daniel T. Muldowney

Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, H.W. Kaufman CEO, Atain Insurance Companies

Daniel T. Muldowney is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Burns & Wilcox and its parent company H.W. Kaufman Financial Group. He is responsible for the company’s financial operations, including strategic planning and growth strategy.

 

Muldowney joined H.W. Kaufman in 2002 as Vice President, Finance and Treasurer and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2003 and Executive Vice President in 2012. He was appointed President and CEO of Atain Insurance Companies in 2003. In 2012, he was approved by the FSA to work with Lloyds when he was appointed to the board of directors of Chesterfield Insurance Brokers, a member of the H.W. Kaufman family of companies.

 

Previously, he spent more than 20 years with American Community Mutual Insurance Company in various roles with increasing responsibility. His final role was Senior Vice President and treasurer.

 

Muldowney earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University. He also is an accomplished insurance professional becoming a Fellow of the Life Management institute (FLMI), earning certification “with distinction” from the Life Office Management Association in 1991.

 

He is past president of the Michigan Chapter of Insurance accounting and System Association (1989-1990). Muldowney also is a past board member of Michigan Chapter of the Life Office Management Association (1992-1994) and Michigan Life & Health Guaranty Association (2000-2001).

 
Denis Brady

Denis Brady

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 and delivering 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.

 
Donald Carson

Donald Carson

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.

 
Harvey Goldenberg

Harvey Goldenberg

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.

 
Jeff Diefenbach

Jeff Diefenbach

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.

 
Jim Epting

Jim Epting

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.

 
Michael Paulin

Michael Paulin

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 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.

 
Renee Lerche

Renee Lerche

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 H.W. Kaufman 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.

 
Wayne Bates

Wayne Bates

Corporate Senior Vice President

Wayne Bates is President of Atain Insurance Companies and Corporate Senior Vice President of H.W. Kaufman Financial Group. With more than 28 years of experience, he is acutely focused executing profitable growth strategy, product development and operations.

 

Prior to joining on as President of Atain, Wayne served as an Underwriter in the London insurance market and as President of a start-up surplus lines carrier in Illinois. In addition, he was formerly with H.W. Kaufman as a Corporate Vice President, serving as Director, Special Risks Division, Burns & Wilcox Limited and Director of Underwriting, Atain Specialty Insurance Company.

 

Wayne obtained his ACII from the Chartered Insurance Institute in 1992.

 

Company History

With over four decades of industry leadership to our name, H.W. Kaufman Financial Group continues to forge bold new paths in the insurance industry. Founded in 1969 by Herbert W. Kaufman to serve brokers and agents with specialty insurance products, we have steadily grown into the foremost global network of companies in the insurance industry. We conduct business in over 50 offices around the world, and we are just getting started.

Under the stewardship of Alan Jay Kaufman, Burns & Wilcox has grown to over $2 billion in annual premiums through a series of strategic acquisitions, technological advancements and organic growth.

2010: $900 Mil
2011: $950 Mil
2012: $1.2 Bil
2013: $1.4 Bil
2014: $1.6 Bil
2015: $1.8 Bil

Today

Today

H.W. Kaufman consists of over 50 offices around the globe, which are shaping the insurance industry.

2017

2017

Launches Afirm – A merger of US-Reports and Canadian Reports

2016

2016

Launches KILT – Kaufman International Leadership Training

2015

2015

Alan Jay Kaufman establishes a major endowment within the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University to provide academic leadership in insurance.

2014

2014

Acquires Lochain Patrick

2013

2013

Incorporates Burns & Wilcox Brokerage

2013

2013

Acquires Canadian-based Spectius Underwriting Solutions Ltd., provider of premium audits, inspections and risk services. The company now operates as Canadian Reports.

2013

2013

Acquires Global Excess Partners

2012

2012

Launches KAMP – Kaufman Advanced Management Program

2012

2012

Acquires Chesterfield Insurance Group Canada and rebrands as Burns & Wilcox Canada

2012

2012

Acquires Chesterfield Insurance Group UK

2010

2010

Acquires US-Reports

2008

2008

Launches KELP – Kaufman Emerging Leaders Program

2007

2007

Alan Jay Kaufman founds the Kaufman Institute, providing outstanding opportunities for the professional development of his employees.

2001

2001

Acquires Atain

2001

2001

Alan Jay Kaufman creates The Kaufman Family Foundation, awarding scholarships to exceptional students.

1996

1996

Corporate Headquarters relocates to its current location in Farmington Hills, MI.

1996

1996

Second-generation leader Alan Jay Kaufman acquires the company and takes it private.

1990

1990

H.W. Kaufman takes the company public.

1990

1990

Acquires Minuteman Adjusters

1988

1988

Acquires Royal Premium

1982

1982

First Managers Meeting

1980

1980

Acquires R.B. Jones

1969

1969

Kaufman Financial Group founded by Herbert W. Kaufman in Southfield, MI.