Filed Under:Markets, Commercial Lines

Munich Re’s John Vasturia named chairman of IICF Board of Governors

John Vasturia, at left, president of specialty markets for Munich Re, with Betsy Myatt, executive director of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation's Northeast Division, and William E. Ross, the foundation's CEO. Vasturia was named as chairman of the IICF Board of Governors on March 3. (Photo: Rosalie Donlon/
John Vasturia, at left, president of specialty markets for Munich Re, with Betsy Myatt, executive director of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation's Northeast Division, and William E. Ross, the foundation's CEO. Vasturia was named as chairman of the IICF Board of Governors on March 3. (Photo: Rosalie Donlon/

John Vasturia, president of specialty markets for Princeton, N.J.-based Munich Reinsurance America Inc., has been appointed chairman of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s board of governors after three years of service as a member of the board.

Vasturia succeeds Gary Petrosino, executive vice president and Western U.S. territory field officer at Warren, N.J.-based Chubb & Son.

The Los Angeles-based foundation's board brings together 21 senior insurance industry executives from across the United States and the United Kingdom to manage the organization’s growth and foundation fund, and ensure the organization fulfills its mission to the organizations it benefits and the insurance industry. In his role as chairman, Vasturia will oversee the board’s work to establish overarching strategy for the organization, which includes four regional divisions in the United States as well as a division in London, which was created in 2015.

“I’m privileged to be the chair of the board of governors,” Vasturia said at a media briefing today hosted by Aspen Insurance. “Through my prior service on the board, I’ve seen firsthand the impact the IICF has on the communities that we serve.”

Vasturia noted that the insurance industry, working together strategically and collaboratively, can make a difference beyond the business world. “I am inspired to be working with such a high-quality and dedicated IICF staff, as well as so many engaged volunteers,” he added. His goal for the coming year is to grow the mission of foundation, explaining that “The better IICF does, the better we can do for the community.”

Grants, volunteer service and leadership

The foundation is about grants, volunteer service and leadership, said William E. Ross, the foundation's CEO. Since its inception in 1994, the organization has contributed $25.3 million in grants to charities and 218,722 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofit organizations.

“I’m proud to say that 86 cents of every dollar raised by IICF goes back out to the community in grants,” Ross noted. “And the money raised in each region stays in that region.”

One area of emphasis for the foundation is childhood literacy, and the organization continues to partner with New York City-based children's educational television nonprofit Sesame Workshop on its "Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day" project. The grant of a total of $750,000 spread over three years for the early literacy initiative (ELI) provides a digital resource, including tips, games and activities that parents, caregivers and volunteers can engage children with to improve their reading and writing capabilities from an early age. “We won’t solve the problem of global literacy overnight,” said Ross, “but with ELI, we can make a difference for at least one child.”

Related: IICF partners with Sesame Workshop to support early childhood literacy

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Ross said he is especially proud of the foundation's associate boards, which are made up of millennial leaders that parallel the organization’s board of governors and reach out to young insurance professionals. The Dallas Associate Board raised $50,000 at one event, he said.

In addition to continuing its outreach to insurance professionals, the foundation is scheduled to open local chapters in Seattle, Houston and Kansas this year, and others are being considered for 2017.

The London division is scheduled to hold its first benefit dinner on April 12.

The IICF Women in Insurance Conference Series returns in 2016 to the one-day regional forums, Ross said. The 2014 forums drew more than 1,300 professionals into the discussion, and he hopes to exceed that number this year. The forums — scheduled for June 9 in New York, June 13 in Chicago, June 21 in Dallas and June 23 in Los Angeles — help support regional networking opportunities as well as benefitting the community grants program.

Related: Women in the industry: Scenes from IICF’s Women in Insurance Global Conference 

Explaining his company’s support for the foundation, Aspen Insurance CEO Mario Vitale said, “We try to do good things every day, and the IICF helps us go one step further.” He noted that the culture of giving back to the community was one of the things that attracted him to Aspen in 2011: The company gives its employees two paid days off to volunteer — a benefit that is especially important to millennials, he explained, and a way to win the war for talent that every organization is waging.

Vitale himself is an ambassador for the Adara Group, a charity that Aspen has partnered with since 2007. Demonstrating his philosophy of leading from the front, Vitale spent a week visiting the community of the Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda in September 2013, and has hosted charity gala events in Adara’s name.

Related: The architect: Aspen Insurance CEO Mario Vitale

“With IICF we’ve put a model in place — one that brings competitors in an industry together to work for a common good — to help solve society’s problems,” added Ross, “even if we only make progress a little at a time.”

For more information about IICF and ways you can give back to the community, visit the foundation's website.

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