Charlotte, N.C.-based wholesale insurance broker AmWINS Group Inc. said James Drinkwater has been named president of AmWINS brokerage division effective immediately.

Mr. Drinkwater will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the division, which is focused on property-casualty insurance brokerage operations, the company said.

He succeeds Mark Smith, who served as president of the division since 2005. Mr. Smith will continue to work with the company in a consulting capacity.

“James is ideally suited for this position,” said Steven DeCarlo, AmWINS Group’s chief executive officer. “He has been deeply involved in shaping the division for the past three years, and he brings a wealth of knowledge, charisma and experience to this significant post in our company. James has been in the industry for more than 20 years and has served in a number of roles in both the U.S. and London marketplace.”

Mr. Drinkwater was the division’s chief operating officer, where he worked closely with the company’s retail agency clients and insurance markets. He led the implementation and execution of the division’s sales and marketing strategy.