THOMCO founder Greg Thompson has taken over as the head of Markel Specialty, a subsidiary of Markel Corp.

Thompson, with his father, started Thompson Insurance Enterprise (THOMCO) in 1979 and led the company for 32 years, growing it from a small wholesale operation to a large program administrator.

Specialty insurer Markel bought THOMCO at the start of 2012. Headquartered in Kennesaw, Ga., THOMCO manages more than 20 national programs including medical transportation, senior living, child care centers, fitness clubs, pest-control operators, tanning salons and inflatable rental operators, among others.

The program administrator expected to underwrite more than $170 million in gross written premium in 2011.

“One of the primary factors leading to our acquisition of THOMCO was the similar history, culture, and values of the two companies,” says Mike Crowley, Markel’s president and co-chief operating officer. “Greg’s experience growing THOMCO positions him well to lead Markel Specialty as it continues to expand the distribution of specialty products through organic growth and acquisition.”

Bob Heaphey has assumed responsibilities for THOMCO as Managing Executive, Markel adds. 

Heaphey joined THOMCO in 1998 as controller and was later promoted to the position of COO. Heaphey served as CEO of THOMCO for the last two years and will now oversee all aspects of the THOMCO business.