PE-backed Orchid Underwriters names chief information officer

Orchid Underwriters Insurance Agency LLC, a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, has appointed Chuck Fillizola as chief information officer. Previously, he worked at Sompo Japan Nipponkoa America Insurance where he served as vice president and chief information officer. Based in Vero Beach, Florida, Orchid is a specialty underwriter of property insurance focusing on coastal properties.

PRESS RELEASE

Vero Beach, FL, April 27, 2015 — Orchid Underwriters Insurance Agency, LLC (“Orchid”), a leading specialty underwriter of property insurance focusing on coastal properties, announced today that it has named Chuck Fillizola as Chief Information Officer. In this newly created position, Mr. Fillizola will play a decisive role in setting and implementing IT strategy and IT budget management, program management, staff management, vendor selection/management, IT delivery and IT technology to benefit Orchid’s planned expansion currently and into the future. Mr. Fillizola will also be a member of the Executive Management Committee at Orchid along with Chairman Ken LeStrange, CEO Michael Ray and President Brad Emmons.

“We welcome Chuck to Orchid,” said Mr. Ray. “This new role of Chief Information Officer will become increasingly important as we prepare to expand the company’s product lines and geographic reach, both organically and through acquisitions. Chuck’s expertise in vendor selection/management, IT delivery, strategy, operations and technology will prove invaluable as we hone Orchid’s strategic direction.”

Mr. Fillizola is an accomplished senior level technology leader with over 20 years of progressive experience in IT management, applications development and program management within the property and casualty insurance industry. He most recently served as Vice President & Chief Information Officer for Sompo Japan Nipponkoa America Insurance, which writes close to $400 million in gross written premiums in the United States. Before his tenure at Sompo, Mr. Fillizola was Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer for the Property & Casualty Insurance Division of Computer Sciences Corporation (“CSC”). Prior to his position at CSC, he spent nearly 10 years at various divisions of Fairfax Financial Holdings, Ltd., most recently as President of MFX Holdings. His previous experience in IT includes roles as a Division Director at American Reinsurance and IBJ Schroeder Bank. Mr. Fillizola holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Marist College.

“I’m excited to be joining Ken, Michael, Brad and the rest of the Orchid team. They have done a great job of creating value and building an impressive record among their insureds, agents, and carriers. I look forward to helping the company pursue additional opportunities that will deliver continued exceptional results,” Mr. Fillizola said.
Mr. LeStrange said, “I am very pleased to have Chuck join our team. He is a very accomplished IT professional with a great understanding of the insurance business. With Chuck’s leadership, we will continue to enhance our leading edge technology for agents and brokers.”

In November 2014, private equity firm Gryphon Investors made a majority investment in the company.

About Orchid Underwriters
Founded in 1998 and based in Vero Beach, FL, Orchid Underwriters specializes in providing specialty insurance products for homeowners and other difficult-to-insure properties throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The Company’s comprehensive product offering provides customers with a “one-stop-shop” for homeowners and condominium property insurance, including umbrella policies, wind and wind only, general and excess flood, earthquake, builder’s risk and others. Orchid only represents well-known A.M. Best A-rated insurance carriers and is a market leader with over $16 billion of insurance in-force.

About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity (“PE”) firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. For numerous consecutive quarters and years, Gryphon has been ranked in Preqin’s prestigious quarterly PE report as one of North America’s top-decile firms based on consistency of strong investment returns. With approximately $1.5 billion of cumulative equity commitments, the firm has an extensive track record of leading equity investments of $25 to $150 million per portfolio company with sales ranging from approximately $50 to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources and operational expertise.