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ACORD
MEMIC Group President & CEO John Leonard is ACORD’s new board chair. He previously chaired the board in 2001. >> The board has three new members: Lawrence Blakeman, MetLife; Robert Slocum, IIABA; and Andreas Beerli, Swiss Re.

AMWINS
Terrence Villar joins the Los Angeles office as senior v.p. to lead the casualty brokerage team. >> Tom Lott is hired as senior v.p. in the corporate office to implement strategic client initiatives. www.amwins.com

AON
Appoints Robert Brown as CEO of UK corporate insurance. He replaces John Thornton. >> Robert Cooney, founder of Max Re, is the new managing director of Aon Capital Markets and vice chairman of Aon Re Global-Bermuda. www.aon.com

ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER
Acquires Avreco, a Chicago-based wholesale broker, from The Park Group. Avreco specializes in niche markets. >> Gallagher is also buying Koster Insurance Agency, a Massachusetts developer of insurance programs for U.S. educational institutions. www.ajg.com

BARNEY & BARNEY
The nearly 100-year-old Southern California brokerage is merging with Saylor & Hill of Oakland, allowing a Northern and Southern California market reach. The brokerage offices will retain their names and locations under the new parent, B&B Co. Paul Hering will be the CEO and managing principal of the combined company with Mike Mirsky as principal and managing director of the Bay Area office. www.barneyandbarney.com

BB&T INSURANCE SERVICES
BB&T’s managing general insurance underwriter AmRisc acquires Savannah Reinsurance Underwriting Management, based in Stamford, Conn. www.bbt.com

BEECHER CARLSON
Steve Denton, COO, takes on additional duty as president. He succeeds Tom Golub, who remains chairman and CEO. >> Charles Pierpont is appointed managing director of the National Energy Practice. >> Beecher Carlson initiates partnership relationship with and receives significant investment funding from Old Lane, a Citigroup company. >> Beecher Carlson also buys Alliance Insurance Group in the southwestern U.S., which will continue to conduct business under that name from its Phoenix location. www.beechercarlson.com

BENFIELD
Benfield subsidiary International Space Brokers hires Jared Ball as director of risk engineering, based in Washington, D.C. >> Benfield opens new representative office in Beijing. Huang Ling is chief representative in the new office. >> Keving Bogardus is now Benfield’s general representative for the Shanghai General Representative Office. www.benfieldgroup.com

BMS GROUP
Reinsurance brokerage BMS Group announces the departure of John Spencer as group CEO of holding company BMS Associates. His achievements include the transfer of control and ownership from the brokerage’s founding members to the next generation. >> Bruce Carter and Mike Jones become divisional directors of the Program and Facilities Division. www.bmsgroup.com

BROWN & BROWN
Forms a team to handle mergers and acquisitions. Thomas Donegan is promoted to vice president and chief acquisitions counsel and will direct the legal activities of the team. >> Brown & Brown buys AGA Insurance, a retail commercial agency based in Alpharetta, Ga. It has a specialty in the church and ministry-related niche. AGA will continue at its current location operating as a satellite office of Brown & Brown’s Duluth office. >> Acquires Turner & Associates of Tecumseh, Okla., which specializes in the oil and gas industry. It will operate as a standalone Brown & Brown operation. >> Also acquired by Brown & Brown, LDP Consulting Group in New Jersey—an employee benefits specialist—will continue as a “freestanding” subsidiary from its current locations and with its current staff. >> Diversified Insurance Group, specializing in employee benefits in Indiana, joins Brown & Brown’s Indianapolis office. >> Smith-Peabody-Stiles, an 89-year-old Michigan agency, is now owned by Brown & Brown and will continue operating from its current locations with its current staff. www.bbinsurance.com

CNINSURE
CNinsure, a public, independent insurance agency and brokerage in the p-c and life fields, based in China’s Guangdong province, has bought majority stakes in brokerages in Tianjin, Hebei and Beijing, bringing CNinsure’s offices to 11 provinces in China. >> CNinsure receives “2007 Most Influential Insurance Intermediary Brand” award at the Huaxia Institutional Investor Conference.

GUY CARPENTER
Opens Prague office this month as part of Central and Eastern European broking expansion. Lubos Houska is Czech market rep at the new office. www.guycarp.com

HARVEY INSURANCE GROUP
Names Brian Dietrich executive v.p. responsible for the oversight of day-to-day operations and strategic planning. www.harveyinsgroup.com

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