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Promotes Tom Schaffler to president of Chicago unit, succeeding Tom Pluss, who founded the Chicago office and has been named chairman. Schaffler most recently was president of Lockton Chicago’s employee benefits group and has been with the brokerage for 13 years. >> Lockton Affinity rolls out program for small government contractors to protect overseas workers. “Latitude” bundles foreign insurance into single program. Includes Defense Base Act coverage, EPL, medical evacuation, repatriation services. Additional coverage available: GL, commercial auto liability, business travel accident, K&R. Sara Payne leads program.

Forms new energy team in Denver serving Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. Lynn Finch, Rocky Mountain oil and gas practice leader, heads group. She was head of Oklahoma operations.

Tood Stocksdale promoted to southern region leader in addition to current duties as managing director for New Albany, Ind., office. He specializes in education, construction, manufacturing and workers comp and has been with the brokerage since 1991.

Joe Drozda joins as director of sales. He was sales strategy and planning manager at LexisNexis.

Merges Camilleri & Clarke, an agency in Wethersfield, Conn., into Smith Brothers’ Glastonbury office. C&C is a provider of professional liability to architects and engineers, design professionals, lawyers and CPAs. >> Opens office in Boston’s financial district as part of five-year business plan that calls for expansion in the Bay State. Boston team includes Jeremy Alderman as managing director and Christian Gunston as assistant director. Alderman had headed Boston office of T&H. Gunston most recently was asst. VP and head of client services also at T&H in Boston.

CEO Michael Van Gilder takes indefinite leave of absence from firm his great grandfather Hal Van Gilder founded in 1905. He was indicted Oct. 26 on insider trading charges. He pled not guilty and plans to fight vigorously, says attorney. The firm stressed in a statement that his legal matters are separate from the business and that the brokerage isn’t the subject of any probe. Don Woods, president of Van Gilder, has assumed the younger Van Gilder’s management duties.

Karin Marshall named SVP and managing director for Houston and San Antonio offices. She’ll report to Howard McClure, regional managing director, Southwest. She was SVP and general manager of BBVA Compass’s insurance unit in Houston. >> Allies with Preparis, a Web and mobile emergency preparedness service for businesses, to provide Wells Fargo insurance clients complimentary resource for a year. Deals with hundreds of different crisis events.

Launched Hurricane Response Center for clients and associates as top-of-the-fold link on home page. It offered storm tracking updates before and during the event and, after the storm, retrospectives. >> Louise Pennington appointed COO of Willis of New York. She was managing principal at Integro. >> Also in New York, Alexandra Littlejohn named regional placement officer for N.Y. and N.J. clients. She’ll also oversee data-driven placement, WillPlace. She previously was EVP at First Service Financial and managing director at Marsh.

Big growth in network includes new branches nationwide with addition of more than 200 agents. Many new branch managers are captive agents. Also offering opportunities for MGAs and sales-only branches. New branches in Ventura, San Mateo, Sunnyvale, Soleda, Lomita, Fontana and Fullerton, Calif.; Wilmington, Del.; Quincy, Ill.; Baton Rouge and Chalmette, La.; Shawnee, Okla.; Jenkintown, Pa.; Bartlett, Tenn.; Sherman, Keller, Longview, Dallas, Porter and Houston, Texas; and Glen Allen, Va.

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