Colleagues praise insurance institute’s outgoing president Hartwig

Insurance Information Institute President Robert Hartwig is winning plaudits for his advocacy on behalf of the insurance industry as he prepares to leave the institute to accept an academic post this year.

Mr. Hartwig has been president of the New York-based insurance industry-supported institution since 2007, and previously was its chief economist. In an announcement last week, the institute said he will join the faculty of the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business in Columbia, South Carolina, in August.

“My decision to leave the institute was an extremely difficult one,” Mr. Hartwig said in the announcement. “I love this job, this industry and the daily thrill and privilege of working with amazing people both at the organization itself and throughout the I.I.I.’s membership.

“At the same time, I have throughout my 23-year career in the insurance world always maintained strong ties to the academic community,” he said in the statement. “After 18 years at the Institute, now is the right time for me — both personally and professionally — to make a change. I am truly looking forward to my next important role — attracting and educating young talent to this vitally important industry.”

Industry observers praised Mr. Hartwig’s performance at the institute.

“Bob brought incredible insights, always intelligent commentary and was, I believe, the most recognized advocate for the insurance industry,” said Howard Mills, global insurance regulatory leader at consulting firm Deloitte L.L.P. in New York. “He will be greatly missed.”

“Bob is the only man I have ever seen who can do a presentation, use 90 slides, and it’s interesting and dynamic,” added Mr. Mills.

As president of I.I.I., Mr. Hartwig testified before Congress on numerous occasions on a variety of insurance topics. In his role as spokesman for the property/casualty insurance industry, Mr. Hartwig appears frequently on national television news programs and has written articles on insurance issues for scholarly and mass market journals.

“Bob Hartwig has been a tremendous asset for our industry,” Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the Washington-based American Insurance Association, said in an email.

“Through his extensive research and countless media interviews he has been a critical voice in helping the public and policymakers understand the vital role insurers play in society and our economy,” she said. “The industry has been well-served under his leadership of the Insurance Information Institute, and I know he will continue to make a significant contribution while teaching risk management and insurance at the University of South Carolina. I have a feeling we have not seen the last of Bob Hartwig.”

“Bob has been a major resource for the industry, bringing data-driven analysis and intellectual rigor to key industry trends,” David Sampson, president and CEO of the Chicago-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said in an email. “I know how much PCI and our member companies have relied on him. And, he’s a heck of a great guy to work with.”

“Dr. Hartwig leaves some very big shoes to fill at the I.I.I.,” Jimi Grande, senior vice president in the Washington office of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos., said in an email. “His expertise, his ability to explain how complex insurance issues could ultimately affect consumers, and his willingness to speak out in the face of, at times, unfair media coverage have been invaluable to the entire insurance industry.”

“Bob Hartwig has done an extraordinary job as president of the I.I.I., and finding a successor to fill his shoes will be a daunting task,” Bruce Kelley, president and CEO of EMC Insurance Cos. in Des Moines, Iowa, and chairman of the institute’s board, said in the institute’s statement.

Before joining the institute, Mr. Hartiwg was director of economic research and senior economist at the National Council on Compensation Insurance in Boca Raton, Florida. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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