The State of Private Equity: Current Trends and Outlook

During this NASBP Virtual Seminar, Greg Morin of Lockton will moderate a conversation on private equity with panelists Kenneth Berk of Liberty Mutual Surety, Craig Gortner of Chubb Surety, Tara North of Ascot Group, and Patrick Hennesy of Sompo International. Our moderator and panelists will bring their experiences to the table and discuss what’s going on in the private equity space, the importance of understanding the character of private equity firms, why it’s important for surety professionals to have an understanding of the world of private equity, and so much more!

Gregory Morin (Moderator)

Senior Vice President, National Commercial Surety Practice Leader


As National Commercial Surety Practice Leader, Greg has dedicated himself to providing the best possible service to his clients. He takes pride in negotiating and structuring very competitive surety programs, which have resulted in improved program terms and cost savings for his clients. Greg also handles the surety needs of various contractor clients.

Ken Berk

Senior Vice President, CUO Commercial for Global Surety

Liberty Mutual

Ken is SVP, CUO Commercial for Global Surety. He oversees both Core and Transactional Commercial. Ken started his surety career as a college hire with The Fireman’s Fund in 1978. He worked in NYC and Long Island, NY as a contract and commercial underwriter. In 1978 he became a Surety Manager at SAFECO in N.Y.C.. In 1990 he transferred to Mahwah, NJ to become the Regional Commercial Manager, handling the entire Northeast Region for SAFECO. In 2003 Ken was promoted to RVP of the Northern and Midwest Regions, and after the merger with Liberty, was appointed RVP for the Northeast.   In 2010 he was promoted to his current role. In August 2023 he will celebrate 45 years in Surety. 

Craig Gortner

Senior Vice President, National Underwriting Director

CHUBB Surety

Craig L Gortner, CPCU, AFSB is a 37-year surety professional, currently serving as the Senior Vice President and  National Underwriting Director of Chubb Commercial Surety. Based in Philadelphia, Craig is responsible for implementing Chubb’s underwriting strategy for Chubb’s Commercial Surety clients in the North America and managing a Home Office Referral team, which is a resource to Chubb’s regional field staff, brokers, and clients. In addition, Craig is responsible for facilitating access of US and Canadian clients to Chubb’s international surety network, and training and development of our Commercial Surety underwriters.

Prior to assuming this role in April 2020, Craig was the Senior Vice President and Director of Chubb’s Eastern US and Canadian Commercial Surety operation. Prior to joining ACE (which acquired Chubb), Craig spent 17 years in the field, primarily in New York City, and upon moving to Philadelphia in the aftermath of 9-11, in Home Office positions handling commercial and large construction clients headquartered around the world.

Craig  is a past Chairman of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) Commercial Surety Committee and is the current Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the SFAA.

Tara North

Executive Vice President, Head of Surety

Ascot Group

Tara brings over 25 years of underwriting, marketing, and management experience in the surety industry.  Tara had an integral role on the leadership team hired to launch Argo Surety in 2008, which successfully became a top ten surety carrier with one of the lowest loss ratios in the industry.  At Argo, she drove underwriting and marketing strategy in various positions including National Underwriting Officer as well as Senior Vice President overseeing the Commercial Surety field organization of 30 underwriters.  

Prior to joining Argo, Tara was Managing Director at Travelers, New York City Metro responsible for a $30 million Commercial Surety portfolio. 

Patrick Hennesy

National Underwriting Officer

SOPMPO International

Based in Houston, Pat is Sompo Surety’s U.S. National Underwriting Officer.  This role encompasses portfolio management and credit modelling responsibilities for the U.S. Surety book, reinsurance placement activities, and other facets of surety executive leadership. Pat brings 15+ years industry experience to Sompo and its broker partners.  This experience includes underwriting and broking a variety of companies within the Fortune 2000 and private company equivalents, energy risks, and all facets of the surety life cycle including complex credit analysis, mergers and acquisitions, private equity involvement, collateral structures, and claims management. 

Prior to Sompo, Pat worked to build JLT Specialty’s surety brokerage practice in the United States with an emphasis in Energy as JLT’s Energy Surety Practice Leader.  Upon Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.’s acquisition of JLT, Pat became a Senior Vice President in Marsh JLT’s Surety Practice.  Prior to Marsh JLT, Pat worked at RLI Insurance Company in RLI’s Surety Group.  

Pat earned a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.B.A. in Economics from Loyola University of Chicago. He also holds the Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (AFSB) certification.  Pat serves on the Houston Advisory Board for Heroes for Children, an organization that advocates for and provides financial assistance to families with children battling cancer.

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The State of Private Equity: Current Trends and Outlook
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin.  |  60 minutes
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin.  |  60 minutes
2 Questions
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No credits available  |  Certificate available