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Captive industry recognizes its champions

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BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Vermont Captive Insurance Association presented annual awards to several veteran captive players in recognition of their contributions to the industry and to the association during the opening general session of the 2015 VCIA conference Wednesday in Burlington.

The VCIA board presented this year’s Industry Service Award to P. Bruce Wright, a partner with the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan L.L.P. in New York. For decades, Mr. Wright has, among other things, been at the forefront of captive-taxation issues and also was one of the pioneers in seeking Labor Department approval for employers that wanted to fund employee benefit risks through their captives.

In addition, VCIA presented an honorary lifetime membership awards to Brian Donovan, the long-time president of Vermont-domicled Stico Mutual Insurance Co. a Risk Retention Group. Stico, which provides pollution liability coverage to storage tank manufacturers and installers, was one of the first RRGs to be launched following the passage of federal legislation in 1986 that allowed RRGs to write all casualty coverages, except workers compensation for member-owners. The original 1981 law limited RRGs to writing only product liability and completed operations coverage to member-owner policyholders.

An honorary membership award also was presented to Dan Labrie, president and CEO in the Cheshire, Connecticut, office of Housing Authority Risk Retention Group Inc., a Vermont-based RRG, whose premium volume has increased five-fold to $31 million since it was licensed in 1987, while the number of housing authorities in the RRG now tops 1,000 compared with just 26 in the first year.

In addition, Donna Blair, managing director and portfolio manager with Trevor, Stewart, Burton & Jacobsen Inc., a New York-based investment advisor, was recognized with VCIA’s annual Captive Crusader Award. The Captive Crusader honor is presented by the VCIA staff to recognize an individual’s service and commitment to the organization “above and beyond the call of duty.”