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AmWINS opens Alabama office

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—American Wholesale Insurance Group Inc. has opened a Birmingham, Ala., office and hired Jeffrey McNatt as president of the unit, AmWINS Brokerage of Alabama L.L.C.

Previously, Mr. McNatt was with Risk Placement Services Inc.

It makes sense to open a "companion brokerage" to American Equity Underwriters Inc., which Charlotte, N.C.-based AmWINS has agreed to acquire, said Mark Smith, president of AmWINS' brokerage division, in a statement.

Price was not disclosed for the American Equity purchase, which is expected to close this month, a spokesman said.

AmWINS Brokerage of Alabama is located at One Independence Plaza, Birmingham, Ala. 35209. Its telephone number is 205-870-8479.

Aon taps turnarounds with new TARP unit

CHICAGO—Aon Corp. has created the Turnaround and Restructuring Practice. "Companies in turnaround are largely abandoned by the brokerage and agency community," said Michael Toner, managing principal of brokerage Aon Risk Services Americas and chief executive officer of TARP.

He said the Boston-based unit will specialize in serving businesses in turnaround and have expertise in bankruptcy and related laws.

MassMutual supports breast cancer awareness

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. will present its Pearls of Wisdom physical fitness awareness seminars at eight U.S. races this summer and make contributions to breast cancer awareness efforts for each seminar attendee, the Springfield, Mass.-based insurer said.

The 2007 effort began with MassMutual's sponsorship of the Danskin Women's Triathlon Series in Orlando, Fla., on Mother's Day.

MassMutual said its Breast Cancer Awareness campaign raised more than $110,000 in 2006.

Max Specialty now eligible in 45 states

RICHMOND, Va.—Max Specialty Insurance Co. has added Kansas, New York and North Carolina to become an eligible surplus lines insurer in 45 U.S. states.

"We look forward to being added as an eligible surplus lines insurer in other states over the course of the year," President and CEO Stephen J. Vaccaro Jr. said in statement.

Max Capital Group Ltd. owns the Richmond, Va., excess and surplus lines insurer.

Fireman's Fund allies with National Equipment Register

NOVATO, Calif.—Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. said its specialty insurance arm has made a strategic alliance with the National Equipment Register, which maintains an ownership database of some 12 million pieces of heavy equipment.

The Novato, Calif.-based property/casualty insurer said the alliance would give its policyholders a 20% discount off NER equipment registration fees and a deductible waiver up to $10,000 for registered equipment that is stolen and reported to police.

CGI Group combines insurance divisions

BOSTON—Information technology and business process service provider CGI Group Inc. has combined its insurance divisions, the Boston-based company said.

The previous U.S. Insurance Business Services division and the Insurance System Integration and Consulting practice will be headed by Paul Raymond, senior vp and former head of the consulting arm.

The combined U.S. force of 750 people, which will operate under the CGI banner, is intended to better serve client needs, CGI said.

Collins expands to Philadelphia

MINNEAPOLIS—John B. Collins Associates Inc. has opened an office in Philadelphia, the Minneapolis-based reinsurance intermediary said.

The Philadelphia office is staffed by Senior Vps Robert L. Duffield and Diane M. Larzelere and Vp Maureen F. Brittingham. It is located at One Liberty Place, 1650 Market St., 36th Floor, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103. Its phone number is 269-207-2942.