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Crawford & Co. legal unit's top executives to depart at year-end

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Third-party claims administrator Crawford & Co., which announced a major restructuring in November, said Tuesday that four top executives of its Garden City Group L.L.C. legal group will leave after their contracts expire at year-end.

In a statement, Crawford said those who will leave Garden City Group are CEO David Isaac, President Neil Zola, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Karen Shaer, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Keough.

“We attempted to negotiate an arrangement favorable to both parties for several months now, but our efforts have been unsuccessful,” Crawford interim President and CEO Harsha V. Agadi said in a statement.

The level of the executives' pay was an issue in the discussions, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Mr. Agadi was named to the interim post following Crawford President and CEO Jeffrey Bowman's departure in August after 24 years with the TPA and eight years at its helm.

Crawford, which has seen reduced profits the past two years amid declining needs for its claims services amid relatively light catastrophes, announced a restructuring in November to become more competitive.

“Crawford remains committed to (Garden City Group) and to continuing to deliver both innovative and quality services to its clients, Mr. Agadi said Tuesday in the statement of the latest changes. “And we do not foresee any disruption in service due to this anticipated change.”

While Mr. Agadi said that a new management team would be appointed for the unit that oversees class action settlements, mass torts, bankruptcy cases and legal notice programs to “maintain business as usual,” the company's statement also said the changes could result in a loss of clients, difficulty collecting payments form clients and other risks.

Crawford is the No. 2 TPA in the latest Business Insurance ranking, with $1.22 billion in 2014 gross revenue.