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 Insurance Broker to Focus Services on Energy Companies

LOS ANGELES, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Five members of a global energy insurance team at insurance broker Minet, Inc. have joined Chicago-based Near North Insurance Brokerage, Inc. the company announced today. Near North is among the top insurance brokers and risk management service providers in the U.S. The Near North Energy team will be based in the company's Los Angeles office and in Houston where it will open an office.

Those joining Near North are:

Michael H. Newman, who has been named senior vice president and national practice leader for Near North Energy, a new specialty insurance unit the company has formed. Newman will be based in the company's Los Angeles office. Most recently, Newman was a senior vice president for Minet, Inc., a unit of The St. Paul Companies, in Los Angeles.

Neil Davis, who will open an office for Near North in Houston, has been named vice president at Near North. Previously Davis was a vice president for Minet in Houston. Near North also has an office in Dallas.

In addition to Newman and Davis, the company announced that Leticia Hernandez, Donna Peterson and Marwan Soghaier have joined as assistant vice presidents. Hernandez and Soghaier are located in Near North's Los Angeles office and Peterson is based in Houston.

"This move continues the realization of our strategy to become a dominant provider of insurance and risk management services to key industry segments. Energy is a good fit with our national and international client base and we're delighted to have Mike, Neil, Marwan, Donna and Leticia on board to help us build that business," said Near North Group Executive Vice President and Managing Director Thomas V. Ealy, who himself joined the company earlier this year from another global broker.

Ealy noted that Near North's expanding presence in such important oil and gas producing, refining and distribution regions as Texas and California, made the addition of energy specialists an essential focus of serving clients in those markets. Near North is well established in the construction insurance market. "A lot of energy businesses are building or expanding plants, refineries and distribution outlets. Near North's strength in wrap-up construction programs is an advantage to these companies."

Houston will be the second office that Near North has opened this year. A London office was opened in January.

About Michael H. Newman

As senior vice president, Near North Energy, Michael Newman, ACII is responsible for establishing and managing the unit. He has 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, including 15 years in the energy field. Newman specializes in refining, retail, marine risk associated with trading, vessel operations and petroleum products transportation. Before joining Near North, he was a senior vice president at Minet Energy & Marine in Los Angeles. Newman has a MA in Law from Cambridge University in England. He holds an Associate Chartered Insurance Institute designation (ACII).

About Neil J. Davis

Neil Davis will be establishing operations for Near North Energy in Houston. He will be responsible for business development and account management. Davis specializes in the high risk property and environmental areas. He has more than 14 years of experience in the insurance industry, including nine years in the energy field. Most recently, he was vice president, Minet Energy & Marine in Houston. He was an assistant vice president at Thomas Howell Group in Houston from 1992 to 1993. Davis has a BBA in petroleum land management and also a BBA in business management from the University of Texas at Austin.

About Near North

Near North Insurance Brokerage, Inc., a member of the Near North National Group, is among the leading insurance brokers in the United States and is the largest privately held brokerage firm in Chicago. Near North provides insurance brokerage, risk management and financial services to a diverse group of "Fortune 1000" corporations, public entities and organizations in the fields of entertainment, construction, sports and leisure, real estate, healthcare, law and fine arts.

Based in Chicago, the firm has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Tampa, Washington, D.C. and London. Near North has more than 500 employees.
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/CONTACT: Nancy Oblinger, Senior Communications Officer, 312-280-5659, or Kristen Restivo, Corporate Communications Coordinator, 312-280-7243, both of Near North National Group/

CO: Near North Insurance Brokerage, Inc. ST: California, Illinois, Texas IN: INS SU: PER

CK-CS -- CLTU028 -- 5207 07/02/96 15:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 2, 1996

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