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State Auto announces retirement of COO and executive leadership team to include responsibilities.

M2 EQUITYBITES-January 18, 2011-State Auto announces retirement of COO and executive leadership team to include responsibilities(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com

Insurance holding company State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STFC) and State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company on Monday disclosed that Mark A Blackburn, its executive VP and COO and director of State Automobile Mutual, has resigned and will serve in an advisory role till November 2011.

Additionally, the company said that instead of appointing a new COO, the executive leadership team reporting to president, chairman and CEO Bob Restrepo will broaden their responsibilities to include Blackburn's duties.

Accordingly, VP and CFO Steven E English will be in charge of enterprise risk management, business continuity and of the company's affiliate Risk Evaluation and Design LLC. In his wider role, English will develop strategies and plans to enhance State Auto's enterprise risk and capital management programmes.

Senior VP and CSO Clyde H Fitch assumes charge of middle market sales and the company's new managing general agency Capital City Intermediaries which will market products and programmes of the Rockhill Insurance Group to State Auto's independent agency plant.

Former VP and director of Personal Insurance and VP of Standard Lines Joel E Brown takes over all standard lines underwriting and product management and his present responsibility for personal lines and farm insurance will be broadened to include all standard commercial lines.

Prior COO of Rockhill Insurance Group and COO of Specialty Insurance Jessica Buss will complete the integration of monoline workers compensation company RTW and Rockhill's business operations into State Auto and both companies underwriting, operations and actuarial functions will report directly to her.

VP of Operations Lyle D Rhodebeck will be in charge of Information Technology which will continue to headed by VP of IT Doug Allen.

VP and chief strategy and organisation effectiveness officer Lorraine M Siegworth remains in charge of human resources, benefits and compensation, corporate communication and professional development and will also serve on point for State Auto's marketing and branding strategies at present.

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Publication:M2 EquityBites (EQB)
Date:Jan 18, 2011
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