The Hanover Strengthens Its Field Operations, Underwriting and Loss Control Capabilities

--Investment in 165 New Professionals Demonstrates Company's Commitment to Being The Best Partner for Winning Independent Agents --

Jan 07, 2010, 15:00 ET from The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

WORCESTER, Mass., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), a leading provider of property and casualty insurance, today announced that it has hired 165 insurance professionals, significantly strengthening its field operations, underwriting and loss control capabilities, particularly in its west expansion and growth states. The appointments were effective January 1.

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The announcement follows the company's announcements late last year that it has expanded in the west and entered into a renewal rights agreement with OneBeacon, acquiring access to $400 million in small and middle market commercial business at renewal.

In November, The Hanover announced that it would significantly expand its footprint with seven state launches, effective Jan. 1, including Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Also, effective January 1, the OneBeacon agreement adds scale to the company's westward expansion and expands The Hanover's segment, niche and industry program business, adding nearly 20 well established programs to its already strong portfolio. These, and other recent announcements, demonstrate The Hanover's continued commitment to investing in the products, tools and local resources that winning independent agents need to thrive.

In particular, the new Hanover employees will help strengthen the company's presence throughout the west, and ensure a smooth conversion of the renewal rights agreement. At the same time, they will enhance the company's already strong field team, and fill previously open positions throughout its field underwriting, home office underwriting and loss control groups.

"This is an exciting time for us. Six years ago, we set out to be the best partner for growing, independent agents. Today, we are delivering on that promise, having strengthened our company in every way--improving our financial strength, product offerings, operating model and service technologies, while building one of the best field teams in the industry," said Frederick H. Eppinger, chief executive officer of The Hanover. "These talented professionals will help us bring significant scale to our westward expansion and enable us to be even more responsive to our agent partners, helping them to grow and win in a very challenging marketplace."

Offering National Capabilities, Regional Touch

In line with the company's commitment to offer its agent partners national capabilities with a regional touch, The Hanover has made several key field appointments that will add many talented insurance professionals to its local team in the west, including Charlie Pelissier as regional vice president, Southern California; Steve Schaeberle as regional vice president, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah; Mark McGregor, branch manager, Washington and Oregon; Toni Mitchell as regional chief underwriting officer, Western region; and Rusty Manzo as senior marketing manager, small commercial affinity business.

Several other key field appointments were made throughout the country, including John Tillistrand to regional vice president, New York Metro and Connecticut; Rick Hernandez, branch manager, New York City; and David DeVinney, commercial lines underwriting manager, Long Island and Westchester County region.

The company also has hired several leaders in field support positions throughout the country. These include, Chip Hamann, small commercial underwriting officer, responsible for underwriting strategy, quality management and product development management; Roger Pare, who will be responsible for middle market underwriting quality and execution and serve as the company's integration officer for the OneBeacon transaction; and Gayle Falvey, who will be responsible for ensuring the high-quality delivery of small and middle market services--all of whom will work out of the company's home office in Worcester.

At the same time, The Hanover appointed Audrey Keysa, underwriting manager, and Mark Thompson, underwriting manager, in its Buffalo, New York office; and added Wade Hartford, senior underwriting manager, and Kathryn Holland, senior operations manager, in its Salem, Virginia office.

"The transaction with OneBeacon has given us a tremendous opportunity to add a number of knowledgeable and experienced people to our team," said Marita Zuraitis, president of The Hanover's property and casualty companies. "We know that our success depends on our ability to deliver the highest level of service to our agent partners and their customers. I am confident that this infusion of new talent will help advance our company's performance even further, enabling us to continue to grow and succeed over the long term."

About The Hanover

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), based in Worcester, Mass., is the holding company for a group of insurers that includes The Hanover Insurance Company, also based in Worcester; Citizens Insurance Company of America, headquartered in Howell, Mich., and their affiliates. The Hanover offers a wide range of property and casualty products and services to individuals, families and businesses through an extensive network of independent agents, and has been meeting its obligations to its agent partners and their customers for more than 150 years. Taken as a group, The Hanover ranks among the top 30 property and casualty insurers in the United States.


    CONTACTS:
    Media Relations
    Amy Lynn Banek
    E-mail: abanek@hanover.com
    1-508-855-4486

    Investor Relations
    Robert P. Myron
    E-mail: Rmyron@hanover.com
    1-508-855-2200

    Oksana Lukasheva
    E-mail: olukasheva@hanover.com
    1-508-855-2063

SOURCE The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.



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