The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) has announced the appointment of Charles Symington as executive vice president, effective Oct. 1. Since 2016, Symington has served as senior vice president for external, industry and government affairs.
Last week, Big “I” President and CEO Bob Rusbuldt announced that he will retire on Aug. 31, 2023, and that Symington will succeed him at that time. This current title will be an interim role as Symington prepares to take the top spot.
“I speak for the Big ‘I’ executive committee and the entire board of directors in saying that we are excited to work with Charles in this new position over the next year, and then as president and CEO after that,” said John Costello of USI Insurance Services, chairman of the Big “I.” “Charles brings so much wisdom and experience to this new role and he will be well prepared to take over the helm of the national association next fall, ensuring a smooth transition when Bob Rusbuldt steps down.”
As executive vice president, Symington will play an integral role in the day-to-day operations of the national association and in various initiatives with Big “I” state associations and other affiliate organizations. He will continue to serve on the Big “I” management operating committee, which advises the president and CEO on general oversight and administration.
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Symington joined the Big “I” in 2004 as part of its government affairs staff. He currently oversees federal and state government affairs, political affairs, grassroots, industry relations, and communications and media affairs. He has been regularly recognized by The Hill as one of Washington’s top lobbyists. He has helped the Big “I secure numerous legislative winds, including substantial small business tax relief, defending a modernized state regulatory system for insurance, preserving an effective Federal Crop Insurance Program and extending the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
“Charles and I have worked together at the Big ‘I’ for more than 18 years, and our history goes back even further to when Charles worked in Capitol Hill on key insurance legislation,” Rusbuldt said. “Over the next year, we will be taking on many important priorities for independent agents and brokers across the country. There are few who know the independent agent channel and understand its unique needs better than Charles, and we will be able to steer this association together toward a seamless leadership transition. I look forward to leaving the reins of the Big ‘I’ in his very capable hands.”