Citizens Property Insurance announces CEO exit

Outgoing leader has held the position for over a decade

Citizens Property Insurance announces CEO exit

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has announced that current president, CEO, and executive director Barry Gilway will be leaving his position after over a decade of service.

“Leading Citizens has been the capstone of a 52-year career in the insurance industry,” said Gilway in a statement.

No date has been set for Gilway’s departure, but Citizens has revealed in a release that it hopes to have a permanent successor selected before the Legislature convenes in March 2023.

The insurer also said that Citizen’s’ board of governors authorized chairman Carlos Beruff to negotiate an exit plan with the outgoing Gilway, with a multiyear agreement to allow Gilway to serve as an advisor during the transition. Beruff will also work with Gilway on a transition plan as the insurer implements recently enacted legislative reforms which will seek to stabilize Florida’s troubles property insurance market and “return Citizens to its role as the state’s insurer of last resort,” a release said.

“The historic reforms that we fought so hard for are now in place and it’s time to make way for the next generation of leadership. It’s truly been an honor to lead such an incredible group of dedicated professionals,” noted Gilway.

“Mr. Gilway has capped off his tenure at Citizens by leading the way for passage of historic legislation that, over time, will fix the Florida property insurance market and return Citizens to its role as Florida’s insurer of last resort,” said Beruff. “As we work toward a transition plan, I want to thank Barry on behalf of the Board for his service to Citizens and the industry.”

Citizens’ board has approved the appointment of Tim Cerio, current general counsel, to succeed Gilway on an interim basis. Cerio’s interim term is effective once Gilway steps down.

“Barry is an icon in the industry and will be missed,” said Cerio. “I am honored by this opportunity and look forward to working with the Board through these challenging times. It’s reassuring to know that we will continue to be able to tap Barry’s experience and industry knowledge as we move forward.”

Gilway joined Citizens in June 2012; at that time, the insurer had more than 1.4 million policies in force, and Floridians owed over $11.6 billion in assessments following a 1-in-100-year storm. Under Gilway’s leadership, the number of policies it had written was brought down to 420,000 by 2017, and the risk of assessments was “virtually eliminated,” a release said.

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