Ex-CNA CEO joins insurer amid controversy

Industry veteran joins business facing senior discrimination claim

Ex-CNA CEO joins insurer amid controversy

Insurance News

By Jen Frost

Insurance industry veteran Bernard Hengesbaugh (pictured) has been named as CEO of Iowa-based insurer GuideOne, the business has revealed.

Hengesbaugh is a former CEO of CNA, a business at which he spent 23 years and also held senior underwriting and operating roles. He most recently served as chief operating officer of the 300,000-member strong American Medical Association.

“I am excited about this new opportunity and look forward to working with this talented team as we drive toward underwriting excellence,” said Hengesbaugh. “In my time with the board, I have watched GuideOne evolve and diversify to meet the changing demands of the market.”

Andy Noga, who has been serving as acting GuideOne CEO since the departure of former boss Jessica Snyder earlier this year, will return to his former role of general counsel when Hengesbaugh joins the business. 

The CEO announcement comes as Noga has faced allegations of discrimination and bullying from a former senior member of staff at the business.

Ex-GuideOne SVP Mark Groenheide, who led the business’s specialty practice, has alleged that acting CEO Noga – then general counsel – called him a “f*ggot” at a public dinner event last November.

Groenheide, who has embarked on a public social media campaign to raise awareness of his alleged situation, has claimed he was pushed out from the insurer after making a complaint about Noga’s conduct. This is an allegation that the carrier has strenuously denied.

The former SVP is pursing a claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he previously told Insurance Business.

GuideOne has said that Groenheide was instead dismissed for exceeding his letter of Authority, failing to secure reinsurance on certain accounts, and submitting improper expenses.    

The insurer has said it will respond to Groenheide’s allegations “in the proper forum” and has claimed that Groenheide’s bias and discrimination claims have already been investigated by a third-party who found they were “unfounded”.

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