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State Fund’s Board Names Vernon Steiner New President and CEO

May 27, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The State Compensation Insurance Fund Board of Directors announced today it has appointed Vernon Steiner as President and CEO.

Steiner joins State Fund from Zenith Insurance Company. As Senior Vice President of Claims, Steiner was responsible for Zenith’s national claims operation with significant focus in California.

Board Chair Sheryl Chalupa stated: “State Fund has made significant progress in transforming its operations to deliver greater transparency, accountability, efficiency, and productivity. Vernon has deep experience in leading insurance operations – especially workers’ compensation claims operations. He has a strong track record of building effective senior teams and strong capabilities at the organizations he has led. Additionally, he is a committed champion for improving the worker’s compensation system for all stakeholders. The Board is confident he will effectively lead State Fund and its current initiatives to build a competitive company with a resourceful, creative workforce that provides fair prices and excellent service.”

Steiner has been the Senior Vice President of Claims for Zenith Insurance since 2007 where he was responsible for Zenith’s national claims operation. He has 24 years of industry experience, most of which has been focused on workers’ compensation and casualty business operations. Prior to joining Zenith, he held several leadership positions at CNA Financial and, prior to that, was with AIG for eight years.

“I am honored to be selected as State Fund’s new president in the midst of its 100th anniversary. I am excited by the organization’s purpose and unique role in California’s workers’ compensation insurance market,” said Steiner. “Working with the board, executive team and all employees, we will ensure State Fund continues to create stability in the market and deliver significant value to California employers and injured workers.”

Steiner has served on the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) advisory board since 2009 and as a member of the California Workers’ Compensation Institute’s (CWCI) Board of Directors since 2010. He was recently elected Chairman of the CWCI Board of Directors in March 2014. He holds a BA degree in Philosophy from UCLA.

Steiner’s appointment will be effective June 9th and his contract includes a four-year term, an annual salary of $450,000, annual bonus eligibility equivalent to 30 percent of salary, a monthly retention payment of $1,500, and California state civil service benefits. Additionally he will receive a one-time recruitment and retention bonus of $270,000.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Carol Newman for her strong leadership as interim CEO and President,” said Chalupa. “For the past six months Carol has guided the executive team to continue to push forward on our strategic plan and strengthen the governance of our enterprise projects. The Board deeply values Carol’s contributions to State Fund and is very pleased she has agreed to return to her role as State Fund’s General Counsel.”

In 2010, State Fund began a transformation that has reduced annual fixed expenses by $300 million dollars. These savings will help State Fund maintain fair pricing and bring greater value to more California employers. State Fund’s recent release of its 2013 Annual Report showed an increase in net premiums to more than one billion dollars and a decrease in its combined ratio of more than 10 percent.

This year, State Fund is celebrating 100 years of providing California businesses with a strong and stable option for their workers’ compensation insurance. State Fund has played an important role in the state’s economy as illustrated in this interactive, comprehensive timeline that chronicles noteworthy developments for State Fund and California between 1914 and 2014.


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