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California Earthquake Authority’s Governing Board Announces Leadership Change

(Sacramento, CA) - The Governing Board of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has announced that Tom Welsh, CEA’s Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, has been appointed as Interim Chief Executive Officer. Tom Welsh assumes the Interim CEO role following Glenn Pomeroy’s decision to step down as CEO following 16 years of service.

To ensure a smooth transition of CEA’s leadership, in a way that protects CEA’s policyholders, the Governing Board met on Tuesday afternoon to manage this leadership transition. Following a thoughtful discussion of options, the Board appointed Mr. Welsh as CEA’s Interim CEO and will simultaneously conduct a nationwide search for the CEO.

The CEA is the largest residential earthquake insurer in the United States, with more than one million policyholders statewide who are protected by CEA’s $20 billion in claim-paying resources. Established by the California Legislature in 1996, the CEA operates as a not-for-profit, privately funded residential earthquake insurance company. CEA is not a state agency, and it is not part of the state budget.

While announcing this leadership transition, the Governing Board noted Mr. Pomeroy’s many contributions to CEA during his term as CEO, most notably fostering CEA’s operational excellence by assembling an exceptional senior leadership team devoted to CEA’s stable operations during this leadership transition. Mr. Pomeroy also oversaw CEA’s development of a highly effective residential earthquake mitigation program – Earthquake Brace + Bolt – that has facilitated the seismic retrofitting of more than 23,000 vulnerable California homes, with thousands more in the pipeline.

Statement from the CEA Governing Board: “The CEA Board is grateful for Glenn’s many contributions to CEA over the past 16 years and wishes him the best. The Governing Board looks forward to working closely with Tom Welsh in his role as Interim CEO as we continue our work to fulfill CEA’s mission and its role in helping California prepare for and recover from damaging earthquakes.”

About the Interim CEO:

Image: Tom W

Tom Welsh joined the CEA team in early 2019 as CEA’s Chief Legal & Compliance Officer. He oversees CEA’s General Counsel Services, Compliance and Audit functions, and government relations.

Before joining CEA, Tom was a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where his insurance regulatory practice focused on providing compliance advice to numerous emerging and disruptive tech companies as they navigated complex insurance regulatory issues. He also worked for financial sector clients on insurance-related investments, life settlements portfolios, and residential real estate portfolio securitization transactions. Tom also served as outside counsel to the Conservation & Liquidation Office of the California Department of Insurance for 28 years on major insolvencies.

About CEA and the Governing Board

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is governed by a three-member Governing Board consisting of the Governor, the Treasurer, and the Insurance Commissioner, each of whom serve on the Board through designees. The Speaker of the Assembly and the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee serve on the Governing Board as non-voting ex officio members and may also serve through designees.

CEA is a not-for-profit public instrumentality of the state of California that has two distinct business functions:

Residential Earthquake Insurance – Since 1996, CEA has offered policies of residential property earthquake insurance to the homeowners insurance customers of more than 20 participating insurers. CEA also educates Californians about earthquake risk and helps them prepare for damaging earthquakes. CEA has developed and provides funding for residential mitigation programs (seismic strengthening of vulnerable homes) through the California Residential Mitigation Program, a joint powers authority created in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. This includes the flagship program Earthquake Brace + Bolt.

California Wildfire Fund Administration – Since 2019, CEA has acted as the Administrator of the California Wildfire Fund, a catastrophe insurance fund that provides up to $21 billion in claim-paying capacity for claims arising from a wildfire caused by California’s three largest electrical utility companies, PG&E, SDG&E, and SoCal Edison

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