Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Alan Jay Kaufman is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He is also the founding senior partner of a Detroit and Farmington Hills law firm, Kaufman, Payton & Chapa.
A motivated leader and entrepreneur, Mr. Kaufman identified and capitalized on the opportunity to improve client services and to expand the company through vertical integration. In 1996, Mr. Kaufman took the H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, a successful public company, private.
Under Mr. Kaufman’s leadership, both the Kaufman Financial Group and the companies in its portfolio have delivered double-digit annual growth to reach over $1.6 billion in revenue in 2014. Burns & Wilcox, Kaufman’s flagship company and one of the nation’s largest specialty insurance brokers, generated over $1 billion in annual premium.
Additionally, surgical acquisitions and global expansion have built a portfolio of companies that leverage each other’s strength and expertise.
In recognition of his entrepreneurial leadership, Ernst & Young awarded Alan Jay Kaufman the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Business Services Category for Michigan and Northwest Ohio in June 2011. In 2012, American Agent & Broker recognized Mr. Kaufman as one of the top 25 Living Legends of Insurance. Mr. Kaufman received the Distinguished Alumni award from his alma mater, Michigan State University in 2013. Most recently, he was named to the 2014 Hot 100 list by Insurance Business America in recognition for his commitment to developing talent.
Mr. Kaufman’s dedication to excellence and success can be traced back to his commitment to education and leadership training. In 2007, he founded the Kaufman Institute, which provides ongoing professional development opportunities for his valued employees through classroom and web based training and education programs for the insurance industry.
An active philanthropist, Mr. Kaufman dedicates considerable time and resources to many civic, community and business organizations.
In 2015, Mr. Kaufman established a major endowment within the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University to provide academic leadership in insurance. The Alan Jay and Sue E. Kaufman Endowed Professorship in Insurance and Risk Management reflects Mr. Kaufman’s vision in which talented students can discover the wealth of opportunities that come with pursuing insurance as a career.
In addition he currently serves as an active board member of Business Leaders for Michigan; The Detroit Economic Club; Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business Alumni Association; Walsh College; and the Boy Scouts of America Great Lakes Council.
Mr. Kaufman holds a B.A. from Michigan State University in finance, insurance, and accounting and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. He also studied international law at the London School of Economics.
Senior Vice President
Daniel J. Kaufman serves as a Senior Vice President at H.W. Kaufman Financial Group and a Managing Director of its largest subsidiary, Burns & Wilcox. His responsibilities include overseeing daily operations at the Burns & Wilcox Chicago office and working closely with other Midwestern offices, as well as Kaufman’s international operations, to explore innovative coverage solutions for complicated risks and develop products that meet the needs of emerging businesses and industries.
During his tenure, Mr. Kaufman has been a vocal advocate of attracting and retaining top talent in the insurance industry and was instrumental in developing Kaufman’s internal emerging leaders program. In 2016, Daniel was appointed to Kaufman’s Board of Directors, a position that allows him to play a greater role across the company’s global operations as a third generation leader.
Mr. Kaufman received his Bachelor of the Arts from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) then went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Loyola University (Chicago). He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and currently serves on several corporate, civic and advisory boards, including Atain Insurance Companies, City of Hope National Insurance Industry Council, Midwest Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, National Underwriter Magazine, Association of Lloyd’s Brokers, Metro Chicago Hillel and the Kaufman Family Foundation. Daniel received the 2015 William R. “Bill” Story Memorial Award from City of Hope for his leadership and professionalism in the insurance industry.
Jodie Kaufman Davis
Corporate Vice President & Managing Director
Jodie Kaufman Davis is Corporate Vice President, H.W. Kaufman Financial Group and Managing Director, Burns & Wilcox Canada. Jodie leads operations in Canada, playing an integral role in the development and execution of the Managing General Agent’s overall growth strategy. Under her direction, Burns & Wilcox Canada has increased its amount of premium written by more than 120 per cent and its headcount by more than 80 per cent. During that same time, Jodie has been instrumental in expanding the MGA’s robust product offering in the hard-to-place specialty risks arena including building out the Burns & Wilcox Center of Excellence for Commercial Marine. In addition, she currently serves on the board of Atain Insurance Companies, a Kaufman Company.
Jodie is actively involved in talent and business development initiatives where her forward-thinking has set Burns & Wilcox Canada up for continued success. Today, through insurance immersion days and employee programs for recent college graduates like the Kaufman Emerging Leaders Program (KELP), Jodie has recruited a diverse workforce where 65 percent of employees fall into the millennial age range. She is also a graduate of the Kaufman Advanced Management Program (KAMP), a prestigious 18-month program designed for distinguished leaders to grow their managerial skills.
Prior to joining H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, Jodie spent more than seven years at the international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney where she advised Canadian and U.S. companies on mergers and acquisitions, capital market financing and complex regulatory issues.
Jodie received a J.D. from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She also serves on the Jewish Federation of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and the Board of Directors of the United Jewish Appeal of Toronto.
Corporate Senior Vice President
Chris Zoidis directs the Corporate Development initiatives across the Kaufman Financial Group. He is responsible for executing the company’s global growth strategy and overseeing the Burns & Wilcox relationship with the London market. Chris is also responsible for the Burns & Wilcox Special Risk Division, a strategic underwriting and brokerage team that is home to some of the industry’s leading specialty insurance experts.
Prior to joining Burns & Wilcox, Chris spent nearly a decade in consulting, focused on insurance strategy, operations and mergers & acquisitions. Chris also has previous experience as a commercial underwriter at St. Paul/Travelers and Crum & Forster.
Chris earned a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College. He also studied at the London School of Economics and holds a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Dan Muldowney serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Burns & Wilcox and leads the company’s financial operations, strategic planning and global growth strategy. For more than 10 years, Dan has served as CFO and played a key role in transforming the company’s finance and accounting capabilities to supports its evolution as a global insurance organization.
He is an elected Fellow of the Life Management Institute and earned the “with distinction” certification from the Life Office Management Association in 1991. Dan is past-President of the Michigan Chapter of Insurance Accounting and System Association and previously served as a board member for the Michigan Chapter of the Life Office Management Association and Michigan Life and Health Guaranty Association.
Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University.
Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Corporate Vice President, Information Technology
Mike Paulin is Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Corporate Vice President, leading information technology across the H.W. Kaufman Financial Group family of companies. With more than 20 years of experience, Mike works to foster seamless global networking throughout the organization.
Under his leadership, the IT group has supplied a modern infrastructure and portfolio of enterprise applications that enables the company to quickly respond to market challenges and deliver best-in-class client service. Visualizing the future of technology in insurance, Mike is utilizing new advancements in adjacent industries to recreate, replace, and reinvent insurance sales and service processes.
Mike earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science in Information Systems at the University of Michigan.
Corporate Senior Vice President Human Resources
Dr. Renee Lerche is an internationally recognized expert in employee engagement, human resources management and workforce development. She oversees the design, implementation and execution of all HR systems for Burns & Wilcox and across the Kaufman Financial Group family of companies.
Since joining the company is 2006, Renee has worked alongside Chairman, President and CEO Alan Jay Kaufman to build the industry’s premier continuing education and professional development initiatives. Today Burns & Wilcox is proud to offer its team access to unmatched emerging leadership and advanced management programs along with the company’s own corporate university.
Renee earned a bachelor’s degree from Douglass College, a master’s degree from Boston State College and a doctorate from Harvard University. She is an elected Fellow of the Douglass Society (1999) and the recipient of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s National Leadership Award. Renee also previously served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.