directFac Inc. is pleased to announce that Crystal Stecko has been appointed Vice President, Underwriting.

Published on October 26, 2019

Ms. Stecko re-joined the directFac Northeast Team operating out of the Hartford office following two years underwriting at Dual Re. Prior to that, Crystal spent 11 years building relationships as a direct underwriter at directFac.
On her appointment, Ms. Stecko commented "While it was useful experience to work in another organization, I am thrilled to be returning to my roots at dFi. The team works terrifically well together to offer clients the best possible service in a competitive environment. I am truly excited to get back to calling on my ceding company clients and helping them to write business. The unique, client centric, direct only, business model that directFac has built in this space remains as valuable in this market as it was when the company started in 2004. The company’s capabilities have evolved considerably in the two years I was away and I am excited by our growing capacity and products."
Matt Ploch, who leads the Underwriting Production team commented, "Crystal brings terrific direct marketing experience, energy and enthusiasm to the team that will be valued by our clients in the Northeast and throughout the organization. We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring Crystal back to the company."
Art Bilek, directFac President, added "We continue to be interested in quality, motivated underwriters across the country. Crystal is a welcome addition to our experienced team and will bring further service to our clients at an exciting time in the development of our business."

Christopher Branch joins Avoca effective March 1st 2018

Published on March 6th, 2018

Avoca is pleased to announce that Chris Branch has joined Avoca Risk Underwriting Solutions (ARUS) effective March 1st 2018, and will work closely with the executive team and Avoca group shareholders to identify and exploit strategic opportunities on behalf of the company.

Chris has over 30 years' experience in the insurance industry having started his career as a broker in the London market working for Benfield, Jardine and Grieg Fester before joining CIGNA Corp to establish an international A & H reinsurance division, CIGNA RE Europe based in London. During this time Chris was also responsible for the creation of CIGNA’s corporate Lloyds syndicate one of the first corporate members in the London market.

Leaving CIGNA in 2000, Chris set up Momentum Underwriting Management (MUM) a global leading A & H MGU with offices in London, Brisbane and Chicago. MUM was acquired in late 2008 by The Beazley Group, at the time the third largest entity within Lloyds of London. On leaving Beazley, Chris occupied himself while on garden leave by producing the Oscar winning, “The Lady in Number 6 – Music Saved My Life” which won the Academy Award for best Short Documentary.

Group CEO Andrew Carvill commented: "I am very excited to have Chris join our Team; his entrepreneurial nature and deep business experience will prove a significant asset. Aside from welcoming a partner and longtime friend to help drive our business forward, Chris has a deep understanding of the A&H market which represents an exciting growth opportunity for our firm and is highly complementary to our core P&C operations".

Commenting on his appointment Mr. Branch added "I having been looking for the right opportunity in the underwriting space for the next phase of my career. Avoca blends state of the art technology with best in class underwriting in the sectors in which it operates. It has attracted an outstanding line up of global insurance and reinsurance capacity and is heavily focused on returning above average underwriting results to its partners. The company remains privately held and independent and offers an excellent platform from which Specialty niches can be built and underwritten successfully. I am very excited to join the team and help the company continue to grow".

directFac, Inc. announces the addition of Senior Underwriting Executive to its Central Region Team

Published on February 26th, 2017

directFac Inc. is pleased to announce that Matt Ploch has been appointed Senior Vice President, Underwriting.

Mr. Ploch rejoins the directFac Central Region Team operating out of the Chicago office following two years underwriting automatics at Aspen Re. Prior to that Matt spent 22 years building relationships as an underwriter at directFac, Munich Re and Employers Re. Matt got his primary training with The Hartford.

On his appointment, Mr. Ploch commented "While the challenge of putting together programs was enjoyable, I found that I missed the daily interaction with my clients and granular nature of individual risk underwriting. I am truly excited to get back to calling on my ceding company clients and helping them write business."

"While the market remains highly competitive, I believe in the long term value of the unique client centric business model that directFac has built in this space. The company's capabilities have advanced considerably in the two years I was away and I am excited by our growing capacity and products."

Art Bilek, directFac President commented, "Matt has an outstanding market reputation and the experience, energy and enthusiasm to bring great underwriting solutions to our clients. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring Matt back to the team."

Don Lilley directFac CEO added "We continue to hire across the country when we have the opportunity to bring experienced, dedicated Fac underwriters to the firm. We have a deep commitment to the Mid-West client base and already have a strong team in place. Adding Matt demonstrates our drive to continually expand directFac with the best Direct Underwriters in the business"

Brenn Hawkins joins directFac Inc. East Team

Published on October 1st, 2016

directFac Inc. is pleased to announce that Brenn Hawkins has been appointed as a Senior Underwriter and will be opening a new hub for the company in Somerset, NJ, that will serve New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and the surrounding areas.

After beginning his career on the primary side as a Boiler and Machinery Underwriter at the Royal and a Commercial Lines Underwriter at Kemper, Mr. Hawkins has spent the last 20 years as a manager and underwriter at TOA Re in Morristown, NJ

On his appointment, Mr. Hawkins said, "After 20 years in reinsurance I thought I had a complete understanding of the workings of the industry. However, directFac's unique business model provides more capacity and security to the market than anyone else in the field. This opportunity to bring the strength and wherewithal of directFac amazing platform of reinsurance capacity to the New York City, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania market is exciting. I have already received call from long-time friends in the industry looking to do business with us."

Art Bilek, directFac President, commented, "directFac is growing in order to reach more ceding company underwriters with our capacity and expertise. We are committed to developing our presence on the East Coast, and I am delighted that we have been able to attract an underwriter with the enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise to market our disruptive business model and provide rapid turnaround on quotes to our cedes."

Don Lilley, directFac CEO, commented, "We continue to grow our capacity and product offerings to serve the needs of our expanding client base and need to employ the most energetic and experience underwriters Brenn clearly fits that mold and his quick grasp of the advantages that the directFac business model bring to the facultative arena will have him contributing to the growth and success of the East Team."

Dawn Edmond joins directFac Inc. West Coast region

Published on February 1st, 2016

directFac Inc. is pleased to announce that Dawn Edmond has been appointed Vice President Underwriting and is joining Betsy Crawford in directFac's expansion into the Western region.

Dawn has long-standing contacts throughout the region from prior reinsurance underwriting positions at directFac, Nac Re and National Re. Her return to directFac brings continuity and experience to the team.

On her appointment, Ms. Edmond commented, "I am delighted to rejoin directFac and am excited to reconnect with all my friends and clients that have supported me through my career. Under the leadership of Art and Don, there is a lot of energy at the company and rapidly growing capacity capabilities which we feel will give us an advantage despite the challenging market conditions faced by us and our clients. I am delighted to team up with Betsy in our region and to be joining a dynamic and experienced team. We are determined to bring exceptional service to our Western region clients".

Art Bilek, directFac President, commented, "Dawn brings tremendous service oriented production skills and a proven track record for building relationships. She will raise directFac's presence in the West and team extremely well with Betsy to make us a valuable reinsurance partner up and down the coast. I am delighted to welcome her to the countrywide directFac team."

Don Lilley, directFac CEO, commented, "We are pleased to welcome Dawn back to DFI as we seek to provide more options to our customers on the West Coast. We continue to believe we can provide the most cost effective platform in the direct facultative space, providing solutions to customers through a highly experienced underwriting team."

Betsy Crawford joins directFac Inc. West Coast region

Published on January 14th, 2016

directFac Inc. is pleased to announce that Betsy Crawford has been appointed Vice President Underwriting and will be opening a new hub for the company in Walnut Creek, CA.

After beginning her career on the primary side with Safeco and then Chubb, Ms. Crawford has spent the last 14 years as a direct reinsurance underwriter with XL Catlin. She brings deep underwriting experience and extensive contacts throughout the Western region.

On her appointment, Ms. Crawford commented, "I have been fortunate to have tremendous support from my ceding company clients throughout the West. directFac is a unique underwriting management company that is backed by significant capacity from across the global reinsurance market. Day to day, this will give me the optimal product to deliver with the highest level of integrity and service to our valued clients. I am excited to join Don, Art and the broader directFac and Avoca team. I look forward to visiting my clients in the upcoming days and weeks to discuss their 2016 needs".

Art Bilek, directFac President, commented, "directFac is growing and building a strong nationwide marketing team. We are committed to developing our presence in the Western United States, and I am delighted that we have been able to attract an underwriter with such a wonderful reputation and as excellent a track record in this market as Betsy. We look forward to further enhancing our West Coast presence in the coming weeks".

Don Lilley, directFac CEO, commented, "Our business is built on the experience and talents of our staff, offering our clients a deep understanding of their business together with world class global security in a highly cost efficient and rapid transaction. We are continuing to recruit experienced, service dedicated individuals like Betsy who will thrive in an entrepreneurial atmosphere. We look forward to making additional personnel announcements in the coming weeks".


Published on August 13th, 2015

directFac is pleased to welcomes Rob Braatz and Nicholas Dobkin to the directFac underwriting team. More information about our newest team members is in our pdf press release.


Published on July 14th, 2015

directFac is pleased to announce that Donald S. Lilley has been appointed as interim Chief Executive Officer and Arthur Bilek has been appointed President of directFac. In addition directFac welcomes Robert D. Hickson and Rick Geer to the directFac underwriting team. More information about our newest team members is in our pdf press release.


Published on March 01, 2015

We are pleased to confirm the addition of Lloyd's Syndicate 4020 for up to $10 million of PDL capacity for the 2015/2016 year, available from March 1st 2015.

Many of our ceding companies will know Stan Kott. Stan is a veteran of the US Reinsurance industry (both Direct and Broker). Following a decade at NAC Re / XL Re, he was hired by Tony Taylor and David Foreman to build Wellington's US Underwriting organization, which today remains a strong player in the Fac space under the ownership of Catlin. Following Catlin, Stan launched Montpelier's US operation in 2007, before taking a couple of years out of the Industry in 2011. In 2013 Stan joined David Foreman, who with two partners launched Ark syndicate in 2007. Stan established the US operation – ARK Underwriting Inc. (AUI). The ARK syndicate has grown successfully since its foundation and today has stamp capacity in excess of $500m. We are delighted that AUI will be partnering with directFac to service clients in the US property space on a direct basis.


Published on February 15, 2015

rookery photo

directFac will be moving its Chicago office to the Rookery building at 209 South LaSalle on February 15th 2015. The Rookery Building is a historic landmark in the Chicago loop. Completed by John Wellborn Root and Daniel Burnham of Burnham and Root in 1888 it is considered one of their masterpiece buildings and at 12 stories tall it is the oldest standing high rise in the city. The lobby was remodeled in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright and features an atrium that is a stop on many of the city's architectural tours.

The building has featured in a number of movies, including “The Untouchables” and Batman “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Our new address: 209 South LaSalle, Suite 503 Chicago, Illinois 60604


Published on December 15, 2014

Memo to directFac ceding clients

December 15, 2014

2015/2016 security details for directFac's Core, PDL and DFI max facilities will be advised directly to all ceding company clients by January 16th 2015. Security details will remain largely unchanged from recent years, although they will reflect additional capacity capabilities for accounts within or straddling the PML.

2015/2016 security will come into effect for all business attaching on or after March 1st 2015.

Separately, security details will be published to the Ceded Re website tab on January 23rd 2015, along with any updated licensing/FATCA or company information.

In the meantime, best wishes for your 1st January renewals and continued success in 2015.