A surety bond is a three-party written agreement by which one party (the surety) guarantees another party (the obligee) that a third party (the principal) will perform according to the bond, statute, contract or other obligation.
Merchants Bonding Company’s Claims Department is dedicated to serving you throughout the claims process. We pride ourselves on our common sense and proactive approach to handling claims.
For nearly a century, Merchants Bonding Company has honed its expertise in providing contract and commercial surety bonds, offering first-class service and a common sense underwriting approach.
Merchants Bonding Company has a stable business philosophy, a family work environment and a focus on making a difference in the community. Our tradition is to work hard, provide service that is second-to-none and demonstrate to our employees that we value their efforts.
Merchants Bonding Company is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, with branch offices located throughout the United States to best serve our surety partners and clients.
FIND OUT WHY THE BEST CHOOSE US
Meet Merchants Bonding Company’s leadership team.
Chairman of the Board & President
Larry joined Merchants in 1989 and became the company’s President in 1996. Larry is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America, past Chairman of the National Association of Independent Sureties, a member of the Greater Des Moines Committee, a past Board member of the Master Builders of Iowa Associate Council, past President of the Board of Directors of Youth Homes of Mid-America, and a United Way Campaign volunteer. He is a graduate of Purdue University.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Secretary
Bill began his career at Merchants in 1988 in Phoenix, Arizona and was named Corporate Secretary in 1996. From 2001-2003, Bill owned Coastal Surety Services, Inc. in Gulf Breeze, Florida, and then joined Merchants’ home office in 2004. In 2019 he was appointed Senior Vice President of Operations. He is a member and past Vice Chairman of the National Association of Independent Sureties, currently serving on the board of EveryStep, and a past board member of Holding Tiny Hands. Bill attended Louisiana State University.
Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer
Elisabeth joined Merchants Bonding Company in 2023, after serving as Chief Financial Officer for three operating units of W.R. Berkley Corporation. Prior to that, Elisabeth was Chief Financial Officer at GuideOne Insurance after more than a decade at Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Elisabeth serves on the Board of Trustees of EveryStep and as Vice President of the Luther College Alumni Council. She is a graduate of Luther College and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota. Elisabeth is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), maintains membership in the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Iowa Society of CPAs (ISCPA) and is active in the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).
Chief Underwriting Officer
David joined Merchants in 2021 coming from Marsh, the largest surety broker in North America. As managing director of US surety since 2016, he led 30 offices to significant growth with continuous development of client engagement, talent development and strategic planning for surety operations. Prior to Marsh, David was the president of global surety operations at XL insurance and was executive vice president of Zurich North America Insurance. He is a graduate of Indiana University and received his Masters in 1996 from John Hopkins University.
Senior Vice President, National Contract Surety Leader
Jason joined Merchants Bonding Company’s Contract Underwriting department in 1998. He currently serves as Vice President of Contract Underwriting and was appointed a member of the Executive Committee in 2021. Jason has held several positions in our contract underwriting department serving agent partners across various territories. He is a member of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers and is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa.
Senior Vice President, Commercial Surety
Jim joined Merchants Bonding Company in 2004 to lead the Commercial Surety department as Assistant Vice President. In 2014, he was promoted to Vice President, Commercial Surety. Jim sits on the Surety & Fidelity Association of America's Commercial Committee, is active in the National Association of Independent Sureties (NAIS) and has been an instructor at the NAIS Surety School. Prior to Merchants, Jim was with Western Surety and CNA Surety. He attended the University of South Dakota.
Senior Vice President of Specialty Solutions
Steve began his career with Merchants Bonding Company in 1995 as a Contract Underwriter, holding the titles of Senior Contract Underwriter and Assistant Vice President. Joining the Claims department in 2012, Steve became Vice President, Claims Manager and was appointed to the Executive Committee. In 2021, he took on a new role as Vice President leading our new production and underwriting division to launch in fall 2021. He is a Board Member of the National Bond Claims Association and is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Therese joined Merchants Bonding Company in 2008 after serving as Owner/Chief Marketing Officer for a technology company honored by INC 500 as one of the fastest growing companies in 2003. Prior to that, Therese spent 15 years as an award-winning broadcaster for NBC affiliates in Ohio and Iowa. Therese is Chair of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America's Communications Advisory Committee and serves on the boards of the Small Business Development Centers and the West Des Moines, Iowa, Chamber of Commerce. Therese has a journalism degree from Miami University.
Chief Information Officer
Brad joined Merchants Bonding Company in 2014. Prior to joining Merchants, Brad held the role of Senior Director of Sales & Marketing Technology Delivery at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa and CIO at GeoLearning, Inc. Brad has held numerous technology and business leadership positions in start-ups to large organizations. He is also an active member in the Technology Association of Iowa. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa.
Vice President, Claims Manager
Jay joined Merchants Bonding Company in 2015 as Assistant Vice President, Assistant Claims Manager. In 2021, Jay was appointed Vice President, Claims Manager and a member of the Executive Committee. Jay serves on the Surety Claims Advisory Committee of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America and is actively involved in several other Surety Claims leadership groups. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and attended Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas to earn his Doctor of Law.
Vice President, Human Resources
Stacey joined Merchants in 2018 and in a short time has had a positive impact on Merchants strategic associate growth initiatives. Stacey serves on the Diversity & Human Resources Committee of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America and is actively involved in several other Human Resources leadership groups. She graduated from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois with her B.S. in Human Resource Management and later went to Iowa State University to get her M.S. in Organizational Development.