Merchants Bonding Company Announces New Strategic Growth Initiative and Executive Promotion

April 29, 2021

Merchants Bonding Company is announcing a new strategic growth initiative with the formation of a new production and underwriting division.  Steve Dorenkamp, current Vice President and Executive Committee Member, will lead this new division, focusing on expanded use of collateral offerings, subdivision bonds, and funds control; as well as extensive research on other specialties that will allow Merchants to offer additional options to our valued business partners.  The anticipated launch of this initiative is Fall 2021. 

Merchants Bonding Company is also very excited to announce, effective immediately, the promotion of Jay Farley, current Assistant Vice President of Claims, to Vice President of Claims and newly appointed Executive Committee Member. 

“We are thrilled to have experienced leaders like Steve and Jay contribute to Merchants Bonding’s growth and success,” said Chairman of the Board and President Larry Taylor. “Merchants’ strategic growth in the surety industry has been due to our ability to offer common sense solutions to our partners.  Expanding these offerings allows us to be even more innovative and solutions driven.”

Steve Dorenkamp joined Merchants in 1995 and was an Assistant Vice President of Contract Underwriting prior to his promotion to Vice President and Claims Manager in 2012. Dorenkamp has served on the National Bond Claims Association (NBCA) Board-of-Directors, the SFAA Government Affairs Committee and SFAA Claims Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining Merchants in 2015 as Assistant Vice President of Claims, Jay Farley was a partner at Whitfield & Eddy Law. He practiced in the firm’s Construction and Surety Practice Group, which was rated by Best Lawyers as a Tier 1 "Best Law Firm" in the area of Construction Law. His practice involved all matters related to construction and surety law, with a focus on construction litigation. He was rated by Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" in construction litigation.


Merchants Bonding Company was founded in Des Moines in 1933 and is led by fourth generation family members. Merchants Bonding is among the top 15 surety companies in the United States with an A.M. Best Rating of “A” excellent or better for 63 consecutive years. Merchants Bonding corporate headquarters is in West Des Moines, Iowa, with underwriting offices in 15 states across the U.S.

For More Information:

Therese Wielage, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer or 515-822-1194