Merchants Bonding Company™ announced in early May that Executive Vice
President of Underwriting Mike Foster would be changing his role with
the company in the summer of 2014, and we announced that Josh Penwell
will become the new Vice President of Underwriting for Merchants.
are very fortunate to have so many talented leaders at Merchants, we
didn’t need to look outside of the company,” said President Larry
it is great to have so many good leaders to choose from, it made this a
tough decision. After a thorough and deliberate process including many
discussions with our executive team, we chose Josh Penwell to take the
lead in contract underwriting.”
joined Merchants in 1996 after his graduation from the University of
Texas in Austin. His role steadily increased from Contract Underwriter
to Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Austin office in
2006. Josh and his family will be relocating to Des Moines.
will open and lead a new underwriting office in Kansas City in 2014.
This will be similar to our Dallas and Seattle office locations which
have been very successful for Merchants. Merchants will also continue
to take advantage of Mike’s expertise by having him assist with large
accounts, the branch offices and other projects.
has led Merchants’ Underwriting Department since 1997. In that time
frame, Merchants’ overall premium has grown from $25.1 million to $78.1
million in 2012. Merchants’ national ranking has gone from 24th in 1997
to 15th in 2012. In the time frame of 1997 to 2012, Merchants’ direct
loss ratio has been far better than that of the overall industry. “Mike
has been an integral part of many changes and growth opportunities over
these years,” said Taylor.
“Merchants is a fine company. I have
been head of underwriting for 16 years. I am very proud of what we have
accomplished during that time,” said Foster. “I fully support the
promotion of Josh Penwell. I will do everything I can to help Josh be
successful in his new role.”
Bonding Company is the 15th largest surety writer in the United States
with an A.M. Best Rating of “A” excellent for 54 consecutive years.
Merchants was founded in Des Moines in 1933 and does business in all 50
states with offices in Des Moines, IA, Austin, TX, Dallas, TX and