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W. R. Berkley Corporation Announces Senior Executive Appointments

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W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) today announced the appointments of Eugene G. Ballard, Ira S. Lederman and James G. Shiel to the offices of executive vice president. The appointments are effective immediately.

Mr. Ballard has been with the Company since 1999, serving as senior vice president and chief financial officer. He has over 40 years of experience in the accounting and finance profession, including more than 25 years in the property and casualty insurance industry. Mr. Ballard graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and is a Certified Public Accountant. In his new role, he will have oversight responsibility for the finance, accounting and actuarial departments.

Mr. Lederman joined the Company in 1983, and has served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary since 2001. He received a B.A. from Queens College, a Masters in Public Administration from New York University and a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law. He has over 35 years of legal experience, more than 30 of which has been with the Company. His new responsibilities will include oversight of the Company’s legal, compliance, claims and other administrative functions.

Mr. Shiel has been with the Company since 1987, serving most recently as senior vice president – investments. He has over 30 years of experience in investing and will continue to oversee the investment activities of the Company and its subsidiaries. Mr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University.

Commenting on the appointments, William R. Berkley, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, said: “Gene, Ira and Jim have all been tremendous contributors to our Company and its success for many years, each in their own unique areas of expertise. Their newly created roles will add depth to our executive management capabilities and will enable them to spread their knowledge, experience and insights over a wide range of corporate functions.”

For further information about W. R. Berkley Corporation, please visit

Founded in 1967, W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company that is among the largest commercial lines writers in the United States and operates in three segments of the property casualty insurance business: Insurance-Domestic, Insurance-International and Reinsurance-Global.

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