Mead was previously CFO of the property casualty unit of Travelers, a unit of Citigroup Inc. Prior to joining Travelers in 1989, Mead was an accountant at Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in Bristol, England. She also worked at Price Waterhouse Philadelphia. Mead holds a B.S. in accounting from University College in Cardiff in the United Kingdom.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play a role in [Safeco’s] turnaround efforts,” Mead said in a statement. The company could use some help. Last month Safeco managers announced that fourth-quarter profits would be worse than expected, due in part to the company’s exposure to bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. The company also reported big losses in its homeowner insurance business. For the nine months ended September 1, Safeco’s revenues fell 1 percent to $5.16 billion. Net losses totaled $1.05 billion versus an income of $95.7 million in the year-ago period. (For a closer look at the fortunes of turnaround CFOs, see “Meet the Boss”).
Despite the loss, Safeco’s stock has held steady. The share price of Safeco stock closed around $29.01 on Thursday, close to a 52-week high of $32.95.
Prior to joining the company, Vollaro spent 26 years at insurer W.R. Berkley Corp. He held a variety of positions at Berkley, including CFO of the company’s reinsurance subsidiary, Signet Star Holdings Inc. Vollaro began his career at the accounting firm of KPMG.
In the third quarter of 2001, Arch Capital reported net income of $892,000 (7 cents per share). That’s a notable decline from the $2.3 million (18 cents per share) in income recorded in Q3 of 2000.