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The State Compensation Insurance Fund Board of Directors announced it has appointed Vernon Steiner as President and CEO. Steiner joins State Fund from Zenith Insurance Company. As Senior Vice President of Claims, Steiner has been the Senior Vice President of Claims for Zenith Insurance since 2007 where he was responsible for Zenith’s national claims operation. He has 24 years of industry experience, most of which has been focused on workers’ compensation and casualty business operations. Prior to joining Zenith, he held several leadership positions at CNA Financial and, prior to that, was with AIG for eight years. Steiner has served on the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) advisory board since 2009 and as a member of the California Workers’ Compensation Institute’s (CWCI) Board of Directors since 2010. He was recently elected Chairman of the CWCI Board of Directors in March 2014. He holds a BA degree in Philosophy from UCLA.

Steiner’s appointment will be effective June 9th and his contract includes a four-year term, an annual salary of $450,000, annual bonus eligibility equivalent to 30 percent of salary, a monthly retention payment of $1,500, and California state civil service benefits. Additionally he will receive a one-time recruitment and retention bonus of $270,000. He enters the stage at a pivotal moment for the fund, which provides workers’ compensation insurance to some 130,000 employers throughout California. The agency is in the midst of a massive reorganization effort that started in 2010 with layoffs and office closures that displaced employees. Those moves and others have cut fixed expenses by $300 million, the fund says.

The announcement comes six months after then- President and CEO Tom Rowe suddenly resigned along with the fund’s chief financial officer. The reason for their abrupt departure wasn’t explained. Steiner’s hiring will also move Interim CEO and President Carol Newman back to her post as State Fund’s general counsel.

Although it’s staffed by state employees, State Fund operates on the profits returned from investing policyholders’ premiums. Those payments total about $1.2 billion annually. The fund has about $20 billion in assets.This year, State Fund is celebrating 100 years of providing California businesses with their workers’ compensation insurance between 1914 and 2014.