Our Team


Christopher J. Festa - President & CEO

Chris formed Alleanza in January 2018. Prior to that, Chris served as Assistant Vice President of Operations for AEU Holdings, LLC and as Assistant Vice President & Business Analyst for AEU Benefits. Chris Joined the AEU Benefits Team in June 2016 as a business analyst where he monitored and executed daily operations. Chris brings 10+ years of operational, marketing and sales experience in various industries to Alleanza. He spent two and a half years as the Director or Operations for a major startup sports facility in South Florida. He oversaw daily operations, P & L management, marketing, sales, client management and risk management. He spent the next five years in the Telecommunications industry marketing and selling complex network infrastructure and designs to the fortune 1000 market. Prior to his professional background, Chris spent 8 years as a professional race car driver in the Indycar and Indy Lights race series. Chris studied Marketing at Florida State University and He currently holds Certificates in Management and Corporate Finance from Wharton and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Harvard Business School.  He also currently holds an Accident, Life and Health insurance license, a Property & Casualty Insurance license and an Excess Surplus Lines Insurance Brokers License.

 

Steven E. Sims - Chief Operating Officer

Steven Sims was President and Board Member of WRM America Indemnity (WRMAI), an A.M. Best A- rated property and casualty carrier providing integrated, customizable, alternative risk and cost-effective insurance programs to education, government and not-for-profit institutions. Mr. Sims created the strategy, wrote the business plan which raised the capital, ($150,000,000) and led the team that established the company in 2008. As part of the start-up strategy, he led the acquisition of the former Alliance Assurance Company of America from Royal Insurance and Wright Risk Management an underwriting management MGA for education and government institutions in greater NY. Mr. Sims also led the process of attaining the only A- rating issued by A.M. Best to a new company in 2008. 

Mr. Sims was a founder and Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, a member of the Executive Committee, Acquisition Team and Board of WRM America Holdings, WRMAI’s parent company.  Under Mr. Sims’ leadership, WRM America Indemnity consistently outperformed annual budget and revenue projections.  WRM America Holdings was successfully sold January 15, 2014. This liquidity event brought greater than three plus times return on equity.

Mr. Sims was formerly Executive Vice President of the North American Programs practice at Willis, where he was responsible for managing and rehabilitating existing programs while acquiring and developing new MGA programs and business relationships with insurance and reinsurance companies.  At Willis, Mr. Sims also achieved unprecedented revenue targets. Prior to joining Willis in 2002, he organized his third Managing General Agent platform, Target Capital, where he focused on acquiring and developing a group of Professional Liability and other Specialty Lines MGAs. Under his leadership, the company also exceeded projected revenue targets on a consistent basis.

A 38-year veteran of the insurance industry, Mr. Sims’ focus has been on acquiring and building efficient specialty and Alternative Risk insurance programs integrating strong underwriting operation’s, risk management and claims cost containment driven by a core marketing discipline.  In addition to his work at Willis and Target Capital, he has held senior management positions at Marsh & McLennan as the National Manager of program operations, Associated Programs, Inc., and Oxford Underwriting Management of Bermuda.

John R. Festa - Chief Strategy Officer

John brings 38 years as a CEO or General Manger of successful, public and private operating companies. John’s experience began in New York and includes 9 years in American Express as Director Office of Strategic Development, Director International Market Development and as Vice President/General Manager of American Express Electronics Products Division. For the next 12 years and until sold, John was President and CEO of Buypass Corporation, the first and largest merchant credit card processor to offer fully electronic draft capture/financial settlement systems. John then became CEO of Iterated Systems, a publicly traded company, sold to a major digital image software tools developer. Subsequently, John was Founder/Managing Partner of EGL Holdings, a Technology Venture Capital Firm before returning to line management for 7 years as CEO of CareCentric, a public company developing software and processing medical payments. CareCentric was later sold to a competitor. Currently, he is a Senior Executive Advisor at the Department of Education/FSA in Washington DC.

 

Charles A. Caronia - Chief Marketing Officer

Charlie entered the field of Physician Professional Liability Insurance Claims and Risk Management in 1969 with the formation of Caronia Claim Service, later known as Caronia Corporation. Prior to this, he worked for Employers Insurance of Wausau as a worker’s compensation supervisor. At that time, Wausau was the insurer to the New York State Medical Society and it’s 20,000 plus physicians.

Charlie later expanded the company from New York to Florida in 1972, and then into Texas and California in 1975.

With the onset of the first medical malpractice crisis in 1975, Caronia Corp expanded from five offices to thirty in the US, with another office in London becoming the largest TPA for professional liability with over 2,600 self-insured hospitals and multiple physician groups. These groups also included their exposures in GL, WC and Auto.

Caronia also assisted Captives and Risk Retention Groups, structuring strong claims and risk management services.

Charlie, remained in the insurance industry as a consultant, addressing a variety of problems including insurance alternatives, such as captives and RRG’s. In addition, his contacts and respect within the industry make him a preferred choice to address structuring an in-house, or outsources capability for claims, risk management, and unique challenges that arise within the captive industry.

Currently, Charlie is working with Various state insurance commissioners to assist with captive and RRG expertise and with their evaluation of prospective applicants seeking a captive domicile. These states currently include: Delaware, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, West Virginia and Oklahoma.

 

Stephen M. Satler - Executive Consultant

Stephen has spent his entire professional career, spanning 42 years, in the insurance industry in several capacities, performing various functions in both the standard and non-standard marketplace. Prior to his current position at AEU Holdings, LLC, Stephen was the Chairman and Founding Partner of NHE Managers, a NJ-based Program Manager that acts as the underwriting arm of Horizon Blue Cross & Blue Shield of New Jersey for workers’ compensation business. Stephen was also the Chairman of Crystal Insurance Group (1994-1998). Crystal consulted on raising capital for the purchase of a multi-state licensed insurance company and developed a managing general agent underwriter operation. From 1990-1993, Stephen was President of American Home Assurance Company, a $2 billion, 22 division property and casualty insurer and a subsidiary of American International Group (AIG). Prior to joining AIG, Stephen acted as Executive Vice President at AmericanRe Managers (currently, Munich Re) and as Senior Vice President for the Alternative Risk Business Unit. Stephen was also Executive Vice President at Lincoln National Specialties, a subsidiary of Lincoln National Insurance, where he created and implemented a managing general agency specializing in property and casualty insurance programs. From 1973 to 1977, Stephen was Assistant Manager at AFIA/Home Insurance Company, responsible for management of the company’s Dallas office, specializing in multi-national property and casualty insurance accounts. He holds a Master’s Degree in Finance from New York University.

 

Beth Dalzell - Chief Underwriting Officer

Beth has over 40 years of experience from a desk-level underwriter to an underwriting manager in both the insurance company and reinsurer operations in the property, casualty and professional lines on insurance. Ms. Dalzell has spent the last 40 plus years working as an underwriter or underwriting executive for Allstate Insurance company, American Reinsurance, CBM Underwriters, Transatlantic Reinsurance Company, Converium Reinsurance company, Beazley, and Amtrust. Ms. Dalzell specializes underwriting, ratings manuals, policy forms, endorsements, applications, reinsurance slip and contract wordings, systems, claims and marketing. Beth holds Bachelor of Arts degree from Creighton University.