ARU’s staff has industry veterans and experts in captives, group captives, alternative risk financing, and various other supporting technical disciplines (actuarial, information technology, insurance structures and coverage, claims & loss control).

ARU staff has been doing alternative risk and captive solutions for over 25 years with some of the largest and most innovative companies in the insurance industry. Our people have handled group captive insurance companies that were formed as far back as 1980 (one of the original group captives in the United States). We have seen many differing captive and alternative risk financing structures as underwriters and consultants over the years, and have used what works and what doesn’t to create the best structures in the business for our clients. 

ARU is lead by a dynamic and driven management team that focuses on client service, employee growth and satisfaction, and creating value for all of our business partners.

Christopher Payne – President, ARU

Chris began his career in 1983 as a national account underwriter for American International Group, where he worked with a variety of captive insurance and cash flow insurance programs for Fortune 1000 companies. Chris moved to Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in 1985 where he was a top producer and manager for the brokerage firm, specializing in risk management products. Chris then worked as a senior manager and principal at Willis and Aon Corporation where he co-founded new divisions/profit centers specializing in group captives, alternative risk financing programs for commercial insured’s, financial guarantee programs, and underwriting programs for niche classes of business.

In 2002 Chris co-founded and became President of Alternative Risk Underwriting. Chris specializes in captive design and formation, working with ARU’s key insurance and reinsurance partners, and has overall responsibility for sales and marketing of ARU products and services.  

Robert Preston – Executive Vice President, ARU

Bob started in the industry in 1976 with Allstate Insurance Company’s commercial insurance division (Northbrook P&C). He then held various positions with AIG as an HPR property and general liability specialist and manager. Bob then worked for a leading reinsurance company as a senior property underwriter. In 1985 Bob joined Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. where he was a top producer nationally, selling and servicing commercial property and casualty accounts before moving on to a management position. Bob also became a senior manager and principal at Willis and Aon Corporation, where he co-founded new divisions/profit centers specializing in group captives, alternative risk financing programs for commercial insured’s, financial guarantee programs, and underwriting programs for niche classes of business.

In 2002 Bob became Executive Vice President and co-founder of Alternative Risk Underwriting. Bob specializes in alternative risk property and casualty programs, reinsurance, captive administration, claims and loss control coordination, and has primary responsibility for ARU’s administration and service platform.

Tom Marros – Assistant Vice President, ARU

Tom began his insurance career in 2000 with Near North National Group. During this time, Tom served NNNG in many capacities as an account manager; including sales, marketing, & overall management of middle market accounts. Through this experience, Tom gained an excellent foundation in a variety of areas within the commercial insurance industry. In 2004, Tom joined AP Swan Insurance Services, which specialized in the development and management of niche insurance programs for professional groups and associations, where he was involved in the development, marketing, sales and account management on three national programs. In 2006 Tom went to Aon Risk Services as an Account Specialist working on national accounts, serving as the principal client contact and overall account manager.

Tom joined ARU in 2008 as an Account Manager specializing in the Alternative Risk Transfer Market.  Tom holds a bachelors degree in Management, as well as Illinois Producer licenses with authority in Property, Casualty, Life, Health, & Variable contracts.

Tom Hall - Assistant Vice President, ARU

Tom Hall's career in insurance spans 25 years. Tom has specialized in retail, wholesale and captive insurance work, most recently building a new homogeneous construction captive. Tom has worked with A.J. Gallagher, Aon, Assurance, Crump and International Captive Alliance Group in brokerage, management, marketing and sales of a wide range of US and International business. At Alternative Risk Underwriting, Tom's position includes underwriting and managing member owned group captives across the United States. Tom earned a B.A. in Economics from Loras College in Iowa.

Anne Wachtler - CPCU, ARM, Senior Account Manager, ARU

After receiving a B.S. in Business Management from Northern Illinois University, Anne began her career in 1981 underwriting aviation risks.  This experience provided initial underwriting and reinsurance exposure in a specialized field.  In 1985 Anne joined Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. to assist Account Executives in the sale, marketing and servicing of National & Middle Market Accounts.  In 1993 Anne joined Willis to specifically assist in the start-up of the newly formed HPP Group. Anne’s responsibilities grew to include staff and systems management as well as Specialty Programs & Group Captives.

In 2003 Anne joined Alternative Risk Underwriting as a Senior Account Manager.  Anne specializes in underwriting and servicing all aspects of Group Captives.

Since entering the insurance field Anne has completed both the CPCU and ARM designations.

Liz Berg - Account Manager, ARU

Liz began her career in 1980 at Kemper Insurance in the claim arena. In 1988 she joined Allstate Reinsurance which later became SCOR Re where she became the VP of Claims. In 2005 Liz moved to Gallagher Bassett as a National Account Manager responsible for the renewal and revenue retention for her base of Fortune 500 clients and captive programs as well as resolving service issues and managing client expectations. She spent a short period of time as a Manager at Accenture consulting within the insurance industry. Liz joined ARU in 2012 and is responsible for the servicing and management of ARU captive programs.

She holds a BA in Business and International Business from Carthage College, a MBA, CPCU, ARe, SCLA as well as IL Producers License in Property & Casualty and Health.

Brian Cefola – Assistant Vice President - Actuarial & Technology, ARU

Brian began his career in 1996 as an actuarial analyst for Aon Risk Consultants, where he did pricing and reserving for the largest non-manufacturer writer of auto extended warranty in the country. Brian moved to Aon Underwriting Managers in 2000 where he performed all manner of actuarial and analytical support for a variety of MGU’s, specializing in Workers Compensation. Brian then worked as a senior analyst at Virginia Surety Company where he helped provide critical data support for the sale of that company in 2006 and the runoff of its remaining obligations.

Brian joined Alternative Risk Underwriting in 2008. He specializes in data extraction and analysis including actuarial forecasting, and the construction of decision support tools and related applications.