SOURCE: FirstBest Systems

August 27, 2007 09:32 ET

FirstBest Systems Adds New Board Members, Creates Strategic Advisory Board

New Advisors Add Depth to Insurance Industry Knowledge Base for Developer of Next-Generation Underwriting Management Systems

LEXINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - August 27, 2007) - FirstBest Systems™, developer of advanced Underwriting Management Systems™ that enable commercial insurance carriers to profit from better underwriting, has named insurance industry veteran William Jenkins and investor Michael Toporek to its board of directors. In addition, the firm has created a strategic advisory board (SAB), which extends and advises the FirstBest board of directors and executive management team. Leonard C.G. (Geoff) Smith and Steven Friedman have been named to the SAB.

Headquartered in newly expanded office space in Lexington, Mass., FirstBest Systems was formed in 2006 with seasoned leadership and funding from NextStage, LLC, a private equity firm. FirstBest's founders are former executives of BEA Systems, partners of NextStage, and successful entrepreneurs, including John Belizaire, CEO; Joseph Pilkerton, COO; and Julian Pelenur, CTO.

Joining these three co-founders on the FirstBest board of directors are William Jenkins and Michael Toporek. Jenkins is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and currently vice president and CIO of Penn National Insurance, with more than 30 years of insurance industry experience on both the brokerage and carrier sides. Toporek currently is a managing general partner of Brookstone Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded in 2003 after more than a decade of investment banking experience with Fortune 500 companies.

On the SAB, Leonard C.G. (Geoff) Smith, CPCU, has more than 35 years of insurance industry experience. Smith was most recently executive vice president, COO and board member of ePolicy. After a 30-year career at Hartford Financial Services Group, he retired as president, Commercial Affinity Operations, one of three Hartford North American Property/Casualty operating companies, in a career that spanned commercial P&C underwriting and sales leadership.

Steve Friedman advises early-stage companies on go-to-market strategies, product positioning, business development, and executive recruitment. He also brings to the SAB more than 20 years of business development and sales experience. Steve currently sits on the board of directors at Mocana and Boxtone, as well as the advisory board for Gigaspaces. In the past, Steve has served as an advisory board member for Rapid Logic (acquired by Wind River) and Collaxa (acquired by Oracle).

According to John Belizaire, CEO of FirstBest Systems, "We are pleased to have assembled a world class team of high caliber insurance industry and software development individuals to steward the forefront of next generation underwriting systems. With the changing market conditions, FirstBest's knowledge and insight will help mid-tier property and casualty commercial carriers compete, by strategically leveraging technology. Adding to the mix of an outstanding SAB, we will continue the substantial momentum we have gained in this largely underserved segment of the commercial insurance market."

About FirstBest Systems

Founded in 2006, FirstBest Systems delivers advanced Underwriting Management Systems (UMS) that enable commercial insurance carriers to profit from better underwriting. FirstBest's UMS is a business solution provided as a Web-based platform for underwriting all lines of business. It uniquely delivers straight through processing, exception-based underwriting, real-time collaboration, knowledge management, a management dashboard, and an execution platform for predictive modeling -- in one integrated solution. The deployment of this solution results in increased revenue and profitability, closer agent-underwriter relationships, management visibility into the underwriting process, and the continuous capturing and sharing of underwriting experience and best practices.

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Contact Information

  • Press contact:
    Meira Primes
    Vice President of Marketing
    FirstBest Systems
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