Meet Our Team

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James R. Zuhlke
Partner, Executive Chairman

James R. Zuhlke has been a senior executive in the insurance business since 1976 when he formed and served as President of Washington International Insurance Company.  In 1980 he and partners started Trade Insurance Services and what would become Intercargo Insurance Company. He successfully merged four captive carriers and the surviving entity was brought public in 1988, under its holding company Intercargo Corporation. Intercargo earned an A-, AM Best rating and successfully expanded with underwriting offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore.  Intercargo acquired a fledgling Canadian company, Kingsway General Insurance Company and mentored it into a public offering on the TSX.  Mr. Zuhlke served as President and CEO of Kingsway America Inc from 1998 until January of 2004, overseeing the acquisition and indoctrination of six regional specialty carriers into the public domain and discipline. 

Mr. Zuhlke was instrumental in leading the operations to a 22% ROE and in getting the company listed on the NYSE.  Mr. Zuhlke was an independent consultant from 2004-2009 and also served on the board of United Insurance Holding Corporation (UIHC) from 2007- 2011, serving as chairman of the Audit and Reinsurance Committees.  He also served on the board of United Financial Mortgage Corp (UFM) from 2001 to 2005. (Not related to UIHC). Mr. Zuhlke received his BBA and JD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a member of the American Bar Association.

Becoming Executive Chairman of Avalon in 2009 he rejoined many of the talented personnel from his Intercargo days that had formed and built Avalon from 1998 to 2009.