Team

Jencap’s success can be attributed to the incredible individuals that make up our organization. Our staff is wholly committed to achieving greatness in all that they do and exceeding the expectations of our agency partners. Meet the leaders that are innovating, motivating and driving growth for everyone at Jencap.

John F. Jennings

John F. Jennings

CEO

Biography

John is the Chief Executive Officer and one of the founding members of Jencap Group. Under his leadership, Jencap has grown from an idea to the fourth largest wholesaler in the country in less than six years. John’s strategic vision for Jencap guides the ongoing management of existing entities, along with all future M&A activity at the firm.

John has more than 35 years of insurance industry experience, the past 30 of which have been focused exclusively on the wholesale distribution space. Prior to Jencap, John was CEO and a founding member of Wholesale Trading Co-Op Insurance (WTCI), which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Jencap. Other roles he has held in the insurance industry include President and CEO of Crump Insurance Services, and President of BISYS Commercial Insurance Services following its acquisition of Tri-City Brokerage where he was also the President.

John is an active supporter of many industry associations and various charities nationwide; including but not limited to the Spencer Educational Foundation, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, St. Baldrick’s Day and more.

Mark Maher

Mark Maher

President

Biography

Mark is the President of Jencap Group. Under his leadership, he works with the Jencap management team to develop strategic plans, drive overall growth initiatives, manage carrier and broker relationships, and work with affiliate company leaders to achieve an effective cross-selling practice.

Most recently, Mark was Chief Operating Officer of Jencap and President of its NIF Group division, a managing general agency and wholesale insurance brokerage where he served for over 30 years.

Mark began his insurance career in 1981 as a Property Facultative Broker at Willcox Baringer Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson and Higgins. Other roles he has held throughout his insurance industry tenure include Property Facultative Underwriter at Kaler Carney and Liffler; Underwriting Manager for Allstate Insurance Company; Assistant Vice President at Delany Management for both facultative and treaty reinsurance, on and off the New York Insurance Exchange; and Assistant Vice President at Danmar Associates.

Mark attended the College of Insurance Work-Study program from 1978-1982.

David Nielsen

David Nielsen

CFO

Biography

Dave is the Chief Financial Officer of Jencap.

Prior to Jencap, Dave was the CFO and a founding partner of Asset Growth Partners LLC, a boutique asset manager. Dave held the position of CFO at Community One Bancorp, a publicly traded Carlyle Group owned troubled small community bank acquisition platform, where he also led the company’s financial restructuring and acquisition activities.

His entire 30+ year career has been spent in the Financial Services industry, including as Chief Operating Officer of Wells Fargo/Wachovia’s Global Markets & Investment Bank, where he managed the operating infrastructure and also led the integration of Wachovia’s wholesale businesses into Wells Fargo.

He began his career in accounting and consulting at KPMG, LLP. Dave has a unique mix of operating and financial experience at both large and small companies, deep operational and financial integration knowledge, and significant private equity experience.

He graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Virginia and earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Darden.

Peter Byrne

Peter Byrne

CIO

Biography

Peter Byrne is the Chief Information Officer of Jencap.

Peter is an industry-leading expert in technology services and holds several technical certifications. Peter’s matchless operational and integration experience, coupled with his leadership expertise, have uniquely positioned him to drive corporate growth throughout his career in the insurance industry.

Prior to his current role at Jencap, Peter was the CIO at Aran Insurance Services Group and Chief Technology Officer at QBE North America. He is a graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy, Clarkson University and The Chubb Institute.

John LaCava

John LaCava

COO

Biography

John LaCava is the Chief Operating Officer of Jencap.

He has been an insurance professional since 1985 and has extensive underwriting, operational and technical experience. His corporate strategic planning and organizational leadership were instrumental in executing several agency acquisitions to grow Jencap Program Administrators product portfolio.

Prior to co-founding Aran Insurance Services Group (now known as Jencap Program Administrators LLC), in 2009, he held various C-level positions, most recently as an executive vice president and director for QBE North America.

John is active in his local community, supporting and coaching various local youth sports teams, and his local charitable activities include raising over $2 million for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s childhood cancer research efforts.

John holds an MBA from Pace University Lubin Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University.

Les Ross

Les Ross

Executive VP

Biography

Les is the Executive Vice President of Jencap. His role on the executive management team includes corporate development, business evaluation, integration, compliance and administrative management.

He was a member of the founding team of Wholesale Trading Co-Op Insurance Services, LLC, whose focus included the development of specialty market capabilities, programs, in-house facilities and administrative management. Prior to WTCI, Les was Executive Vice President of Crump Insurance Services, with duties comprising the firm’s national carrier relations and product development initiatives.

Before joining Crump’s legacy Tri-City operation in New York, he was a principal with an underwriting management and wholesale brokerage firm also located in New York.

Les was Chairman of the Surplus Line Association of CA, President of the Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association of New York State, an officer and Board Member of the Excess Line Association of New York, and has served on various committees of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (now WSIA).

He holds a BA degree from the Pennsylvania State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Maria Hurley

Maria Hurley

Senior VP of HR

Biography

Maria has over 20+ years of experience developing and implementing effective Human Resources strategies. While she started her career in recruiting for Financial Services organizations, she quickly transitioned into HR Partnering roles with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. After completing the Strategic HR Management Program at Harvard Business School, she progressed to more strategic HR senior leadership roles with WTW, formal Willis Towers Watson, and Markel Corporation. Her most recent role was as SVP of People with NIP Group where she led the Human Resources organization and implemented many innovative HR strategies for the insurance intermediary. Maria earned a BS degree in Human Resources and Finance from Salve Regina University. When not leading people professionally, Maria enjoys spending time with her family, especially sailing and sailboat racing.

Paul Orlando

Paul Orlando

Managing Director of Sales

Biography

Paul started his professional career working in the information technology department for New York University’s school of medicine. In 2006 Paul joined NIF Group, as a marketing associate. In 2014 he was promoted to Director of Media Marketing where he led numerous sales initiatives across the group. In April of 2016 he was named Vice President of Marketing and Sales where he continued to lead marketing initiatives for their national programs and surplus lines divisions. NIF Group was subsequently purchased by Jencap Holdings in December of 2016. Paul was promoted to Managing Director of Sales of Jencap Group in August of 2021.

He currently serves as member of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) Long Island chapter planning committee. Paul graduated from Oswego State University in 1998 with a B.A. in Communications and a concentrate in Public Relations.

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith

Managing Director of Marketing

Biography

Kathryn has dedicated her entire career to the insurance industry and has gained unique perspective having worked on the agency side, carrier side and wholesale side. She began her career at American Family Insurance as a sales professional. After a few years, she accepted a position at Chubb Insurance as Personal Lines Marketing Manager, where she proudly earned the recognition of Salesperson of the Year at Chubb in 2014.

Kathryn worked closely with Jencap affiliate company, Risk Innovations, at Chubb and eventually accepted a position with Risk Innovations as their Personal Lines Manager. Her role evolved into Director of Sales and Marketing for years, and after they sold to Jencap, her responsibilities extended to other affiliate companies. Kathryn is now the Managing Director of Marketing for Jencap.

She holds a B.S. in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Matthew Dunn

Matthew Dunn

Business Development & Acquisitions

Biography

Matthew began his career at UBS financial services working within their banking products group, specializing in security back lending. After UBS, he attended the University of Rochester Simon School of business where he earned his MBA.

He joined Wholesale Trading Co Op– Insurance Services shortly after to aid in its sale to the Carlyle Group and the creation of JenCap Holdings LLC.

At Jencap Group, Matthew is a member of the Corporate Development team. The team works on sourcing, analyzing and valuing of acquisition targets, as well as managing of the diligence process.

Matthew Gerson

Matthew Gerson

Business Development & Acquisitions

Biography

Matthew began his career at Citigroup working within their Financial Institutions Investment Banking Group covering banks and diversified financials.

At Jencap Group, Matthew is a member of the Corporate Development team. The team works on sourcing, analyzing and valuing of acquisition targets, as well as managing of the diligence process.

Matthew holds a B.S. in Management from Boston College.

Bruce Peddle

Bruce Peddle

Divisional President of Jencap Insurance Services

Biography

Bruce is the Divisional President of Jencap Insurance Services. He is a founding partner of Risk Innovations and proudly served as President and Chief Executive Officer since 2010.

After engineering the buyout of his original partner in 2010, Bruce acquired new strategic wholesale operations in 2012 and 2015; growing the company to more than $100 million in annualized premium.

Bruce served on various insurance company advisory boards over the years and is currently a member of Amtrust’s national agency advisory board. He has participated on the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s board for “Insure the Cure” since 2011. An accountant by trade, Bruce earned his Canadian Chartered accountant’s professional designation in 1994 and his Certified Insurance Counselors designation in 2007.

His experience prior to founding Risk Innovations includes tax and audit experience, along with mergers and acquisitions roles, in both Canada and Bermuda.

Denise Walsh

Denise Walsh

General Counsel

Biography

Denise serves as General Counsel at Jencap.

She oversees legal matters for all of Jencap’s operating companies, including corporate governance, litigation, and M&A. She brings over 20 years of legal experience to her role. Denise began her legal career at Lowenstein Sandler P.C. and was most recently a partner with Saiber LLC before going in-house. Denise has focused her career on corporate counseling, M&A and complex contracts. Denise has broad experience in the structuring and negotiating of mergers and acquisitions, litigation, drafting operating and shareholders agreements, business formation documents, corporate resolutions, and complex contracts. She works closely with business leaders throughout Jencap to identify and mitigate risk, while balancing the business needs of the organization. Denise graduated magna cum laude from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. She went on to obtain her Juris Doctor, also magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law.