James E. Little 

As former President and CEO of multiple workers’ compensation carriers over the past 30 years, Jim Little is recognized as a consummate change manager, with extensive experience in designing and implementing creative and profitable institutional change in property and casualty insurance companies. In addition to a history of strategically improving underwriting strategies and tactics, marketing effectively through different distribution channels and rebranding, he has also raised venture capital and generated desirable returns to those investors as well as successfully negotiating the sale of companies. 

Jim headed Pacific Compensation Insurance Company (formerly Employers Direct) for nearly a dozen years. He identified a shortage of underwriting capacity in the then-underserved California workers’ compensation market. Looking upon that as a strategic opportunity, he co-founded the company with Ron Groden. Together they raised more than $50 million in venture capital. The company was then licensed by the California Department of Insurance and began underwriting business. 


With an eye toward minimizing acquisitions costs, Jim put a direct distribution model in place, and identified prospects fitting the company’s guidelines to enhance underwriting results. In five years, the company’s in-force premium exceeded $160 million with a loss ratio in the low 40% range. Positioning the company to be acquired for additional growth and profitability, the co-founders identified and began negotiations with several suitors, resulting in the acquisition of PacificComp by Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y) for $192.5 million. 

Prior, Jim headed Fremont Compensation Insurance Group, where he developed and executed a successful strategy to use judicious acquisitions to move the firm from a California workers’ compensation carrier to a national company. Two of those acquisitions were the largest in workers’ comp history: Casualty Insurance, purchased for $250 million, and Industrial Indemnity, acquired for $444 million. 

In eight years under his stewardship:

  • The company’s pretax earnings grew at an annual rate of 27% 
  • Its invested assets increased 220% to $3.2 billion
  • Its in-force premium rose from about $300 million to $800 million.

In addition to change management, Jim Little’s demonstrated skills include:

  • Organizational effectiveness
  • Acquisition evaluation
  • Post-acquisition consolidated support
  • Sales and marketing planning and execution
  • Captive insurance company formation and service program development
  • Matching technology solutions to business strategies
  • Advertising and public relations strategy development
  • Organizational leadership and hands-on execution of operating strategies on an interim, short-term basis 


Jim’s long history of industry leadership and recognition has afforded him the ability to work effectively and cooperatively with key players in the legislative and regulatory arenas. 

Among his industry roles: 

  • Chair of the Governing Committee of the California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB), 2011-2012 
  • Chair, California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI)
  • Chair, Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) Workers’ Comp Committee
  • Member of the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Assessment Commission, appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson for two terms 
  • Reappointment to the above commission for a third term by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger 
  • Member, California Cancer Research Council, appointed by California Senate Pro Tempore John Burton
  • Board Member, American Insurance Association (AIA) 
  • Member, California Business Roundtable 
  • Board Member, National Council for Compensation Insurance (NCCI)