AmTrust has promoted its strategy and business development executive Dan Hickey to take the reins as chief underwriting officer, the company said today.

Hickey’s appointment comes amid a turbulent sales process as the US insurer’s CEO Barry Zyskind looks to steer the firm into the hands of an investment vehicle that he backs along with his in-laws and private equity house Stone Point.

He takes over from Julian Griffith who will remain in AmTrust’s underwriting team in a more “task oriented” role, a spokesperson for the company said.

“This transition will see Julian actively working with some key lines to drive performance,” another said.

Hickey joined AmTrust  a year ago as executive vice president for business strategy and business development.

In that role he oversaw the group’s business strategy as well as managing relationships with its “key partners” and working on identifying organic growth opportunities globally, AmTrust said.

In his new job, the executive will be responsible for AmTrust’s global underwriting activities.

Prior to AmTrust, Hickey was executive vice president and head of standard lines at PartnerRe.

Before that, he was president of North American treaty reinsurance at Gen Re.

He will be based in New York and report directly to AmTrust chairman, president and CEO Zyskind.