Houston-based insurance provider HCC Insurance ( HCC) named John N. Molbeck Jr. president and chief operating officer.

The positions previously were held by company's chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Way. All insurance-related operations will now be reported directly to Molbeck, while strategic planning, finance, mergers and acquisitions, and investments will remain under the direction of Way, the company said.

Molbeck held the same position at HCC from 1997 to 2002. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, the North American subsidiary of a U.K.-listed insurance broking concern, from which he retired in 2005. His employment contract extends through May 2009.

HCC said Molbeck, who rejoined HCC's board in April 2005, will remain a director during his tenure as president and is expected to stay on the board after he retires.
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