Insurer and ex-SVP at loggerheads over sexual discrimination allegations
The underwriting veteran has publicly alleged that present GuideOne performing CEO Andy Noga, on the time normal counsel for the service, known as him a “f*ggot” at a public dinner and launched into a “vigorous” private marketing campaign in opposition to him that led to his dismissal days earlier than he was due a bumper bonus payout.
Noga declined to speak to Insurance coverage Enterprise resulting from a urgent private matter, however GuideOne has strongly denied Groenheide’s allegations.
Groenheide, a longtime underwriter with 15 years of trade expertise below his belt, together with senior roles at HDI International and Zurich, was recruited to work for the insurer in late 2019 to steer its specialty apply.
His achievements on the insurer included the launch of GuideOne subsidiary Profession Basic Company’s managing normal underwriter.
Noga was initially nice, Groenheide instructed Insurance coverage Enterprise, however that modified when he was made conscious of Groenheide’s sexuality in June 2021 after Groenheide had been outed as bisexual throughout divorce proceedings.
The SVP was put below investigation in early December, and positioned on administrative depart in late January. Groenheide claimed this was after he had made an inside criticism about Noga’s remedy of him on the November public dinner occasion, which Groenheide mentioned was witnessed by not less than one different one that allegedly testified in his favour in an affidavit.
Groenheide alleged that he was not knowledgeable why he was positioned below investigation however was quizzed on specifics after he had been locked out of his firm pc, with no entry to info.
“It was like a kangaroo courtroom wherein you’re accused of an unknown factor,” Groenheide mentioned.
“You’re responsible till you’re confirmed harmless – and also you’d haven't any alternative to even focus on the stuff you’re accused of as a result of they’re by no means shared with you.”
Lori Chapel, GuideOne director, advertising and company communications, instructed Insurance coverage Enterprise that the previous SVP was let go for exceeding his letter of authority, failing to safe reinsurance on sure accounts, and submitting improper bills.
Groenheide has denied this was the rationale behind his exit from the enterprise, and has claimed that he was pushed out and blamed for others’ shortcomings.
“That may be the equal of somebody working a truck, ingesting beer, stepping into an accident, then reporting that accident, and the CEO received fired, however not the drunk driver,” Groenheide mentioned.
Groenheide has additionally claimed that key witnesses weren't known as in the course of the investigation.
GuideOne has disputed Groenheide’s account. The insurer’s spokesperson mentioned that an impartial third-party investigator, a former US Lawyer for the Southern District of Iowa, investigated the allegations of bias and discrimination and decided they have been unfounded.
GuideOne additional alleged that Groenheide’s allegations round sexual discrimination didn't floor till after he was positioned on administrative depart.
Within the 4 months since getting the boot from the enterprise, Groenheide has taken to social media to lift consciousness of his alleged state of affairs, actively concentrating on GuideOne board members and administrators with LinkedIn posts and sharing paperwork that he claims present he was unfairly handled.
Member of GuideOne’s board, which incorporates Alliant Vitality and Renaissance Re board member Carol Sanders and Insurance coverage Info Institute president Robert Hartwig, didn't reply to a request for touch upon Groenheide’s social media exercise or allegations.
GuideOne instructed Insurance coverage Enterprise that Groenheide’s actions on social media have been “suspect and egregious” and pledged that the insurer will reply absolutely to them “within the correct discussion board”, although it stopped wanting confirming whether or not it could be bringing authorized motion.
“The social media marketing campaign questioning our firm’s values and code of conduct by a former worker continues. His preliminary allegations stem from his termination and have broadened to incorporate colleagues and confidential firm issues,” the spokesperson mentioned.
Groenheide alleged: “It appears to me like they only don’t like a lightweight being proven on the reality. As a result of if I used to be mendacity, they'd have already sued me.”
The previous GuideOne SVP is pursuing a declare by the Equal Employment Alternative Fee – and has pledged that he'll proceed to marketing campaign round his state of affairs and use his platform to lift consciousness of difficulties confronted by different LGBTQ+ people in insurance coverage corporations throughout the US.
“Tons of individuals have come to me with their tales since [I went public] and it’s disgusting what nonetheless goes on in company America,” Groenheide mentioned. “Thank God I've the assets and the help community to have the ability to combat again, however there are in all probability a whole bunch of different individuals who have skilled the identical factor.
“If they will marginalize me then they will do it to anyone.”