J. Adam Abram, Non-Executive Chairman of James River Group Holdings, Ltd. – Mr. Abram has served as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board since January 2018. Previously, Mr. Abram was Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of the Board from September 2014 through December 2017. Mr. Abram served as our Non-Executive Chairman of the Board from October 2012 through September 2014, and before that, Executive Chairman of the Board from December 2007 to September 2012. Mr. Abram also previously served as our Chief Executive Officer from December 2007 through March 2008. Prior to this, he served as the Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of James River Group, Inc. from its inception in 2002 through 2007 and from March 2008 until October 2012 (during which time he periodically served in different roles at various operating units). Mr. Abram was also a founder of James River Group, Inc. Mr. Abram served as lead independent director of the Yadkin Financial Corporation, a bank holding company, ("Yadkin"), from July 2014 until its acquisition by F. N. B. Corporation in March 2017 and, prior to that, as the Chairman of the Board of VantageSouth Bancshares, Inc., a bank holding company, and its subsidiary bank, VantageSouth Bank, from November 2011 until its acquisition by Yadkin in July 2014. He also served as Chairman of Piedmont Community Bank Holdings, Inc., a bank holding company, ("Piedmont"), since he co-founded it in 2009 until it was also acquired by Yadkin in July 2014. Mr. Abram received his B.A. from Harvard University.
Bryan Martin- Mr. Martin has served as our lead independent director since December 2014, and as a director since December 2007. Mr. Martin is a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., a global investment and technology development firm, and head of the D. E. Shaw group’s U.S. growth and buyout private equity unit. Prior to joining the D. E. Shaw group in 2005, Mr. Martin served as a partner at J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC, a private equity division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., from 2003 until 2005. Before that, he was a partner at the Beacon Group, LLC, a private equity, strategic advisory and wealth management partnership, and co-manager of Beacon Group Energy Investors II, LP. Mr. Martin began his career as an equity analyst at Fidelity Investments, a diversified financial services company. He received a B.A. in history from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University.
Jerry R. Masters- Mr. Masters has served as one of our directors since December 2014. Mr. Masters is a private investor. From 1991 to 2000, Mr. Masters held various executive positions within the financial organization at Microsoft Corporation, last serving as Senior Director, in which role he was responsible for external and internal financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting. From 1980 to 1991, Mr. Masters worked in the audit department of Deloitte & Touche LLP. From 2005 until August 2014, Mr. Masters served on the board of directors of TransMontaigne Partners LP, a terminaling and transportation company, and has served on the board of directors of Sandhills State Bank since 2010. Mr. Masters holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Nebraska.
Michael T. Oakes- Mr. Oakes has served as one of our directors since December 2007. Mr. Oakes has served as the President of Conifer Group, Inc., a consulting company, since February 2011. Prior to this, Mr. Oakes served as Executive Vice President of the Company from June 2010 until his retirement in January 2011. From December 2007 through June 2010, Mr. Oakes served as our Chief Financial Officer, and from March 2008 through June 2010, he served as our Chief Executive Officer. From 2004 through 2007, he served as Chief Financial Officer of James River Group and from 1998 until 2004, Mr. Oakes was a Managing Director in the Insurance Investment Banking Group at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., an investment banking firm based in New York. Mr. Oakes received a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Janet Cowell- Ms. Cowell has served as one of our directors since May 2016. Ms. Cowell is the Chief Executive Officer of Girls Who Invest, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the asset management industry. Previously, Ms. Cowell served as Treasurer of the state of North Carolina from 2009 through 2016 and served as a member of the North Carolina State Senate from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that, she served as a member of the Raleigh city council from 2001 to 2004, and before that she worked as an independent business consultant with Sibson & Co. and a securities analyst with HSBC Bank and Lehman Brothers. Ms. Cowell has served as a director of ChannelAdvisor Corporation since 2016. Ms. Cowell received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an M.A. from the Lauder Institute. Ms. Cowell is also a level 1 CFA.
Ollie L. Sherman, Jr.- Mr. Sherman has served as one of our directors since May 2016. Mr. Sherman retired as a Managing Principal with Towers Watson in 2010. At Towers Watson, Mr. Sherman functioned as a consulting actuary and practice manager for the company’s property and casualty division for over 25 years. Prior to joining Towers Watson, Mr. Sherman was employed by the Travelers Insurance Company for ten years where he had overall responsibility for countrywide workers’ compensation pricing. Mr. Sherman graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in applied mathematics, and he is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.
David Zwillinger - Mr. Zwillinger has served as one of our directors since December 2007. Mr. Zwillinger is a Managing Director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and a member of the D. E. Shaw group’s U.S. growth and buyout private equity unit. Prior to joining the D. E. Shaw group in 2005, Mr. Zwillinger was an associate at J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC. Prior to that, he was a member of the mergers and acquisitions group at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., a global securities and financial services firm. Mr. Zwillinger graduated from Rutgers College with a B.A. in economics and earned a B.S. in finance from Rutgers Business School.