ROBERT W. MINSTER
Chairman, President & CEO
Robert W. Minster, Chairman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of First Founders Group, Inc., a company focused on building a leading national independent surety business. Previously, Mr. Minster served on the board of directors of IFIC Surety Group, the largest independent writer of surety insurance until its 2018 sale to a multiline insurance group. Mr. Minster also served on the board of a managing general agency that serves a specialty niche within surety.
Mr. Minster spent 18 years with IFIC Surety Group of which his first five years he launched and grew its Chicago Regional Office. He then was appointed a leadership role in the company. Under his early leadership years, he transformed the company from a culture of “silos” without a consistent track record of profitable operations, into a culture of collaboration with a consistent track record of profitability. He identified and was a key participant in the company’s 2009, $28 million surety insurance carrier acquisition. Later, as CEO and member of the Board of Directors, Mr. Minster led the boards’ transformation into an active one that embraced governance. He identified and nominated new independent directors and concurrently led the formation of a holding company system to enable the group to launch a modern governance structure and culture.
Mr. Minster is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. He was enrolled in the university’s cooperative education program enabling him to work full time in public accounting and the mutual fund industry.
BRUCE B. MONOHAN, CPCU
Bruce Monahan, CPCU, has worked in the insurance industry for over 40 years. Currently, he provides consulting services specializing in helping client companies assess their control environments and establish leading-edge Enterprise Risk Management Processes.
Mr. Monahan served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for IFIC Surety Group, Inc. from 2015 until its sale in 2018. He served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Audit Executive at Selective Insurance Group, Inc. from 2007 to 2014.
Mr. Monahan has served as the Chairman of the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee for the Institute of Internal Auditors. He is currently a member of the University of Connecticut Accounting Department’s Advisory Council.
Mr. Monahan received his BS and MS in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and his MBA from the University of Hartford. Mr. Monahan also completed post-graduate work at New York University in Information Technology and at Michigan State University in Criminal Justice.
JEFFREY D. BUTLER
Jeffrey D. Butler, Director, is President of Greencastle Capital Management, Inc., a real estate investment firm based in Florida. Greencastle pursues commercial real estate investments for clients, and itself, in both new and existing projects. Prior to founding Greencastle in 2003, he served as Senior Vice President of Bank of America’s Corporate Real Estate Group where he was responsible for over $1 billion in market value of office and retail space.
Mr. Butler served on the board of directors of IFIC Surety Group, Inc., the largest independent surety insurance carrier until its 2018 sale to a multiline insurance group. He was also Chairman of its Audit Committee. Since January 2000, he has served on the board of directors of privately owned WMB, Inc., the parent company of CSC. It is Headquartered in Wilmington, DE, and was founded in 1899. He is a member of its audit committee. CSC has over 2,500 employees worldwide across three continents. The company provides corporate services to over 90% of the Fortune 500 and all of the top 250 U.S. Law Firms.
Mr. Butler is a graduate of Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He received his Master of Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mr. Butler also attended classes at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.
SCOTT C. PENWELL
Scott C. Penwell, Esq., Director, is an attorney who has practiced corporate, securities, and insurance law for 35 years and is a member of the law firm of Penwell, Bowman + Curran LLC. Prior to that, Mr. Penwell was an associate and partner at Duane Morris LLP from 1981 to 2004, a partner at Stevens & Lee, PC, from 2004 to 2012, and a partner at Rhoads & Sinon, LLP from 2012 to 2017.
Mr. Penwell has served on the board of directors of numerous companies, banks, and mutual funds. He also founded and has served as a director and corporate officer of two insurance companies. From 1987 until its sale in 2014, he was a director and corporate secretary of Eastern Alliance Insurance Company, a publicly-traded, national insurance company. From 2010 until its sale in 2017, he was a director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Great Falls Insurance Company.
Mr. Penwell has been Chairman of the Business Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and a member of the attorney advisory committees of both the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau and the Pennsylvania Securities Commission.
Mr. Penwell received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, his Master of Arts degree from Villanova University, and his Juris Doctor from Temple Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of Temple Law Review.
J. STEPHEN POHL
J. Stephen Pohl has over 45 years of experience in the insurance and banking industries. He began his career as a surety underwriter for Aetna Casualty & Surety Company (now Travelers Insurance Company).
After leaving Travelers in 1978, he co-founded DSP Insurance Services, an independent insurance agency based in Schaumburg, IL. The agency's initial focus was securing surety credit and casualty insurance for Midwest construction companies. Today DSP is one of the largest privately-owned multiline insurance agencies in the Chicago area. Mr. Pohl retired as the Chief Financial Officer and principal stockholder in 2019.
From 1986-89, Mr. Pohl helped secure charters from the State of Illinois to establish three de novo banks. After operating independently, the banks were consolidated into a single entity and re-branded as American Chartered Bank headquartered in Schaumburg, IL. In his role as a director and shareholder, Mr. Pohl served on the Loan Committee and Enterprise Risk Management Committee. He helped to grow the bank to a total of 13 branches with assets of $2.2 billion, making it the largest privately-owned bank in Illinois. In 2016, the bank was sold to MB Financial (since acquired by Fifth Third Bank) for $505 million.
Mr. Pohl has also served as President of the Surety Association of Illinois and held roles on agent advisory councils for several surety companies. He earned his BS degree from St. Norbert. Mr. Pohl has been a resident of Inverness, IL since 1988.