Specialty insurer Torus has opened a West Coast office located in San Francisco, California, which will initially focus on the property and casualty lines business. The company appointed Kim Kihara as vice president of general property and Eleanor Howell as vice president of casualty.

Ms Kihara has worked in various roles within the insurance industry since 1986. Most recently, she was a SVP and team leader in the risk management property department of Marsh in San Francisco. Previously, she worked at Industrial Risk Insurers, Hartford Steam Boiler, and Swiss Re. She will report to Steven Fomchenko, SVP and global head of general property underwriting.

Ms Howell has over 20 years of insurance experience. She has also worked at Travelers, AIG, Marsh and Swett & Crawford and with Willis.

Naveen Anand, global chief operating officer of Torus, said: “Local presence and service expertise is key to maintaining strong, long-term relationships with clients and brokers. Our office in San Francisco is another important step in our strategy to expand the Torus franchise in this key market.”

Linc Trimble, senior vice president and head of excess casualty at Torus, said: “Eleanor will provide producers in the Western region with world-class services for all their umbrella and excess liability placements at Torus.

“She has a strong track record of growing successful excess casualty portfolios in the Western states. Additionally, she brings to Torus a strong underwriting background to first-hand producer experience. She is uniquely equipped to provide creative and flexible solutions and we’re delighted to have her on board at the inception of our West Coast office.”