Born: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University; certified public accountant designation
First job: Worked as an accountant
At home: Woudstra lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sue. They have two children and five grandchildren.
Career moves: Woudstra joined Foremost in 1973 and remained with the company, moving up to the role of COO, until it was acquired by Farmers in 2000. He stayed with Farmers after the acquisition, starting off as vice president of Farmers Group Inc. and COO of Farmers Specialty. He continued to move up, earning a role as Farmers Group Inc. president and COO in 2007 before becoming CEO in January 2009.
About Farmers: Farmers Group Inc. is a Los Angeles-based holding company, which, along with its subsidiaries, is wholly owned by Zurich Financial Services Group.
The acquisition: On July 1, 2009, Farmers Group Inc. announced it completed the acquisition of 100 percent of AIG’s U.S. Personal Auto Group, which includes 21st Century Insurance. The deal also includes the former AIG Direct business and Agency Auto Business. The purchase price amounted to approximately $1.9 billion. As part of the transaction, Farmers Group Inc. sold the underlying insurance entities to the Farmers Exchange, which it manages but does not own, for approximately $1.4 billion.