updated 11/23/2010 5:45:51 AM ET 2010-11-23T10:45:51

HOUSTON, Nov. 22, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) today announced that Leslie Stone Heisz, 49, and Deborah Hicks Midanek, 55, have been elected as independent members of the Company's Board of Directors.

"Both Heisz and Midanek are well-respected throughout the financial world for their extensive experience, effective approaches to problem solving and leadership abilities," said HCC President and Chief Executive Officer John N. Molbeck, Jr. "They will both be a great asset on the HCC board as we continue the execution of our Strategic Plan."

Ms. Heisz will also serve on the Enterprise Risk Oversight Committee and the Investment & Finance Committee. Ms. Heisz is a retired investment banking and finance executive with over 20 years of investment banking experience. She was a managing director of Lazard Freres & Co. LLC from 2004 until April 2010, where she provided strategic financial advisory services for clients in a variety of industries. Ms. Heisz previously served as a managing director of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (and its predecessor Wasserstein Perella & Co.) from 1996 until 2002 and as a director from 1995 to 1996, where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions and leveraged finance and led the Gaming and Leisure Group and the Los Angeles office. Prior to 1995, Ms. Heisz served as a Vice President at Salomon Brothers Inc. where she developed the firm's industry-leading gaming practice, and as a senior consultant at Price Waterhouse, where she specialized in strategic information systems. Ms. Heisz received her B.S. and M.B.A. at UCLA.

Ms. Heisz is a director, chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Executive Committee of Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM). She previously served as a director of International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) from 2003 until 2008, where she served successively as chair of the Audit Committee and then chair of the Nominating Committee. She also served as a member of the Board of Managers of Eldorado Resorts LLC from 1996 until 2008. 

Ms. Midanek will also serve on the Enterprise Risk Oversight Committee and the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee. Since 2004, Ms. Midanek has served as the President of Solon Group, a business development firm which provides turnaround services and strategic advice to organizations in transition. Previously, Ms. Midanek held several positions with Glass and Associates, Inc., a turnaround management firm, including President and Chief Operating Officer from 2003-2004, and Managing Principal from 2000-2003. Prior to that, she held various executive positions with AlixPartners, lnc., Solon Asset Management L.P., Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. and Bankers Trust Company. She received her M.B.A. at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. at Bryn Mawr College.

"Heisz and Midanek are versatile executives with a deep understanding of the financial industry which allows them to find solutions to complex challenges," said Molbeck.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. is a leading international specialty insurance group with offices across the United States and in the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. As of September 30, 2010, HCC had assets of $9.3 billion and shareholders' equity of $3.3 billion. HCC's major domestic and international insurance companies have a financial strength rating of "AA (Very Strong)" from Standard & Poor's Corporation. HCC's major domestic insurance companies have a financial strength rating of "AA (Very Strong)" from Fitch Ratings, "A1 (Good Security)" from Moody's Investors Service, Inc., and "A+ (Superior)" by A.M. Best Company, Inc.

For more information about HCC, please visit http://www.hcc.com .

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made under "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The types of risks and uncertainties which may affect the Company are set forth in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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