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Charles E. Makey, III Named President and Chief Executive Officer of Merchants Insurance Group


Merchants Insurance Group has announced that Charles E. Makey, III, President, has been promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, effective February 2024.

Mr. Makey was named President of Merchants Insurance Group, headquartered in Buffalo, New York, on April 1, 2021. He is the 10th president in the company’s 106-year history.

Merchants’ Board Chair Robert Zak stated, “Charlie Makey is a well-rounded and dynamic leader of an outstanding management team at Merchants. His appointment as CEO reflects Merchants’ Board of Directors’ confidence in his ability to take Merchants to new heights in a fiercely competitive industry.”

As President of Merchants Insurance Group, Mr. Makey has been recognized as one of Western New York’s most influential leaders on the Buffalo Business First Power 250 list. Under his leadership, the company has received industry accolades such as the Ward’s 50® designation as a top-performing property-casualty insurance company in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best, with the company’s outlook revised from “stable” to “positive” in 2023. Buffalo Business First has named Merchants among “Western New York’s Top Private Companies,” and “Fast Track Companies of Western New York,” recognizing the fastest growing companies in the region, for five consecutive years. In January 2024, Merchants Insurance Group was recognized as one of Buffalo Business First’s “Best Places to Work in Western New York,” for the second consecutive year.


 “Receiving this promotion to President and CEO is truly an honor,” said Mr.  Makey. “I appreciate the confidence the Board has in my ability to lead Merchants toward continued growth and prosperity. I’m proud of this organization, and I remain committed to serving our great company with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm.”

Makey’s career with Merchants began in 1996. He joined the company as Director of Sales, and in 1998, he was promoted to Assistant Vice President/Regional Manager of the company’s New England Regional Office. After six years in that role, Mr. Makey was named Vice President and Regional Manager of Merchants’ Central States Strategic Business Center in Dublin, Ohio in 2004. In 2009, Mr. Makey became the Senior Vice President of Insurance Operations at the company’s corporate headquarters in Buffalo, New York. He served in this role until April 1, 2021, when he was appointed President of Merchants Insurance Group. Prior to Merchants, Mr. Makey worked for The Hartford.

Mr. Makey currently serves as a board member, trustee, or council member for a number of organizations, including:

  • New York Insurance Association (NYIA) – Board Member, Immediate Past Chair (served as Chair for a two-year term, 2022-2023).
  • New York Insurance Scholarship Foundation (NYISF) – Board Member, Trustee
  • Long Island Insurance Education Foundation (LIIEF) – Board Member, Director
  • AON Client Advisory Board Member
  • Birdsong Association – Board Member, Treasurer
  • Invest Buffalo Niagara – Board Member

Charles Makey earned his Master of Business Administration from Daniel Webster College in 2007. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and management from St. Bonaventure University and a degree in Business Acumen from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Mr. Makey also holds several designations from the Insurance Institute of America: Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), Associate in Management (AIM), and General Insurance (INS). A native of Western New York, Mr. Makey resides in a suburb of Buffalo with his family.

Katherine Trautwein

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group sells its products through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We sell our products through independent insurance agents because we believe they provide value to policyholders through their broad range of products and their insurance expertise.