A new chief executive at Calabasas-based Crusader Insurance won’t affect the company’s credit rating, according to AM Best, a ratings agency in Oldwick, N.J.

The property and casualty insurance carrier named Michael Budnitsky, former chief financial officer, as its new president effective Feb. 11. AM Best issued a statement this week that the company’s long term issuer credit rating of B++ was unaffected by the change.


Budnitsky takes over for former chief executive Cary Cheldin, who announced his retirement in August after 25 years at the company including nearly 11 at the helm. Cary is the son of Erwin Cheldin, who founded Crusader in 1985 after running his own brokerage for more than 30 years.


According to the AM Best release, Budnitsky will also retain his previous roles of chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary. He has worked at Crusader since 2016.


Crusader is a subsidiary of insurance holding company Unico American Corp., also based in Calabasas. Shares of Unico (UNAM) closed on Friday down 1 cent, or a fraction of a percent, to $5.35.