Refining Goals to Ensure Cultural Alignment

Role: Chief Risk Officer

Our client is a multiline financial services company headquartered in Bermuda with offices in New York City, Massachusetts and London. Our client’s strategy is to allocate capital across the global insurance and reinsurance markets, leveraging our strong client franchise and leading risk and investment management expertise. To date, our client has approximately $36B of assets and $2B of equity.

Objective

The firm began as the reinsurance business of a large U.S.-based investment banking firm and was successfully spun off in the spring of 2013. They are in high growth (acquisition) mode and have gone from 150 employees, at the time of their separation from their former parent company to about 780 today. Though a small firm, they wanted to find a Chief Risk Officer that had big company experience, yet possessed an entrepreneurial spirit. Furthermore, while the firm’s business is insurance, senior management felt it necessary to find someone who could join an executive team that culturally aligned more with a complex investment environment from which the current team originated from at the former parent company. This person is not only responsible for handling risk, but is also a key member of the firm, helping to shape the company as they position themselves for an IPO in the next 24 months.

Strategy and Result

During our initial kickoff of the search, it was agreed upon that we would research two varying types of organizations: direct competitors in insurance and market risk teams within large financial services firms. After initial interviews with insurance CROs and mid-level market risk candidates, our efforts were refined to focus solely on market risk professionals in either primary or secondary roles. This strategy ultimately led to the placement of a senior risk professional who aligns perfectly with the refined goals for our client.