This past Tuesday, April 3, the Dolan School of Business Dining Room hosted a lecture in the Dean’s Lecture series, regarding the management of risk in a global economy in the realm of the reinsurance industry.
Fairfield alumni and experts in the industry joined Interim Dean of DSB, Dr. Mark Ligas, Ph.D., who moderated the discussion, to talk about how this field of business affects our everyday lives, as well as the many professional opportunities available to students.
The aim of the discussion, according to Orgsync, was to gain insights as to what risks the speakers have already taken in their careers in terms of reinsurance, as well as what their biggest respective losses were within the field.
The alumni who spoke at the event were John Welch ‘87, Brian Boornazian ‘82 and Frank Hand ‘86, all of whom are industry experts.
Welch, as it is stated on Orgsync, “is chief executive [of] North America reinsurance in addition to being head of insurance programs, America for XL Catlin. He is currently a managing director of XL Catlin and a member of its global reinsurance leadership team.”
As for what the industry is, Welch elaborated, “the way I explained it to my children when they were young would be that you’re simply insuring the insurance companies… Insurance companies have a lot of risks as well that they have accumulated, and if a big storm comes along or an earthquake, things like that, they might not have the financial capability of handling the economic impact of that event.”
Hand is currently an executive managing director at Aon Benfield.
Additionally, “he [Hand] has specialized in structuring and placing reinsurance transactions in the Financial and Professional Liability segments including directors and officers liability, Medical Malpractice, Law Firm Liability and other related classes of business.”
Lastly, was appointed to the position of chairman at Aspen Re in August 2012 and has also served as the performance director for the company during that time.
Boornazian who currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Aspen Re America, was previously, “appointed head of reinsurance in May 2006 and joined Aspen in January 2004 as president of Aspen Re America. Mr. Boornazian also serves as a director on various boards of the Company’s U.S. subsidiaries.”
Regarding the panel, Chris Flynn ‘18 felt that, “…it was a very informative event because, before today, I really did not know anything about reinsurance and what the industry was like, as well as what their day to day tasks are like.”
Reinsurance companies, as Welch went on to say, essentially provide insurance companies with protection in terms of their earnings and growth of capital.
In terms of what reinsurance companies cover, Boornazian said that, for instance, “there’s insurance on major events, like the Olympics. If something was to happen, like if there was a terrorist event and the Olympics were cancelled, there would be [coverage] on tens of millions of dollars lost in television revenue.”
As for what the reinsurance industry looks out for, Hand stated, “We’re trying to provide coverage for an emerging risk market that changes every day, it’s not just cybersecurity, it’s other things as well; wildfires are starting to run rampant out in California…”
Hand went on to mention other emerging risks that the industry would cover, such as the prevalence of flooding following hurricanes, which have been becoming increasingly frequent in recent years.
Another student in attendance, Lauren Payton ‘19 said, “I learned what reassurance is and what the industry is all about. In simple terms, it’s insurance for the insurance companies. It’s a way to spread out the risk even further.”
The main idea emphasized by all three speakers was that the reinsurance industry is open to many majors, not simply those offered at the business school. They are looking for people willing to work hard who have great analytical skills, not just those from a strictly business background.