Best's Review



From the Editor's Desk
The Hunt for a Unicorn

Insurers are under pressure to find leaders who can meet competitive threats and guide their organizations into the future.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • July 2018
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When AIG hired Brian Duperreault to take the helm as CEO last year, he was 70. His career included founding Hamilton Insurance Group and service as CEO of Ace (now Chubb) and CEO of Marsh & McLennan. That was after spending some 21 years at AIG before leaving in 1994. For an insurance industry board in search of a new CEO, that ticked an awful lot of crucial boxes.

In the years since the financial crisis, boards have become increasingly risk averse, often preferring CEO candidates with plenty of experience in top roles.

In a pool of CEOs analyzed by Best’s Review, 14 of the 18 CEOs hired before 2010 were under the age of 50. Of the 28 hired after 2011, only two were under the age of 50.

Boards are also under pressure, however, to find leaders who can meet competitive threats and guide their organizations into the future. They are looking for candidates with diverse backgrounds and the skills to bring about transformative change.

Some say they are looking for a unicorn.

In "CEO in Transition," Best’s Review takes an in-depth look at the biographical information of insurance industry CEOs to get more insight into these leaders, the types of candidates that are being hired and other evolving trends.

The importance of cultivating a pipeline of diverse talent is clear as boards seek out candidates for top roles who have the right mix of experience and skills.

In "The Hunt for Solutions," Best’s Review examines the career path of Fritz Nauck, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. Today Nauck works with life insurance leaders to help guide them through their strategic dilemmas. But years earlier, he was Lt. Nauck of the U.S. Navy, an officer on the vessel that helped inspire the best-selling novel and blockbuster film, The Hunt for Red October. At a time when the industry is hunting for different kinds of talent and leadership capabilities, Nauck’s personal path shows how elite talent can hail from a variety of industries and walks of life.

The July issue also includes our annual rankings of top insurers based on exclusive A.M. Best data. The rankings can be found beginning on page 63.

Buying insurance is a task that often can be daunting for risk managers. For large organizations, the risks are many and the coverages can become complicated. July is Brokers & Agents Awareness Month. In this issue, Best’s Review presents its annual survey of the top global brokers. Most of the largest brokers maintained their positions at the top of the rankings.

Consistency of performance is something that also deserves recognition. In "Standing the Test of Time," Best’s Review identifies insurers that have maintained a Best’s Financial Strength Rating of A or higher for at least 50 years and at least 75 years.

Patricia Vowinkel
Executive Editor

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