Our process of writing a profile of the Person of the Year began, as it always begins, with an interview of our star, Bill Flaherty, and questions that lend themselves to a description of his career.
But the storyline of Bill’s career is epitomized by the fact that this interview may be only the second time in his career he has been interviewed. The first was when he entered the job force as a CPA and auditor at KPMG Peat Marwick in 1979. Every role since then, producing a stellar career in the run-off industry, has been an evolution of his skills in applying the bedrock principles of auditing to capital management and implementing a broad-frame view for economic growth by leveraging run-off assets.
In 1990, he was lured away from KPMG by John Fitzpatrick, the CFO of Kemper, to join Kemper Corporation, becoming the head of internal audit. By 1993, his position had evolved into CFO of Kemper Reinsurance Company, a position he held until 2001. Kemper Re had been acquired by GE in 1998 and renamed GE Reinsurance Corporation. In 2001, Bill’s role at the company changed to leading a new dedicated team responsible for commutations across the GE Insurance Solutions U.S. entities. When Swiss Re bought GE Insurance Solutions (GEIS), they broadened Bill’s playing field by adopting the GEIS liability management structure. He is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Liability Management for the Americas. At Swiss Re, Bill is the leader of fifteen professionals responsible for portfolio management activities related to Swiss Re’s legacy property-casualty reserves in the Americas.
Since 2001, Bill describes his own career as being one where “every deal is a new deal.” That gives him the opportunity to utilize his financial skills and work across all the functions within his own company (underwriting, actuarial, claims, finance) to execute transaction for the mutual benefit of Swiss Re and its clients. He has immense respect for professionals in the run-off industry. He is grateful to have worked for organizations, GE and now Swiss Re, that understand and support proactive management of legacy portfolios. He also takes great pride in being instrumental in the development of a global dedicated team within Swiss Re that manages its inforce P&C reserves.
He views commutations as an efficient dispute resolution mechanism that allows the parties to resolve a dispute in a way that serves both sides’ financial goals. This perspective may be why he has been responsible for the commutation of over $3 Billion in reserves over the last 10 years.
Bill Flaherty is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Liability Management for the Americas at Swiss Re.
Bill has supported AIRROC since its inception. He believes members get excellent value for their membership both from the education agenda and the networking/deal-making opportunities, and he believes this is particularly critical for bringing younger people into the business and growing their careers. He intends to advocate for the organization with a view of increasing membership by medium- and smaller-sized companies and he hopes AIRROC will strengthen its outreach in this area.
Finally, he credits his wonderful wife and three children for his success. They have supported and encouraged his career and they are a constant source of joy and pride.
The AIRROC Person of Year Award is sponsored by Butler Rubin, which has done so for the past 11 years. AIRROC is grateful for their ongoing support and this opportunity to pay tribute to leaders in the industry such as Bill Flaherty.
Refer to page 27 in the Winter 2016-2017 issue for article. https://www.airroc.org/assets/docs/matters/airroc_matters_winter_2016_2017_vol_12_no_4.pdf