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If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. -- Sir Isaac Newton
The past three decades have witnessed many notable achievements in insurance, risk management, employee benefits. Although many professionals who brought innovations have passed away, their contributions remain influential.
Among those remembered for their legacies are leaders from the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.
Robert S. Spencer, president of the RIMS in 1977-1978, died of a heart attack in February 1979 at age 53. Mr. Spencer, vp-insurance at Fuqua Industries Inc. in Atlanta, was an outspoken advocate of risk management and the risk manager's role in corporate affairs. He founded Fuqua's insurance department in 1967, a year after joining the company. Mr. Spencer also established a self-insured workers compensation program in 1972 and a Bermuda-based captive in 1976. During his tenure as RIMS president, membership in the society grew by 20% and RIMS launched a research service for members. After his death, the Atlanta RIMS chapter established a memorial scholarship fund that supports students in risk management and insurance. The Spencer Educational Foundation Inc., now administered by RIMS in New York, has awarded 183 scholarships.
Anita Benedetti, deputy executive director of RIMS and president of the Spencer Educational Foundation Inc., died in August 1996 at age 47 after a battle with cancer. During an 18-year career with RIMS, Ms. Benedetti directed research, education and international activities and served as an industry liaison. During her tenure as president of the Spencer Educational Foundation, the foundation's assets grew to nearly $1.9 million from $103,000. In 1995, RIMS gave special recognition to her contributions when it presented her with the society's highest honor, the Dorothy and Harry Goodell Award. In addition, The Spencer Foundation board voted this fall to award a $10,000 Anita Benedetti scholarship to an outstanding woman.
Among the leaders in risk management were three named Business Insurance's Risk Manager of the Year (see story, page 78).
Howard T. Weber, Business Insurance's first Risk Manager of the Year, died in July 1988 at age 61. He received BI's inaugural Risk Manager of the Year Award in 1978 in recognition of his development of risk management as director of insurance at Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. in St. Paul, Minn. That same year, he helped launch Corporate Insurance & Reinsurance Co. Ltd., a Bermuda-based captive reinsurer.
Thomas V. Hallett, BI's Risk Manager of the Year in 1980, died of a heart attack in March 1993. Mr. Hallett, 52 when he died, was a senior vp at broker Alexander & Alexander Inc. He was named Risk Manager of the Year for carrying out a major reorganization as director of risk management at General Motors Corp. While at GM, he consolidated the automaker's property and liability insurance programs and negotiated large cost reductions. After leaving GM in 1980, Mr. Hallett joined the brokerage industry, serving lastly as a principal business strategist and risk management liaison at A&A.
One of the first women to reach the top of the risk management profession was Edith F. Lichota, who died in November 1994 at age 65. At the time of her death, she was vp-administration at Bankers Insurance Co. Ltd. and an independent risk management consultant. As vp-risk management and later senior vp at Irving Trust Co., Ms. Lichota spearheaded the development of BICL, the first captive insurer for the commercial banking industry. She was named Business Insurance's Risk Manager of the Year in 1987, becoming the first woman and first financial institution risk manager to receive the honor.
During the past three decades, the brokerage industry has lost respected members.
Among them was Harold H. Hines Jr., who was president and chief executive officer of Rollins Burdick Hunter, a Chicago-based broker that became Aon Group Inc. He died in June 1984 at age 59 after a heart attack. Mr. Hines was known throughout the commercial insurance industry for his speeches and writings on the industry's development. The Harold H. Hines Jr. Memorial Symposium, presented annually since 1985, continues Mr. Hines' legacy of examining insurance and risk management issues.
James Stewart, former chairman and chief executive officer of New York's Frank B. Hall & Co., which is now a part of Aon Group Inc., died in September 1991 at age 78. Under Mr. Stewart's chairmanship in the 1960s and '70s, Hall became a publicly traded broker and until its merger with Rollins Burdick Hunter and Hudig Langeveldt in 1991, was itself among the world's largest brokers. Mr. Stewart's father, Cecil Parker Stewart, had been Hall's CEO in the 1930s.
Robert F. Corroon, former chairman of Corroon & Black Corp., died in January 1994 at age 71. His career spanned a time of tremendous growth and consolidation among brokers. Before retiring in 1989, Mr. Corroon built Corroon & Black into a company with hundreds of millions in revenues and 5,000 employees. In 1990, Corroon & Black merged with Willis Faber Group P.L.C., becoming Willis Corroon Group P.L.C., which today is the world's fourth-largest broker.
Richard Shaw, chairman and chief executive of Lowndes Lambert Group P.L.C., now known as Lambert Fenchurch Group P.L.C., died of a heart attack in November 1995 at age 59. Mr. Shaw led Lowndes Lambert as it became a publicly held company and climbed the ranks of the world's largest brokers. At the time of his death, Lowndes Lambert was the 15th-largest. Today, Lambert Fenchurch Group is among the world's 10 largest insurance brokers.
John P. Gallagher, vice chairman of broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., died in February 1996 at age 68 after suffering a stroke. Mr. Gallagher was instrumental in building the Itasca, Ill.-based brokerage, now the world's fifth-largest. He was a founder and developer of Gallagher Bassett Services Inc., Arthur J. Gallagher's third-party claims administration and risk management information unit. Mr. Gallagher also was one of the first to convince public entities to self-insure.
Aon Corp. lost one of its top executives in late 1996 when Arthur F. Quern died in a plane crash. Mr. Quern, 54, was chairman and chief executive officer of Aon's insurance brokerage and risk management services unit, Aon Risk Services Co. In addition, Mr. Quern was senior vp and corporate secretary of Aon Corp. He joined the Chicago-based company in 1983 after 15 years of government service. Mr. Quern held various positions in the administrations of President Gerald Ford, New York Gov. Nelson D. Rockefeller and Illinois Gov. James Thompson. In 1984, Mr. Quern was named president of Aon brokerage unit Rollins Burdick Hunter after the death of Harold H. Hines Jr.
Bermuda has lost several men who were responsible for building the island's reputation as a premier domicile for alternative risk financing and insurance.
Sidney R. Pine, an expert in captive insurance tax law, died of cancer in September 1989 at age 79. Mr. Pine, of counsel at LeBoeuf Lamb Leiby & MacRae in New York, was known for his role in developing offshore single-owner and group captives as early as the 1960s. As an attorney, he represented captives, their owners and management companies for more than 25 years.
Angus Robinson, who died of cancer in April 1990 at age 43, was an innovator in alternative risk financing. he was a founder of Trenwick Group Inc. in Hamilton, Bermuda. At the time of his death, he was president and chief executive officer of Chartwell Reinsurance Co. After his death, his friends and business colleagues formed The Angus Robinson Jr. Memorial Foundation to award scholarships to students of insurance and reinsurance. The foundation has granted scholarships totaling more than $125,000.
Frederic M. Reiss, who founded Bermuda's captive insurance industry in the 1960s, died in November 1993. He founded the Reiss Organization, which became International Risk Management Ltd. in 1988 after its acquisition by Swiss Reinsurance Co. IRM remains one of Bermuda's largest captive management companies.
Michael J. Kevany, the former chairman, president and chief executive officer of X.L. Insurance Co. Ltd., died in May 1995 at age 69. He had joined X.L. in 1988 after seven years at CIGNA Corp. and 20 years at Royal Insurance Co. Before stepping down as X.L.'s president and CEO in 1994, Mr. Kevany led the excess insurer through a period of growth in which X.L. moved its headquarters to Bermuda from Barbados, expanded its product offerings and launched a European subsidiary, X.L. Europe.
Corporate Insurance & Reinsurance Co. Ltd., a Bermuda-based captive reinsurer, lost Chairman William F. Schwoebel in August 1981. Mr. Schwoebel, who was 69, died of an aneurysm. He became CIRCL's first chairman in 1978 after retiring as senior vp-finance at National Steel Co. in Pittsburgh.
Numerous executives are remembered for their key roles at insurers around the world.
Melvin B. Bradshaw, former chief executive officer of Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, died of cancer in January 1991 at age 68. From 1974 until his retirement in 1987, Liberty Mutual grew exponentially, becoming one of the nation's largest property/casualty insurers. In 1971, Mr. Bradshaw was a member of President Richard M. Nixon's National Commission on State Workmen's Compensation Laws.
Longtime insurance executive John C. Morrison died in April 1996 at age 70. Before retiring in 1991 as president of CIGNA Corp.'s Advanced Products division, Mr. Morrison was an underwriting executive at Insurance Co. of North America, which became CIGNA Corp. following the 1982 merger of INA and Connecticut General Group. Mr. Morrison was best known for innovations in underwriting insurance for large international corporate risks. He also held various posts at American International Reinsurance Co. Inc. and American International Group Inc.
Sir Peter Green, chairman of Lloyd's of London from 1980 to 1982, died of cancer in July 1996. While at Lloyd's' helm, Britain's Parliament passed the Lloyd's Act 1982, which provided for the market's self-regulation and prohibits members from suing the market. Ironically, Sir Peter was disciplined in October 1992 for "discreditable conduct" as an underwriter. Long before that, however, he made a point of visiting the United States as Lloyd's chairman and meeting with risk management and insurance executives, something few Lloyd's chairmen had done.
Leslie Dew, a former deputy chairman of Lloyd's of London in the 1970s, died in July 1997. While at Lloyd's, he was a longtime non-marine underwriter on several syndicates and chairman of Merrett Holdings P.L.C. He left Lloyd's in 1976 and moved to Bermuda, where he became an underwriter for Gulf Oil Corp. captive insurer Insco Ltd.
Robert Kiln, an innovative underwriter at Lloyd's, died in August 1997 at age 77. Mr. Kiln founded one of Lloyd's largest managing agencies, R.J. Kiln & Co. Ltd. He also was an underwriter on syndicate 510, which R.J. Kiln managed, and served on the Council of Lloyd's from 1971 to 1981.
The surplus lines industry lost a steadfast promoter in April 1981, when Joseph H. Blades died of a heart attack at age 55. Mr. Blades, chairman of the Blades Group of Cos. in Houston, built wholesaler J.H. Blades & Co. Inc. from a one-man agency into a company with a premium volume of tens of millions of dollars before selling it in 1978 to Crum & Forster Insurance Cos.
Another influential figure in the surplus lines industry was Louis W. Biegler, who died in February 1995 at age 80. Mr. Biegler founded L.W. Biegler Inc., which later became Crum & Forster Managers Corp., and International Surplus Lines Co. He promoted specialty lines of insurance and, as chairman of the Illinois Insurance Exchange, helped make the IIE a leading surplus lines market.
The employee benefits profession also said goodbye to influential leaders.
William Harrison Givens Jr., senior vp of pension operations at the New York-based Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S., died of cancer in July 1985. Mr. Givens, 58, was a descendant of two U.S. presidents, William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison. In addition to a 38-year career at Equitable, Mr. Givens was one of the forces behind the formation of the ERISA Industry Committee, a lobbying organization representing large employers on pension issues.
Sen. Jacob K. Javits, who died in March 1986 at age 81, was a principal architect of pension reform legislation in the 1970s that ultimately became the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Among ERISA's provisions are vesting and funding requirements for pension plans and the creation of the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which guarantees employees' and retirees' benefits if their employers' pension plans fail. The liberal Republican senator from New York served in Washington from 1957 through 1980, when he lost a bid for a fifth term. The fruit of his labor, ERISA, is his legacy to employee benefits.
Martin Slate, executive director of the PBGC, died in February 1997 at age 51 after a heart attack. Appointed to head the PBGC in 1993, Mr. Slate joined the PBGC when the agency's financial condition was so precarious that some feared it would need a taxpayer bailout. Reform legislation that Mr. Slate helped shepherd through Congress closed loopholes in federal law and put the PBGC -- and the pension insurance system -- on a sounder financial footing.