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TORONTO -- Douglas Barlow, a risk management pioneer whose career spanned decades as a lawyer, risk manager and educator, died last month in Toronto. He was 91.
Mr. Barlow died at home June 19 after being hospitalized for pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
A Rhodes scholar who earned law degrees at Oxford University and McGill University in Montreal, Mr. Barlow made his mark as risk manager for Toronto-based farm equipment manufacturer Massey-Ferguson Ltd. from 1959 to 1972.
There, he was credited with creating the first global insurance and risk management program, encompassing all of the company's worldwide exposures. In 1965, he launched one of the earliest captive insurers to write Massey-Ferguson's primary property and liability coverages.
He also formulated the now-familiar concept of "cost of risk," which he defined as the sum of insurance premiums, self-funded losses, risk control expenses and other administrative costs.
Long active in the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc., Mr. Barlow was the first Canadian elected president of RIMS' predecessor, the American Society of Insurance Management Inc., in 1971-1972.
In 1990, he became the first risk manager elected to the Insurance Hall of Fame and before that was a recipient of RIMS' highest honor, the Dorothy and Harry Goodell Award.
Before joining Massey-Ferguson, Mr. Barlow worked as general counsel for an insurance brokerage in Quebec City, was a professor of insurance at Laval University in Quebec and briefly opened his own law office.
After a short-lived retirement from Massey-Ferguson, he became corporate secretary for Toronto-based broker Tomenson Saunders Whitehead Ltd., later acquired by Fred S. James & Co. Inc.
He remained active until the end of his life: Mr. Barlow attended the RIMS conference in San Diego earlier this year and was editing a magazine article during his recent hospital stay.
While risk management academics were exploring some of the ideas Mr. Barlow employed in the 1960s, "Douglas was the one who first implemented it in a corporate environment," observed Susan Meltzer, assistant vp-insurance and risk management for Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada in Toronto.
Ms. Meltzer, a RIMS executive council member, also noted that RIMS will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2000 and that "if I were going to pick the most significant contributor, I would pick Douglas."
Mr. Barlow donated his body to the University of Toronto.