UP CLOSE: Rob BauerPosted On: Apr. 1, 2019 12:00 AM CST
NEW JOB TITLE: San Francisco-based managing director and head of sharing economy and mobility group for Marsh USA Inc.
PREVIOUS POSITION: San Francisco-based general insurance head of innovation and sharing economy group for American International Group Inc.
OUTLOOK FOR THE INDUSTRY: Vibrant — for the sharing economy, mobility and insurance sectors. They are closely related and rely on each other. Technology is changing our expectations of all three. If an independent contractor can deliver eggs to your front door in less than two hours — summoned by an app, following a digital map — then our tolerance for how insurance responds must keep up. Just recently, insurance products have been created that are priced by mile, by hour or even by completed task. We do not leave our “prime-now, on-demand” expectations at home when we go to work. Even in insurance.
GOALS FOR YOUR NEW POSITION: It’s three-fold: To serve clients using technology to change the world for good; to make insurance “just work” for the gig economy; and to create new products, partnerships and capacity. In addition to protecting corporate balance sheets and individuals’ income, sharing-economy firms are using insurance to help gain access to new markets, compete for funding, grow users and aspire to make our lives better.
CHALLENGES FACING THE INDUSTRY: Keeping pace with how we use technology and quantifying the risk. As the physical world becomes more digital, the way we live, move and work changes. Assets are more easily shared, and “access” is valued by some over “ownership.” When was the last time you bought a DVD versus subscribing to Netflix? What does insurance look like when we’re able to subscribe to mobility across scooters, bikes, cars, city buses, subways and more instead of owning? Risks shift as new realities are introduced. Was it the human, machine or software that caused the accident?
FIRST EXPERIENCE: Downloading Uber and Lyft both on the same day.
ADVICE FOR A NEWCOMER: Don’t ask “why,” ask “why not?” Listen, learn and be polite, but bring yourself to work every day, and don’t be afraid to challenge things that don’t make sense.
DREAM JOB: The person who cuts limes for the bartender on a fancy catamaran cruise in the Caribbean or U.S. ambassador to Aruba.
LOOKING FORWARD TO IN YOUR NEW JOB: Seeing the future through clients’ eyes and helping them go and get it.
COLLEGE MAJOR: Political science in undergrad. In law school, I specialized in copyright. First, I was going to be a senator, then a talent agent, now in insurance. My grandfather sold New York Life insurance as one of his careers, so perhaps this is fate?
FAVORITE MEAL: Acai bowl after a long run or bike ride.
FAVORITE BOOK: Fiction: “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho. An allegory for life. Nonfiction: “Franklin and Winston,” by Jon Meacham, the greatest American writer living today.
HOBBIES: Running, biking, cooking, Sunday New York Times, Bloomberg, helping friends with their startups.
TV SHOW: I’m on the move often, so I don’t watch a lot of TV. I much prefer podcasts — Guy Raz’s “How I Built This,” Andreesen Horowitz’s “a16z,” “Pod Save America.”
ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON: The kale breakfast burrito at the Fort Mason Farmers’ Market in San Francisco is amazing!