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Captive Insurance Industry Can Gain Insight from Study Results

January 22, 2016

What are the personality traits of an effective captive insurance executive?

Captive insurer governing boards and executives may gain some insights for answering this question by reading the summary of a recent study of insurance executives conducted by Russell Reynolds Associates. (Note: Your editor is unaware of any study that specifically focuses on captive or captive manager chief executive officers.)

"Personality Traits: A study reveals the personality attributes of insurance executives defy the industry's stereotypes," an article in the January 2016 issue of Best's Review, summarizes the study, which identifies the dominant personality traits of insurance executives.

Lori Chordas, author of the article, quotes Limore Zilberman, executive search and assessment consultant, Russell Reynolds Associates, as saying the personality traits of the 87 insurance executives surveyed defy the industry's "stodgy stereotypes."  

Some of the study findings attributed to Ms. Zilberman in the Best's Review article, which is excerpted in a Russell Reynolds Associates news release, include the following.

  • The group of executives had a very high score on dynamic personality traits, such as being extroverted, bold, and comfortable in the spotlight. They can take swift action and calculated risks.

  • Insurance executives also tend to be more consistent and practical than other financial executives.

  • Life/health executives rated 18 percent more conceptual in the way they think compared to their property/casualty peers.

  • Property/casualty executives are 21 percent more independent-minded and are 21 percent more decisive than executives in life/health, the Best's Review article reported.

The study, according to the Best's Review article, was "… based upon data for 87 insurance executives, along with the company's broader database of executives using 60 psychometric scales from well-validated leadership assessments to understand on which scales insurance executives showed statistical differences from other populations."

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