Kevin Heffernan and John Tally

A couple of shout-outs this week to two great guys in the captive insurance industry.

Kevin Heffernan has announced his plans to retire from Artex in March of 2021. Kevin has been with Artex for 15 years in several operational and domicile management roles. For the past 14 months, Kevin has led captive operations across the United States as Executive Vice President. When I took on the role as President of VCIA a little over 10 years ago, Kevin was the chair of our finance committee. He was the ultimate steady hand on the tiller, providing excellent guidance and advice which was very important to a newbie like me. I wish Kevin well in whatever new adventure awaits him and hope to see him back in Vermont on occasion – even if it’s only in the summer!

No matter what captive conference I would go to, I always looked forward to seeing John Tally’s smiling face and his dry sense humor. John will be retiring from his role as captive program manager at the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance at the end of the month and will open a new business called TAL Consulting.  John spent 25 years as a regulator, with 10 of those years regulating captive insurance companies specifically. He epitomizes the captive insurance community – friendly, willing to share experiences and discuss mutually beneficial issues with ease, and he’s just a good guy. I’m glad he is staying in “the family” and look forward to seeing him in Vermont as well (and maybe other captive conferences).

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Rich Smith
VCIA President

Friday the 13th – It’s Your Lucky Day

All of us in the captive industry, and throughout the broader risk management industry, are very rational thinkers who rely on science to determine the course of action we take in life, right?  A recent report published on November 10, 2020 in Captive International reminded me of how human behavior, with all its biases and superstitions, is a very difficult element in any kind of modelling.

The report, titled Viruses, Contagion and Tail-risk: Modeling Cyber Risk In The Age Of Pandemics, aims to better understand what modelers looking at pandemics and cyber risk can learn from each other.  The report highlights the lack of data from both types of viruses in trying to determine useful models for risk management. However, what caught my eye was this statement: “Although pandemics originate from pathogens, it is the individual and societal reactions to them that are hardest to model…”

I have always been fascinated by behavior economics as it tries to tackle our human foibles in a way that can be interpreted by economists to better understand how our world works. Even very intelligent, seemingly rational individuals are swayed by their internal biases. Science and economics are getting much better at “adjusting” for these very human traits and captive insurance will no doubt benefit as the industry sharpens risk modelling in everything from workers comp to liability. But just in case, hold on to that lucky talisman for now.

On another note, I want to wish Kevin Heffernan of Artex bon voyage as he announced he will be retiring in March 2021. Kevin has been with Artex for many years in a number of leadership roles and for the past 14 months has led captive operations across the US as executive vice president. Kevin was the first finance chair for VCIA at the start of my tenure over ten years ago and he did an excellent job of guiding the committee as well as providing me solid  advice on a wide range of topics Thank you, Kevin, and good luck!

Thanks, as always, for your continued support in these trying times. I look forward to hearing from you!

Rich Smith
VCIA President