Risk International Restructures, Commits to Growth

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Risk International, the independent risk management consultancy, embraces changes to investors, leadership and structure.

Risk International Restructures, Commits to Growth

Risk International Restructures, Commits to Growth

Risk International has been a well-kept secret for 25 years. Our clients understand our value, and tend to remain customers for many years.

Risk International today announced its renewed commitment to growth, according to Michael Davis, president and CEO. On December 31, 2011, the independent risk management consulting company reconstituted its ownership structure in a management buyout and is planning to recruit talent, expand services by adding specializations and position the firm to serve a wider clientele and geography from its offices in Ohio, North Carolina, London and Singapore.

To create this flexibility and fuel these strategies, Risk International named David O’Brien, a well-regarded industry leader and new ownership partner, as chairman of the board. In this role, O’Brien will provide strategic guidance and share business development insight with his fellow Risk International executives.

“We’ve collaborated over the past 20 years with Dave when devising solutions for the complex risks of mutual clients,” said Davis. “So naturally we’re excited by the promise for growth we’re certain to gain from his proven strategic vision, leadership and direction.”

O’Brien brings nearly 25 years of experience from serving as risk counselor and insurance broker to Fortune 1000 companies. He stepped down in 2010 as president of Oswald Companies, where he instituted growth strategies that helped reinvent the now 119-year-old insurance brokerage. During his last five years leading the Cleveland-based firm, Oswald grew annually at a rate of nearly 18 percent and broke into the ranking of “top forty independent insurance brokerages” as judged by Business Insurance. Previously, he served as a sales leader for Marsh & McLennan and Johnson & Higgins, where he managed the Kentucky office that had the distinction of being the fastest growing office of the global insurance brokerage.

“I’m excited to join Risk International and contribute growth,” said Mr. O’Brien. “Risk International has been a well-kept secret for 25 years. Our clients understand our value, and tend to remain customers for many years. However, we’ve struggled in the past to put the same level of energy we use to serve current clients into finding tomorrow’s clients. I believe this transaction is a step toward addressing future growth. The new ownership team is 100% committed to growing our platform in a quality, measured way.”

True to its heritage, Risk International will remain an independent risk management consulting firm. “Our independence comes from not being an insurance broker, not being affiliated with any insurance brokerage firm or commercial insurance company, and not being publicly traded,” said Davis. “We avoid conflicts of interest, permitting us to serve clients without bias, competing agendas or market pressures. We offer fee-based risk services exclusively. Risk International has never accepted commissions nor been paid based on the amount of insurance placed. Our guiding principles have not changed. In fact, these have only grown stronger.”

With Risk International’s renewed commitment to growth, Davis also announced key staff promotions. Kirk Walsh is now executive vice president and chief operating officer. He previously served as vice president and director of finance. Doug Talley is executive vice president and chief legal officer, having served previously as chairman. Lori Siwik is now Vice President and General Counsel, previously serving as Vice President and Counsel.

These changes are designed to create positive impacts for Risk International customers. “We’ve always felt that the fact that we serve multiple clients allows us to stay a step ahead of the traditional corporate risk management structure,” said Walsh. “Our professionals are ‘in the market’ throughout the year working through and learning from complex problems. It then goes without saying that the more we do as a growing firm, the more value we bring to all clients.”

About Risk International

As a global risk management consulting company, Risk International helps client companies reduce risks and associated costs. Ranked as one of the top three risk management companies in the U.S. by Business Insurance, its staff has helped clients collectively save or reduce the cost of risk by nearly $1 billion since it started in 1986 in Fairlawn, Ohio. It also serves clients from offices in Charlotte, London and Singapore. For additional information on Risk International, please visit http://www.riskinternational.com.


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