Intersection of Risk and Finance Symposium Recap 2016
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Intersection of Risk and Finance Symposium Recap 2016


5th Annual Intersection of Risk and Finance Symposium Brings Industry Executives to the Barney School of Business

On Nov. 15, the Barney School of Business held their fifth annual Intersection of Risk and Finance Symposium. This event is sponsored by Joseph Coughlin, an alum of the University class of 1980. During his time at the University he was a three sport athlete, disk jockey for WSAM and class president. Coughlin is currently a member of the University’s Board of Regents and the Chief Executive Officer of Corporate Risk Solutions, LLC.

The night was opened when Barney School Dean Martin Roth took the stage to welcome everyone and describe the unique importance of this event, attended by Barney School students, faculty, alumni, as well as other industry professionals. Coughlin then described his extensive career in insurance and equities and said, “It is critical for finance to understand insurance, and for insurance to understand finance.”

Coughlin went on to introduce the first guest speaker, Mike Rice, the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Specialty division at JLT.  Rice went in depth to talk about how to close in on deals by using more than just data, “Take data and information and turn it into knowledge,” said Rice. His focus was primarily on the importance of data versus knowledge and how if you know the difference you can use that to your advantage. Rice’s most poignant piece of advice to the audience was, “Interpersonal relationships are everything.”

Following Rice was Varun Chandra an executive at intelligence firm Hakluyt & Company.  A University of Oxford graduate and native of Newcastle, UK, Chandra has spent the majority of his career traveling around the world negotiating deals for different partners until he moved to New York a few years ago. Chandra previously worked for the former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who instilled wisdom into him such as, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.” This is a message the Chandra wanted to also impart on the crowd followed by, “It is important to be open to opportunities”, and “Everything is about risk and reward.”

The third and final speaker of the night was Brandt McKee, Senior Managing Director at Centerbridge, a private equity firm. A former Cryptologic Officer in the United State Navy, McKee has developed a deep seeded passion for helping people. He has spent his career working with startups and companies that were underperforming to help them regain their footing. McKee shared many insights including, “Life lesson number one is to work to live, not live to work”, and “Life is not up and to the right, it’s a jagged road, you’re going to have to pick yourself up sometimes.”

The symposium concluded with Coughlin, Rice, Chandra and McKee answering student questions about oil, energy, political risk and other global issues affecting business, risk and finance. Following the symposium was a cocktail networking hour that gave students the opportunity to ask more questions, meet the speakers and connect with other professionals who had attended the event.

To learn more about the symposium, view pictures and video from the event.