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The Not Unreasonable Podcast
No Change Without Fear With Paul Ingrey
January 23, 2018 David Wright
The Not Unreasonable Podcast

No Change Without Fear With Paul Ingrey

January 23, 2018

David Wright

For reinsurance people, this interview is electric.

Paul Ingrey founded three of the most successful reinsurance companies of the last 40 years: Prudential Re (Everest Re), F&G Re (10% of staff became CEOs) and Arch Re (as we know it today). Thousands of people in the industry can trace their employment back to Paul's unique mix of discipline and charisma.

Being successful in insurance, like with many things, isn't complicated (write business in hard markets and not in soft markets) but it's devilishly hard to pull off. Paul is perhaps the original master of the cycle.

In the show we cover a complete modern history of insurance cycles, starting in the mid-60s, Paul's insurance cycle clock (see here), stories of the founding of each of the companies that would define his legacy and more.

Subscribe in iTunes, stitcher, or by rss feed. Sign up for my newsletter here

For reinsurance people, this interview is electric.

Paul Ingrey founded three of the most successful reinsurance companies of the last 40 years: Prudential Re (Everest Re), F&G Re (10% of staff became CEOs) and Arch Re (as we know it today). Thousands of people in the industry can trace their employment back to Paul's unique mix of discipline and charisma.

Being successful in insurance, like with many things, isn't complicated (write business in hard markets and not in soft markets) but it's devilishly hard to pull off. Paul is perhaps the original master of the cycle.

In the show we cover a complete modern history of insurance cycles, starting in the mid-60s, Paul's insurance cycle clock (see here), stories of the founding of each of the companies that would define his legacy and more.

Subscribe in iTunes, stitcher, or by rss feed. Sign up for my newsletter here

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:12Reasonable podcast, I'm your host, Steven Wright and actuary and reinsurance brokers. This is a show of interviews with people who have something to teach us about managing our businesses and ourselves. There's a lot to learn out there, folks, so let's get to work.

Speaker 1:0:34The show is brought to you by beach, right work and have worked my entire career. We are a global reinsurance intermediary and we pride ourselves on creative thinking, deep analysis and client service. Those three qualities are actually intimately related because you can't spend the energy digging deep into a problem unless you really care about the client. We find that when you really do understand the problem, the solution becomes obvious even if it seems a little bit unorthodox to the outside world. At first, the nature of insurance is to take solutions we know and trust and try to force them onto the problems of the day. We just don't settle for that. You can see My guest today is Paul and Paul was involved in the founding of prudential. Now Everest re Fng re, which eventually turned into platinum and now it's part of Renaissance and involved in the rebirth of archery in its current form today. Paul, welcome to the show. Thank you, David. Good to be here. So I'd like to do is start at the beginning, I suppose, of, of your career and how you got started into the insurance business. Where you're from. Please do tell.

Speaker 2:1:37Okay. Thank you. Uh, it was brought up in Long Island. My father was actually in the business and the rancher, it's business, but he, he died when I was seven years old. He was 37 and he had the good, the good taste to name me after two guys in the business. So I had two godfathers who I was a namesake of. So after college at colgate university I went to visit with one of those and he agreed to hire me as a small time reinsurance broker. That was. So, that was my first job out of college.

Speaker 1:2:09Right. So was your father in the business? He was. And what did he do?

Speaker 2:2:13He was, um, he was with a company called excess. And Treaty Management, which became St Paul, St Paul Re, uh, but he was promoted to executive vice president of the day. He died in 1946.

Speaker 1:2:24And do you have any memories of the insurance business growing up because you're a part of the insurance family now your kids are in the insurance business?

Speaker 2:2:29Yeah. A funny little story. There was a cartoon in the, in the New Yorker, um, where my father traveled a lot. So he was, they were having a party and they had like four couples there and I was quoted as saying, and I don't remember saying it, I was quoted as saying, Oh yeah, I must remember my father's the one in gray and Mr Williamson. So one in blue. So I didn't see a lot of them,

Speaker 1:2:55right? Sure. And eventually reinsurance broker. What reinsurance broken.

Speaker 2:3:00Could you, what year was that and what was the environment like there? It was 19, 61, 62. And it was a, it was a very different world in those days. The company called, it was called Delaney offices. They had about four accounts and that was all they did. And they put me on as a, as a backup broker on one of those accounts. So that's how I started. I knew nothing. They sent me to the College of Insurance, which became St John's. And I ended up getting a master's degree there at night. Uh, but I went, started out in the multiple line program which was going there every morning for six months. Wow. A learning insurance. The instructional why not on the job training. How long did you, how long did you stay there as a reinsurance broker? Uh, about two and a half years. Not Very Long, not very long.

Speaker 2:3:46And what, what, what precipitated the change? Well, I accidentally went to fellowship to study at Lloyd's to go to Lloyd's and study for be there for six months. And uh, uh, in doing that I wrote a paper and a brokerage firm in Philadelphia would then call bayless, which is now part of Guy Carpenter. Read the paper. It said, boy, we'd like to hire this guy as a trainee. So for a $2,000 increase in salary. And when we moved down to Philadelphia and had big money here, I was like 2000 was about 30 percent increase. What was the paper on? It was on, it was on facultative reinsurance being that was the ability to control your own destiny better than just signing onto a treaty. So individual risk underwriting. And yet at the time that you guys, the thesis was this is a better way to control the portfolio.

Speaker 2:4:34Exactly, exactly. And interestingly enough employers re, which was then located in Kansas City to the people there read that paper and got them into the facultative business. I'm interested. And they created a huge specialty out of excess medical professional liability. Amazing. Where did it get published in the national underwriter, which was the predecessor, sort of a business insurance. And that's very impressive. So, so you had been wet and your mid twenties at the time? Not even. What, what, what made you want to write this article? I mean, you must have been caught capsule. I hadn't. I'm sorry that I had to do that as a part of the competition to go to Lloyd's to go to London. I say context as well. Yeah, there was, there was an oral interview and it was an essay. Right. Okay. And it just caught fire. People thought it was really good.

Speaker 2:5:19Several people, uh, in retrospect it wasn't so hot now. Really. Okay. We're good enough to you to get people's attention. It was interesting. It was an interesting thesis and quite accurate, you know, facultative is the best way to go, but it wouldn't be an extension of that. Say Reinsurance is it as good as insurance because the insurance business, that's all you do. Right. That's, that's it. Right. So, so you moved over to bayless that also, that would have also been a reinsurance broker was interesting. Yep. Yep. So you're working there for the why. What were you doing there? A visiting very small mutual insurance companies, which was extremely interesting because when you go to a small mutual, a typical company might write three or $405,000 a premium have I have a million dollars of surplus and overcapitalized, but they only wrote in one or two or three counties in a given state.

Speaker 2:6:06So you really learned how a company operated, how they dealt with our agents, how they adjusted losses and Bayliss was very hands on, uh, quite a quite a professional brokerage operation and ended up getting bought by marsh McLennan Guy Carpenter, the legacy lives on and, and, and the regional portfolio that accommodates, that maintains that is very impressive business. It is impressive and amazing facial jealousy to be honest. Well, you should because I hardly ever lose an account. That's impressive. And so how long did that last night again? I've seen that have a two year, two and a half year shelf life. And where'd you go next? I went to a small underwriting operation, which is now no longer in existence, but back in New York City. Right. So you crossed the desk underwriter. That's insurance underwriter. Reinsurance Treaty, treaty. But we did a lot of, we got because of me, we did a lot of business with bayless, so I continued that smaller company approach, but I also got into a lot of big things, aviation and marine and large large companies as well because at that point you could be, you could write $30,000,000 of premium as a reinsurance company and be a factor in the business.

Speaker 2:7:15I know that's hard to believe because you can today you could do 30 million on one treaty or more than that. But, but that's about all we ever did and it was on based on like 400 treaties and we just kept very, very observational, very good controls in place on each treaty we did. So that's, that's I think if you intellectually as, as a force for discipline in the business. Right. And I guess that's where you've learned that, you know, you're, you're a style of underwriting that you brought to so many companies later on. That's where it was. It built. You picked up on that. Thank you. I couldn't have said it better. Thanks. And so who was your mentor at that organization? Is there some. Must be a pretty important figure. There are two. Actually, he died very young. It was a, the named Gilbert King and he died.

Speaker 2:7:58Great pianist. But he uh, uh, he died probably in his mid forties. Right. And what did he, what did he teach you? He taught me the value of control, knowing everything you want, the you want to know each of those 400 treaties as well as one of the underwriting officers at that company and knowledge control the business, understand everything that company does. And we used to track it with a pencil, a county. We wouldn't even put numbers into a computer. We would, we would have a good ratio and our pencils and we would track those. Whatever was coming up each month, we would track it. A lot of work. Yeah. But it also made it would have paid off, I guess. I think so because you really know what's there. It's not like it's a lot better. You write something down with Pencil, you understand it better than you do it when you push a button and put it into a computer. Interesting. And that organization didn't last long. Why not? No real reason. That was, it was, it was small. They had, they still had about 40 employees. It was expensive. Uh, they had, they had quite a, they had a few under writing contracts with companies in Europe and one or two of those pulled the plug on him.

Speaker 1:9:05That's interesting because the dark side of discipline in the business is no production, right? So, so disciplined that you put your pin in your drawer, fold your arms and say, I'm not writing any of this garbage. And then you just might as well go home because there's nothing on the books. And that's where I learned that. Right. Interesting. Yeah. And, and how long did you last have that company? Same time. Don't tell me

Speaker 2:9:24you're good. Yes. Yeah. And what. So where did you go next? Well, that, that, that's, that's really the great opportunity. Dino's talk last night at this church leader of the year about luck. I happened. I happened to get a job with Scandia, which is now owned by Fairfax Prem Watsa as company I'm Odyssey is the reinsurance company. They've got everybody knows odyssey what a factor they are by the Scandi at that time, which was the same kind of company that this one was that I was with. They were doing maybe 40 slash $50, million dollars of business and they brought in a new CEO named Laszlo, Ganja from North American reinsurance, which was one of the four big reinsurers. And so I started underwriting business for them. Again, the same kind of business, um, but in doing it, I used to also finish was finishing up at the College of Insurance at night, getting a master's degree.

Speaker 2:10:15And I did an mba paper, a thesis, and that paper was published. It was on reinsuring the catastrophe. And once again I'm a fellow in charge of. This is where the luck really comes in a felony Martin album who was in charge of planning for Prudential of America. The Life Insurance Company happened to happen to come across this. And I'm being an educator. He, he actually sat down and skimmed it. It was 300 pages. So Russell County maps. Yeah. And he said, you know, I ran into Martin at Burton in Bermuda at a captive insurance conference with. I was with my wife Jane and she started talking to him and he had his arm in a cast. He was sitting at the next table, so Jane meets people really well and she started talking with Martin and Martin says, you know, we're going to start up an insurance company. I'd like to have the fellow in charge of that. Who was an actuary named Leroy Simon. He was president of the CIS, really a bosses boss. He was really a great boss and he was probably the guy that most influenced my career once, once I looked into this job. So he read the whole paper. So we want to start a reinsurance company. We'd like you to run it. So here I was at age 31 running a company in January of 1972.

Speaker 1:11:37And, and what do you think was the core insight in that paper? Was there something

Speaker 2:11:41it was sort of like doing, doing catastrophe reinsurance on a facultative basis, understanding what we were way ahead of mapping and it was understanding the exposures in every county in every state. Right? It was, it was minuscule stuff. Very detailed work. What you learned from your, uh, your boss just carried it over. I didn't do. I didn't know even though that I was really focusing on that, but that's what the result was. Hm. Interesting. Yeah. And so that was prudential re, that's became prudential ready very shortly. Which we came Everest. Yeah. And Joe were the prudential was lucky that they were, that they got Joe Toronto because he made the whole thing marketable. Yeah. Joe Toronto, another podcast guest from a few weeks ago, one of my good friends and uh, in a, uh, fantastic, a fantastic operator. He is. So how long had you lost a potential re? Don't tell me.

Speaker 2:12:25Two years. No, no. 13. Lucky 13. Right. Thirteen to great colgate number. And I'll just pause there and let's just sort of look back now and what you'd experienced up to that point. How many cycles have you seen insurance cycle turn soft, a hard market? Well, you want me to go through and detail? Sure. Okay. The business was very formulated and that in the, in the United States through the forties, um, there were terrorists in place like there are in some European countries today. And most insurance companies did not compete on price they competed on through their agency system or the direct marketing like allstate and state farm because the prices were fixed. Prices were pretty fixed. Yes. And then a law was passed in the, uh, middle, late forties called mccarran Ferguson. And that did two things. It gave the states the right to regulate insurance, but it also, um, it also encouraged competition, price, competition.

Speaker 2:13:23And um, so what happened now was that each form in inland marine surety everything had its own competition levels. So with the business became very much a piecemealed. It was, you had a company like Chubb for example, would have, instead of one, one more amorphous company, they'd have like a dozen different specialties. And that's where I really came to love the specialty business and when that happened, so that happened in the forties that went. Everything went along reasonably well. But as competition, as you know, it takes place, prices started going down and the night in September, 19, 65, what was then the biggest event in history? Biggest insured event. Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans. And that was. That was a real disaster. I was in London on this fellowship at the time and I sensed real anger on the part of the Lloyds underwriters and understand David at that point in America, Lloyd's controlled the reinsurance business.

Speaker 2:14:23They were the factor. There was no, no real competition. Whatever Lloyd's wanted got done right. And they were pretty forceful about it. I'm pretty conservative about it. So they got angry. Underwriter's syndicate. Underwriters were saying, well, how come? How come you, you blokes in America can't control this business and what's wrong with you? You don't know where your stuff is. Yeah. How can you have a catastrophe loss and have the prices have the. The losses go up six months later, a year later had the increase go into retentions, go through cat programs, so they were really bitter about this and so that, that turned the whole market. That was really the first cycle, 1965 and which created a cycle of opportunity that started in around 1967 with rates going up, especially in the property area, but every place. Does it make sense at the time? Because right now obviously cycles are a familiar idea to us all.

Speaker 2:15:10But at the time it must have been ms dot surprising or how did you, do you remember what people thought about the first cycle? Uh, it didn't really. They thought it was Kinda the end of the world because they hadn't been. They hadn't seen this before. Yeah. And Lloyd's in particular was with being very forceful about it and it was sort of, well, let's just skip on from there to the next cycle. Is that it? It, it, it, it was a shock. It was a shock to the system, to the insurance reinsurance system. So prices started going up and then in 1974 we had the first financial investment sort of crisis started the next market terms. No, not yet. This was, this was a bonds or bonds were underwater stock stock market went down, equity pricing went down. Uh, most insurance companies, we're invested in bonds though.

Speaker 2:15:59So interest rates went up and the bond values went down, so their surplus went down and that created the second market of opportunities like the financial crisis suit of 10. Exactly. And, and we'll get into another one of those. So prices peak there in 1977, 78, 79. And at that point a Jimmy Carter became pr. Not Carter's fault, but, but if you, if you, you're too young to remember, but, um, the, uh, the prime rate went up to 17, 18 percent. If you can imagine that at night time series. I haven't born in the eighties ball. I feel like I should apologize. I wish I was. So anyway. Um, what happened then was the thing, this was the birth of cashflow underwriting companies. Uh, argonaut was one of the big wins would write argonaut did a deal on a New York medical society where they came in and exact, at a 93 percent rate increase and they did it, it sounded huge at the time.

Speaker 2:16:54And the docks in New York were really upset. Marsh McLennan was a broker, it was a big, big deal. And we lead it at prudential. We lead that deal and we priced it. Was it you or was there another underwriter? I mean, you must have really gotten around and said, we got to do this. That must be interesting moment. Roy Simon and I did it, you know that number? Like how, how did you pick that? Uh, he, he, he exercise all the actuarial science. He could, you know, and if you could imagine, you know, you can, you possibly do. I wonder. Well, you're an actuary. So you know how hard it is for excess medical malpractice to forecast losses based on pest development. Yep. So he picked a number out of it. Even at that, it turned out to be woefully inadequate. Wow. Yeah. That deal was still under priced still.

Speaker 2:17:36Underpriced, my goodness. Yeah, the docs, everybody was upset about it. A marsh was that they didn't like broking this 93 and a half percent rate increase, but they did it. There was no other, there was no other game in town. So yeah. Interesting. Yeah. Um, okay. So the same thing happened in 1980, 82. 80 three was the pits of another cycle. I'm 84 things started leveling off at a low level and at 85 really was katy bar the door. It was, you had, you had retention's going up, doubling. You had rates tripling on, on excess liability business. I'm talking about now. Uh, I remember a risk on the, on the, uh, the metal lands where the giants were playing, uh, the retention, the retention went from 1 million to $5 million on a casually ex umbrella excess. And the price, the price went from 100,000 to a million for 10 million excess of 5 million.

Speaker 2:18:32I mean, that's the kind of deal that was going on then. And so if you were, if you did, if you weren't, if you weren't living fearfully, if you didn't, if you weren't afraid based upon your past results, it was an ideal time to be in the business of course. And so we really, we, at that point, I, I had a pulled off another just just through friends. Yeah. That's when I started fng re in October of 1983. Everybody said, what are you doing it now for? And what were, what were you doing at them for? Well, because I just, I just had this innate feeling that things were gonna change markedly with what was going on in the business and you wanted a clean, a clean slate to work with. So I had, I brought in, I had five friends, one of which is a very active today, John Berger, one of the, one of the really talented people in the business. Um, and, and we've, six of us really started Fng Ray. And so what was your

Speaker 1:19:26position at brewery? Just before that? What was your role?

Speaker 2:19:29I wasn't, I was a senior vice president in charge of all treaty business. Okay. So we run into with that there was an equal, a senior vice president who was doing facultative and then there was another guy we worked for the facultative guides who was running through realtor casually, which was x x excess casualty liability and, and so I guess two things would

Speaker 1:19:47propel you to F and g one, I guess the opportunity to start a company. So that's, that's interesting, right? You have more control. You're now that you might not know what your role was after that. Maybe CEO. Um, and the other thing is you can shed a book which constraints you will a little bit by, is that be too much data and you don't want to get distracted by that. Like why? Why would you move on a cycle turn? The cynic would say running away, running away from your own tail.

Speaker 2:20:08Well, we didn't, we didn't really know about the reinsurance business was fine. We never had, we never had an underwriting loss and reinsurance. Interesting. Yeah. So I wasn't running away what, what I was really what I really wanted to do. The major thing was we sold their house and bought another house in Mountain Lakes and the guy in mountain lake said, we can't, I can't close, we need, we need to delay. So I had to take it. Uh, I had to delay the closing for three weeks. So I said to my boss, you know, how about if I take, if I take this time off and my wife and I have family, went up to Lake George for five weeks and I come back and prudential had grown from a company of 10 people, 2000 people. So it was not the small hands on company that I really wanted.

Speaker 2:20:51And when I came back people would say, Hey Paul, where have you been? I didn't know you weren't here. So I think my gosh, this isn't. So that's when I started thinking that I wanted to do something different, small controllable. And I had a friend, they feel it's clomid who was a consultant and he said the ideal size of a company is 40 people. Once you get over 40 you can't really function effectively. So that's was in the back of my mind, a small company guy, small company guy, hands on control, know everything, and so the six of us started fng re, we never got to be more than 40 people even got even we got into a facultative business, but we still did not get to be more than 40 people.

Speaker 1:21:30Well John Berger is a quote I've founded. Here's only one I told you I was gonna. Read this to you. This is a good one. I'm sure he has lots of. He's a, he's a very intelligent and articulate guy. He says more than 10 percent of the staff at ftg Reed went on to become ceos. I think the number he quoted was higher than 40. I don't remember what it was, but that's quite an amazing statistic. Is that true? Absolutely. And so fringy restarted with you and your friends. Obviously an enormous repository of talent in the reinsurance business being kind. Right? Right.

Speaker 2:22:02Well, they're all good. You know, it's kind of like hiring you think about talent and look. And when you went to hire a new coach or an nfl coach, who do you go to? You don't go to somebody with a losing record. So what happens is like the giants went to hire a coach. The the WHO, who they're going to hire the. They're not gonna, they're gonna go to somebody like the Minnesota Vikings who have just turned out a great, a great team and say we're probably going to go after the offensive coach. He's going to because he's got a great record. It was Halloween so people thought we were much better than we actually were. Interesting. So that's the. That was the key to it all day.

Speaker 1:22:38Yeah. So some of them will be luck, but of course you have to give yourself some credit because as you said through these soft market, soft market turns you hadn't made a loss. So that's something to say there is something there. So we're able to have the discipline, the stock market, not to lose your shirt when the market turned

Speaker 2:22:52right. And parallel to that, the thing that attracted the investors and archer, the third company that I, that I helped start was the fact that we actually cut our premium down starting in 1991 92. We went, we, we reduced from pretty close to a billion dollars to about $400,000,000 of premium and we had identified six casually treaties we could ride. We wanted to ride through the downmarket with. We had 30, 35 of them. So we gradually worked our way off 80, 85 percent of those treaties and stayed with those six that we thought could write through a a bad cycle. And they more or less. We're pretty good with that.

Speaker 1:23:31It last night again, insurance leader awards, dinner for St John's last night where we are the next morning recording this. There was a comment that I think it was Joe Toronto made about dinos here. Who is being honored that night. Where do you notice went over to hathaway? In 1986 and left Aig. And Joe made the point that he went, he went after the market turn where Joe picked up the reinsurance book. Uh, I think that's what he said. And, and Dino's went over to Berkshire hathaway where he was able to exercise extraordinary underwriting discipline. You felt less constrained by needing to read because he was a one man reinsurance company, uh, as it was described as the way I heard it. And what's interesting about that is 1996, 1997, I imagine from the perspective of today, those rates were still incredibly high. Right? And then here, here, Ddos goes and starts exercising discipline and coming off business. And so it's kind of this relative evaluation of, well, it's not as good as last year. Social I've reduced my line, but in retrospect, maybe they shouldn't have been. Maybe should have been still writing yet more, I think. So how do you know when to when to. What are the signals over when you should do more and when you should do less? What do you, how should we think about that?

Speaker 2:24:36Well, per prem Watsa told an interesting story last night. Um, and I, this is again, I'm, I hate to tell a story about a good story about myself, but I was on premise board. Fairfax is board at that point before, before archie got started and he had a meeting of his board of directors and except at the end of September 2001, and he gave me credit for standing up at that meeting and setting. Don't pull back anything you see latch onto now own the renewals. And then a week later I helped start. We had this meeting with arch actually was October ninth. Um, uh, and what we've followed the same thing and prems guys, we were probably the only two really aggressive reinsurers in, uh, in the renewal season of 2002. And we wrote, we did, we wrote archery in Bermuda and New Jersey did a billion dollars. What turned out to be a billion dollars of premium, mostly longtail casualty. Wow. And the beauty of that was, not that we just did it in a two, that was a policy that's not. We booked on a calendar year basis. That was policy or eventuality was that we owned the renewals, so in 20, oh, three rolled around we had, we had a billion dollars of premium enforce and we were able to grow that through. Oh, five. And then, oh five. We had a few cats. I'm getting ahead of ourselves here. But um, so you asked me a simple question. I hope I answered

Speaker 1:26:00well. I just am so fascinated by it and it's such a dramatic story. Let's talk about the founding or the refounding of arts because archery existed before you joined. And Bob Clemens, I think it was a gentleman named a comment, but that's finance. Okay. So legend has it. You met with him in an Albany hotel. That's right. How did that meeting come about? How did you know Bob elements and what hotel was it?

Speaker 2:26:23It was called the Desmond Hotel, right at the airport in Albany. Bob [inaudible] and Bob had a right hand guy named Peter have pell, who was really the guy that later a founder of Ellis. Yes, exactly. Good. He sold out most of it. Now Peter is one of the most market savvy, intelligent lawyers. I've ever met in my life, terrific person, and he was really acting on what Bob claimants felt. So he was the man that the guy that made everything happen. But dewar yes. He set up. He set up a company in Bermuda in six months before nine slash 11, before the, uh, before the, uh, plans hit. Yep. He bought, he bought on Nebraska Insurance Company. Uh, so all this stuff was in place and we had a meeting, uh, October ninth. So he calls you up, bob calls you up. Did he, how did he know you just sort of the business a commence with the factor? I was a sort of a factor and you know, he knew who I was. He chose you the. Well, it was one of the little thing happened though. The company that they ran. Risk capital was founded on the basis of being a marginal player in the reinsurance business,

Speaker 1:27:35the reinsurance company a couple years earlier apparently to folks America, I think it was, there wasn't a kind of restarted it, it was this interesting platform that they are playing with. It wasn't doing well,

Speaker 2:27:44but the, the other parallel side of that was investments and the investment part of it, they were, they, when their ads, they would talk about doing special investments and specialty, especially reinsurance products. So, um, they were doing this, it wasn't going well. The stock had dropped down to $15 a share and so about a year before that he'd hired me. It's the only, the only job I ever took. I retired for the first time at the end of 96, so I've been out for five years, almost a full five. And he hired me with after four years to come in and look at their book of business and write up an evaluation. Okay. Interesting. So they had that and then one of my six guys have five other people with a guy named Dwight Evans and Dwight was looking to leave St Pauli Murray and start up something and he had come to the clements and Peter with a game plan, which is literally our game plan.

Speaker 2:28:34Okay. So this was all there and they said, all right, we've got to you and Paul, you came back together. Put the, put the team back together. So that's actually what happened at this infamous air force meeting every airport meeting. And uh, at that meeting, Dwight and I sat down and talked to them, said if we're going to do this, we gotta hire grandson. So the three of us, I didn't know how, how'd you know him? Mark was a Margaret's working as a, as a, uh, for a consulting firm in Atlanta and he was telling hast and he just happened to come for an interview and he was the best, the best interview I've ever had. Interesting. Yeah. So this was a few years, interestingly enough, mark worked for Fng for, I don't know, seven years or so, went to work for Berkshire Hathaway Burjeet. And so we hired him when this was starting up. He got the fire and we hired markets are as our main guy, Dwight and Dwight and Paul and mark.

Speaker 1:29:30So you had this feeling that you had the ability to assemble an extraordinary team. I mean, this is a very impressive group of people because our results were good. I don't know that we that much better than anybody

Speaker 2:29:42else,

Speaker 1:29:43but I mean, I know I've met several of the folks that you mentioned and again, I don't know. I do personally find each of them impressive, uh, in the, in, in each of their own way. So, so the meeting went well, um, and then, and then you turned around and raised $700, million dollars in the space of, what was it, 10 days. I mean, I've heard a few different things.

Speaker 2:29:59Well, yeah, it was about that. But what happened was a Bob Clemente had some good friends at a, at a, at a venture firm in California called Hellman and Friedman. And I had a guy that became a good friend in Tucson, Lee, who was then at Warburg and Tucson had done his due diligence, uh, in 1992. The was it a cat crisis of Warburg invested in what became renaissance re. And one of my six people was a guy named Jim Standard who one of the best and brightest in the history of reinsurance, a gym now worked with Rod Fox a tiger. But in any event, um, Jim and uh, Neil currey were chosen to startup renaissance from scratch and there were two guys sitting in a room and Bermuda was six fax machines writing all the cat business they could find and in 2002.

Speaker 1:30:53And so a whole bunch of things I want to try and touch on here if I can, uh, hopefully I can keep track of it all. So one of the things that's interesting was, so Jim Standard worked with you at g as so many of potential rate and. Okay, I didn't know that. Interesting. So he was. Oh, he was one of the six that went to found a, a fng. Interesting. You see, you lost him now he went to found renaissance while you were there. What was that like? What, how did he come to you and say, I've got to go do this?

Speaker 2:31:15Didn't. That was an intermediate step. Jim had jim had this one, a character flaw when he liked. He liked being part of a big company. Interesting. And Norman Blake, who was hired to turn around USF and G, which was sent 100 year old company in Baltimore and a traditional tariff and big tariff insurance company wanted Jim to come down and be one of his key executive vice presidents and Jim couldn't resist that. Interesting. So he stayed in the family, but he went down to Baltimore and worked there for a couple of years. And then Andrew came along and the rest is history.

Speaker 1:31:44Yep. And so hurricane Andrew, how did Fng Redo during Hurricane Andrew?

Speaker 2:31:48We were very lucky. We had two good things happen because of the decrease in cat prices where our catastrophe Britain premium was down to about two, two to $3,000,000 of premium. Second thing we did, we slowly over the years, built up what was then legal before Sarbanes Oxley. We built up a huge, a huge for us, about $30,000,000 of fund with Berkshire Hathaway, with ige chain. And it was a virtually riskless cat program. We bought from a cheap, but we were building up. These assets were paying in premium every year for six, seven through the hot, the hot part of the cycle through 87, 88, 89. We were paying a Gte, a few million dollars a year. He was giving us an interest credit and we built up this $30,000,000 fund. So when Andrew Hit, not only were we lightened premium, but we had this big cat protection, I'm a $30 million bank there, so we were not seriously affected at all and that when he realized that, he said, well, I think I'd like wanting to talk to you and that's what I mentioned earlier to you today that I went out and was fortunate enough to have lunch with Warren Buffet on, uh, in 1992.

Speaker 1:32:53So you caught Warren's attention and energy set up a meeting and the purpose of the meeting was for you to explain to Warren why you, you did such a good job. What do you remember about that meeting?

Speaker 2:33:06I remember him as being just seeming like my grandfather. Yeah, that's a nice interested a guy. He's a nine or 10 years older than me, so I looked at him as a different generation. Of course he, everybody looks at Warren as being his own. He's just an amazing person. But he sticks to a formula. Yes. Discipline. Yeah. Discipline. He's like, you. He, he loves reading annual statements there. That's probably his favorite thing in life other than playing online bridge, which is some of your, one of your favorite things perhaps, but I like duplicate. I don't play online, but. Okay. Uh, do you think Warren learned something in that meeting with you? I don't know. I'd be. I'd be pleasantly surprised if he really did, but I think controlling, controlling your own destiny, writing business at the right time. All that. But he did that anyway.

Speaker 2:33:51So what, what do you think? So if you don't remember the specifics, what do you think you would have said to him in that meeting? Uh, just keeping your powder dry for the right time. Right. It's the same thing as, uh, investing in a good company because that's something that a gt is famous for and absolutely. And he must, he must, he must have known that too at the time himself. No cheat sheet came from nowhere. A gte was he graduated from a and we got an MBA, wharton, or I'm not sure where. And a fellow that Warren had named Mike Goldberg, really recruited a jete to the business. Gte New came in knowing nothing, knowing nothing. And in 1987, I think we had a big financial reinsurance insurance contract with a company called employers or Warsaw and USF and g was having some financial. No, this was later in 87.

Speaker 2:34:37This was more like 90 was having some financial difficulties and its capital was somewhat impaired. So we designed this reinsurance, financial transfer of loss reserves from employers of Wausau to us. But they didn't want to accept our, our security. So they said, well, we need somebody like Berkshire hathaway and follow this a lead. What? Legit knew nothing about financial reinsurance. So we designed the deal along with Heidi Hutter and Jay Novak who are now consultants and Austin. I'm a diamond something. Do you know the firm at all? To very interesting people. They were the real pioneers of financial reinsurance, Heidi and Jay there with the meeting last night at the dinner last night, so we did this big, big, several hundred million dollars of worker's comp cat last transfers, and that's what got a gte into that business. He had no idea what we were doing. We had an actuary named Charlie Hoffmeister who wrote 125 page treaty wording to handle this contract and this was the first finance big financial reinsurance treaty that ever occurred, was learning on the run. He's a quick learner as you know, and I'll bet you I'll bet he's done another 30, 40 of these deals, similar deals until they, until Sarbanes Oxley semi outlawed them and he did a couple. He's done in the last year. He's done one on a legal basis for Hartford and other for Aig. So it's still. Those things are still happening

Speaker 1:36:03but. But you know, I'm just thinking like 1992. You're meeting Warren Buffet, you're, you're, you must have felt a certain amount of satisfaction from the success that organizations have and you're working with really smart people. That's also really satisfying. You feel like you understand something that not necessarily anybody else understands and you retire.

Speaker 2:36:19Why retire? Oh Man, I wish I had a good answer for that. Um, the market was stagnating. Uh, I had some great people. Uh, I knew John Berger was ready to run the company if I stayed there would have been stifling for him a little bit, you know, we got along great. But everything, it's, everything just seemed to point for that. I love playing tennis and bridge and golf and I just wanted to control my own time. So in 1990, 19, 96 areas

Speaker 1:36:50retired. And so that was still fng at the time? Yes. And it was later sold.

Speaker 2:36:55So the cell, the St Paul, St Paul. And what, why was that do you think? Because you know, seven j, which still having financial problems with ge organization when the whole. Yeah, they became a hundred years old. They had a big party and I don't think they ever became 101. Right. That was the end. Yeah.

Speaker 1:37:10Oh, that must have been a difficult thing to then get absorbed because Saint Saint Paul have a reinsurance operation. They did. Right. So there's an integration there and that's always painful. Yeah.

Speaker 2:37:18Yeah. Our guys didn't necessarily come out on top. Yeah, Burger did. Burger was called in to run it, but the other guys had relatively key roles but not what they should have had.

Speaker 1:37:27Yeah. Or could have had. And so hence the seeding of many CEO ships around the marketplace perhaps over some time. Yeah. Yeah. So what do you think, what do you think has changed about the cycle over time, which we haven't mentioned the clock, so, or we should mention that right now. So in 1995, right around the time when you, I guess for joining us, we're just after, I guess you published this insurance cycle clock, which is an observation about patterns of behavior, if you can call it that, that, that, that market, the different phases of the cycle. So obviously you've witnessed, I guess you're building will probably only seen two or three cycle turns at that point, but they were consistent enough that you observed. Man, this is all the same. Every time there's another quote. Actually, I'll just, I'll get you to react after I read you this quote that I read of yours and you can tell me whether you think it's right or not or accurately, um, portrays your thoughts. It's the clock was there to visually remind people how stupid

Speaker 2:38:13I said that actually that was a quote from the chairman of a, of USF and g, uh, at that time, I can't even think of his name right now, but, uh, Jack Mosley, uh, you know, they were having this management meeting in Colorado. 100 people. I was the only one that had anything to do with reinsurance. They're all ladies guys for, you know, senior vice president of USF and g department heads, that kind of thing. A few ladies. Um, and I decided if I was going to make a half hour talk to a group of people I didn't know I wanted to make it interesting. So that's really what was it. I sat down and just started making notes of what happens generally and that's, that's how the clock was created. I wanted to, I wanted to make a half hour presentation. Interesting. Yeah.

Speaker 1:39:00Not always easy to do, but I think you. I think you nailed that one hall. I wasn't thinking. I'm curious about and maybe technical question. How did you. How did you set that thing back then? Because it's a circular Dick Gregory and I know a fun these days. I use some kind of software program which didn't exist back then. How did you actually make a clock with the text in it?

Speaker 2:39:16I didn't do it, David. We had a great systems guy named Johnny Kelly who did it right. He produced the clock for you? He did it. I, I had. I had penciled it all out. Donnie donny put it together.

Speaker 1:39:26Yeah. Interesting. And so I have a copy of it. Well, we'll definitely put a link up to, to have an image of, of the cloth for people look at after this.

Speaker 2:39:32When I was still, when I was still working, I go into an adult or adults would come and see me. They'd always have the clock with them. It'd be a clock taped up to their office. It was, it got, it had a life beyond well beyond what I ever thought it would have.

Speaker 1:39:44Well, it's amazing because I think the reason why it resonates, certainly white resonated for me and I only saw it a few months ago myself, is that it does, it does look like it hasn't changed very much and I'm wondering what do you think that's true? Is the cycle, is the cycle the same as it always has been?

Speaker 2:40:00Oh No, there was. There were. The fundamentals are the same. What would those be? A supply and demand oriented things. Pricing competition. Here's, here's my thesis on, on the clock. Fundamentally the market in terms of underwriting will not change until there's real fear. The matter what you talk about in terms of losses, cat losses in, in uh, in 2017, nobody's getting fired. Nobody's losing a lot of money. The cycle's not going to change. That's what it takes to change a cycle, right? For actual pain, pain, money going out the door, right? People getting fired. So what causes that? What causes the pain? Because underwriting losses,

Speaker 1:40:43right? And, and how, what causes the underwriting losses? I mean, I know the are underpricing business, but obviously people are talking themselves into the business that the price not being wrong to some degree.

Speaker 2:40:52Is that not what, what I, what I was quoted was Jack Mosley saying stupidity. I mean this is what Hellman and Friedman, the guys there. I got a Jack Bunch and John was crazy. That's what they loved about this investment and here's we're sitting at this meeting and Tucson lease says six hours. And he says, all right, I'm going to pencil in 500 million. And I saw Jack and John's jaw kind of dropped a little bit. Big number. Yeah, it went up. Well they put in to 50. So we had, we had about $300, million in risk capital and we had. So we were a little over a billion dollars between the three p three investments. What a beautiful thing to have three investors with a dollars. Amazing.

Speaker 1:41:34I'm sure many, many ceos listening to this. Should I be so bold to suggest they do be salivating over the prospect

Speaker 2:41:39December just so easy to deal with. And then you have a market that's taken off, it's above average. If we made a bin, they thought we were much better than we were because the results were fantastic.

Speaker 1:41:49Right. And that's the kind of one of the things that really fascinates me about that is the level of conviction required to, to in the market timing moment, right, to, to write that kind of check must be enormous. I mean, one for you to come out of retirement and for these guys, right? This giant check and for this team to get reassembled. I mean that's. You must've been very sure that, that it was. It was going to turn it around and then you're going to kind of ride again. What made you so sure.

Speaker 2:42:13Well thank you. Think back to that time. I mean you were, you were. How old were you that it was before I was in the business. I read a lot about it. Tell me a little interesting story if we have time. Yeah, yeah. Okay. We're, we're having the closing dinner in New York and in a group of us go out the PJ Clarke's and this. Don't forget, this closing took place at Merrill Lynch and the shadow of the trade center downtown. So we've got the PJ Clarke's and this is a, this is the end of October, 2001, and we're having a beer at the bar and there's two girls get up on, uh, on, on the bar and they start singing. God bless America. The whole place. I still get emotional about the whole place erupts. This, this is the other side of fear. This is contagious. This is positive contagion. Everybody was an American and proud of it. And we were, we were just so accidentally fortunate to be founded on the ashes of nine slash 11. I'm at the best time in the history of the business. Is that, if you think back to that, that unfortunately that was in our little business, the reinsurance minutes. That was the last time we felt fear.

Speaker 1:43:22MMM. And how did you, how did you know that? I mean, I think that people feel fear periodically, right? So this past year, we're recording this in January of 2018. So in the summer of 2017 you have a bunch of hurricanes in some people I think maybe we're surprised by that, um, but it wasn't strong enough and yet the reinsurance market I would say try to harden and wasn't quite as successful as maybe sort of the not successful for us in 2001. So how do you gauge that? I mean, when, when do you know it's really going to turn now

Speaker 2:43:51I just go back to what I said before about fear of losing jobs, a price dislocation. All of that's related. You can smell the fear. We are,

Speaker 1:44:01uh, when I, when I spoke to Joe Toronto, he said at the time in the 1985 term, he was running transatlantic re at the time and he said there is a, I forget exactly the quote, but he said something along the lines of there's all these green insurance underwriters so you're just trying to raise prices and keep the small lines. And he said, no, no, now's the time to let her rip. And something in a feeling you similarly had for arch at the time. And at that kind of call, it does take a certain amount of boldness and guts to, to believe that you have,

Speaker 2:44:33I don't know, it's sort of like going against the instincts which served you well during a soft market and just reversing course and changing direction quickly. Uh, how, how are you able to, to that, um, you have to be good at something or to survive and you have to be, you know, it's a different feeling if you're, if you're in the reinsurance business, you'd like to think of yourself as a risk taker. Right? When do you want to take risk? I'll tell you an interesting story about Joe and what he did, which I think is probably the second best thing ever done. Um, and I told him that as recently as last night, the worker's comp in this, in California was in the end the dregs. It was awful. Joe and almost no time at all set up, move the DNS company in there. Road wrote reinsurance, and he became the number two comp writer in California.

Speaker 2:45:16And just via his innate understanding that this been, this had the turn. Did he know it? He probably felt it with about 85 certainty. Was he willing to bet as future run it? Yeah, he was. But he knew what was happening. They say in the stock market that you can't time the market people try. And the idea there is that it's, it's, um, you know, usually the signals that are misleading enough that it's not a sure bet. And it seems to me that most of the most successful reinsurance people are successful precisely because they were able to time the market. Is there something different about it? No, that's it. You can figure it out. You hope you figured it out. Yeah. You put it together. It makes sense. You Act, sometimes you're going to be wrong. Is there a difference between a soft market and hard market strategy or is it all kind of.

Speaker 2:46:02Is there one unifying theme? Is it all the same thing? There's just such a thing as evolved into the other. Yeah. Dave, um, you know, you just have to be, you have to have the capital to act when the time is right. Standard and I, and in 1985 we knew things were going through the roof and we had a unofficial, a premium budget from USF and g were writing on their capital, but we had a meeting with the president up here in New York. We came in, he was at an isl meeting, uh, as one of their company representative and we told them what was going on and he looked at us and he said, you're much better able to write profitable business and we are through our agency plant personal lines, commercial lines just move faster than the personal lines and much of their business was small commercial or, or personal lines.

Speaker 2:46:48He said, I'm going to give you all the budget you need. So in a 20 minute meeting with Paul Shield, the president of USF and g, they made that the. He made that decision and that's really why we were able to write everything we did starting at 85 and especially 86, 87. What, what do you think about the idea that the cycles these days are less pronounced? The soft markets aren't as bad and the heart markets aren't as so far because you haven't seen a real hard market. Yeah, in a little while now. And I wonder how long the record's going to be a without price controls any way. I think about, in some ways the evolution of marketplace as, as being an evolution of personnel. So the point made earlier about the FNG leadership group, I've kind of moving around the rest of the business and themselves teaching. There's the coaching

Speaker 1:47:30tree, you know, use a football metaphor that emerges and, and you're at the top of the ball on that, but those people are running companies now. They understand what they're doing, right? So wouldn't there if there is there a world in which all the reinsurance companies are run by ex USF and g people and they're all just very disciplined. And so the cycle extinguishes itself,

Speaker 2:47:50is it possible? I suppose so. I suppose so, but in reality they're getting, we're getting old too, uh, you know, standards now working for risk, a tiger risk, uh, twice Dwight's retired. You know, John's just started another new company in Bermuda. So, but you know, we're not, we're not the only people out there by a long shot. We're probably one or two percent of the executives today. I mean we at one point we had almost every boy had a lot of people out there, but we're getting old and I told him, I said to John One time, he, he, he said, how come you got to know so many people? I said, well, all my friends got old. Well, so you spend the time when you're in your twenties and thirties networking and then if you're lucky enough to find yourself in a key position, those people are doing the same thing and are in key positions. So that's really. It's almost as simple as that.

Speaker 1:48:46And what did you do to network? Is this something you,

Speaker 2:48:50same thing, go drink it. No, I didn't do a lot, but speak at conferences, go to a lot of things like that. Do you get out of the office? You get out, you do things, you'd go visit companies, you find out what they're thinking and you either you either say, you talked to an operating guy or a ceo of a company. Say you say to yourself, that's really stupid. Let me see how it does, and in the reinsurance business you have a chance to track that. You have a chance to say, all right, does this guy at Indiana lumbermen's? Is his strategy really gonna work? And you look and you say, oh my gosh, it is working. He's he's cutting back, but he's going back to his focus on why he was formed in the first place or some guys want to grow like argonaut did and the and the boy. When interest rates go down, these guys are going to be left holding the terrible bag.

Speaker 1:49:38Yeah, it happens. Yeah. One of the thing that a lot of folks who have been at the business longer than I remark is the professionalization of the insurance and reinsurance business. People are much more, I guess better behave in more professional than they were 30, 40 years ago. Is that you're nodding your head. So that's an observation that you've made as well. Yes, but I'd throw a limitation out there. Okay. It

Speaker 2:49:59definitely is the absolutely agreed. End of sentence. I'll throw in another caveat though. You can't ever mechanize things. You have to go with the feel. You have to understand that we're going through actuarial analysis. We've done, we've done outside audit, but is this still the right time? We, uh, you, you've got to. There has to be a subjective field amount to that. Why did Joe Toronto go into Worker's comp in California? The, the tail on that, uh, so long you can never be totally comfortable with it, but he knew there was a lack of market availability and that's the same thing with excess liability or, or any class it's going to get into law, especially long tail problems. The short tail, the cat businesses, pretty easy falling off a log almost if you had the perspective and you keep your powder dry. But the casually that's long tail casualty is a tough business.

Speaker 2:50:48Excess workers comp, tough businesses. So how does, how does a discipline underwriters so survived during the soft market? If it lasts for a couple back, cut back, cut back, and you can cut back to zero, at which point you're out of business. Well, we never did that. As I said, we had six contracts in casualty business. A Dwight Evans created a thing called the marketing clock, which was, uh, you know, I haven't seen that. Well, he actually, he produced it. And what it is, is think golf, play golf. Um, you know, you have a little more time for vacation time. Tell them. One thing we did at Fmg reef for example, was when we'd have a, a, like a Martin Luther King, we, we'd have a half staff in for an extra day. We'd have everybody take a four day weekend instead of three days when, when, when we did, because it just emphasized the fact that we didn't want you to write business.

Speaker 2:51:36You weren't there to, to, um, show us premium growth. You were there to look for opportunities. So think golf, get out and market, but less than we want to do is execute alive. So what I want have an actuary, so actually is, are more common now than they were back in his eighties, nineties. You could point to a correlation between the rise of the actuary and the softening of the cycles or know sort of dampening of the cycles. Let's call it used something may or do you think after it's contributed to, and let's just say actually is maybe a little bit of a loaded term given that I'm an actuary, so I don't want you to feel constrained in how you respond, but no data. So analysis, there's more information is better quality information and people are in allies to get more carefully. They understand it better.

Speaker 2:52:16Probably it has that, has that given any benefit to the strategic side of business? Absolutely. And the person I mentioned, Roy Simon had credentials. He was head of the, he was an actuary head of the casualty actuarial society and for one year. So we had and we had a whole actuarial department, um, and it was headed up by Charlie muster. And, and, and the guy named Dave Skurnik, who was an ultimate weapon, a actuarial, had a brain that very few people could cope with. He was one of the smartest people I ever met and standard gym standard, all of them fairly bright actuaries. So what happened was actually started running companies. Yep. It didn't always work as one of the best and brightest IRA met was a guy named Ron Ferguson who ran general re and general raised lost reserves. I mean, I say this with all due credit to Ron. He was an outstanding person and a great actuary. Again, head of the world society, but they got things a little bit wrong in terms of what do people get wrong in those situations. That's development, right? It has ended up under reserved. I hadn't. How does that happen? Then? Connect the dots, right? I guess self delusion is that, you know, you're hoping is that as a is something they are going on. I mean, you want it to be a certain way then you just

Speaker 2:53:27well under do it, but I think that's part of it. You'll, you'll do the best you can based upon the past. You connect the dots based on last development timing. Severity. Severity is probably the biggest thing that the dots connect timewise, but severity, when you start getting more liberal, courts severity can get out of control, so you would naturally do, but he connects frequencies and severities frequencies are manageable severities though if they're, if they're escalating. That's what I suspect happened to general rate, but I'm not sure of that. And general read it had the best. There was a line Atlanta, my first retirement party. Ted Blanche had a great line. He was sitting at my, you know, the people that I really wanted to make sure and so ted gets up and says there, there was a born heater, Ferguson actuarial, if you've heard of it. He says, here I am. I've even hired a few actuaries now and here tonight at Paul's Party. I'm sitting between the formula.

Speaker 1:54:22Oh definitely. And also a former podcast guest. It was a what a guy. What a great person. He is a remarkable guy. Still at 81, 82 years old. He's still gonna sell starting new companies. What's amazing about that, and this is a little pitch for the other show that I had with Ted, is the thing that most impresses me. Maybe one one was impressive achievements. I think I've ever heard of his Ted as I put it, changed the economic geography. United States. He created a reinsurance business in Minneapolis whereas one didn't exist before and wouldn't have started, were it not for him, I believe. And that's a, that's a, that's a mark on the world that has an easy to replicate.

Speaker 2:54:55Yeah. And in truth though, his father started the business. Yes, that's right. And then Ted was a guy that we brought in actuaries and brought in modeling. Uh, he had hired a great guy named Frank Wilkinson and frank believed in the cat modeling and all that. So all of this came about about the same time that I was doing my master's thesis. So glance started moving into the, they were the first broker to really emphasize modeling and, and, and they did a, they hired, they hired bright actuaries, unheard of for brokers at that point to have actuaries. But they did, and now look, you're one of them.

Speaker 1:55:27Do you feel like there's a similar moment happening now? Like what are these days, and maybe this is, you know, we'll close on some thoughts here. What do you think are some equally interesting developments changes in the marketplace that might be happening right now. You're chairman of spinnaker insurance company, which is an interesting platform as well, which I think of that is as really capitalizing on how you can have a real thin but a high high of almost like a reinsurance looking insurance company and that's something that couldn't always exist. What, what else do you see today that really interests you? Do you think that might be a trend that's worth watching?

Speaker 2:55:59You know, it's hard to pick out one thing spinnaker's plan as to is to write standard homo, h o three business in areas where there's capacity problems that aren't many of those. So our biggest state right now is, um, is probably Oklahoma from all the tornado history. They had a, you know, we're trying to, in a small way, we only have 40 million of capital. The last year we would do about 30 million of premium, so we're, we're growing but not, not real quickly, but I don't know that I've answered your question. I'm thinking,

Speaker 1:56:31you know, let's, let's, let's use the word in insuretech if we can invoke something that, that is a buzzword and all of that and I think I think legitimately exciting idea that we can apply technology and improve the way insurance companies work. What do you think about that? Absolutely agree. Yeah, no question about it and big technological changes or your career. Obviously cat modeling. One of the ones that I think is maybe under appreciated is the degree to which just just data is just better and people can, can build a model of an insurance company and you can monitor operations more carefully, which I think is probably allowed insurance companies to be bigger and they did grow in size over the course of your career in terms of employees, insurance companies. Is that something you'd agree with?

Speaker 2:57:11Yeah, yeah. I mean, I heard last night that archie has something like 3000 employees. That's good for them. That's a medium sized insurance company these days. Not even that big arch. Really. A conglomeration of specialties.

Speaker 1:57:25Yeah. Do you think that something's enabled organizations to be larger in particular?

Speaker 2:57:31It was almost full. I'm a smaller company guy. Yeah. Yeah. I'm a little bit bothered by the size of arch, but everything else I do is so great that I think they can handle it for the foreseeable future.

Speaker 1:57:40Yeah. Yeah. Uh, so, so you have retired twice and I was interesting. I don't know, I guess the terms of your employment and the rebirth of art. So archie existed before you joined with the dinos and mark and others?

Speaker 2:57:56No, nothing knows. They're just enjoying that? No, Dino's came in in January of two. Okay. Alright. Oh, he'd been there. I said White. Mark and I were there at the birth. Right where the investors. Yeah. And you didn't intend to stay there very long. Oh No, no. I was in. I was all in.

Speaker 1:58:16Okay. All right. I thought I thought I read somewhere that, that you had you had sort of this planned disengagement? No. Okay. No.

Speaker 2:58:23Ms Dot dot, dot. All right. I just got tired of going to Bermuda every week. It took nine years. I went to Bermuda almost on a weekly basis and I was an older guy. I was 70 years old by the time I retired again.

Speaker 1:58:34Yeah. That's tough. The community, what would you. How do you decide to do that or not? I'm not sure I could handle that.

Speaker 2:58:40You just know you wake up in the morning and if they don't, I don't really want to go jump on the plane today and you start thinking maybe to it and it'd be in the next week. You didn't have the same thought again, but it was when the gunfire, you get up and you go and when the business starts getting a little dull, then maybe you have that thought process a little bit more.

Speaker 1:58:56Yeah. One other real, I think real important characteristic of your career. It's just the quality of people that you've worked with. How do you. How do you think about attracting the best talent?

Speaker 2:59:07I, I don't. I hire people I like. Yeah. And hopefully they have a talent. I mean, almost everybody I hired had a particular talent. Yeah. And, and say Dwight's case, he was a great people person. John Combined, both of them standard was a great

Speaker 1:59:22technical person and you know, we all had our skills. Those are very divergent qualities. Yeah. I guess. And people confuse me with being an actuary. So I always like that. Interesting. Which I'm not. Yeah. Right, right, right. Uh, but I don't think that hurt you in any way. Uh, so, uh, one last closing thoughts if you need advice for folks out there. There's a younger crowd, slightly, I think that. Listen to this podcast, what do you have? Any thoughts? Usually people with good technically get technically competent and network yourself. My guest today is Paul and Chris. Thank you very much, Paul. Thank you, David. It's been a pleasure. Thanks.

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