Dick Davies, Senior Vice President and Director of U.S. RE Corporation
Editor's Note: Here's another in our series of occasional profiles of the executives and staff who make up the U.S. RE team.
With his British sense of humor and jaunty accent, Dick Davies belies the typical image of a Chief Financial Officer. In fact, he can say no to associates' spending proposals and send them out of his office laughing.
You'd never know he was the youngest Brit ever to become a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales when he achieved the designation equivalent to CPA in the U.S. So much for the Scrooge image.
However, Dick's light-hearted approach also belies his intensely serious commitment to the growth and development of U.S. RE into a leader in reinsurance and related financial services. As Dick puts it, his goal has always been "to be an integral part of a management team that is acknowledged by its competition as being the most dynamic, innovative, and successful in its field." As one of the founding members of U.S. RE, Dick has devoted the last 12 years of his life to help achieve that goal.
He relished hard work, especially in connection with exciting new projects. And he doesn't mind all-nighters when they're required to get the job done. Not long ago, he and associates worked 'til dawn to meet a deadline critical to the formation of QualSure Insurance Corporation, the new Florida company in which U.S. RE has a major interest.Dick's day-to-day responsibilities cut across a number of vital company activities. He's responsible for administration, accounting, banking, investment, and personnel functions. He serves on the Board of U.S. RE Corporation, the brokerage arm of the U.S. RE Group.
How did a young English chap from Birmingham whose passion was soccer cross the Atlantic to carve out a career in the business of insurance? After training with the Aston Villa professional soccer team for two years, he decided to give up pro sports for the proper business of accounting. This led to nine years as an audit manager with the accounting firm Kidson's.
Then opportunity knocked. Price Waterhouse offered Dick a move to Bermuda where he was assigned to clients in the Crown Colony's fastest growing business sector - insurance and reinsurance. It only took a couple of years for Dick to be spotted as a young businessman with the potential to move beyond auditing into financial operations and management. The US-based global insurance broker, Johnson & Higgins, appointed Dick as Vice President - Chief Financial Officer of its Bermuda operation. In this job he was responsible for administration and financial operations of over 100 internationally owned reinsurance companies. In the mid-Atlantic colony he was able to combine his insurance career with his love for soccer as a star player on the Bermuda Athletic Association Wanderers team.
Four years later he said goodbye to the relaxed lifestyle of the resort island. He turned in his blue blazer, Bermuda shorts, and knee socks for a Brooks Brothers gray flannel suit and striped tie in New York. J&H had promoted him to Assistant Vice President - Risk Management Services at the Manhattan headquarters. Soon after, he moved up to Vice President - International Reinsurance.
As the 80's rolled along, Dick became friends with Tal Piccione and Joe Fedor when they were carrying the Guy Carpenter banner. In 1988, Tal and Joe recruited Dick and Brian McGuire to start a new reinsurance brokerage firm, U.S. RE. It was an audacious move in the business known for clubby relationships that lasted for years - sometimes generations. Dick was excited about the opportunity to build a business from the ground up so he signed on. He takes pride in having produced the Company's first "Name" conventional reinsurance account.
Dick's weekends are devoted to his family. After breaking a leg a few years ago, he gave up soccer for tennis which he plays with his wife, Joan, of 19 years. Dick and Joan treasure time with their daughters, Christine, 17 and Laura, 15, who attend high school in their home community of Fairlawn, NJ. Their third daughter, Alexandra, 6, enters first grade in September.
Over the years, Dick has been a key player in the growth and development of U.S. RE Corporation, the brokerage arm. Thanks to Dick and his team, U.S. RE has state-of-the art computer information systems to support Company operations. He's also been directly involved in U.S. RE's diversification into related insurance and reinsurance arenas. Dick is as competitive on the U.S. RE senior management team today as he once was on the soccer field.