U.S. RE People: Senior Vice President Larry Shatoff
Question: When reinsurance brokers get together, is there a Mathematics Ph.D. in the crowd? Answer: Yes, if the gathering includes the senior team at U.S. RE.
Larry Shatoff refuses to be addressed as Doctor. He left the ivied halls of academe behind many years ago, but he retains the razor-sharp precision of a mathematical mind when putting complex deals together for U.S. RE clients.
He joined the Company two years ago as Senior Vice President with a mandate to build U.S. RE's fast growing business in the specialty and managing general agency arena. Since then he has produced an expanding book of business in a variety of specialty areas including professional liability, non-standard auto, trucking, workers' comp, and others. Larry gives a lot of credit to his team including Assistant Vice President Steve Kent who operates as a senior broker and Joan Rambudahn who provides technical support to the group. Vice President Paul Dzielinski also works with Larry on a number of important projects.
How did Larry make the uncommon transition from mathematician to reinsurance broker? After obtaining his Ph.D. at Duke, he spent four fulfilling years as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He and his wife of 35 years, Carol, had two young sons. Larry greatly enjoyed teaching, but with the young family, he began to think about a career change that would offer more income potential.
Becoming an actuary was a natural move for a math major. So he joined Prudential Property and Casualty, took the actuarial exams, and spent three years in Pru P&C's personal lines rate making area. The next big move came when he joined Towers Perrin in Philadelphia as a consulting actuary. Before long he was involved in general management consulting for insurance companies plus merger and acquisition work. This led to a transfer to Towers Perrin's reinsurance operation where his life as a broker began. This was in 1985. Reinsurance was becoming more technically oriented. His math and actuarial knowledge was an asset few brokers possessed. For the next few years he specialized in casualty business for giants including AIG and The Hartford, as well as a number of smaller specialty companies.
In 1990 Larry joined Intere where he spent five years. The next move was to Balis & Company, the Guy Carpenter subsidiary, where he built a reputation as a top broker for Specialty Company and MGA business. For the last two years he's been putting this expertise to work for U.S. RE.
Larry is one of the rare reinsurance pros who doesn't spend his spare time on the golf course. His passion is cycling. Larry and Carol have ridden their bikes over much of America and Europe. They recently returned from two weeks cycling through the majestic scenery of Alaska. On this trip they put in some time sea kayaking near Valdez where they made way by pushing chunks of glacier aside with their paddles. Alaska was challenging, but their most arduous biking adventure was a recent ride around The Big Island of Hawaii where they covered 55 to 60 miles per day over rugged terrain.
Larry grew up in Rochester, New York, and did his undergraduate work at SUNY-Buffalo. He is a member of the Casualty Actuarial Society and the American Academy of Actuaries.
Will Larry ever go back to the world of theorems and equations? Not likely. He finds reinsurance challenging and exciting - especially the opportunity to build a thriving business for U.S. RE in alternative risk transfer, MGA activity, program business, specialty lines, and related areas.