The leaders of operations of property/casualty companies carry various titles and have a wide range of responsibilities—so different, in fact, that even industry executive placement experts have a hard time defining this category of professionals.

Executive Summary

Throughout this month, Carrier Management is providing different perspectives on the role of leaders of operations in the C-suite—chief operating officers and chief operations officers. Here, executive placement experts Gregory Jacobson and Erin Hamrick discuss the qualities they look for when placing COOs at property/casualty insurance companies.

Erin Hamrick, a partner with Sterling James, a New York-based insurance industry executive search firm, attempts one categorization—putting operations executives in two buckets.

“In organizations where you have a CEO who is ‘Mr. External,'” complementing that CEO may be a chief operating officer, or “Mr. Internal”—someone who “will almost be a de facto president.” That type of operating officer may have the business units reporting to him or her but not the back office, Hamrick says.

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