If you walked through the offices of XL Catlin in Stamford, Conn., you’d see Chief Financial Officer Peter Porrino’s office right next to the office of Chief Executive Officer Mike McGavick.

Executive Summary

A deep focus on partnering with XL Catlin's insurance and reinsurance business teams explains the operating model for the group's finance team—and reveals the thinking of CFO Peter Porrino, for whom forging a partnership with the CEO and collaborating with other leadership team members are among the biggest responsibilities and the greatest rewards of the CFO job.

The office design and the organizational structure of the finance department overall reflects Porrino’s idea of what CFOs and other finance professionals in property/casualty insurance companies should be: partners.

Not only does Porrino list his partnership with McGavick first when asked to describe his responsibilities as CFO, he emphasizes partnering again when he describes the finance target operating model in place at XL Catlin.

Porrino, a former global insurance industry leader for Ernst & Young, developed his vision for structuring XL Catlin’s finance operations by observing a lot of different models among EY clients and assessing which worked well and which didn’t quite hit the mark. “What we tried to do here was to really make sure that there is a deep focus on partnering with the businesses—the underwriting units and the geographies, both in insurance and in reinsurance,” he said.

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