Stephen Catlin was first approached to chair the new Insurance Development Forum nearly three years ago. His recruiter was Rowan Douglas, CEO of Willis Towers Watson’s Capital, Science, and Policy division.
“Why me?” Catlin asked.
“We need a heavy hitter,” Douglas replied.
“My question stands!” Catlin retorted. “I think it is a worthwhile cause, but can I add value?”
Catlin was an employee then, following the sale of his Lloyd’s business to XL Group. He had to ask his CEO, Mike McGavick. The boss was emphatically on board.
“Stephen, it is absolutely a worthwhile cause, and I would love us to be associated,” McGavick told Catlin, “and you have the time and the network to do it, so I would like you to do it.”
“I thought about what came next and how I, as an individual, had set up a company from scratch,” Catlin recalls. “When you do that, your first goal is to try to survive, to pay the mortgage. I’d had 10 years of that when I set up the syndicate. Beyond that, for me, adding value and making a difference became much more important. If you do that, making money is a byproduct.”
On the basis that he could add value, Catlin said he would give it a go. “The test was the steering committee,” he admits. “I got it together myself in two weeks. It speaks to the importance of the subject matter to the individuals. They bought into the IDF, and I am fortunate to have their support.”