The Intersection of Risk and Finance
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The Intersection of Risk and Finance

The 5th Annual Barney Intersection of Risk and Finance Symposium will take place on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 in Millard Auditorium from 5pm to 8pm. This year’s speakers are Joseph F. Coughlin, Varun Chandra, Brandt McKee and Michael Rice.

Register here by November 12, 2016.


Joseph F. Coughlin

Joseph F. Coughlin, a 1980 University of Hartford graduate and current member of its board of regents, is chief executive officer and founder of Corporate Risk Solutions, LLC (CRS). He has more than 30 years of experience in the consulting, advisory, underwriting, and brokerage segments of the insurance industry. Coughlin has completed many complex engagements and provided ongoing stewardship for many of the largest and most intricate transactions within the private equity and distressed debt markets.

Before forming CRS in March of 2002, Coughlin founded and served as president of JFC Consulting, Inc., the first truly innovative risk advisor to the sponsored alternative capital sector. From 1985 to 2000, he aggregated the largest centralized block of private equity insurance buying power in the industry before selling to a large insurance brokerage firm in 2000.

Coughlin has been an active investor in a number of private equity and venture capital partnerships. He has also been an active individual investor in a host of start-up companies and has served on many for-profit and not-for-profit boards. He currently sits on the University of Hartford Board of Regents, the Westchester-Putnam Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the University of Notre Dame Arts and Letters Advisory Council.

A three-sport athlete as an undergraduate at the University of Hartford, Coughlin has been a University regent since 2011. He has been a member of the board of regents’ Athletics Committee since 2012 and its Athletic Development Committee since 2013.

He is an Eagle Scout.

Varun Chandra

Varun Chandra joined Hakluyt & Company (a global advisory and strategic intelligence firm) in 2014, where, as a partner, he both heads up the firm’s North American private equity and financial sponsors practice, and leads its work in Canada.
Prior to this, he worked in M&A and capital markets investment banking at Lehman Brothers, with a particular focus on coverage of European institutional investors. He spent five years working with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, advising Mr. Blair on matters relating to political economy as well as helping to build the regulated advisory firm Tony Blair Associates, originating and facilitating direct investments by sovereign wealth funds into emerging markets businesses. He also helped early-stage companies based in the U.S. and Europe with their international partnerships and expansion strategies.
In addition, Varun was an economic adviser to a former UK Foreign Secretary, and helped found two start-ups in education and in agriculture. He also sits on various non-profit boards, both in the U.S. and U.K. Varun was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, and graduated from Magdalen College, the University of Oxford, with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Brandt F. McKee

Brandt F. McKee, Senior Managing Director. Mr. McKee joined Centerbridge in 2008 and leads the Firm's portfolio operations team globally. Prior to joining Centerbridge, between 2005 and 2008, Mr. McKee was a Member of TPG Capital LP's ("TPG Capital") Operating Group. Between 2001 and 2005, Mr. McKee worked at AlixPartners, LLC, where he focused on middle market turnarounds and large company performance improvement. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. McKee served as Senior Director of Operations for, an online photo retailer.

Prior to business school, Mr. McKee served four years as a Cryptologic Officer in the U.S. Navy. Mr. McKee received his M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Economics, summa cum laude, from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. McKee currently serves as a Director for Cardinal Logistics Management Inc. He is a board observer working with management for numerous other Centerbridge investments.


Michael Rice

Mike Rice joined JLT in 2014 as the Chief Executive Officer of the US Specialty division.  Mike is responsible for overseeing the US operations and growth of the business.

Prior to joining JLT, Mike held several senior level positions within Aon over a 25 year career.  This experience included the Global Head of Sales for Aon Risk Solutions, the CEO of the Financial Services Group and the head of the technology practice.  Mike worked extensively in London and across the globe. 

After graduating from Boston College with a degree in Finance, Mike began his career as an executive liability underwriter with Virginia Surety Companies in 1989.  He became an insurance broker 1991 with NCC (a Lloyd’s broker) before joining the US Retail brokerage arm of Aon in 1992.