Sunshine in Times Square

This past week I was at the annual Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) D&O Symposium at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, New York. The weather on the Tuesday arrival day was unusually clement for early February in New York, and even though rain moved in on Wednesday evening, the good vibe on arrival day seemed to carry through the conference.


On Thursday morning it was my honor and privilege to moderate a panel on the topic of the U.S. Supreme Court and its impact on D&O liability and insurance. The panel featured a distinguished line-up of speakers, including Doug Greene of the Baker & Hostetler law firm; Tammy Yuen of the Skarzynski Black law firm; Beth Goldberg of Starr Insurance; and John Favella of Berkley Professional Liability. It was a lively and interesting panel session and it was a pleasure to be a part of it.


With the panelists after the session: Tammy Yuen, Doug Greene, Beth Greenberg, and John Favilla


At the conference, I saw many old friends and made some new friends, as well. One of the conference attendees — the person who may have traveled the furthest in order to attend– was my good friend, Jeremy Scott-Mackenzie, of Swiss Re, in Sydney, Australia. Jeremy participated in the conference as a panelist. In addition to being a seasoned veteran of the Australian D&O marketplace, Jeremy is also the President of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG), the Australian equivalent of PLUS. It was great to have the chance to introduce Jeremy to Carl Metzger, of the Goodwin Proctor law firm, who is the current President of PLUS, as pictured below.


With Jeremy Scott-Mackenzie and Carl Metzger


And speaking of conference attendees who traveled a long way to attend the conference, the list of attendees also included my friends Peter Schlamberger and Vanja Nadai, both of Polaris Underwriting. Peter is based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Vanja is based on Zagreb, Croatia. As it if were not already obvious from the distance that some of the conference participants travelled in order to attend, it is worth pointing out that these days D&O is a truly global business.


Vanja Nadali and Peter Schlamberger


From the Vault: [Editor’s Note: In preparation for my panel I reviewed some old blog posts, and I came across this item from 2011.] In her fascinating article about soccer in Turkey in the March 7, 2011 issue of The New Yorker entitled “The View from the Stands” (here), Elif Batuman reported the following comments of one fan of the Beşiktaş team about the team and its followers (who are known as Çarşi):


He characterized Beşiktaş as the team of the unexpected, the team of underdogs, and talked about Çarşi’s slogans, which are unveiled on giant banners during matches. “We are all Black,” proclaimed one banner, after rival fans had made references to the race of the French-Senegalese Beşiktaş star Pascal Nouma. When [competitior] Fenerbahçe disparaged a Beşiktaş manager whose father had been a janitor, there were banners saying “We Are All Janitors.” And when an international committee of astronomers removed Pluto from the list of planets Çarşi took up the cause: “We Are All Pluto.”