"Being responsible for the overall financial operations for multiple legal entities across the globe has provided me with the opportunity to meet and work with people with divergent backgrounds and perspectives. "
Kirk Lusk was named chief financial officer of Narragansett Bay Insurance Co., based in Pawtucket, in January. Lusk has 20 years of experience in finance and insurance as an underwriter, controller and chief financial officer. He was previously vice president of finance for The Hartford and was CFO – international for Aetna, where he was responsible for 20 legal entities in the U.S., Bermuda, China, Dubai, Ireland and the U.K. He has an MBA from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College.
PBN: Your new position as CFO of Narragansett Bay Insurance Co. puts you at the head of a team that’s overseen substantial growth in the past three years. What’s the reason for that growth? Considering the nation’s slowly recovering economy, is that growth common or unusual for the industry at this time?
LUSK: The company has seen revenue increase by 280 percent over the past three years. The growth stems from the financial strength and backing that the company has received and also by the need for our product in the market. Although the growth might be above average, it was not unexpected given the markets receptiveness to the products and financial strength. The entire team made tremendous contributions to the company’s success during this time of remarkable growth. As the overall economy continues its recovery, companies like Narragansett Bay Insurance Company will adapt to changing market conditions and focus on the best practices that led to our initial success.
PBN: How do you plan to capitalize on the changing market conditions?
LUSK: NBIC will continue to evaluate and adapt our model for success, which has been focusing on homeowner’s insurance exclusively. We have been fortunate to work with some of the top independent insurance agents in our markets, and we will return our focus on those partners who have helped the company since its inception.
PBN: Your experience includes substantial international work. How will that benefit you as CFO of the Pawtucket-based Narragansett Bay Insurance Co.?
LUSK: Being responsible for the overall financial operations for multiple legal entities across the globe has provided me with the opportunity to meet and work with people with divergent backgrounds and perspectives. Being able to harness the strength of those differing views and to apply global best practices is a benefit that can be directly applied at Narragansett Bay Insurance Company.
PBN: Your analytical skills are pointed out as a critical factor in the company’s future growth. What do you think are your strongest skills that will help the company achieve its goals?
LUSK: Strong analytical skills are essential to anyone who is asked to serve as a CFO. I think that my experience working for some of the nation’s top insurers will be especially helpful as NBIC takes the next step in its evolutionary growth. I plan to apply the same types of procedures and applications in finance that I learned and applied in the past to the future operations at NBIC.
PBN: How do you see Rhode Island’s position in your industry? Do you think it has potential to strengthen?
LUSK: Rhode Island historically has been a strong market for insurance with both national and regional mutual companies that call the state home. The independent agents in Rhode Island are well recognized for training students for careers in the insurance industry. Efforts like these that are focused on jobs in the financial sector are important to growing the local economy. I think the state has positioned itself well to see even more growth in the industry.