Understanding the US Consumer October 28, 2010

Key Speakers

Mike Foley

Mike Foley (KSM '89)

CEO of Zurich North America Commercial
Managing International Risk with Insurance

Mike Foley serves as chief executive officer of Zurich's North America Commercial business division and is also a member of the Zurich Group Executive Committee (GEC).

Mr. Foley became CEO effective Jan. 1, 2008. His previous position was North America Commercial Chief Operating Officer, where he was responsible for all operating matters relating to NAC's businesses and functions as well as driving strategic initiatives. He also had responsibility for Corporate Operations, Business Engineering and Group IT/North America.

Prior to joining Zurich in 2006, Mr. Foley served as the leader of McKinsey & Company’s North American Property & Casualty insurance practice. He joined McKinsey in 1996 and was named a principal in 2001.

Mr. Foley holds a master's degree from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in mathematics and economics from Fairfield University.

Sam Zell

Brian Wesbury (KSM '89)

Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P.
Global Outlooks

Brian Wesbury is Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P., a financial services firm based in Wheaton, Illinois. The Wall Street Journal ranked Mr. Wesbury the nation’s #1 U.S. economic forecaster in 2001, USA Today ranked him as one of the nation’s top 10 forecasters in 2004 and Speakers Platform named him a Top 5 Keynote Speaker in 2011.

Mr. Wesbury is a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He is also a frequent guest on Fox, Bloomberg, CNBC TV and BNN Canada TV.

Mr. Wesbury began his career in 1982 at the Harris Bank in Chicago. Former positions include Vice President and Economist for the Chicago Corporation and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for Griffin, Kubik, Stephens, & Thompson. In 1995 and 1996, he served as Chief Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.

Brian C. Elowe

Brian C. Elowe

Managing Director of Global Risk Management, Marsh
Managing Global Risk

Brian Elowe is the Client Relationship Leader within Marsh’s Global Risk Management sector.  In this role, he works with several of the firm’s key global clients, and also leads senior client management professionals in Marsh’s Global Risk Management segment.  Prior to this, Brian was head of Client Relationship Management for Marsh in North America (2004-2007); leading the development of our client service platform, and Marsh’s most client engagement professionals across North America.

He is a member of the Marsh Global Executive Committee, and also leads the Pricing strategies for Marsh in the U.S.

Brian originally joined Marsh in 1981 in the New York Office where he brokered Global Property Accounts for the firm.  Since that time, he has held increasingly broader client service and management positions; head of the New England Operations’ Financial and Professional Services (FINPRO) Group (1992-1995), Head Of Sales (1996-98), Head Of Client Executives and Sales (1998-1999), COO for New England Operations from 1999 to 2003, and Head of Client Executives and Industry Groups for the Northeast Region from 2003-04.

Brian’s client work has centered primarily on the financial services and global industrial sectors.  He is one of the key architects of Marsh’s Dynamic Risk Framework, and is often called upon to help develop strategic risk management strategies for our most complex global clients. Mr. Elowe received his B.A. in Organizational Psychology from Connecticut College.


Sergio Rebelo

Sergio Rebelo

Tokai Bank Professor of Finance

Sergio Rebelo is the Tokai Bank Professor of International Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, where he has served as Chair of the Finance Department. Prior to joining Kellogg Rebelo taught at the University of Rochester and at the Portuguese Catholic University.


Russell Walker

Russell Walker (EMP)

Senior Lecturer of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences, Associate Director of the Zell Center for Risk Management

Russell Walker, Ph.D. is the Associate Director of the Zell Center for Risk Research at Kellogg. His expertise is in the application of analytics in business, with specific emphasis to marketing and risk management decisions. He serves as the academic director for executive education in risk management offered by Kellogg through its partnership with PRMIA. His research interests include how organizations deploy analytics, the use of information in enterprise risk management, managing strategic risk, and emergence of “data creators” in the post information age.

Ira Chaplik

Ira Chaplik is chief operating officer of Equity International.

Mr. Chaplik has been associated with the Company since its inception in 1999 and is primarily responsible for the operations and legal management of the Company and its investment portfolio. He is a director of various portfolio companies.

From 1989 to 1999, Mr. Chaplik was with Equity Group Investments, LLC (EGI), the privately held investment company founded and led by Sam Zell. At EGI, he played a key role in many real estate transactions involving Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP), Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), and Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS), as well as the four Zell/Merrill Lynch funds, which led to the creation of EOP. He was also involved in numerous corporate transactions including the Zell/Chilmark Fund, as well as acquisitions, dispositions and financing of both public and private companies. Previously, Mr. Chaplik was an associate at the law firm of Altheimer & Gray.

Mr. Chaplik earned a BS in accounting and JD from the University of Illinois. Mr. Chaplik is also a certified public accountant.

Bill Skapof

Bill Skapof is Senior Vice President and Business Head for Zurich’s North American Commercial International Initiative.  He is also responsible for Distribution Management for Commercial Markets.  Mr. Skapof joined Zurich in May 2008 and helped to create Zurich Integrated Products (ZIP), a business unit with a distinct value proposition serving commercial customers with $5 million - $25 million in annual revenue.

In early 2010, ZIP was integrated into the Commercial Markets group, and Mr. Skapof assumed leadership for marketing and distribution management for the group.  

Prior to joining Zurich in April 2008, he served as Senior Vice President for Marketing and Distribution of AIG's Small Business unit, a position he held for four years.  During that time, the business grew from $250 million to $712 million.  Mr. Skapof built his career creating successful International capabilities for CIGNA, ACE and AIG.
Mr. Skapof holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Hofstra University and has attended executive management/leadership education at Columbia University and Havard Business School.

Presented By:



12-1:00 PM

1:00-2:00 PM
Michael Foley
CEO of Zurich North America
"Managing International Risk with

2:00-3:00 PM
Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P.
"Global Outlooks”

3-3:30 PM

3:30-4:30 PM
Brian Elowe
Managing Director, Marsh Global Risk
"Managing Global Risk"

4:30-5:30 PM
Panel Discussion:
Sergio Rebelo, Russell Walker, Ira Chaplik, Bill Skapof

5:30-6:30 PM
Networking Session
(Wine and Cheese will be served)

Registration Fees

$30 per person
Register now!


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Russell Walker

Executive course offerings:

Enterprise Risk Management in a New Environment
Chicago: May 5-6, 2011.

A Complete Course in Risk Management
Chicago: July 18-22, 2011.

Enterprise Risk Management in a New Environment
Chicago: September 15-16, 2011.

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