Europe Chapter CPCU profiles -Clive

Tue, 05/31/2022 - 15:50
by Elaine George

May 5, 2022


Meet Clive O'Connell, Partner, Head of Insurance and Reinsurance at McCarthy Denning, the CPCU Society First Pathway member and a Director of the CPCU Society Europe Chapter.  


Clive, what is your current role?

I am a partner and head of Insurance and Reinsurance at the London law firm McCarthy Denning as well as being a non-executive director of Twelve Capital UK Limited, the ILS fund manager and the non-executive Chair of Yokahu an Insurtech start up focusing on parametric insurance for natural disasters.

How did you come to the industry?

Forty years ago, as a young lawyer, I assisted on a Lloyd’s regulatory case. I was gripped. The mechanisms of the market and the role of insurance and reinsurance in the world, fascinated me. I sought a job working exclusively in the area of reinsurance and complex risk transfer law and have been working in that field ever since with an ever-growing level of enthusiasm.

What are the greatest challenges on your horizon?

To keep abreast of the developments in risk transfer and to understand them sufficiently to see how laws developed in the Victorian era and regulations devised to meet problems that arose twenty or thirty years ago, apply to novel concepts.

Who was the greatest influence on your career?

Jeffrey Maunsell, the lawyer who I worked for during my “gap year” when I was 17 years old, fresh out of school and before embarking on my law studies as well as later when I was undertaking my training. He taught me so much about the ethical responsibility of lawyers and the need for to attention to detail.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

People. Words, numbers, different countries, but mainly people.

  We understand that you do not hold the CPCU designation. Why did you decide to join the society regardless of the designation? What are the benefits for you?

I am ashamed to say that I have not set out to gain my CPCU designation. If I was a young lawyer today, I certainly would. I was introduced to the Society a decade ago when I was invited to speak to the European Chapter. They must have liked what I said, because I have been invited back many times since to speak, not just to the Chapter, but at Reinsurance IG meetings and a couple of times at the annual meeting. I have met like-minded folk; people who were fascinated by insurance and hungry to learn more. Joining the Society, when I was allowed to do so, was a no-brainer. It meant that, despite my lack of designation, I could participate and pay my dues.

What are the benefits of being a member of the Europe Chapter and can ANY society member join the chapter?  (the answer is yes, even if you do not live in Europe. We have several members from the US and outside Europe).

I have made a good number of great friends and have kept myself up to date with industry trends. But it’s mostly the people. The European Chapter brings together people from around Europe, the US and further afield. There are a variety of Europeans, ex-pat Americans working in Europe as well as US based Americans whose work is international and some whose work is not but they just want to learn about the broader global forces that impact upon their work and to meet fun people from all over the place.


What developments do you foresee in the industry over the next 10 years?

Greater disintermediation in insurance and reinsurance; convergence between different risk transfer mechanisms.

When not doing insurance, what do you do to entertain yourself?

I cycle long distances and watch Chelsea play football.

What advice do you wish the younger you had been given?

Pull up your socks and go out and get your CPCU designation!

Favourite European city?

London. Where else?

Favourite film?

It might sound a tad pretentious, but Bergman’s The Seventh Seal is a film that I could watch again and again.

Favourite book?

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. Its (anti)hero, Pinkie Brown, was my childhood role model.


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Europe Chapter CPCU profiles
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