Get to know Costello and Sons Insurance Brokers’ Dan Carraher, winner of a North Bay Business Journal CFO award.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF A FINANCIAL LEADER IN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT?
Planner (Tax and Financial), risk evaluator, monitor of operations.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
Technology, Systems; New Risks (e.g., Cyberliability); Efficiency
TELL US ABOUT THE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS MET IN THE RECENT PAST.
Integration of systems conversions, market expansion and recruitment of new producers and account managers.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG EMERGING FINANCIAL LEADERS?
Keep focused on the big picture and the future; factor in impact of changes on plans, and recognize opportunities.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE FOR WEATHERING TODAY’S ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT?
Capital resources to weather a downturn, and take advantage of investment opportunities (expansion). Invest in technology … and people!
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR BUSINESS WILL CHANGE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
New technologies will require new underwriting risk assessment (drones, self-driven vehicles, aging population, economic reaction to upcoming elections)
WHAT IS A DECISION YOU WISH YOU HADN’T MADE? WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
When I was younger, and before the Internet and email and social media, it was more of an effort to maintain contact. As I changed jobs, including geographical moves, I was selective in which relationships I maintained. I would have preferred to maintain relationships on a broader scale.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BUSINESS EXPERIENCE?
Sharing in the success of companies that have benefited from my experience and efforts…and being rewarded appropriately.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST BUSINESS SUCCESS?
See #9, a series of successes that culminated in the recognition and rewarded. Each, in themselves were more industry specific, and by themselves not that significant, but in the aggregate were deemed worthy of recognition and reward.
WHAT WAS YOUR TOUGHEST BUSINESS DECISION?
Reorganizing and cutting staff in a downturn, ultimately leading to my departure, which I also recommended.
WHAT WOULD YOUR FRIENDS BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT ABOUT YOU?
This one stumped me the most…”friends” become friends by “knowing all”… “new friends” would be surprised at my lifetime of playing trumpet in community bands; forays into chess, including occasional competition; background in oil and gas, also maritime, including owning part of a tugboat operation out of the Aleutian Islands. Married 42 years … to my kindergarten sweetheart!
Most admired businessperson outside the company: Warren Buffet – he combines long term view of industry potential, future economic conditions, and invests in people!
Current reading: “Creative, Inc.,” the story of Pixar and Steve Jobs
Most want to meet: Warren Buffet
Stress-relievers: Trumpet, teaching in college, family
Chief financial officer
Costello and Sons Insurance Brokers, Inc.
1752 Lincoln Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901
Professional background: CPA, public accounting and in multiple private industries. Adjunct faculty at Domincan University of California and University of Phoenix.
Education: MBA, Golden Gate University, San Francisco
Contributing author: “What Do You Do When a Company Cannot Afford a CFO and You Have a Systems Conversion” chapter in the book “Tips From Top Financial Officers: What Your Finance Team Needs to Know”