In his first few months as the chief information officer at Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., Frederick Matteson has had a chance to compare and contrast the dynamics of the insurance and brokerage segments.First, risk management binds both, he says. "When you look at the property/casualty business, we're obviously in the underwriting business, and we make decisions based on a risk pool that we feel will maximize our margins and position in the marketplace," he explains.

"In brokerage, the trading side also involves making decisions within a risk pool, much like underwriting, except on a shorter duration. You must examine the buy-sell picture, you have to determine how much risk to bear and how much you should put off."

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