May 15, 2018 – Rockville, MD-based search firm JDG Associates has been selected to find the next president of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA). Lynn M. Schubert, the group’s current president, announced in December that she would be retiring at the end of this year. Paul Belford, principal at the recruitment firm, is spearheading the search.
Ms. Schubert, who has led Washington, D.C.-based SFAA for 22 years, is assisting the organization’s search committee in finding her successor. Among her accomplishments, she was the first woman to head a national insurance trade association.
The next president, who will oversee a $5.5 million annual budget and a full-time staff of 16, will be charged with providing vision, direction and leadership in promoting and preserving the use of surety and fidelity bonds in the public and private markets, said JDG Associates. The president provides the board of directors with information and guides the association in taking policy positions, and is responsible for advocacy of those positions.
The president role includes responsibility for all aspects of SFAA’s work, including its member services as well as external activity, said the search firm. The leader manages the financial viability of the association, balancing services against current market conditions, and oversees and provides guidance to the board on all management issues, including staffing and benefits.
The successful candidate will lead a highly regarded, financially sound association whose member company products protect the public interest in infrastructure and related projects nationally, said JDG Associates. The individual will work with highly-engaged senior-most executives of national and local companies who rely on the quality of its statistical resources and advisory services in the management of their companies.
Ms. Schubert, the search firm said, is leaving her successor with a solid platform and position to promote and advance the benefits of surety and fidelity products. The next president will be expected to provide the leadership, management and motivational spirit needed to continue that success.
SFAA’s next leader will also be expected to provide guidance to the board on all association-related issues as well as implement its policies and programs. The individual will act as the industry leader in promoting and protecting surety and fidelity bonds, strengthening policy maker and industry leader awareness of their benefits and utility, to include testifying before Congress and other bodies, as appropriate, said the search firm.
A Range of Duties
Other responsibilities will include: positioning SFAA as the industry expert for regulators, legislators and public entities on all matters related to surety and fidelity bonds; developing and supporting SFAA staff capabilities in all substantive, statistical, actuarial and legal matters related to surety and fidelity bonds, managing all officers and direct reports to ensure an effective, efficient and positive working environment throughout SFAA; serving as a trustee for the Surety Foundation, overseeing its activities and being a resource to it; and managing all fiscal matters including investment policies, reserve policies, and SFAA’s budgets, benefits, retirement plans, assessments and non-dues revenue generation, among other duties Candidates must at least have a bachelor’s degree, although a law degree is preferred. They should also have experience in insurance and finance fields; knowledge of the surety and fidelity field is highly desirable. Prospects must have leadership abilities, including experience in working with CEO-level executives of national firms, said JDG Associates. They must also have excellent oral and written communication skills, with a successful track record in representing an organization before policy makers and with industry leaders on legislative and regulatory matters
SFAA would further like prospects to have had success in expanding an organization’s market reach, such as increasing private-sector use of surety bonding. Demonstrated success in working with a board of directors or similar body is highly desirable. Excellent relationship development skills, a collaborative mindset as well as success in consensus development are required. Candidates should also show strengths in strategic thinking and direction-setting as well as attention to detail. The job also calls for an understanding of the role and dynamics of a fully functioning and highly effective trade association.
SFAA, founded in 1908, is licensed as a rating or advisory organization in all states and it has been designated by state insurance departments as a statistical agent for the reporting of fidelity and surety experience. SFAA serves as a trade association of more than 400 insurance companies that write the vast majority of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S.
JDG Associates has been providing executive recruitment services to Fortune 1000 corporations, associations and non-profits, federal, state and local governments, research & consulting firms, and defense contractors since 1973.
Mr. Belford has completed nearly 300 association searches during his career, mostly for CEO roles. A professional search consultant since 1990, he joined JDG Associates in 1993. His clients have ranged from regional and state groups with staffs of 10 or fewer to national organizations with budgets up to $75 million. He has worked with trade associations and professional societies from a wide range of service areas, including heavy industry, information technology, finance, healthcare, engineering, government relations, communications, finance and administration.