Ryan J. McGuinness
Senior Director Risk
Company: Rite Aid Corp.
Years In Risk Management:
Previous position: Workers
Place of Birth: Elizabeth, N.J.
Alma Mater: Muhlenberg College
Degrees and certifications: B.A.,
Psychology; M.Ed., Education; ARM
R&I: What was your first job?
I was a claims examiner for former TPA GAB
R&I: How did you come to work in risk
My predecessor at Rite Aid was leaving for
another position outside the company and
thought I’d be a good fit for Rite Aid. That’s
how it all started. I had been working locally
with PMA Insurance at the time as a claims
examiner. It was a job opportunity. When I first
got here I worked as a claims manager. Quickly,
my interest was sparked in risk management as
I was exposed to all aspects of the industry.
R&I: What is the risk management
community doing right?
Risk managers have continued to do a much
better job at risk identification and quantifying
risk. As a result, I’d say that, today, risk
managers are in a much better position to
analyze and mitigate risk.
R&I: What could the risk management
community be doing a better job of?
Capitalizing on opportunities to develop stronger
partnerships with business partners within our
own organizations and helping to educate them
on recognizing and avoiding loss.
R&I: What sorts of challenges have
colleagues been able to help you tackle?
The insurance and broker communities have
significantly evolved in developing innovative
ways to help measure and quantify risk, which,
in turn, helps risk managers respond to the
changing insurance landscape.
R&I: What was the best location for the
RIMS conference and why?
San Diego. It’s a really nice venue. The
convention center is centrally located and
the city itself seems uniquely capable of
accommodating large crowds.
R&I: What’s been the biggest change in
the risk management and insurance
industry since you’ve been in it?
The emergence of cyber risk and cyber liability.
R&I: Besides the cyber issue, what
emerging commercial risk most
The rising cost of health care as it relates to
R&I: Is the contingent commission
I think the contingent commission controversy
is past at this point and I have considered it to
be overblown, yes.
R&I: How much business do you do
direct versus going through a broker?
R&I: Are you optimistic about the US
economy or pessimistic and why?
I am optimistic. Despite the news we see
today, there are a lot of good signs the
economy is returning. For instance, I think in
the retail sector people are beginning to spend
more money now than in years past.
R&I: What is your favorite book or
My favorite book is “Last of the Mohicans” by
James Fenimore Cooper.
R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve
ever eaten at?
Ray’s at Killer Creek in Alpharetta, Ga.
R&I: What would you do if you weren’t a
I would be a youth counselor and fish much
R&I: Who is your mentor and why?
Jim Lott. He was the risk manager here at
Rite Aid until 2004, when he retired. He’s
the one who got me excited about risk and
insurance. Through him, I learned about how
the insurance procurement and placement
process works, and really became interested
Ryan McGuinness of Rite Aid can be counted among the risk managers who
believes that the “contingent commission” controversy is overblown.
in the business.
R&I: How many emails do you get in a day?
In the last 6 months I have received or exchanged
over 8,000 emails.
R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is
it and why?
Derek Jeter. Simply, he exemplifies good values
both on the field and off the field.
R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting
place you have ever visited?
Bertchesgaden, Germany. It’s situated in the Alps,
and very picturesque.
R&I: What about this work do you find the
most fulfilling or rewarding?
Results. I like working a project from start to
end, and I like partnering with groups of people
working towards a common goal and achieving
the results we set out to accomplish.
R&I: What do your friends and family think
They think I am just in insurance, although
they have a remote understanding of what risk
management actually entails.
—By Janet Aschenkasy. Please feel free
to send suggestions on risk executives to
“I like partnering with groups of people working towards a common goal
and achieving the results we set out to accomplish.” - RYAN MCGUINNESS,
SENIOR DIRECTOR RISK MANAGEMENT, RITE AID OCTOBER 15, 2014