Ask the Leaders is a one-of-a-kind series geared towards helping young professionals grow into leaders within the professional lines community. The guests on Ask the Leaders provide insight into their experiences, knowledge and lessons learned that have helped them develop into some of the top leaders in their field. Topics include career advancement tips, networking opportunities, goal setting, and outside experience needed to become a leader!

This series is hosted by Nate Hartman, Claims Superintendent – Professional Liability at Admiral Insurance Group and Robert McCarthy, MLIS, Executive Lines Broker at Risk Placement Services.

Meet the Leader

Jim Skarzynski has served as Chair of Skarzynski Marick since the firm’s inception in 2003. He is a nationally recognized expert in matters pertaining to directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance and other forms of professional liability coverage. Jim has extensive experience in all facets of the exposures faced by insureds under these policies, including shareholder and derivative litigation, private equity and hedge fund disputes and banker professional liability.  He has worked on many of the country’s largest and most complex cases involving directors and officers, financial institutions and other professionals. Chambers USA has described Jim as being “the gold standard” a “leader in the industry” and having “unparalleled industry knowledge and is extremely well-respected by all.”

Jim also counsels clients regarding insurance underwriting and new product development, and has assisted many clients in the drafting of both specimen insurance policies and specialized manuscript policies and endorsements for complex underwriting situations. He also has aided clients in the regulatory filing process of insurance products. As an insurance industry leader, Jim also serves as an expert witness in litigation on professional liability coverage issues.

Jim often speaks at legal conferences, seminars and in-house client training programs on D&O and related professional liability insurance. Jim is very active in and has held many leadership roles with the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS). From 2001 to 2004, Jim was the co-chair of the Annual PLUS Directors and Officers Liability Symposium. Jim also served as a Trustee of PLUS from 2012-2018.  During that time Jim served in various executive capacities including as President.  Jim currently serves as a member of the PLUS Conference Committee (2017-2022), and is the 2021 recipient of the PLUS 1 Award presented annually by PLUS to a person whose efforts have contributed substantially to the advancement and image of the professional liability industry.

Jim is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and served two three-year terms on the Association’s Insurance Committee.  During that time Jim served as Chair of the Director and Officer Liability Sub-Committee during which time he co-chaired the annual D&O seminar presented by the Committee.

Jim has served as a mentor to members of The Bridge Transcends, an inclusive not-for-profit networking organization that supports the development of female talent in Financial Lines insurance and reinsurance.  The leadership team and supports include men and women from across the insurance industry.

Jim is the Chair of Skarzynski Marick and its Executive Committee.