How one perfectionist now thrives in reinsurance leadership

How he learned to trust and empower those around him

How one perfectionist now thrives in reinsurance leadership



Having played a pivotal role in coordinating the operational side of acquisitions development, as well as dealing with information systems for strategic analysis, Ritesh Behl (pictured), chief operating officer for North America at Acrisure Re, believes success lies in collaboration. Despite initially struggling due to his self-proclaimed perfectionist nature, Behl has come to recognize the importance of collaboration as the cornerstone of success in his role.

“[It all comes down to] a team-based approach,” he told Re-Insurance Business. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work in an organization that has a culture and structure that’s very conducive to people working together. That’s what we pride ourselves on. However, it took some time for me to understand how to be effective in that environment – because I tend to be a perfectionist.”

Behl was quick to point out that he used to be very particular about the way he’d liked things done – in order to be fully confident that they were being done “correctly” from his point-of-view.

“But you start to realize that that when you delegate you learn how to trust people – how to empower those around you – and you quickly realize the greater potential that can come from that,” he said.

Getting communication right

Effective communication stands out as another cornerstone of Behl’s strategy for ensuring operational efficiency. The belief that open and frequent communication can alleviate most problems is central to his philosophy.

“Even though there are competing priorities in a lot of different areas, once you have open communication across teams and the organization at large, it fosters that environment of people working together. Issues being worked out rather than just being delayed – or [things] slipping through the cracks.”

From the moment Behl stepped into his role, he embraced Acrisure Re’s ethos of approachable leadership. This foundational element has played a pivotal role in his journey from being a newcomer to becoming a leader himself.

“From the day I joined this company, I’ve been fortunate enough to have strong supportive managers who have lifted me up throughout my tenure here,” he told Re-IB. “They’ve given me the opportunity to grow. I now try to instill those same values in my leadership style to empower people and teams around me.”

Broking workshops

This philosophy extends beyond internal operations to how Acrisure Re interacts with its clients, always emphasizing transparency and honesty. It was Behl’s innovative spirit that ultimately led to the inception of workshops aimed at bridging the gap between the company’s broking and operations bands.

“We held these workshops [involving] team building exercises, strategy sessions and roundtable discussions,” he said. “It was a way to promote collaboration and communication [as well as] build a rapport between the global teams.”

The success of these workshops has been evident, not just in smoother internal processes but also in the enhanced service offering to clients. The idea that fostering a closer connection between teams leads to better client outcomes is a testament to the company’s forward-thinking approach.

“There’s a tendency in our industry for broking teams to toss deals over this imaginary fence,” said Behl. “It goes from the broking table to the back office for processing. But they don’t really talk to each other as much as they should. So, what we wanted to do was create a greater connection, because when we develop this relationship, it leads to not only better processes internally but ultimately benefits our clients.

“We’re in the service industry - we’re trying to make sure that the product and the service we’re offering to our clients is exceptional. The interesting thing we found when we held our first workshop was that new ideas and efficiencies emerged. In fact, this was so effective that many of our global teams are now holding similar workshops every year.”

Despite the investment these workshops require, Behl and his team view them as essential to the company’s ongoing success. The initiative has proven so valuable that it’s seen as an investment in the team’s development and the quality of service they provide.

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