Who we are
- -Serve solely as an extension of and fiduciary to clients
- -Sound opinions with no third-party financial influence or conflict
- -Strong safeguards against bias, providing clients the advantage of sound decision making
Deep Domain Expertise:
- -Proven expertise across a spectrum of industry sectors, transaction and risk types
- -Decades of experience advising management teams
- -Highly skilled at unearthing and addressing complex issues that impact value
Unparalleled Market Access:
- -Demonstrated market makers
- -Trusted relationships with carriers, brokers, forensic claims adjusters and other insurance professionals globally
- -Strategic partnerships with legal, loss valuation and claims advisors, and financial restructuring experts
We focus the entirety of our resources into every client engagement; delivering a multiple ROI comprised of coverage enhancements, expense reduction and collateral mitigation, impacting the total cost of risk.
We provide clarity to our clients, neutralizing politics that cloud traditional insurance transactions. We create trust, accountability and open communication for informed decision-making.
We are open and realistic about options and results with our clients, regardless of the ultimate outcome. Our decades of experience reinforces the age old adage: “honesty is the best policy".
We adhere to principles of cooperation in our interactions with clients and partners. Our culture of collaborative leadership enables us to achieve optimal outcomes for our clients.
Joseph F. Coughlin
CEO & Founder
Joe has over 30 years of experience in the consulting, advisory, underwriting and brokerage segments of the insurance industry. Over that time he has originated thousands of engagements and provided services for many of the largest and most intricate transactions within the private equity and distressed debt markets.
Before forming CRS in March of 2002, Joe served as President of JFC Consulting, Inc., the first truly innovative risk advisor to the sponsored alternative capital space. From 1985 until its sale in 2000 he aggregated the largest centralized block of private equity insurance buying power in the industry.
During the past 30+ years he has been an active investor in a number of private equity and venture capital partnerships. He has also been an active individual investor and board member in a host of start-up companies. He has continually served on not-for-profit boards and currently sits on the Board of Regents at the University of Hartford, and the Westchester-Putnam Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Joe graduated from the University of Hartford and is an Eagle Scout.
“Over the years I have had a blast meeting and helping some of the smartest people on the planet solve problems and explore opportunities. I can’t help but feel like Forrest Gump at times. The right place, the right time with the right people. Thank you to all for being along on the ride. It’s been a good one!”
Kimberly Patlis Walsh
President & Managing Director
Kim brings over 20 years of insurance underwriting, program structuring, and multinational client risk advisory representation to her CRS engagements. Prior to joining CRS in 2003, Kimberly served as SVP of AIG’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group, structuring insurance & financial solutions to a variety of corporations (publicly traded and privately held) to limit or transfer liabilities within corporate transactions, recapitalizations, bankruptcies and other M&A situations. While at AIG for over 11 years, she held various positions within various underwriting groups to non-traditional risk transfer/finance insurance to address known risks as well as serving as relationship point to a number of global investment clients, deepening strategic relationships in all asset classes. Previously, Kim was in Investor Relations at a NYSE-listed apparel company, and a paralegal at Fried, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.
Kim is active in both the alternative investment community as well as the insurance & risk community. She speaks frequently on a variety of panels and topics for both. She is a member of ACG, involved in RIMS and PLUS. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany.
James P. Fay
Jim has served large, global, complex risk management clients for more than 36 years and leads the Transaction Advisory Practice within CRS, which focuses on the operational, financial and contractual risk management elements that may impact the enterprise value of a deal. This would include the consideration of a wide variety of transactional risk solutions, such as Reps & Warranties, Tax Indemnity and Litigation Risk Transfer coverages, as well as mitigation strategies around corporate guarantees and collateral posted to sureties, insurers and governmental agencies. Jim also leads the Stewardship teams for clients with unique product liability exposures (football, hockey, baseball, cycling, skiing and motorcycles) and personally serves as the lead advisor to global clients in the power, utility, marine terminal, midstream, infrastructure, construction, transportation and manufacturing sectors.
Jim has developed a unique expertise in bankruptcies and restructuring projects, which began with our introduction into Chrysler and GM by outside counsel and President Obama’s Auto Task Force. After emergence, Jim continued to serve as risk management advisor to Motor Liquidation Company (old GM) during the wind down. Our other restructuring projects have included YRC, Eastman Kodak, General Maritime, Bally Total Fitness, MGM, Schutt Sports, Cooper Standard Automotive, Bavaria Yachts, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Muzak, Wind Hellas and other large global projects.
Prior to joining CRS upon formation in 2002, Jim served as the Regional Manager for a global broker’s Strategic Risk Management practice, with oversight and managerial responsibility for the risk management client relationships in 10 regional offices and personally serve as lead advisor for a number of US and UK clients, many of whom owned captive subsidiaries in Guernsey, Bermuda, Barbados and Grand Cayman. He graduated from Florida State University and is a long time member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society. Jim serves on a number of non-profit boards in the Atlanta area, is an avid tennis player, a Master Scuba Diver and happiest at the helm of a charter boat in the Caribbean.
Carolynn A. Burns
Carolynn has been with CRS since its inception and has more than 20 years insurance experience in the property and casualty insurance arena. She is involved in all aspects of the business from initial engagement, relationship management with our investment fund clients, coverage evaluation and analysis of the fund’s exposures and their portfolio company investments, with a concentration in the management, professional and executive lines. She has deep domain expertise in coverage analytics and understanding the unique nuances of policy wording and complex claim negotiations. She also oversees and manages portfolio company programs, focused on manuscript coverage enhancements and pricing leverage. In addition, she is actively involved in special project management such as insurance audits and cross portfolio strategies and solutions.
Prior to joining CRS, she held various positions within a retail brokerage firm where she specialized exclusively in Management Liability protection (D&O, General Partnership /Fund Coverage, E&O, Employment Practices and Fiduciary). Her experience spans alternative investment fund coverage, as well as corporate (both private and public companies), ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 50.
Carolynn is active within the private Equity, hedge fund and venture community and is a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS). She is also involved with the Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS), High Water Woman, a not for profit organization dedicated to women in the financial services arena and the MFA.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University and a property & casualty insurance license.
Michael F. Gallagher
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Michael is an attorney and advisor with extensive, hands-on experience solving complex legal problems and enhancing business outcomes for clients throughout the United States and internationally. At CRS, Michael is involved in all aspects of our business and our own contracts, as well as engagements with our clients, including analysis of clients’ risk and indemnity exposures, insurance contract negotiations, and advice on claims advocacy and enterprise risk issues.
Prior to joining CRS, Michael was a member of Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP’s Insurance and Risk Management practice group in New York for 18 years. At Katten, Michael was a commercial litigator representing clients across a range of fields, including financial services, banking and real estate, and provided strategic advice and claims management for major corporations, including insurance coverage analysis; enterprise risk analysis; and oversight of outside counsel. Michael has handled complex insurance coverage and defense litigation matters, representing both policyholders and insurance companies, involving, among other areas, directors’ and officers’ liability, errors and omissions claims, intellectual property claims, fidelity and crime coverage, property and casualty claims, and business and contingent business interruption claims. He also conducted internal investigations on behalf of clients’ boards of directors and independent audit committees, as well as represented several international corporations in complex commercial arbitrations in matters arising in the Middle East, South America and Europe.
Prior to joining Katten, Michael was an Assistant District Attorney for Westchester County, New York.
Michael holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Fordham University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University. He is admitted to practice law in New York state and federal courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as well as in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
Michael serves on the Boards of Directors of several charitable organizations, including the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center and the Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick for Westchester County.
Craig J. Nelson
Senior Vice President
Craig has over 30 years of hands-on experience in the consulting, advisory, brokerage, and underwriting segments of the risk management and insurance industry. A senior-level business driver, strategist, and change agent, he has helped multiple and varied organizations identify, analyze, treat, and optimize risk to reduce costs, create sustainable competitive advantage, and remove barriers to strategy execution, both nationally and internationally.
A relationship-oriented and collaborative leader, Craig is particularly skilled in resolving complex problems requiring finesse and diplomacy, from business start-ups to turn-around situations to M&A due diligence and go-forward implementation. He has been personally involved in evaluating and developing the risk management and insurance programs for over 100 M&A transactions.
Craig has an M.B.A. in Finance from St. Mary’s College of California and a B.A. in English literature from Brigham Young University. He has earned the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Certified Risk Manager (CRM), Associate in Risk Management with Enterprise Risk Management Certification (ARM-E), Enterprise Risk Management Professional (ERMP), and the certificate in Cyber Risk Management (CYB) designations.
An avid sports enthusiast, Craig has coached many youth teams in soccer, baseball, and basketball. He has also run 5 marathons, including Boston.
Nicole M. Katz
Senior Vice President
Nicole Katz has more than 16 years in the insurance industry specializing in large Property & Casualty programs in various industry sectors including manufacturing, hospitality, financial institutions and professional services firms. She is involved in both the diligence and stewardship practices at CRS, and also serves as an outsourced risk management advisor for a number of large multi-national PE investment funds.
Prior to joining CRS, Nicole held various positions within large brokerage firms, and was most recently the Director of Risk Management for The New York Racing Association, where she managed all aspects of operational and enterprise risk, as well as claims, safety, loss control and occupational health care services.
Nicole holds a Bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and a Master’s of Business Administration, with a focus in International Business in Finance, from Boston College. She continues to remain active on a number of Not-for-Profit Boards of Directors in the New York area.
Senior Vice President
Thomas has more than 18 years of insurance experience in various roles of risk management consulting, brokerage and underwriting.
Prior to joining CRS in February 2008, Thomas served as Vice President of Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services, focusing on risk management due diligence analysis for private equity clients including structuring transactional solutions and the implementation of insurance programs. Previously, Thomas was a client executive with Frenkel, a New York brokerage firm, and a casualty underwriter with Allianz Insurance Company in California and Germany, handling for 8 years all aspects of large risk multinational companies.
Thomas holds a JD from Freiburg University School of Law, Germany, and a LLM / Master of Laws from Fordham University School of Law, New York. He is admitted to practice law in New York and Germany and he is fluent in English, German and French.
Brian M. Warren
Brian joined CRS in July of 2014 and has nearly a decade of experience as a finance and operations professional. Throughout his career, Brian has led strategic initiatives focused on leveraging data and processes to drive efficiencies, effectuate organizational change and grow revenue across many business disciplines including: accounting, finance, operations, marketing, human resources and IT.
Prior to CRS, Brian served as Controller and Assistant Controller for a startup public REIT and as Accounting Associate for a boutique real estate investment and development firm.
Brian is a graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, where he earned both an MBA and MS in Business Analytics, as well as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his Bachelor’s.
E. Daniel N. Carlryd
Joining CRS in 2012, Daniel is a part of CRS Due Diligence Team, with focus on transactional risk and liabilities within the M&A and Private Equity landscape.
A native of Gothenburg, Sweden, Daniel graduated from Manhattanville College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance & Political Science in 2012.
He has since earned the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Kristen E. Spinelli
Kristen joined CRS in November of 2014. She is a part of the executive/professional team, with a focus on day to day stewardship with CRS private equity fund clients as well as their portfolio companies. Kristen also supports on insurance audits and due diligence projects. She also provides administrative and technical support to all CRS staff.
Kristen graduated from Montclair State University in May 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.
Meredith joined CRS in 2017. Prior to CRS, Meredith worked as a commercial lines insurance broker at an independent agency servicing NYC based businesses. She is responsible for assisting in all scopes of work at CRS including day to day stewardship and due diligence projects.
Meredith earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin College in 2014. At Oberlin Meredith studied U.S. History and Global Religions.
Giovanni joined CRS in August of 2018. As part of the Executive & Professional Team, he supports CRS’s due diligence, stewardship, and special project engagements with our private equity clients and their respective portfolio companies.
These engagements consist of a wide range of services which include overseeing the insurance renewal process, conducting broker RFPs, performing insurance audits, supporting our clients during a claim, and providing insurance and risk management due diligence for direct investments.
Giovanni graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 2017.
William is an Analyst at CRS, responsible for assisting in all scopes of work involving daily stewardship activities, due diligence projects, and special projects with CRS clients and their respective portfolio companies.
Previously, William was a Data Analyst working alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency, while also working as a civil servant in AmeriCorps NCCC.
William graduated from The University at Albany in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics as well as minors in Business Administration and Psychology.
Kelsey joined CRS in January of 2019. She is responsible for daily office management and administrative operations. Prior to CRS, Kelsey provided administrative support for a venture capital firm specializing in early stage investments.
Kelsey earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Georgia State University with a concentration in Marketing.
Originated the first "portfolio Directors and Officers liability program" in the insurance industry.