photography by Joshua Martin

You Need to Know: David Kohl

The senior vice president at Roach Howard Smith & Barton makes it his business to protect board members.

TITLE: Senior vice president at Roach Howard Smith & Barton, a risk management and insurance brokerage group; head of the firm’s Directors and Officers Liability Practice and international operations.

WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW HIM:
Because Kohl’s business is protecting board members. He makes sure executives and corporate board members understand the risks and responsibilities of their positions, keeps them abreast of regulatory changes, and lays out what is covered by corporate indemnification agreements.

“Some board members are very focused on business, but not really that interested in protecting themselves,” Kohl says. “The majority are focused on doing the right things and understand their primary role is to support the business, and want to do it in a legal, ethical way.”
He focuses on defining the “standard of care” companies expect of board members, and works to keep clients in compliance with regulations and corporate standards.

“We help them see risk areas from governmental, operational, and control perspectives,” Kohl says. “We have to help them understand what their risk is individually because, at the end of the day, those executives are on the hook personally.”

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