Crystal & Company is a leading strategic risk and insurance advisor. Headquartered in New York, the firm was established in 1933 and has since grown to become a global broker with a particular focus on servicing the needs of the financial services industry.
Crystal provides corporate, employee benefit, private client and risk advisory solutions to firms in more than 95 countries worldwide.
Specifically, Crystal manages the professional liability insurance brokerage and claims for more than 500 investment advisors and securities firms, 150 mutual fund groups and 300 hedge fund groups globally.
“Typically we grow by 10 percent in this space each year, primarily through client referrals,” confirms Executive Vice President Sandy Crystal (pictured).
Crystal leads the company’s Financial Institutions Group and Management and Professional Risks Group. In addition, Bob Duran and Anthony Picciano provide specialist support to the insurance needs of hedge funds.
What sets Crystal apart from its competitors is that its Financial Institutions Group is advice-driven as opposed to product-driven.
“We provide a dedicated group that focuses solely on the needs and issues impacting the financial sector. Our unified structure give our clients access to every product line specialist they require within one coordinated team,” confirms Crystal.
The type of investment advisers that Crystal works with range from the very largest with USD50bn or more in assets through to registered and non-registered hedge fund groups with USD5bn or more in assets.
The following points demonstrate the influence Crystal & Company has within the financial industry:
• Among the five largest financial institution brokers in the US and top three largest in the investment management industry;
• Clients include approximately 20 per cent of Institutional Investor’s 300 largest money managers and;
• Thirty percent of US hedge funds with more than USD1bn in assets;
• Dedicated to providing consultative insurance expertise and creative risk management solutions to the hedge fund industry;
• Ability to address the full spectrum of insurance needs, including employee benefits and private client services.
By offering a full range of products and services to its hedge fund clients Crystal is able to tailor a programme based on the individual fund’s structure and culture. Insurance packages can include coverages like directors and officers, professional liability, fidelity bonds, property and casualty, key person life insurance, employee benefits, and private client services.
“Lately, we have been including cyber liability as asset managers have become increasingly dependent upon technology,” confirms Duran. “The SEC recently stated that a review of a registrant’s information technology and security policies will be part of the core initiatives for its National Examination Program, and FINRA has already brought several actions against firms that failed to ensure that their systems and procedures were updated to prevent the loss of client information through data breaches. We want to ensure our clients are aware of these changes and have the proper risk management strategy in place.”
New managers today understand the importance of having an effective risk management strategy in place, both for the management company and the fund.
“Investors take note of which companies are effectively managing their exposures whilst potential investors want to know that the fund has a method for managing portfolio and business risks. Getting your risk management programme right from the start can make a huge difference in the long-term health of a fund,” says Picciano.