by Clint Boulton

Chief risk and compliance officer makes rare move to CIO

News Analysis
Sep 15, 2015

Marsh & McLennan Companies, a professional services organization, moves its chief risk and compliance officer to a broader, technology-focused role, highlighting the growing importance of technology strategy within large companies.

cio success
Credit: Thinkstock

E. Scott Gilbert, formerly chief risk and compliance officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies, has been named CIO of the $13 billion professional services firm. In his new role, which he started last Wednesday, Gilbert will continue reporting to CEO Dan Glaser as a member of the company’s executive management committee. He will also lead the company’s Dublin-based innovation center.

scott gilbert 2014

E. Scott Gilbert, CIO of Marsh & McLennan.

Elevations of chief risk and compliance officers to CIO roles are rare. Yet such promotions could become more prevalent as companies continue to combat cybersecurity attacks and competitive threats, and other concerns that could impact their businesses. In this case, Gilbert comes with IT experience, having in his prior role overseen the company’s technology infrastructure, including business resiliency and security. Marsh & McLennan operates under a shared services model, in which the technology infrastructure, led by CTO Dave Fike, supported applications for the company’s properties. Fike will continue reporting to Gilbert.

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Gilbert said that a big innovation focus is big data, or analytics that help the company learn more about its operations, as well as how to better serve clients. He says he hopes to instill more “coordination and cross-fertilization” of innovation across the company’s brands, which include Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer Oliver Wyman. “I’ll be there to provide more executive focus and help to coordinate, explore, and further the areas of big data and other sources of innovation that are within our reach,” Gilbert told 

“The creativity, imagination and ingenuity Scott has demonstrated during the past decade at MMC ideally qualify him for his new role,” Glaser said in a statement.

Gilbert, as risk officer and film buff

Gilbert says that one of those creative projects was producing a film, “Faces of Marsh & McLennan,” to educate employees about its new code of conduct policy amid a push to reduce risk across the enterprise, which advises companies on risk, business strategy and talent management. Employees watched the film, as well as a mock TV series, on their desktops to learn about compliance policies. He says reaching people through digital media and video applications “demonstrably affected the culture of the firm,” allowing him to be successful in his prior role.

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Gilbert says he’s prepared for the CIO role after spending a decade at the company, joining as chief compliance officer in 2005, and later taking on more responsibility as chief risk officer.  “I’ve now had a lot of experience working as member of executive committee in this big global company,” Gilbert says. “I think I understand the company quite well.”

Marsh & McLennan said it has also appointed Carey Roberts, who joined the company last year as deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, as chief compliance officer to fulfill some of the tasks overseen by Gilbert.