William (Bill) Mather was a dedicated, committed, passionate and influential risk management leader for over three decades.
Bill joined The Gillette Company in 1963 and would work within its insurance and risk management practice for the next 35 years. He held numerous positions within the Fortune 500 company, culminating as Administrator of Risk Management in 1971 – a position he held until his retirement in 1996. At Gillette, he was responsible for insurance and security, including development of a consolidated and refined risk management program to protect Gillette’s assets, its people, property, as well as sales and operations located around the world.
Navigating the insurance capacity and affordability crisis experienced in the 1980’s, Bill successfully implemented risk management techniques that kept the company’s cost of risk consistent. His program reassessed product liability losses, examined earthquake coverages, negotiated more favorable D&O rates and, among other initiatives, leveraged its captive to generate profit. He oversaw a wide range of complex risks including the dangers of aerosol, properties in remote locations like the Amazon jungle and an increase in fraud and theft attempts as Gillette gained international notoriety.
Bill served as president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) during the 1986-1987 term. Before his presidency, he had been active in the RIMS community since 1968, including his volunteer service as president of RIMS Massachusetts Chapter, a member of RIMS International Cooperation Committee, as well as a member of Risk Management Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board.
His RIMS’ presidency focused on advocacy and government affairs efforts. Under his leadership, the Society pressed for the reintroduction in the U.S. Congress of tax equity legislation to permit self-insurance reserves to qualify as tax deductible, a push for the expansion of the Risk Retention Act to include pollution liability risks, as well as other legal reforms.
Bill believed strongly in risk management education, mentoring and the value of sharing professional experiences. He taught courses on the fundamentals of insurance and risk management at Northeastern University and Bentley College. He was an active member of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Improvement, wrote numerous papers and delivered presentations on topical interests and issues facing the risk management profession.
Bill’s accomplishments at Gillette and his contributions to the profession earned him the 1988 Business Insurance Risk Manager of the Year Award that recognized outstanding achievement in the profession.
He earned his B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and his M.B.A in finance from Babson College.
Bill passed away in 2017. He is survived by his wife, Marcia, his two daughters Pamela Mather O’Neil and Suzanne Mather Stanton and their families.