Biography

Brian Guest received his degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, England, in 1978. A keen sportsman, he played hockey for England Schools and captained several teams, including Cambridge University Hockey Club.

Qualifying as an ACA (Chartered Accountant, the UK equivalent of a CPA) in 1981, he started his international career in 1982 on joining American International Group (current Fortune Global 500 number 19, the largest global insurer) as an international auditor. He was promoted to audit management and worked in the USA, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.

In 1987 he joined Royal Insurance (now RSA, Fortune Global 500 number 360) and worked in financial management in the international division.

Joining Commercial Union (now Aviva plc, Fortune Global 500 number 35) three years later, he worked in business development, holding various positions including being the General Manager for Hong Kong and Regional Director for Latin America.

In 1997 he began working in the HSBC Group (Fortune Global 500 number 36) and his responsibilities over an eight year period included being CEO for the Brazilian insurance business with 1,500 staff and premium revenues in excess of US$500mn, as well as Chief Underwriting Officer for Latin America. He is particularly proud of the Brazilian insurer receiving two national prizes for best performing insurer and the building of annual pre-tax profits of US$70mn from a break-even level in 1997.

International and Cross-Cultural Exposure

A British citizen, he has a total of 23 years international business experience, having worked in 25 countries and visited a total of 51. He has moved internationally nine times and lived outside of the UK for a total of 16 years, including prolonged spells in Brazil and Hong Kong.

Business Experience

Chosen for several challenging international assignments, his business and consulting experience has included:

• Strategic and operational planning, monitoring and execution
• Board and executive committee chairmanship
• Restructuring, especially managing the communications and people challenges
• Risk management
• Business turnarounds
• Mergers and acquisition negotiations and post-acquisition management
• Training, aligning and motivating senior teams

Board Work

For six years he worked on the boards of the Brazilian Federation of Insurers, FENASEG, and the International School of Curitiba. Together these involved working collaboratively with Brazilian, American, Argentine, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, French and Swiss executives.

Coaching

His positive experience of the benefits of mentoring and leadership development coupled with an entrepreneurial drive led him setting up his own business after becoming a Certified Professional Coach with the College of Executive Coaching of the United States, the leader in coach training for professionals with graduate degrees. HeĀ is an associate coach of the prestigous Center for Creative Leadership and a member of the Association for Coaching.

Family and Interests

Married to a Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro, they have three children who are all natural "global citizens". Brian enjoys sports, travel, walking, reading, appreciating fine art, world music and cuisine. He likes to work hard, to share laughter and to make a difference with and through people.