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CLM Voices: Getting to Know Max Koonce

Sedgwick’s CCO, Casualty, Max Koonce shares his thoughts on the industry

June 03, 2019 Photo

Find out what this former court of appeals justice and senior director of risk management for Walmart thinks about the industry as he settles into his new position as Sedgwick’s chief claims officer.

Legal Beginnings

Koonce began his career as a trial lawyer practicing in the area of insurance defense and employment-related matters. From there, he spent time as an administrative law judge for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission and as a justice on the Arkansas Court of Appeals before he transitioned into the world of risk management with Walmart, where he worked for nearly 15 years.

Lessons Learned

“The claims management process has a much greater impact beyond the individual claim itself.” -Koonce, reflecting on the lessons he learned while running Walmart’s domestic casualty claims program.

Setting Precedents

As a justice for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, Koonce says he recognized that decisions he was involved in making had repercussions beyond the immediate case being discussed because of the precedential weight attached to them. He says he felt it was critical to consider how decisions would impact the future and individuals beyond those involved in specific cases.

Trend Spotting

“Continued advancements in technology has heightened expectations of understanding, ease of process, and immediacy as to satisfaction and response in our culture.” -Koonce, on trends he is seeing in casualty claims.

Riskier World

“With the persistent evolvement of technology into our daily and professional lives, we must continually evaluate our risk profiles and exposures to ensure adequate prevention, coverage, mitigation, and remediation plans.” -Koonce, on why he thinks the world is becoming more risky.

Data Moves

Koonce believes data continues to have great import in risk management. He says the continued development of data-driven technologies offer opportunities to drive efficiency of resources (right resources at the right time) and effectiveness in order to promote optimal outcomes, facilitating improved risk exposures and profiles for employers.

Early Career Advice

“Never limit learning to just your personal experience.” -Koonce, reflecting on early career advice to read a wide variety and diversity of writings in order to develop deeper resources for better decision-making.


About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content of CLM magazine, a publication of the CLM.  eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org

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