W. R. Berkley Corp. is a holding company for insurance, risk management and investment firms. The Greenwich, Conn.-based giant prides itself on a decentralized structure that allows it to be both a large, scalable operation and a nimble competitor at the same time. Each of WRB's 34 operating units has the flexibility to adapt to regional and vertical market conditions.
Despite a 78% drop in Q4 2008 profits, WRB continues to launch new businesses in 2009. Its Admiral subsidiary rolled out a new liability unit; and another new subsidiary, Berkley Agribusiness Risk Specialists, started up in February.
When it comes to human resources, W. R. Berkley Corp. likes to develop them internally. This goes for both people and businesses. Of WRB's 34 operating units, 27 were home grown. But this DIY tendency might make it tricky to get a foot in the door, as each division has its own HR contacts and practices.