Jorge Luzzi opens a window on the fascinating life of Pierre Sonigo, a risk management legend.

We learn about how his life has been shaped by fire and exposure to risk from a young age. He shares some of the lessons garnered from his early life in colonial Algeria at a time of revolution, through his time in the Paris fire brigade saving lives and property, to his determination to fight the establishment and bring much-needed change to the French risk management and insurance communities.
Download PDF View in Browser



José Manuel Dias da Fonseca

I always remember Pierre as someone who demonstrates a profound wisdom, at both the professional and personal level. He has a bright smile and his willingness to listen reveals his keenness to learn and understand. He is also a man who combines deep intelligence with a real serenity and great sense of humour.It is always a pleasure to talk and spend time with Pierre; a man who knows the ins and outs of his chosen profession.

Group Deputy Director, Risk Management & Insurance International SOS Chairman PARIMA

Franck Baron

I first met Pierre when I joined the Institute of Risk Management in Bordeaux as a student. As a leading risk management professional, he played a critical role in the creation of this school, the first of its kind in France. We immediately connected and since then Pierre has been a sincere and reliable mentor to me. His passion for our profession and his sound advice has helped me and many others to embrace this career.I have always respected his vision for the risk management profession particularly in France which has developed thanks to him. His ability to embrace change, new ideas and support the younger generations together with the attention he gives to the human aspects and soft skills increasingly important to our profession, has been instrumental to me in making real difference and addressing the need for better risk management within the organisations I have worked.In the regularly contact I have with students and young professionals; I do my best to be available to provide guidance and coaching, the way I have been trained by Pierre. This is my way to thank him and sustain the “chain of knowledge” he has nurtured. Pierre has been and will remain one of the most influential personalities in the risk professional community.

Fundalarys Executive Director

Javier Mirabal

I have had the extraordinary opportunity to work and share time for many years with Pierre Sonigo who is one of the most brilliant risk management professionals that I have known. During his career, Pierre has had the rare characteristic of being willing to share his knowledge with different regional and international initiatives whose main objectives have been to develop the risk management as a profession. I am very proud to know such a world-class human being as Pierre.

Zurich Executive Vice President, Head of Customer Management

Ron Davis

Twenty-five years ago, when I relocated from Canada to France, I had the great privilege of meeting Pierre.From our first meeting, and through many subsequent negotiations, strategy sessions, industry events, and social gatherings, I can attest to what a special person he is.His insurance and risk management passion and expertise combined with his ability to get the best out of people has delivered substantial value for his employers and other stakeholders. Pierre loves people and they love him back.I've sought his advice many times over the years and I've always appreciated his guidance. In my early years working in France, his advice to “mettre de l'eau dans mon vin”, was right on the mark and helped me adapt to the business culture. His intelligence, sense of humour, strategic thinking, and charisma have made him a sought-after and effective leader, business partner, and friend.

Rodgers Risk Consulting Risk Management Executive

Debbie Rodgers

I have looked up to and admired Pierre Sonigo since I first met him in the late 1980s. At that time, he was the Global Risk Manager of Saint-Gobain and I was working in the Risk Management Department of CertainTeed, a US subsidiary of Saint-Gobain. I was new to risk management. When the CertainTeed risk manager left to take another position, Pierre took me under his wing and effectively showed me how to be a risk manager. He became my mentor.From him, I learned how to build business relationships, negotiate insurance contract terms and claims, influence our business partners to improve our risk profile through the implementation of effective risk control and be confident enough to engage senior leadership of the company to support risk management initiatives. I credit so much of my own success to this early mentoring and guidance by Pierre. Through it all he became a lifelong friend.

Generali Employee Benefits & Generali Global Health CEO

Paolo Ribotta

When I first heard about Pierre Sonigo, he was referred to as a visionary and a very demanding - and tough - risk manager. Pierre was somehow disrupting the French and the European landscape by affirming the relevance of loss prevention as a key function. He was obsessed with continuous training and development, with the art of selling the “savoir faire”, both internally and to Insurance companies and the broad external stakeholder community. I have directly experienced his professionalism, genuine willingness to help the profession to move on and grow its relevance and, more importantly, the trust of one of the best known and respected professionals in the industry.Pierre is a man of beliefs for whom personal respect is more important than anything else. He is a man who is curious, inspirational, interested in others and.... a bit stubborn especially if you choose to talk about his preferred topics such as environmental issues.Ever since, whenever we meet, we have a great time. Thank you, Pierre, for your friendship and trust!

RCG - Risk Consulting Group President

Jorge Luzzi

I first met Pierre some decades ago. We were introduced by François Settembrino, a founding father of risk management in Europe and a man both Pierre and I respected a lot.We quickly realised we had many things that united us including a passion for risk management, the wider adoption of professional techniques and the profession’s development.During my FERMA presidency, Pierre and Florence Bindelle were the soul of the profession and we not only worked together but, established a great friendship that continues until today.Pierre and I also share a multicultural heritage. The love for the countries of our birth is equaled by the affection we have for the lands where we grew up and developed our lives and careers. We see the world as a single community and so it’s possible to love many lands just as you love your mother and father with the same intensity and without contradictions!Pierre has had an important impact on the risk management profession and on behalf of the many risk managers who have worked and learned a lot from him and the many associations that he has integrated, I can only say thank you very much Pierre for everything you've done. We owe a great debt of gratitude for your committed, passionate leadership.

EuropeanIssuers Secretary General

Florence Bindelle

When Pierre Sonigo was Secretary General of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA), he brought his experience, knowledge and passion to support the growth and the development of the risk management profession in all sectors of the industry. He alsostrengthened the positioning of FERMA at the EU level and ensured the sustainability of the operations in Brussels. His sense of diplomacy was invaluable when transitioning ideas and plans into actions both at board and member level. It was a privilege to work with him during his time.

FERMA Former President

Marie Dequae

As President of Belrim, the Belgian risk management association, I met Pierre in the early 1990s. He was already passionate about and committed to risk management and so we were able to exchange views on different risk management topics. I always appreciated the intellectual discussions as well as the more social talks we had more often out of work.When I became president of FERMA I was really very pleased to have Pierre as Secretary General at my side. Together we built the evolution of the European federation into a more global organisation with a lot of contacts internationally. Pierre was really an important contributor to this goal, being very committed to risk management and a very good communicator. He was very active at a European level with focus on the European environmental directive and Solvency II and contributed a lot to important FERMA position papers.Together we participated in a lot of conferences where Pierre always focused on meeting and talking with people and colleagues. We always looked for new evolutions in risk management to discuss and evaluate, but next to the serious part of the conference we always appreciatedthe pleasant evenings and social meetings which added to the value of the discussions we had.

Discover MDS World