This is the interview I had with Ken Paradis, the Founder and CEO of Chronovo, a structured settlement broker in the workers’ compensation industry.
I first met Ken 4 or 5 years ago at a conference. Ken is highly educated, and a deep thinker. I really enjoy talking to him primarily because I always come away knowing something new and feeling energized by good, captivating conversation.
I think you’ll come away from this interview with the same feelings. I hope you enjoy it.
This is the interview I had with Ken Paradis, the Founder and CEO of Chronovo, a structured settlement broker in the workers' compensation industry. I first met Ken 4 or 5 years ago at a conference. Ken is highly educated, and a deep thinker.
My interview with Ken started out talking about a book he’s working on. He called it “the book that never ends.” He’s been working on it for about ten years, but considers it a labor of love that has reaped great rewards. The premise for the book is to look at great historical figures – people who did remarkable things – and apply lessons from what they did to entrepreneurism. Ken said “there’s something really good to learn here.”
When I asked him for a specific example, he cited Napolean. He said Napolean, unlike his counterparts of the day, focused on strategic speed – getting there faster, and being decisive. The lesson for entrepreneurs is to move fast, be nimble, and be decisive.
Ken’s first professional position after completing his law degree from the University of Notre Dame, was with the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund. Ken said, “It was just going to be an internship, but I never really ended up leaving.” We commented on how common that is in the workers’ compensation industry, and that once someone gets in this industry, they rarely leave. Ken said he was surprised at how interesting the industry was, and how significant of an impact he could have on people and their daily lives. If staying in the industry for his entire career, he said it was “never the plan, but I’m glad I accidentally tripped into it.”
The conversation then turned to his current company, Chronovo, a company offering structured settlement services. He called structured settled a “nichey part of our industry”. I smiled at the word “nichey” – I like it!
Ken came out of retirement to found Chronovo because he saw so much potential in the idea. After meeting with his trusted friend and colleague, Bill Wakely, the two of them formed the company.
Ken said that structured settlements are a way to finance settlements with annuities. It’s a very old idea, even the Roman army was paid for in this way. Chronovo is built on that old idea with new, stable, innovative ways of doing it.
Structured settlements use life insurance policies to provide on-going payments, and to offer stability to the injured worker. “All parties win,” Ken said. The defense wins because they can settle more cases and can bridge the settlement gap. Plaintiffs win because they have access to tax free, secure payments.
Ken compared Chronovo’s way of doing business to a high-end restaurant’s with a glass window looking into the kitchen. Everything they do is transparent to all parties, with the goal to make each party comfortable with the settlement.
Ken is a serial entrepreneur. One particular moment of truth came when he decided to pursue a career in workers’ compensation instead of his life-long plan to enter politics. He thanked the support of a dear friend Christine, who later became his wife, and to the voice of his grandfather saying, “Believe in yourself and take a shot.”
As mentioned, Ken always planned to enter politics and said he planned to go “as far and as high as I could.” He had a romantic idea to be another Thomas Jefferson and be able to make a difference in people’s lives. He said he learned that it’s not what he thought it would be.
Here are Ken’s answers to the Lightning Round questions:
Awesome answers Ken!
Ken is a super nice guy, and honestly one of the smartest people you’ll ever meet. I think very highly of him. It was a sincere pleasure to interview him and get to know him even better than before.