About Us

Our Mission Statement

We care about people.

We do what’s right.

We take care of our team, and our team takes care of our clients.

We value simplicity and transparency.

We know growing a design firm is tough, reserved for the determined few.

We do the heavy lifting for our clients.

We fight every day for their dreams to become reality.

The Story Behind Black Swan

Asset 11bs-mark2

black swan /ˈblak ˈswän/ an unpredictable event with potentially severe consequences; event is characterized by extreme rarity, severe impact, and the widespread insistence it was obvious in hindsight.

Black Swan Risk Management launched in 2020 as an risk management consulting company exclusively for architects and engineers. Our name was inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor and former Wall Street trader, that wrote about the idea of a "black swan event" in reference to the financial crisis of 2008. We believe that effective risk management practices can offer Design Professionals protection if a black swan event were to occur.

Our Core Values

Our goals for all our Black Swan clients:

  • No more directionless leadership inside your company
  • No more second-guessing every decision
  • We want what you want … a thriving Design Firm!

Our core values drive and filter every decision:

  • Do the right thing without reservation
  • Prioritize helping people over closing the deal
  • Honest and clear communication

Meet Our Founder


As the founder and CEO of Black Swan, Zach Waters always ensures our clients are looked after. He takes the time to listen and make sure clients feel safe and secure with their insurance and risk management strategy.

He is an active Board Member of The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco, a non-profit with a mission to educate and empower young folks interested in a career as a Design Professional. He also hosts The Leadership Blueprint Podcast on the secrets to running a great design firm.

Zach lives with his wife and daughter in Northern California. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit and is a die-hard Cal football fan.

Click here for Zach's LinkedIn!

Scroll to Top