IBAMAG.COM ISSUE 8.12 | $12.95
T 10 O H
HOT 100 IBA spotlights 100 insurance professionals who took the industry to new heights during a difficult year
HARD TIMES IN HOSPITALITY
How can insurers best support a struggling hospitality sector?
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THE BEST OF PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY Brokers name the top carriers in the segment across 15 different categories
TIPS FOR FIGHTING FRAUD
What to look out for at a time when conditions are ripe for fraud
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UPFRONT 03 Editorial
T 10 O H
After the turmoil of 2020, where do we go from here?
Key data that should be on your radar this month
06 News analysis
WAITING FOR THE GREEN LIGHT Beleaguered by the pandemic, the hospitality industry is putting pressure on insurers to provide relief
IBA salutes 100 insurance professionals who have met the challenges of 2020 head-on and have emerged even stronger
As consumers get increasingly desperate, brokers should be on the lookout for these signs of fraud
BRACING FOR IMPACT
As the newly minted head of commercial lines for Selective Insurance, Brenda Hall has big plans to keep growing the division
This month’s big movers, shakers and new products
10 Workers’ comp update
Ergonomic assessments are more important than ever in the age of remote work
12 Technology update
Busting some of the common myths around digital transformation How insurance professionals can benefit from positive self-talk
A look at how COVID-19 has reshaped the insurance industry
FEATURES 58 Get the most out of every quote
A new tech offering promises to open up opportunities for independent agents
PEOPLE 56 Eighty-five years strong
5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Find out which carriers are offering the best professional liability policies on the market
How Mike Hylant is keeping his family’s 85-year-old brokerage relevant in the 21st century
72 Other life
After being wounded in combat, broker Dillon Behr dedicated himself to giving back to fellow veterans
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An unprecedented year
t’s hard to believe that 2020 is finally coming to a close. Over the last 12 months, our collective vocabulary has expanded with a host of terms that were virtually unknown in 2019: coronavirus, COVID-19, social distancing, remote working, flattening the curve and – the new regular on video calls – “You’re on mute!” But there is one adjective that has stolen the show when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic: unprecedented. It’s being used in almost every context. The line around the block for the grocery store is unprecedented. The ongoing economic challenges are unprecedented. The overnight shift to remote working and digital business was unprecedented. The deluge of business interruption insurance claims and ensuing lawsuits is unprecedented. The list goes on.
We must turn the challenges we’ve faced this year into opportunities for a brighter future If our overuse of this word tells us anything, it’s that the COVID-19 crisis has shaken humanity to the core. It has replaced certainty with unknowns and has forced us to adapt how we go about our daily lives. In a keynote address at the 2020 TMPAA Summit Week in October, Pina Albo, CEO of Hamilton Insurance Group, used the phrase “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” made famous by 19th century French novelist and editor Jean-Baptiste Alphonse. Translation: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Albo was by no means encouraging that sentiment. She stressed that we have learned so much over this past year that we cannot afford to go back to a pre-COVID-19 world. We must turn the challenges we’ve faced this year into opportunities for a brighter future. What is encouraging is the amount of affirmative action that has taken place in the insurance industry in 2020 – not only around digitalization and virus-related product development, but also around key issues like diversity and inclusion, climate change, catastrophe response, talent development, and new solutions for emerging risks. Together, let’s carry that momentum forward into 2021. From the entire IBA team, thank you to our readers, contributors and advertisers for your continued support through 2020. Stay safe, enjoy the holiday season and see you in 2021. The team at Insurance Business America
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STATISTICS COVID-19’S IMPACT ON AUTO INSURANCE
ECONOMIC LOSSES FROM WILDFIRES ON THE WEST COAST, 2020
10/6 – 10/14
ECHO MOUNTAIN FIRE
9/8 – 9/18 $100 MILLION+
BEACHIE CREEK FIRE
8/16 – 10/1
9/8 – 10/1
HOLIDAY FARM FIRE
9/7 – 10/1
Cumulative miles driven by US drivers from January to August
ALAMEDA DRIVE FIRE
9/7 – 9/15 $750 MILLION+
9/8 – ongoing $100 MILLION+
WESTERN WILDFIRES CAUSE BILLIONS IN LOSSES
The 2020 Western US wildfire season has been particularly devastating, especially in California, Oregon and Washington. The high number and severity of the fires has been attributed to high temperatures, scarce precipitation and two strong offshore wind events that fanned the flames. According to Aon’s most recent Global Catastrophe Recap, the fires have resulted in at least 43 fatalities and thousands of homes and other structures burned. The 2020 fire season has had 22 fires that have burned at least 100,000 acres each – a new record – and in California, five of the six largest fire events since 1932 occurred in August and September. Total economic losses have soared into the billions, and Aon expects these to result in a multibillion-dollar bill for the insurance industry.
Year-over-year decrease in cumulative miles driven
Projected decrease in commercial auto premiums written for 2020
US D&O PRICES SURGE Premiums for directors & officers liability rose by almost 60% during the second quarter of 2020, according to Marsh – by far the biggest jump in pricing among the insurance lines Marsh looked at. Although not as severe, prices were up almost across the board. Marsh attributed this to COVID19-related loss activity through the first half of 2020, which has combined with low interest rates to exacerbate already difficult market conditions.
AVERAGE CHANGE IN US PREMIUM PRICES, Q2 2020 60%
50% 40% 30%
Projected combined ratio for commercial auto insurers for 2020 Sources: The Path Ahead: Navigating Financial Services Sector Performance Post-COVID-19, Deloitte; Federal Highway Administration
20% 10% 0%
Employment Auto liability Umbrella/ Property D&O liability practices excess liability liability Source: Managing Renewals in a Challenging Market, Marsh
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BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LEADS CYBER FEARS
NORTH COMPLEX FIRE
8/17 – ongoing $1 BILLION+ CREEK FIRE
9/4 – ongoing $575 MILLION+ BOBCAT FIRE
9/4 – 10/1 GLASS FIRE
9/27 – 10/2
LNU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE
8/17 – 10/2
Risk managers named business interruption as their worst-case scenario in a ransomware attack for the second year in a row in Zurich and Advisen’s annual study of cyber risk management. Within that area, respondents said they were most concerned about their network being held hostage for extortion.
WORST OUTCOME OF A RANSOMWARE EVENT 50%
$1.6 BILLION+ CZU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE
8/17 – 9/22
$3.5 BILLION+ 30%
8/18 – 9/4 $100 MILLION+
SCU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE
8/16 – 10/1
Loss of data
Loss of funds
Source: 10th Annual Information Security and Cyber Risk Management Survey, Zurich North America and Advisen
Source: Aon Global Catastrophe Recap, September 2020
A LACK OF HISPANIC REPRESENTATION The industry is lagging in its efforts to recruit and train Hispanic insurance professionals, according to a survey by Marsh and the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies (LAAIA). The majority of LAAIA members believe the insurance industry isn’t hiring enough Hispanics and that those hired aren’t equipped to succeed.
DO INSURANCE COMPANIES HIRE ENOUGH HISPANIC PROFESSIONALS? Yes, they hire the right number No, they don’t hire enough Don’t know
63% Source: Building a Future for Hispanic Professionals in the Insurance Industry, Marsh
CUSTOMER SERVICE KEY TO RETENTION A positive customer experience is the strongest predictor of whether customers will renew their homeowner’s insurance policy, according to J.D. Power; price didn’t even make the top three drivers of renewal.
TOP DRIVERS OF HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE RENEWALS Good customer service
64% Source: 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study, J.D. Power
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The year of the coronavirus Headlines in 2020 were dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will fundamentally change how the insurance industry operates
AT THE end of each year, Insurance Business America likes to look back on the major insurance stories from the previous 12 months. In 2020, however, one story eclipsed all the rest: COVID-19, which has had monumental impacts on economies and industries around the world, including the insurance industry. The shutdown of businesses in the US has led to hundreds of lawsuits from policyholders, who are arguing that losses accumulated during this period should be covered by business interruption insurance. The fallout
Swiss Re. “One of the biggest challenges we constantly face is making sure we’ve adequately defined what’s covered and what’s not in our contracts ... because it’s not in anybody’s interest to have ambiguity, or disputes that come out of that ambiguity when surprises happen.” In the US, most of the contract language used in insurance policies is based on standard rating bureau language and thus tends to be quite clear on the physical damage that’s needed to trigger business interruption coverage. However, COVID-19 closures
“The biggest thing I’ve seen come out of this is a much sharper focus on contract clarity” Keith Wolfe, Swiss Re from these lawsuits, as well as the new risks presented by the coronavirus, will have longterm repercussions for insurers. “The biggest thing I’ve seen come out of this is a much sharper focus on contract clarity, and I would say that’s both in insurance and reinsurance,” says Keith Wolfe, US president of property & casualty for
have also impacted coverage for large commercial risks on non-property business interruption. Even though that coverage was provided and paid for, Wolfe says, “you could argue that we probably didn’t collect enough premium as an industry for that type of coverage.” Another top-of-mind issue for insurers
that has been propelled forward by the pandemic is digital modernization, which was fast-tracked during the mass move to remote work. Most carriers have been satisfied with their ability to move into remote models, according to Kenneth Saldanha, managing director at Accenture. “In the surveys we’ve done, about 80% to 85% of CIOs felt like the transition was good to very good,” he says. “Interestingly, some of our HR officers in the same survey were more in the 65% to 70% range, so it technically worked, but it may not have felt very good.” The need to suddenly pivot into almost entirely remote operations and sustain them in a resilient and secure manner has become a front-and-center issue for insurers. Saldanha says he now hears insurance companies asking questions like, “What are we doing about technology modernization? Are we going to eventually address all
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HOW THE PANDEMIC BEGAN
January 4 The World Health Organization reports that a cluster of pneumonia cases has emerged in Wuhan, China
January 13 Officials confirm a case of COVID-19 in Thailand, the first recorded case outside of China
January 21 A man in Washington state who traveled to Wuhan has the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the US
February 26 The CDC confirms a case of COVID-19 in a patient in California, which is suspected to be the first instance of community transmission in the US
March 17 of the legacy technology that still holds us back? Are we going to make the migration to cloud-based solutions?” Also stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, a third issue that’s top of mind
or reinsurance, because many people have focused on how to increase rates to appropriately adjust for increased loss costs,” Wolfe says. He points to natural catastrophes, which have “increased a lot of the
“Virtually every carrier we’ve spoken to has expectations of at least low doubledigit price increases next year” Kenneth Saldanha, Accenture for the insurance industry is what Wolfe describes as “the depressingly low yield environment we’re in, from an interest rate standpoint,” which has had a particularly strong impact on companies writing longtail insurance lines. “It’s a double whammy when you talk about improving rate, either in insurance
loss costs for both the insurers and reinsurers here in the United States over the last several years – and the yield compounds that problem.” With some insurers reporting losses tied to both the coronavirus and natural catastrophes in the second and third quarters of 2020, there is a recognition, Saldanha says,
Coronavirus is present in all 50 states Sources: WHO, CDC
that “the fundamental cost curve is going to have to change.” Taken with the move to more remote models and the push to do as much as possible using digital and automated solutions, insurers are looking out onto a radically new landscape and now have to figure out what their business will look like in the new year and beyond. “Virtually every carrier we’ve spoken to has expectations of at least low double-digit price increases next year, because the exposure levels are recognized as being fundamentally different,” Saldanha says. “There’s no question that in order to make the new economics work, there’s a huge shift in [carriers] looking at how they will bring the cost curve back to something that matches the nature of services and what customers are willing and able to pay for.”
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INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE ACQUIRER
Gordon Atlantic Insurance Agency
Massachusetts-based Gordon Atlantic offers personal and business insurance to clients throughout the Northeast
Arch Capital Group
Arch’s all-cash purchase of the global P&C insurer is valued at around $700 million
Constellation Affiliated Partners
Trinity Transportations Services; Global Claims Service
The deals will expand Constellation’s claims capacity and its footprint in towing and recovery insurance
W. Brown & Associates Property & Casualty
W. Brown’s operations include brokerage, P&C binding and transportation binding services
Johnson Claim Service
The Oklahoma-based transport claims specialist caters primarily to London market brokers and Lloyd’s insurance businesses
The Olson Insurance Agency, Insure All
HUB has scooped up two more brokerages that were previously part of Nationwide’s exclusive distribution model
LaRocca & Associates
Founded in 1980, Florida-based LaRocca & Associates focuses on employee benefits and P&C insurance
World Insurance Associates
Hampton Insurance Agency
Hampton specializes in transport insurance for personal and commercial clients in the Tidewater area of Virginia
SageSure adds commercial cover for coastal areas
SageSure, an insurtech that specializes in homeowner’s policies, has launched a new line of commercial insurance products for coastal areas. The products include business owner’s policies and cover more than 300 classes of business in six industry groups, including office, retail and wholesale, restaurants, service and processing, and habitational and real estate. SageSure’s proprietary rating methodology allows it to write commercial business within one-tenth of a mile from a primary shoreline in most coastal areas. The new coverage will initially launch in South Carolina before expanding to Florida.
Arch Capital Group buys Watford Holdings
Arch Capital Group has agreed to acquire all common shares of Bermudabased Watford Holdings in an all-cash deal valued at around $700 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Watford shareholders will receive $35 in cash for each Watford common share they hold. Prior to this deal, Arch owned approximately 13% of Watford’s outstanding shares. Watford president and CEO Jon Levy said the sale signifies “a clear path forward” for the P&C insurer and reinsurer after its operating subsidiaries’ financial strength ratings were placed under review with negative implications by A.M. Best in May. “We believe that Watford will be better positioned as a stand-alone business within Arch to execute its strategic priorities and growth plans,” Levy said.
Starr Marine unveils TMS assessment program
Starr Insurance Companies’ Starr Marine division has rolled out a comprehensive terminal management system (TMS) assessment program designed to help clients measure their operations against industry best practices and identify and reduce risks. Using independent marine surveyors, Starr Marine’s loss control services team works with the terminal’s management to conduct an on-site evaluation and review of operational, maintenance, and safety procedures. The review provides clients with a benchmarked score and recommendations to mitigate risk and control loss.
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PEOPLE Fairly Group offers COVID-19 coverage for student athletes
Fairly Group and its sister company, OccuNet, have launched a new insurance product that covers medical expenses for collegiate athletes who contract COVID-19. The policy provides $250,000 in medical coverage for COVID-19; Fairly Group said it was inspired by the viral #wewanttoplay campaign created by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. “We wanted to support collegiate athletes who desire to get back on the field, as well as their parents and the courageous collegiate athletic departments attempting to move forward with fall sports,” said Fairly Group CEO Alex Fairly.
CFC addresses IP exposure in M&A transactions
Specialist insurer CFC Underwriting has launched a new insurance solution aimed at addressing the intellectual property infringement risks facing companies undertaking a merger or acquisition. Leveraging CFC’s existing IP and mid-market M&A insurance products, the new policy is designed to fill the coverage gap in traditional transaction liability insurance policies, which sometimes include qualifiers on IP representations and warranties relating to issues that occurred before the M&A activity and do not provide protection for future allegations of IP infringement.
Attune Insurance rolls out business owner’s policy
Digital insurer Attune Insurance has partnered with Accredited Surety and Casualty Company and TransRe to launch a new business owner’s policy aimed at boosting underwriting capabilities. The new product, BOP+, features 135 new classes and additional coverages. Accredited will be the carrier of BOP+, which will be backed by a panel of reinsurers led by TransRe. It will be available on Attune’s digital platform, which CEO James Hobson said “enables a frictionless experience for brokers to serve their small business customers in a matter of minutes with tailored products.”
Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings
Chief underwriting officer
US life sciences practice leader
CEO of commercial solutions
Vice president of data science
President and COO
West Coast regional underwriting manager
Healthcare practice leader, North America
Southeast regional underwriting manager
National director of sales and marketing
Director of operations and carrier relations
Head of casualty operations, Americas
Tyler Van Spanje
Ryan Specialty Group
Executive vice president, RSG Underwriting Managers
CEO and president
AIG president to take on CEO role
AIG has appointed its current president, Peter Zaffino, to the role of CEO, one of several high-level leadership transitions the insurer has planned. Zaffino will take the reins from current CEO Brian Duperreault in March 2021 when Duperreault transitions into the role of executive chairman. Zaffino will keep his current role as president and will also serve as a director of AIG. “I’m honored to succeed Brian as chief executive officer of AIG and want to thank him and the AIG board of directors for this opportunity,” Zaffino said. “I look forward to leading AIG’s next phase on our journey to becoming a topperforming company.”
CRC Group promotes COO to president
As part of a spate of changes to its leadership team, CRC Group has added the role of president to current COO Neil Kessler’s remit. Kessler has spent 17 years in the wholesale insurance business, including a decade in leadership roles at CRC Group. He has helped spearhead CRC’s growth and expansion and the development of several strategic initiatives, including REDY, the company’s data and analytics platform. In addition to his current duties as COO, Kessler will now be responsible for the company’s M&A strategy and will lead its CRC Programs and J.H. Blades divisions.
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WORKERS’ COMP UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Omaha National expands coverage to two new states
Following its move into New Jersey last year, workers’ compensation insurance provider Omaha National has expanded into two more states: Connecticut and Georgia. Omaha National now offers coverage in a total of 12 states. “These are states we know well,” said Omaha National chief marketing officer Chris LaMantia. “We know there are a lot of great producers to partner with and many employers who will benefit from our superior claims management.”
Sedgwick launches COVID-19 tool in California
Sedgwick has unveiled a tool designed to streamline the submission process for California employers that are required to determine and report COVID-19 outbreaks. The tool was developed in response to a new law in California that expands workers’ compensation injury claims to include illness or death from COVID-19 within specific dates of infection and outlines requirements for employers to calculate and report COVID-19 outbreaks. Sedgwick’s COVID-19 intake portal provides California employers with an easy-to-use, cloud-based system to initiate the process of recording positive test results and exposure events.
SUNZ Insurance welcomes chief underwriting officer
Workers’ comp insurer SUNZ Insurance has appointed David Brodsky as its newest chief underwriting officer. A 35-year industry veteran, Brodsky was previously a senior vice president in the underwriting division of Houston International Insurance Group. He has also held senior-level roles at QBE North
America, Tower Group International and ACE Group. “David has exceptional experience in underwriting, and we’re thrilled to have him join our team,” said SUNZ Insurance president Rick Leonard. “He is a strategic leader and will help us continue to take SUNZ’s growth to the next level.”
AccuRisk and Convex roll out employer’s liability for Texas
AccuRisk Solutions has teamed up with Convex Group to offer occupational accident and employer’s liability insurance to Texas employers that have opted out of the state workers’ compensation system. The AccuRisk254 product is available in all Texas counties and will broaden AccuRisk’s footprint in the occupational insurance space. “The relationship with Convex will allow us to expand our occupational insurance product offerings in the Texas market and provide creative solutions to our brokers and their employer clients,” said AccuRisk CEO Dan Boisvert.
Amazon faces surge in workers’ comp costs with new regulation
Amazon is expected to pay about 15% more for workers’ compensation insurance next year if new regulations go through. The workplace safety regulator in Washington state has proposed a new ‘fulfillment center’ classification for workers’ compensation rates, based on data showing that workers in Amazon’s warehouses, which feature a high degree of automation, are injured at a higher rate than people working in other types of storage facilities. If approved, it would raise Amazon’s workers’ comp costs in Washington by an estimated 15%; however, warehouses not classified as fulfillment centers would see their costs go down by an estimated 20%.
Ergonomics for remote work As employees continue to work from home, ergonomic assessments can help reduce workrelated injuries Defined as “the scientific study of people at work,” ergonomics can help employers understand the risk of injury associated with jobs – regardless of the amount of physical effort involved – and how to reduce those risks. “Poor design of workstations or tasks can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, contribute to employee discomfort and fatigue, and result in lower productivity or poor job quality,” says Mary Ellen Ausenbaugh, technical director of human factors and ergonomics at Travelers. “Establishing and practicing good ergonomics can help reduce the frequency of those types of injuries and control workers’ compensation costs.” Travelers has been providing both on-site and virtual ergonomic assessments of workplaces for years, but earlier this year, the company launched a new ergonomic assessment tool that incorporates artificial intelligence. The AI-powered software helps ergonomists analyze videos of a worker performing a task to identify movements and postures that could result in injuries. “The customer can begin the process by taking a video of the job being performed, or the video can be taken by one of our ergonomists on site,” Ausenbaugh explains. “Not only can this flexibility promote efficiency, but it can help address concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The video is then analyzed by Travelers’ software, which provides measurements
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regarding the posture and movements of the worker when performing the job. This gives ergonomists insights into the potential risks of the job. But even without this tool, there are some common ergonomics pain points that employers should be able to spot and immediately address, Ausenbaugh says.
“Good ergonomics can help reduce the frequency of injuries and control workers’ compensation costs” “Some of the most common ergonomic pain points that put workers at risk for injury result from lifting heavy items, performing a task that requires repetitive motions or pushing and pulling heavy loads, sitting or standing with an awkward or unnatural posture, and repeatedly reaching overhead or bending at the waist.” Ausenbaugh adds that employers might have new ergonomic concerns to address, as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in the way people work. While it’s best for an ergonomist to assess the task in motion, that’s difficult to do during the pandemic due to social distancing restrictions. “However, by conducting these assessments virtually and using the quantitative data from our AI technology, we can help customers today from anywhere,” Ausenbaugh says.
Cal Beyer Vice president, workforce risk and worker well-being CSDZ
Years in the industry 33 Fast fact In 2016, Beyer was named a Top 25 Newsmaker by Engineering News-Record for his work on suicide prevention in the construction industry
Mind and body in accord Why should organizations pay more attention to mental health and well-being during COVID-19? How does mental health manifest itself in workers’ compensation? The pandemic exacerbated the existing risks of stress, substance misuse and overdose, as well as suicide. Mental health stress continues to rise in both the physical and virtual workplace with the growing economic uncertainty and expanding impacts of the pandemic. The connection between mental health and physical health is clear. Well-being is the bridge between the physical and emotional aspects of health. A growing number of caring employers are taking proactive actions to demonstrate empathy and reassurance to reduce job-related stressors. Mental health conditions can create barriers to access to care and can result in reporting delays for workers’ compensation injuries due to fear of consequences. Mental health conditions are a comorbidity known to coexist among a high percentage of persons with substance use disorders. Behavioral health conditions can delay treatment, decrease compliance with treatment plans, impede healing and delay return to work – all of which can increase the costs associated with workers’ compensation injuries.
Employees suffering from mental health issues typically aren’t that open to discussing their ailments with others or seeking treatment. How can employers mitigate the stigma of mental illness and encourage their staff to seek proper treatment? Stigma stems from fear of the unknown and exists at the intersection of silence and shame. The power of stigma is diminished when organizations create a safe place to talk openly about mental health. Companies committed to promoting wellbeing in the workplace are demonstrating a caring culture. Wellbeing opens the door to conversations and lets employees know “it is OK to not be OK” and that help and resources are available. This normalizes the conversation and makes it acceptable to talk about in the workplace.
Which industries are most likely to need mental health support? What can employers in those industries do to take better care of their personnel? With the increased stress and anxiety affecting workers and their families throughout the pandemic, all employers would be wise to provide mental well-being support. The essential front-line workers in healthcare, grocers and retail, and first responders and public safety, have faced compounded challenges. High-risk industries share a characteristic of having high concentrations of male employment and ‘old-school’ cultures, including construction, mining, oil and gas, farming, fishing, forestry, and manufacturing and industrial trades.
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The myths of digital transformation Digital transformation is imperative right now – but do companies really understand what it entails?
have bad processes after it,” he says. “If they currently have poor customer service, then this will still exist after the transformation. If their rating and pricing models aren’t sound, a digital transformation won’t affect them in the slightest.” Another misconception insurance companies might have about digital transformation is that the process is all about improving the user experience. “Large digital transformation projects often fail because they couldn’t
“Technology alone cannot transform a business; the business itself needs to play its part”
As a firm that helps insurers accelerate their capability to take advantage of new business models and market opportunities, Endava has a good idea of how companies should tackle their journey toward digital transformation. Robert Anderson, Endava’s principal architect, explains that companies must first answer from a business perspective why a digital transformation is necessary, whether it’s to reduce the number and/or cost of legacy systems, to offer a better customer experience or to enable business efficiency – maybe even all of the above.
“While most businesses would say that they’d like for it to do all of the above, the reality is that there will be limited funds available, and therefore they will need to prioritize their objective,” Anderson says. Once a company has identified what it’s trying to improve, only then can it identify what in the IT landscape is holding it back from reaching those objectives – and it shouldn’t expect digital transformation to solve all of its problems, Anderson cautions. “If they have bad business processes before the transformation, they will still
Whitespace, GuideOne National form energy MGU
Digital e-trading platform Whitespace has teamed up with GuideOne National to form Career General Agency (CGA), a digital energy MGU that will underwrite property insurance for global energy risks. CGA can accept risks exclusively with the Whitespace platform via a digitized underwriting process, which GuideOne National SVP Mark Groenheide said will “enable underwriters to continue to do their jobs more effectively, while still retaining the fundamental human element that is imperative to the industry.”
get the data models right,” Anderson says. “There’s no use in giving the customer a great user interface if the data from the back-end systems isn’t there to support the user experience in a holistic manner.” The last misconception that hampers digital transformation, Anderson says, is the belief that technology is the only thing that has to change. “What most insurance companies don’t fully appreciate is that the business needs to change as well,” he says. “If they aren’t willing to commit the business resources or change the business processes to support these new ways of working, the digital transformation will fail. Technology alone cannot transform a business; the business itself needs to play its part in the transformation.”
Brown & Brown acquires major US insurtech
Brown & Brown has acquired the assets of digital insurance marketplace CoverHound and its CyberPolicy subsidiary. CoverHound will continue to operate independently under Brown & Brown and will focus on scaling digital partnerships with trusted brands. “We see CoverHound as an important platform for Brown & Brown’s expansion into the digital insurance marketplace, while at the same time helping our traditional businesses to continually deliver an exceptional customer experience,” said Brown & Brown SVP Steve Boyd.
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Reginald J. Twigg Director of product marketing for data capture ABBYY
Years in the tech industry 24 Fast fact Twigg’s educational background is in communication theory, including semiotics, linguistics and speech pathology
The challenge of going digital overnight What is ABBYY, and what value proposition does it bring to the insurance market? ABBYY is a digital intelligence company that provides document processing with process assessment and monitoring technologies for enterprises. We see digital transformation happening everywhere, with organizations looking to optimize and target automation at specific high-value processes. At the same time, they’re also rethinking how those processes should work – in particular, looking at how they handle the vast amounts of content and documents that flow through them. How do people use those documents? How do they make sense of them? ABBYY helps organizations to do that.
How is ABBYY helping insurance companies with their digital transformation? Insurers have a need to onboard new customers, underwrite policies and process claims, and throughout those processes, one of the biggest pains they face is their reliance on documentation to provide proof of certain events. For example, when onboarding a new customer, they require proof of identity, proof of employment and proof of insurability, and all of those documents need to be collected and processed. ABBYY technologies can process that on the fly as the customer enters into the process, allowing insurance companies to be more responsive, more effective and much more competitive. ABBYY takes a process-centric approach; we have solutions that help organizations quickly discover how their processes
EZLynx forms new partnership with bolt
EZLynx has teamed up with digital distribution platform bolt to give agents access to commercial products and carriers. Agents can currently compare personal lines quotes within the EZLynx Agency Management System; the bolt partnership will allow them to compare, issue and bind coverage for commercial lines as well. “We’re giving independent agents access to a whole new line of products, including workers’ compensation, business owner’s policy, commercial auto and more,” said bolt CEO Eric Gewirtzman.
work – particularly the difficult content/documentdriven processes at the core of insurance businesses.
What digital transformation issues have you seen among insurers over the past six months? With the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we interact and conduct business turned upside down overnight. Insurance companies have had to go digital really fast to maintain continuity and respond to digital competitors. But they don’t have the luxury of time to evaluate, study, research, implement or even pick a platform. One of the main challenges insurers face is that the traditional models of adopting technology – big platforms, systems and applications – are becoming obsolete for the current business environment. They have to rethink how they use technology and assess how their scope and handle have changed. Insurers should instead introduce incremental changes that address specific pain points, and they have to test and deploy them faster than ever before.
Which areas are best suited for ABBYY? One area that comes to mind is claims. How do insurers process claims? There’s the first notification of loss, assessment of fault, getting estimates of work, collecting documents about the incident, determining liability and dealing with third parties – and those processes all rely on different documents. Insurers need good document recognition technologies and good process discovery, and those are the types of solutions that we can jump in and provide immediately.
Charles Taylor InsureTech unveils Authority Hub
Charles Taylor InsureTech has launched a new Authority Hub to hold and manage delegated authority letters for insurers in one central location, accessible across an entire business through secure access controls. Designed to save time while improving efficiency and accuracy, Charles Taylor said the Authority Hub simplifies the process for the delegation of authority, while meeting all necessary regulatory requirements, by creating secure digital records that provide real-time reporting on the authority status of a team or individual.
Innovation Group partners with Verisk
Global insurtech Innovation Group has teamed up with data and analytics provider Verisk to offer insurers a consolidated, real-time view of the claim life cycle. The collaboration will combine Verisk’s Xactware products, which enable accurate management of repair estimates, remote video assessment, labor cost management, and proactive issue resolution, with Innovation Group’s Gateway platform and its first notification of loss, adaptive workflows, and payment capabilities.
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GOT AN OPINION THAT COUNTS? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The most important conversation Positive self-talk can help insurance professionals get through the rough patches, writes Trevor Tellin WE TALK all day, whether in person or through email, text or chat. We’re inundated with conversation, rarely finding a moment of silence. Out of all of this communication, who do you think hears your voice the most? Is it your boss or employees? Maybe your partner or children? While these might seem like the obvious answers, it’s actually you. For as much as we talk to others, we talk even more to ourselves. Sometimes the conversation is about what we’re doing, if we’re undertaking a technical task like filling out an application or putting together furniture. Other times it’s in regard to our ability to do something or a reflection of our confidence, such as “There’s no way I can do this,” or “I’ve got this – this is a piece of cake.” The list of what we tell ourselves is endless. It turns out that when we talk to ourselves, that conversation has a massive impact on our confidence and our ability to perform at work, at home and in whatever other ventures we pursue. Here’s an example. Imagine you’re at work. You have a new client to call, and you’re trying to seal the deal on a new policy. You haven’t worked much with this person, so the rapport isn’t entirely there; plus, they don’t always seem to be the most pleasant. Nonetheless, the call must happen. Before you dial the number, you tell yourself, “This is a waste of my time; I hate calling them.” How do you think that phone call goes? My
prediction: not that great. Now imagine the same scenario, except this time before dialing, you tell yourself, “Let’s seal the deal! Talk slow and breathe. This is easy money!” How do you think that phone call goes? I’m thinking much better. Mind experts like Trevor Moawad and Michael Gervais preach this exact same
self saying most often. Ask yourself, is this helping my progress or hurting it? You can do the exact same thing by looking at what you’re saying to yourself before you do something you consider relatively easy or simple.
Create a mantra or ‘go-to’ phrase
Speak to yourself like a champion
We can craft personalized phrases that really click in our minds. For example, my go-to is inspired by the legendary band The Grateful Dead. Whenever I’m faced with a daunting challenge, I remind myself, “Just keep trucking.” It doesn’t make the task any easier, but I’ve at least reminded myself to keep my head down and keep working.
Even the world’s greatest performers and experts have rough days, but what makes champions different is that even on those days, the conversations they have with themselves are motivating and encouraging. It’s not blind optimism – it’s showing belief in yourself through your language, even when the cards may be stacked against you.
“It’s up to us to make sure the words coming out of our mouths, and those in our head, are giving us the best chance to succeed and live how we desire” thing when working with groups like the Navy SEALs and athletes such as the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson. According to Gervais, “Confidence comes from one place – and one place only – your self-talk. The cool thing is … we can train this.” What might your life look like if you change the conversation you’re having with yourself? To help propel you in this journey, here are three steps to begin changing the conversation – and changing your results.
Begin by building awareness
Pay attention to what you’re saying, both out loud and internally, when you’re working on something that challenges you. Write down the phrases you notice your-
This process might take a bit of time, but you have all the time in the world. Start the journey today and never look back. What we say to ourselves matters far greater than we often realize. It’s up to us to make sure the words coming out of our mouths, and those in our head, are giving us the best chance to succeed and live how we desire. The most important conversation you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. Trevor Tellin is a sports psychology-trained consultant whose organization, New Summits Consulting, works with individuals, teams and organizations to maximize performance by channeling the power of the mind.
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ONE SIZE FITS ONE.
Selective is committed to working with our independent agency partners to get it just right for each unique customer, who is unlike any other. Itâ€™s how we deliver on our promise...
ÂŠ 2020 Selective Ins. Group, Inc., Branchville, NJ. Products vary by jurisdiction, terms, and conditions and are provided by Selective Ins. Co. of America and its insurer affiliates. Details at selective.com/about/affiliated-insurers.aspx. INST-19-021
20/11/2020 3:22:12 am
RAISING THE BAR For two decades, Brenda Hall has contributed to Selective Insurance’s growth and business strategy – and she’s taken on a new challenge this year as its leader of commercial lines
DURING HER 19-year career at Selective Insurance, Brenda Hall has worn many hats. She’s been part of underwriting teams and has had a say in strategic operations, business intelligence and advanced analytics, as well as marketing, training and development, and project management. Looking back on these experiences from her current role as executive vice president and commercial lines chief operating officer, Hall says she’s enjoyed every opportunity. “The saying is true – time does fly when we’re having fun,” she says. Long before joining Selective, Hall took her first step into insurance while studying at a liberal arts university in Ohio, where she learned about openings in the industry at a campus recruiting event. Shortly after, she began working for a regional carrier as a marketing manager for commercial lines and, during the next seven years of her career, continued in various underwriting roles in standard lines of business for property & casualty and medical malpractice. A new adventure came calling when Hall’s husband took a job in Amsterdam and the pair moved overseas. The work didn’t stop for Hall, though – during her time abroad, she earned a master’s degree in business administration and management. Today, she remembers her time in Europe as an important learning opportunity. “Living abroad was such an amazing expe-
rience,” she says. “Looking back, it gave me valuable perspectives and insights into the role that culture and geography play in things like people leadership and, even within our business, in product development.” Hall later took a job as a senior underwriter in medical malpractice, but she was looking to put her master’s degree and previous experiences to good use by moving
Virginia. That was almost two decades ago – and the best move of my career.” Today, Hall leads commercial lines operations at the super-regional carrier, which has a corporate underwriting department and six regional underwriting offices that support its field model, in which local underwriters partner with agencies to write and retain business. The spirit of teamwork that Hall
“I’ve been very fortunate to have leaders [at Selective] who encouraged me to take risks. More importantly, the teams that I’ve been a part of have welcomed me in, and we have set out to accomplish more than we ever thought possible” into a management position. She was already familiar with Selective and was drawn to the company’s unique field model, strong agency relationships and broad product offering. “I thought Selective would be a perfect fit for my background as well as my career aspirations, so I connected with a former colleague of mine who was a regional manager at Selective at the time,” Hall says. “My first role was as an underwriting supervisor for the state of
has been privy to at Selective is just one of the aspects of her career that she appreciates. “I have been very fortunate to have leaders [at Selective] who encouraged me to take risks, oftentimes stepping out of my comfort zone to take on new challenges,” she says. “More importantly, the teams that I’ve been a part of have welcomed me in, and we have set out to accomplish more than we ever thought possible.”
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PROFILE Name: Brenda Hall Title: Executive vice president, commercial lines chief operating officer Company: Selective Insurance Group Based in: Charlotte, North Carolina Years in the industry: 28 Previous roles: Since joining Selective in 2001, Hall has served as VP of underwriting, SVP and director of field underwriting, and SVP and chief strategic operations officer
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Pushing the commercial lines envelope When it comes to innovating the insurance distribution model, Selective has been busy over the past few years. The carrier offers what it calls a “high-tech, high-touch” business model that brings together the fieldbased underwriting component with an insurance claims model backed by agency automation technology. To support this, Hall and her team have implemented integrated commercial lines pricing predictive models and a customer experience strategy, have built a robust reporting and analytics environment, and have deployed advanced analytics that have helped grow Selective’s commercial operations.
ciency across commercial underwriting. Hall is also determined to maintain Selective’s underwriting rigor as the carrier looks for opportunities to drive profitability in certain lines of business, such as property and auto.
Turning the corner With a new year coming up, several of Hall’s priorities have been given top billing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Living the company’s value to ‘Be the Best’ has been especially important during this time, as has keeping agency partners close to ensure that Selective continues to deliver the service excellence they’ve grown to expect. Looking to 2021, Hall says a focus on Selective employees and
“We know small businesses have very unique needs, and we want to be there for them. We’ve made significant investments in customer experience” Another highlight for Hall is the role she played in developing Selective’s strategic business framework. “This was an effort in which we established a lot of focus and organizational alignment across the enterprise,” she says, “and over a period of three years, we were able to deliver more than 70 key initiatives for the company.” Alongside these accomplishments, Hall has taken on an executive leadership role at a challenging moment for the insurance industry. Her top-of-mind objective remains driving profitable growth at Selective to ensure that the carrier continues to outperform the rest of the industry, as it has done for several years now. “Every year, the bar is raised,” she says, “and we remained focused on meeting and exceeding that bar.” As a result, Selective is concentrating on both growing its market share with the help of its agency partners, as well as pinpointing internal improvement efforts to drive effi-
SELECTIVE INSURANCE BY THE NUMBERS
their health and well-being will be incredibly important. “There’s no doubt that our people continue to be our greatest asset,” she says. Work is also underway to expand Selective’s geographic footprint. “Our recent geographic expansion efforts in the Southwest absolutely exceeded expectations, and we were able to demonstrate our ability to add to our top-line growth,” Hall says, adding that the plan is to develop a national model. Last but not least, Selective’s commercial team, led by Hall, is concentrating on the small business space. “We know small businesses have very unique needs, and we want to be there for them,” she says. “We’ve made significant investments in customer experience in the past, and we provide our customers with everything from streamlined claims reporting and status updates to proactive communications that help them manage business challenges and insurance risks more effectively.”
1926 Year Selective was founded under the name Selected Risks Insurance Company
2,000+ Number of employees
89 Consecutive years Selective has been rated A or higher by A.M. Best
38 Selective’s rank among the largest US P&C insurers based on 2019 net premiums written, according to A.M. Best
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Meet 100 industry leaders and innovators who have made the most out of a chaotic year HOT 100 2021 INDEX NAME
Owie Lei Agbontaen
Sompo Global Risk Solutions
AmWINS Brokerage of Texas
Burns & Wilcox
Juan C. Andrade
Everest Re Group, Ltd.
Lloyd's of London
Venture Pacific Insurance Services and ALKEME
RT ProExec/RT Specialty
Charles Taylor Claims Services
SeibertKeck Insurance Partners
Jeffrey T. Benson Jr.
Prominent Insurance Services
Eagan Insurance Agency
USG Insurance Services
AmWINS Group/AmWINS Special Risk Underwriters
Risk Placement Services
Priya Cherian Huskins
Duck Creek Technologies
Jacobson Professional Insurance
Brown & Riding
IMA Financial Group
Evins Insurance Agency
Frank H. Furman
Scottish American Insurance and Florida Home Builders Insurance
Risk Management Solutions of America
H.W. Kaufman Group/Burns & Wilcox
The Plexus Groupe
Burns & Wilcox
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MEG MCKEEN Founder and chief confidence builder
ONE FOR the history books, 2020 has been a seemingly endless stream of uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought economic recession and ongoing technological disruption, wildfires and hurricanes have ravaged the US from coast to coast, and social and political unrest has swept through cities across the country. But the members of IBA’s Hot 100 list have turned these unprecedented challenges into amazing opportunities. From young women of color making strides toward greater diversity and inclusion in the industry to C-suite executives with decades of experience launching new businesses and technology experts who are driving insurtech to new heights, this year’s Hot 100 honorees all have one thing in common: forward-thinking, can-do attitudes. With this year’s list, IBA celebrates the best and brightest the industry has to offer.
For more than 20 years, Meg McKeen has worked as an underwriter and insurance agent and has witnessed thousands of insurance negotiations. In 2017, she took a break from the corporate world to go on a journey of self-discovery. The following year, she launched Adjunct Advisors, aimed at improving the insurance-buying experience through humility, humor and heart. McKeen says working with others helps keep her inspired. “Confidence builds – and results follow – when insurance salespeople bravely align their heart and their work, showing up authentically for the people they serve,” she says. “I’m motivated to work each day to ensure they have the guidance and the space they need to keep going.” McKeen helps individuals and groups through one-on-one and small group coaching, in-person and virtual workshops, and her podcast, Bound & Determined, which strives to elevate the voices of women in insurance.
Tangram Insurance Services
Amity Insurance, a division of Brown & Brown Massachusetts
Harding Brooks Insurance Agency
Zurich North America
AmWINS Access Insurance Services
Foundation Insurance Group
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Capital City Mediations
Mackoul Risk Solutions
National African American Insurance Association
Kerri M. Roberts
Energy Insurance Agency
Skyward Specialty Insurance Group
Risk Placement Services
AKO Brokerage Services and AKO Insurance Consulting
Peter R. Taffae
Fundamental Underwriters/ AF Group
Brown & Riding
Marsh & McLennan Agency
Crawford & Company
Branden A. Weber
Alpha Insurance Group
Crawford & Company
Brown & Riding
Risk Placement Services
Michael J. Sicard
USI Insurance Services
Zurich North America
DANIEL GINDEN CEO SCOTTISH AMERICAN INSURANCE AND FLORIDA HOME BUILDERS INSURANCE
dreamed of and take on any challenge life may throw at them head-on.” As CEO, Ginden has helped FHB regain control of niche construction products. He has also expanded the Latin Agents Association into northern Florida and other US states. He is a member of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents’ Young Agents Council and has been recognized as an expert witness for insurance agencies and brokers on professional liability claims. He has also been a top 30 producer at W.R. Berkley and a member of the Latin America Association of Insurance Agencies’ E&O panel.
Senior vice president
Jeff Beck joined AssuredPartners in 2019 and quickly became an integral addition to its sales and leadership team. Specializing in employee benefits, workers’ compensation and P&C insurance, Beck works hand-in-hand with clients, carrier partners and in-house risk management teams to coordinate and deliver customized insurance and risk management solutions to the senior living industry. Within his first year with AssuredPartners, Beck was selected as the Southeast regional sales leader, charged with overseeing more than 100 sales professionals in five states. “Being affiliated with an organization that values collective accomplishments over individual achievements motivates me to perform at a high level each day,” Beck says. “Even though AssuredPartners is the fastestgrowing independent insurance agency in the United States, we have not even scratched the surface of our overall potential.” Since 2018, Beck has been on the board of Mease Life, a large nonprofit continuing care retirement community that serves the needs of several hundred of Florida’s most vulnerable elderly residents.
Daniel Ginden started out in retail insurance 15 years ago and gradually made his way to the MGA/wholesale space, where he concentrates on building relationships as CEO at Scottish American Insurance and Florida Home Builders (FHB) Insurance. Ginden refers to himself as “chief everything officer,” stressing that no task is too big or too small for him to help with. “Many of [my employees] I have known for 10-plus years, some 20-plus years – before we got into the insurance industry,” he says. “When they are winning, that pushes me to work even harder so they can sustain the life they
LAUREN YOUNG Director of diversity and inclusion ZURICH NORTH AMERICA
Dr. Lauren Young leads diversity, inclusion and equity efforts at Zurich North America and advises executives on methods to eliminate biased processes and procedures. For her, 2020’s social justice movements have been inspirational. “I am motivated by the voices of diverse leaders, which have been brought to the forefront over the past six months,” Young says. “This is a time when more people are willing to listen, be empathetic and take meaningful action to make a difference in their organizations and in their communities.” This year has also been educational for Young, who earned a doctor of education degree in organizational change and leadership from the University of Southern California. She was also recognized by Diversity MBA as one of the Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders in Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and was a speaker at IBA’s Women in Insurance Chicago virtual event.
After earning a master’s degree in insurance management from Boston University, Brian Tucker began his career at Central Insurance Companies, where he worked as an underwriter and marketing manager. “I was given a unique opportunity at a young age to be involved in both agency and carrier high-level decisions,” he says. “I owe Central Insurance Companies and a long list of agents I worked with early in my career a lot of credit. Understanding both sides of the business has given me a unique opportunity to serve my clients and understand the nuances of the marketing process.” In 2014, Tucker made the move to RHSB, a brokerage originally founded by his great-grandfather in 1945. Concentrating on middle-market P&C sales in the real estate, nursing home, contracting and manufacturing industries, Tucker has grown his book by more than 20% over the past three years. Outside of RHSB, he teaches insurance and risk management at Texas Christian University.
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OWIE LEI AGBONTAEN Senior underwriter and Midwest business development lead SOMPO GLOBAL RISK SOLUTIONS
After studying communications, marketing and the African and African American diaspora at Boston College, Owie Lei Agbontaen started his insurance career in the Boston and New York markets before relocating to Chicago. In Boston, he helped found the local chapter of the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), as well as the Board of Young Professionals for the Steppingstone Foundation. “My greatest motivation has always been to lead as an example for younger professionals
KERRI M. ROBERTS Chief operating officer TIG ADVISORS
In 15 years, Kerri Roberts has gone from a career concentrating on operational excellence and strategic human resources to being tapped as chief operating officer for TIG Advisors, where she focuses on operations, sales, human resources and marketing. Roberts has been pivotal in creating a risk management and insurance certificate program at the University of Missouri, rolling out new technologies, and showcasing the insurance industry to younger generations. In addition to making this year’s Hot 100, she’s been named to Women of Excellence and Women Who Move the City lists in local magazines in TIG’s home base of Columbia, Missouri. “I am a private-sector thinker and maybe not a typical insurance thinker,” Roberts says. “I view opportunities all around us in the industry for innovation, better utilization of technology and big efficiencies. I see talented, long-tenured employees who need reward and recognition and the ability to think and grow. I see young folks who need to be enlightened on how rewarding a career in insurance can be.”
ROB STEIN Middle market client segment leader AON
With more than 20 years of experience in the P&C brokerage arena, Rob Stein successfully launched Aon’s middle-market client segment this year, taking charge of everything from design and staffing to carrier engagement and the execution of client-centric strategies. He
ERIC RAMSEY P&C producer and aviation specialist HIGGINBOTHAM
Eric Ramsey studied aviation science at Baylor University and got his pilot’s license, then went to work insuring everything from light aircraft to commercial airliners as an aviation underwriter at Old Republic Aerospace. Since joining Higginbotham earlier this year, Ramsey has used his aviation and carrier knowledge to help
because there are not many people in the industry who look like me,” Agbontaen says. “I am fortunate to be recognized for my accomplishments, which allows me to share this experience with those who come after me.” Agbontaen serves as a senior underwriter and Midwest business development lead at Sompo Global Risk Solutions, specializing in real estate, hospitality, financial institutions and professional services. He’s grown the middle-market Central region from $0 to $7 million and expanded his influence across the Midwest. He was also named to IBA’s Rising Stars list in 2020.
also mentors high-potential colleagues and, as a member of Aon’s Executive Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, works with candidates to help them navigate their careers. “Continual learning is my motivation,” Stein says. “I’ve fostered many foundational relationships in this industry, and as I expand my network, these connections fortify my knowledge base and advance my technical acumen. In addition, this network creates a teamwork environment, which I ultimately call upon to create the best solutions for all of our clients.”
current clients with aviation exposure, surpassing his new business production goals and cross-selling multiple accounts in the aviation vertical. “Being able to help pilots and/or aviation business owners continue to contribute their portion to the aviation industry motivates me,” he says. “So does building industry connections and continuing to be a lifelong student of the aviation field. Being able to couple both my aviation and insurance knowledge for my clients and bringing that to my well-established connections in the industry has allowed for a smooth and wellrounded risk management platform.”
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KELLY KINZER North American head of construction property ZURICH NORTH AMERICA
Kelly Kinzer has the instincts, expertise and leadership abilities to boost profits while offsetting liabilities in the challenging
DAVID LAVINS Chief operating officer AMWINS ACCESS INSURANCE SERVICES
David Lavins is nothing if not driven. “My motivation comes from within,” he says. “I am
construction industry. “Even in a maledominated field, if you ask any broker, Kelly is recognized as the top leader in this space in the US,” says Karen Reutter, head of construction at Zurich. “She commands the respect of brokers, customers and the team she manages with a very humble, kind and supportive leadership style.” Over two decades, Kinzer has established herself as a leader in construction risk, working on both the broker and carrier sides of the industry. In 2019, she moved from Willis Towers Watson to Zurich, where she collaborates with key brokers and agents to design, develop and deliver first-party risk transfer solutions for a $245 million portfolio. “Kelly has led impactful efforts to put Zurich construction back on the map in a very big way,” Reutter says. “She has the strong potential to be a CEO someday.” In addition to her daily responsibilities, Kinzer is a charter member of New Quorum, which helps to promote gender diversity on corporate boards. She’s also a member of Zurich’s Women’s Innovation Network and a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
a highly competitive individual with a desire to win. I strive for continuous improvement and work hard to attain a standard of excellence, regardless of the competition.” Nearly 15 years ago, Lavins began his career in private equity at Bain & Company, where he developed a strong financial foundation, a fierce work ethic and a unique ability to focus on people first. Recently, Lavins spearheaded the creation of Access, a binding platform for small P&C business that challenges traditional binding authority. He is now the COO of AmWINS Access, helping to create new products and find innovative ways to build markets. While he clearly falls into the disruptor camp, Lavins puts a high priority on maintaining traditional excellence. “I expect the basics – principally culture and a company’s ability to attract and keep really talented people – will continue to be the driving factors in success in the insurance industry,” he says.
ERICKA DEBRUCE Vice president, colleague experience and corporate citizenship SEDGWICK
For Ericka DeBruce, the diversity and inclusion movement is personal. Growing up, she saw her father suffer from unconscious biases and micro-inequities and miss out on advancement opportunities because of his race. By concentrating on driving positive change at an institutional level, DeBruce is helping to ensure that doesn’t happen to Sedgwick’s 27,000-plus employees across the globe. “Passion for diversity and inclusion is more than a professional responsibility for me – it is also a personal devotion, being that I am a woman who comes from a multiracial background,” she told IBA earlier this year. “I want people to understand how their uniqueness adds value to an organization, which helps them be the best possible version of themselves – and I am more than willing to help them along the way.” DeBruce believes that a key aspect of D&I is empowering people to express dissenting opinions. “There’s a common misperception that having a diverse organization automatically results in diversity of thought,” she told IBA. “This simply isn’t the case. Rather, this is where inclusion comes into play. Inclusion and belonging, combined with diversity, drive innovation.”
At AssuredPartners, we’re not just in the insurance business. We’re in the business of developing strong, lasting relationships. Relationships built on trust that we earn day in and day out by working as partners – to achieve common goals. That is what we call Power through Partnership.
Congratulations to our Top 100 Winners www.assuredpartners.com
Jeff Beck Eric Kaup
Gina Ekstam Phil Masi
Managing director and agribusiness vertical leader
EVINS INSURANCE AGENCY
AMITY INSURANCE, A DIVISION OF BROWN & BROWN MASSACHUSETTS
Whether he’s power lifting, bodybuilding, playing tennis or simply navigating the insurance industry, Chris Evins is extremely competitive and is known for his incredible work ethic. “When I go all in on something, I’m literally all in,” he says. That determination led Evins to start his own business after only half a dozen years in insurance, landing him a spot on IBA’s 2017 Young Guns list. And it enables him to persevere, despite limited resources. “We do more volume with less than five employees than many agencies do with more than 10,” he says. “Simply put, we specialize in what we are best at. By the time a new risk leaves our office and hits an underwriter’s desk, it has already been underwritten within the agency, saving so much of our time and our carriers’. This along, with our account manager having a tireless work ethic, makes us run so efficiently.”
With nearly three decades in the industry and a commitment to accuracy and efficiency, Gina Ekstam is well suited to lead AssuredPartners’ agribusiness vertical. Since taking on her current role earlier this year, Ekstam has managed to build up the agribusiness vertical in only a few months – but she’s focused on more than just building her book. “I am motivated by the career development and success of others,” she says. “Insurance can be tough, and it is easy for people new to the industry to be discouraged. This is where insurance veterans like myself have a chance to share our passion and knowledge to help others achieve success in their insurance career.” Ekstam’s desire to help others also extends outside the industry, from helping needy kids to volunteering for local educational and athletic organizations.
In addition to managing Amity Insurance, Justin Kesner leads a team of brokers and specialists in lawyers’ professional liability (LPL). Since 2010, Amity’s LPL business has more than quadrupled, thanks to Kesner’s growth ideas and oversight. He spearheaded the change of Amity’s traditional retail-only approach to a new model, adding wholesale business to Amity’s offerings, which allows other brokers and agents to leverage his team’s expertise and exclusive insurers. Kesner has also facilitated four LPL acquisitions for Amity, some of which brought more exclusive programs into New England, as well as new states. Most recently, Amity’s LPL division acquired the insurance agency of the New Hampshire Bar Association and an exclusive endorsement from the organization. Kesner continues to bring innovative growth strategies to Amity and says he’s looking forward to a successful 2021.
and speak their language. Henley has in-depth knowledge of middle-market risk management needs and specializes in ownermanaged, private-equity-owned and nonprofit organizations. “I work with a great team of people,” he says, “and with their support, I am afforded the opportunity to work closely with a number of successful, entrepreneurial people who are driving their organizations toward success.” This year, at the onset of COVID-19, Henley recognized the need to publish online
information regarding property policies not responding to slowdowns and shutdowns, including information on insurance, Paycheck Protection Program loans, legislation, HR resources, policies and legal issues. His proactive approach put him at more than 500% of his production goal for 2020, and his book leads the life, benefits and professional casualty verticals at SiebertKeck. As a people manager, Henley has also been instrumental in fostering culture, productivity and connectivity through remote social events.
KARL HENLEY Executive vice president and partner SEIBERTKECK INSURANCE PARTNERS
Karl Henley’s 25 years in financial services, commercial banking and insurance allow him to understand his clients’ businesses
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BRIAN FIRST Executive vice president and chief underwriting officer – programs, property and specialty ARCH INSURANCE
In 2018, Brian First took on his current leadership role at Arch Insurance, where he’s responsible for alternative markets; contract binding solutions; E&S casualty; P&C; and property, travel and accident programs. All together, these areas account for more than 55% of the company’s gross premiums for the past two years. Arch CEO Matthew Shulman describes First as “a leader of leaders, both at Arch Insurance and in the broader P&C insurance industry. Brian prizes collaboration and believes deeply in investing in people. No stage is too big or too small to share with a colleague when tackling a business issue, celebrating a success or creating opportunities for professional growth and career advancement. Combined with his authentic nature and playful personality, Brian has shaped the Arch culture and helped to grow the Arch brand as an innovative carrier and destination for the future leaders of our industry.”
Director, commercial P&C
RISK PLACEMENT SERVICES
After 20 years in the wholesale space, Chanel Bokelberg says she’s built “such a great network of relationships. It is easy to find daily motivation by having some of the best co-workers and working for a company that gives me such great respect and admiration.” In 2016, Bokelberg opened the Pittsburgh office of Risk Placement Services (RPS). Since then, she’s led a team of eight underwriting and risk placement professionals to become one of the fastest-growing offices in the firm, fostering a tenfold increase in year-over-year growth and growing her own book by more than 30% in 2020. She’s been consistently recognized by RPS as a top performer and underwriter. Outside of RPS, Bokelberg has served as chair of Pittsburgh I Day, is active in the Insurance Club of Pittsburgh and is working to launch an East Coast chapter of Women of Wholesale.
In more than 25 years in insurance, Tim Maurer has worked as an agent, a marketing manager for two national insurance companies and a principal at an independent insurance agency. Today, as director of commercial P&C at Bensman Group, Maurer exemplifies perseverance and team spirit. Whether it’s a client, a co-worker or management, Maurer consistently goes out of his way to assist anyone who needs help. In addition to helping mentor several individuals, he has facilitated departmental changes, advised on mergers and offered troubleshooting for several difficult situations. Outside of the office, Maurer donates blood, volunteers for charitable work and is involved in mentoring young people. He’s also active in the Boy Scouts, serving as an assistant scoutmaster for the largest troop in his area.
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CHRISTOPHER WELTY Chief human resources officer
MIKE PEPLINSKI Vice president
BROWN & RIDING
HARDING BROOKS INSURANCE AGENCY
From rolling out a new vacation program to pushing the envelope on COVID-19 responsiveness, Christopher Welty always seeks to maintain the emphasis on ‘human’ in his role as Brown & Riding’s chief human resources officer. “My primary professional motivation is to help others succeed, develop, grow and advance in their careers,” he says. “So many amazing people have contributed to helping me grow personally and professionally, and I take pride in being able to give back to others wherever and whenever possible.” Starting out in 2007 as an HR assistant, Welty rose through the ranks to become head of HR and a principal at B&R in 2019. During that time, the company has grown fivefold to nearly 300 employees, and Welty has overseen two mergers and acquisitions. He’s also established a reputation for enhancing plan benefits and promoting company culture and employee opportunities.
KIMBERLY GEORGE Head of innovation and product development SEDGWICK
After starting her career as a neuro trauma nurse, Kimberly George transitioned to the insurance industry, joining Sedgwick in 2001 to oversee its integrated disability medical programs, case management
After spending 10 years at HSBC Bank, Mike Peplinski transitioned into insurance, where he focuses on the transportation industry, specifically collateral recovery and towing businesses. This year, with much of the repossession industry shuttered due to its nonessential status, Peplinski helped form the Repo Alliance to lobby on behalf of his clients in Washington, DC. He also advised his clients on ways to lower their insurance costs and how to leverage their downtime to improve operations. “I believe in being a partner who empowers versus being the seasonal agent,” he says. “I have become a leading advocate for my insureds, as I work closely with many state and national trade associations.” Well respected within the repossession industry, Peplinski was named to IBA’s Top Producers list in 2017 and also received the American Recovery Association’s Special Recognition Award that same year.
and managed care services. Since then, she’s established herself as a prominent industry thought leader, a sought-after speaker and writer, and a driver of innovation and product development. “In each of our roles within this industry, we have the opportunity to positively impact people’s lives,” George says. “Finding unique ways to approach challenges, encouraging new ways of thinking and helping people during times of need makes each day rewarding.”
REKHA SKANTHARAJA President and CEO TANGRAM INSURANCE SERVICES
As president and CEO of Tangram, Rekha Skantharaja leads an independently owned, privately held general insurance agency on her terms. The company architects and distributes specialty insurance programs in niche industries across the US and has a 20-year track record of growing programs, cultivating distribution channels and driving profitable underwriting results. “I am motivated by the people I work beside every day,” Skantharaja says. “They are willing to push boulders up mountains and run through walls for their teammates and for our business. I am inspired by their belief in me and each other to take the business to new heights, and we all want to be part of progress in this industry.” With a majority female executive team and a staff that includes veterans and minorities, Skantharaja says she’s proud to be leading a company that is challenging the status quo of the insurance industry. Tangram completed its first strategic acquisition last year and is expanding several programs with the goal of growing the company tenfold while remaining independent and building an even more diverse team.
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BONNIE SAWDEY Chief people officer CRAWFORD & COMPANY
Bonnie Sawdey has spent nearly 30 years at Crawford & Company, where she oversees global human resources, including people strategy, talent acquisition, talent management, employee relations, total rewards, HRIS, and learning and development. This year, she’s helped lead the company through the COVID-19 pandemic,
ensuring employees have the resources they need and have access to telemedicine and mental health services. In addition, she chairs Crawford Cares, which helps employees impacted by natural disasters, and Crawford’s Women LEAD initiative. “In my role as chief people officer, I am presented with many opportunities to support others every day,” Sawdey says. “Being able to deliver on Crawford’s purpose of restoring and enhancing lives, businesses, and communities is deeply rewarding, both personally and professionally.”
Chief product officer
Executive vice president and managing director
After working at travel search engine company Kayak and other startups in the US and Germany, Martina Hahn made her way to the product department of insurance comparison website The Zebra in 2017. Since then, she’s grown the department to a team of 12, has increased product conversions by 40% and user engagement by 50%, and has helped increase revenue fivefold. As a result, The Zebra promoted her to be its first chief product officer. For Hahn, the future of the industry closely meshes with technological advancements. “The shift of meeting users where they are, which is online, is becoming more and more apparent,” she says. “I anticipate larger budgets dedicated to building out the IT infrastructure to support a fully online experience for the user and a focus on providing discounts through telematics to allow users to truly pay for what they need and how they drive.” One of two women and two people of color in The Zebra’s C suite, Hahn is a founding member of the company’s Affinity group for people of color, minorities, immigrants and allies. She is also involved with the Austin chapter of Women in Product.
BURNS & WILCOX
After standard admitted markets retreated from Louisiana in the late 2000s, Blaise D’Antoni was there to provide brokers and agents with commercial and personal wholesale surplus lines expertise. D’Antoni has also secured exclusive contracts for the natural catastrophe and property markets in Louisiana, helping build long-term business for commercial and personal insurance. Today, he brings his nearly 30 years of experience to his role overseeing Burns & Wilcox operations throughout the South, from Texas to the Carolinas. Despite COVID-19, he has seen a 10% increase in income this year, and he’s focused on building a great culture and attracting and mentoring stellar employees. D’Antoni helped develop and manages the Kaufman Emerging Leaders Program and Kaufman Accelerated Management Program. “I find that mentoring the next generation is what motivates me the most,” he says. “Our younger associates have so much to navigate in their first five years – it is extremely valuable for them to have a mentor who understands what they are going through and is dedicated to their success.”
Divisional vice president, culture and inclusion
“To whom much is given, much is expected.” This is the Bible verse Rodney Johnson reflects on each day to inspire him to further diversity and inclusion efforts as divisional vice president of culture and inclusion at Gallagher. Nearing two decades in the industry and frustrated with the slow pace of D&I, Johnson created Gallagher Connect Partners in 2017 to attract and retain more diverse talent. “Insurance is lagging in diversity and inclusion, and many of the barriers to entry have to do with lack of diversity within the executive and mid-level leadership roles,” he told IBA earlier this year. “When those leadership roles are not diverse, we often see conscious and unconscious bias factored into the hiring decision.” Johnson stresses that building diversity and inclusion is not about philanthropy – it’s about being innovative and delivering better service. “I understood as an African American in sales that there are certain doors within the minority business community that I had access to – certain majority-owned companies that demanded diverse representation, where my peers were challenged and I ascertained a certain level of cultural understanding that allowed me to tap into a diverse market space that boasts nearly $6 trillion in minority buying power.”
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LAEL CHAPPELL Broker engagement lead ATTUNE INSURANCE
At Attune Insurance, Lael Chappell specializes in risk advisory and insurance distribution. He is also responsible for identifying partnership opportunities and coordinating Attune’s distribution strategy for retail brokers, wholesale brokers and
agency networks nationwide. Chappell also advocates for the evolution of the insurance industry through technology. “I believe the insurance industry remains primed for disruption and will see growth in initiatives around innovation, as well as continued momentum in the insurtech space,” he says. “The impact of the global pandemic has only increased the need for investment into technology and resources that allow for all doing business in the insurance industry to continue to serve our mutual insureds as efficiently as possible. While we have all had to adapt the way that we conduct business, we have seen the benefits of evolving quickly and will continue to see disruption in addition to maintaining and expanding efficiencies as we return to ‘the new norm.’” Recognized as one of IBA’s Leaders of Change in 2020 for his diversity and inclusion efforts, Chappell is a member of 100 Black Men of New York and has been instrumental in helping found the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Awareness) Committee at Attune.
Vice president EAGAN INSURANCE AGENCY
Part of the fourth generation of his family to join the insurance business, Marcus Eagan got started nearly 20 years ago, fresh out of college, where he studied business administration. Since then, he has risen through the ranks and has landed repeatedly on IBA’s Top Producer and Hot 100 lists. “What motivates me every day is working with clients to truly make their business better,” Eagan says. “Insurance is a crucial piece to the operation of the business, and … I see myself more of an advisor to the client than just an agent. I truly see myself as part of the client’s team and work with them to mitigate the risks and exposures to the business.” Eagan specializes in large property risks and marine and construction clients. He’s also an award-winning sailor and works with the Community Sailing Association of New Orleans to provide STEM opportunities and sailing lessons to the public and underprivileged individuals.
DAVID MILLER Executive chairman BRIGHTWAY INSURANCE
David Miller founded Brightway Insurance with his brother, Michael, in the late 2000s. The company’s ‘You sell. We service’ business model offers a holistic business platform – including everything from accounting to marketing – to support its 200-plus franchise owners. As Brightway’s executive chairman, Miller strives to mentor future leaders and
ERIC KAUP Agency president ASSUREDPARTNERS
As an agency president at AssuredPartners, Eric Kaup oversees a multi-location agency
help everyone achieve their potential. He is also actively involved in the Jacksonville, Florida, community. He is a co-founder and director of OurJax, a nonprofit demanding transparency in city government. He is also working with other local leaders on LiftJax, an initiative to address poverty in the community, and is an advocate for the LGBT community. Miller has served on a number of boards, including Leadership Jacksonville, JAX Chamber, the Jacksonville Civic Council and the Jewish Community Alliance, and he supports the Sandy Miller Metrotown Institute, which brings together youth from all over the city to build character and leadership skills.
with more than 100 employees, in addition to managing a book of business worth $1 million. In the past year alone, Kaup has written more than $150,000 in new business revenue, and he’s been the top new sales producer at his agency for two out of the past three years.
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Better times are ahead When the situation improves and takes a turn toward normalcy, weâ€™ll still be here â€“ working to secure your future with high-quality products, simple solutions and reliable care.
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NEMANJA JOKIC Director of business technology OIP ROBOTICS
Nemanja Jokic started out doing data entry as an assistant underwriter at Outsource Insurance Professionals (OIP). Over the past eight years, he has risen through the ranks to help lead the launch of OIP Robotics. Jokic
has led his team to concentrate on artificial intelligence and machine learning, developing the custom-built Bordereaux Rating and Reporting System for Lloyd’s and automationas-a-service solutions for OIP clients,. “I like building cohesive and highfunctioning teams from the ground up,” Jokic says. “The teams that live in the E&S complexity nurture a ‘shoot for the stars’ mentality and share a common goal of helping clients get the most value out of technology.” Jokic sees some significant changes ahead for insurance. “The usage of real-time data is skyrocketing in the industry,” he says. “I’d say that the industry will capitalize on evolving tech to further advance to using unstructured data for forward-looking strategic decisions such as product market fit and emerging markets.”
JOHN DELAPLANE Senior vice president
Executive vice president and regional manager
Head of industry engagement
BURNS & WILCOX
With more than 35 years of industry experience, Harvey Goldenberg oversees seven Burns & Wilcox offices across the West. At his home branch in San Francisco, Goldenberg has overseen a significant expansion in staff, has helped launch a co-broker program and has designed automotive and residential home programs that have generated millions in premium. “I am motivated by the people with whom I work,” he says. “I intentionally surround myself with a great staff, both the associates who report to me and those to whom I report. It is inspiring to watch young associates develop into industry leaders and have success in their individual careers.” Goldenberg’s territory has been greatly affected by COVID-19, but he helped his offices transition to a remote working model, which allowed them to maintain and even grow business. Outside of Burns & Wilcox, he supports the Harlem Children Zone, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Students Rising Above.
A 25-year insurance veteran with experience in underwriting for Lloyd’s; developing the ILS market; and leading P&L in data, analytics, and cybersecurity, Rebecca Bole landed at cyber analytics firm CyberCube in 2018 and has helped grow the company from a small team to 100 employees in the US, UK and Estonia. “Working with that brain power is hugely motivating,” she says. Bole was instrumental in getting CyberCube recognized as one of the World Economic Forum’s 2019 technology pioneers – an honor shared by the likes of Airbnb, Google, Mozilla, Spotify and Twitter. More recently, she helped the company land $40 million in Series B funding. “Digital risk will shape the nature of risk in the 21st century,” Bole says. “The work we are doing at CyberCube is designed to help the insurance industry develop meaningful products to meet these new risks for clients.” In addition to her primary responsibilities, Bole champions diversity and inclusion via CyberCube’s gender diversity working group.
RT PROEXEC/RT SPECIALTY
John Delaplane serves as a senior vice president within RT ProExec at RT Specialty. RT ProExec provides cutting-edge product knowledge, innovative placement methodologies and an unparalleled level of service to retail clients. The team consists of more than 40 brokers and is projected to place more than $600 million in premium in 2020, of which Delaplane is personally brokering over $50 million and is responsible for overseeing a large portion more. “Our team – it is the best team in wholesale insurance, in my opinion,” he says. “The knowledge, hustle and creativity are second to none, and I share this award with all of them, as I would not be on this list without them.” Delaplane’s year-over-year premium growth is over 100% from 2019 to 2020, on top of more than 50% from 2018 to 2019. He is tasked with and takes pride in using his expertise and knowledge base to provide consultation, paired with some of the most unique solutions in the industry for retail clients’ unique and tough-to-place risks. Delaplane’s specialties include cannabis, distressed/unique private and nonprofit management liability, healthcare, and public D&O/IPOs.
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VALERIE TURPIN Executive vice president and head of US property ARCH INSURANCE
With 30 years of experience in commercial property insurance, Valerie Turpin is responsible for the property business unit at Arch Insurance, which has been one of the company’s top-performing business units and has had a double-digit growth rate over the last two years. “During her more than 30 years of experience, Valerie has had a proven track record for delivering strong underwriting results while consistently maintaining a reputation as a caring, considerate and thoughtful leader,” says Arch CEO Matthew Shulman. “This is even more so during the recent pandemic. Valerie’s unique combination of intellectual curiosity, inclusive teamwork, attention to detail and grit creates an energy with her team and colleagues to deliver high-quality solutions and superior experiences to brokers and customers.” Turpin has also helped to develop Arch’s diversity and inclusion program and volunteered to sponsor a new employee resource group at Arch. Outside of the office, she supports Partage, a French charitable organization that helps pay school expenses for children.
Co-founder and CEO
Vishaal Hariprasad took a unique path into the insurance industry. “I am willing to bet that I’m the only person in the industry who graduated from the Air Force Academy, saw combat in a cyber warfare unit, was awarded the Order of the Combat Spur by the 3rd Armored Cavalry and the Bronze Star, and holds two patents in cybersecurity and a broking license,” he says. Since 2012, Hariprasad has served as a cyber operations officer in the US Air Force Reserve. In 2016, he co-founded Resilience and has since garnered nearly $40 million in funding. Recently, he collaborated with leading security, data science and insurance professionals to create a platform that automates and enhances cyber insurance solutions. “Technology has traditionally been an enabling function – increasing efficiencies of existing operating models,” Hariprasad says. “Technology is now fundamentally changing the industry, challenging norms and transforming conventions. Simultaneously, we’re seeing an influx of people from a variety of backgrounds. Cyber insurance specifically is looking to experts in security, data science and engineering who haven’t previously been part of the conversation.” Outside the office, Hariprasad remains engaged with his native IndoCaribbean community in the Bronx and South Florida.
Dave North has more than 39 years of experience in risk management and claims services and is a frequent speaker. He has racked up accolades ranging from an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award to the CLM Lifetime Achievement Award and a spot in IBA’s 2020 Hall of Fame. “Millions of people count on Sedgwick each year when faced with unfamiliar situations that take them away from their normal course of work and life,” North says. “It is that opportunity to be there to help others in their time of need that keeps me motivated.” Recently, North transitioned from president and CEO of Sedgwick to executive chairman. During his 25 years in his former role, he was instrumental in helping the company evolve from a boutique third-party claims administrator to a premier global provider of innovative business solutions for workers’ compensation, disability and absence management, property loss adjusting, and other specialty services. North also took an interest in advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives at Sedgwick. “Embedding D&I into our organizational culture is not only the right thing to do,” he told IBA earlier this year, “it’s also critical to the success and sustainability of our business.”
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SCOTT JACOBSON President JACOBSON PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE
When COVID-19 hit, Scott Jacobson started a company to deliver personal protective equipment to law firms, helping them fend
JUAN C. ANDRADE President and CEO EVEREST RE GROUP, LTD.
When Juan Andrade took over as president and CEO at Everest on January 1, 2020, he likely didn’t have a clue just how challenging this year would be. Still, he’s weathered the
off the virus and reduce their chances of being sued. It’s thinking like this that has led Jacobson to be named Best Professional Liability Insurance Broker by the New York Law Journal four times. As the head of a niche-based legal malpractice insurance brokerage concentrating on New York and New Jersey law firms, Jacobson consistently outcompetes middle-market and Fortune 500 brokerages to cover 350 firms annually. “As a second-generation insurance broker and displaced Chicago guy living on the East Coast, I focus on the relationship first,” he says. “Many brokers will assume that a lower premium is the most important, but my clients work with me because of me and that I specialize in the legal industry.” Despite his entrepreneurial mindset, Jacobson remains bearish on technology. “While fintech acquisitions are currently on the rise, I predict a slowdown in end user engagement, as many decision-makers don’t want to DIY their insurance,” he says. “If a CEO utilized a quoting platform and made an error, they only have themselves to blame, as opposed to their broker.”
literal and metaphorical storms and steered Everest to greater success. During the pandemic, he not only guided the company’s transition to a virtual work environment, but also led it to report second-quarter gains of $2.4 billion in gross written premium and earn the distinction of being named a Best Place to Work in Insurance by Business Insurance and Best Companies Group. What’s his key to success? “I have worked in every part of our industry: underwriting, claims, general management, commercial, consumer, international, domestic, primary and reinsurance,” Andrade says. “I have worked for large companies and smaller companies. I have built businesses and have bought businesses.” Andrade has also overseen new diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at Everest to attract and support marginalized groups in insurance and help counter systemic racism. “There needs to be a much greater focus on diversity and inclusion,” he says.
GLORIA ELLIS Underwriting manager SELECTIVE INSURANCE
Gloria Ellis is passionate about mentoring others for a simple reason: She never had a mentor of her own. “My energy and excitement comes from educating and mentoring students and early-career professionals about opportunities in this industry,” she says. In addition to overseeing Selective’s underwriting for the state of Michigan, Ellis is the co-president of the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, where she strives to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment capable of empowering employees to be their unique selves. She is also a past president of the National African American Insurance Association’s Indiana chapter. “In the future, I envision a diverse, multigenerational industry with representation at all leadership levels in companies, agencies and brokerages,” Ellis says. “The industry will look for talent from all backgrounds so that all groups are equitably represented, which should lead to minimizing bias in analytics and artificial intelligence.”
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DENISE CAMPBELL SVP – client executive MARSH
Denise Campbell has worn many hats on her way to her current role as SVP – client executive at Marsh. Before joining the brokerage giant in November 2020, she was AVP of national accounts at AIG, where she gained experience across multiple departments. As a communications specialist, she led communications for a multinational service offering. As a business
development manager, she collaborated with distribution partners in the greater New York City area to develop opportunities across all lines of coverage. And as client director, she partnered with clients and brokers to provide solutions to complex problems. An advocate for diversity and inclusion, Campbell sits on the board of The Water Street Club, is president of the New York Tri-State chapter of the National African American Insurance Association and was a co-business advisor to the Black Professionals@AIG employee resource group. She was named one of IBA’s Leaders of Change for 2020. “Mentoring, sponsorship and coaching – the key to movement within this industry lies here,” Campbell told IBA earlier this year. “These three roles will play an integral part in not only receiving the advice and getting the opportunities, but in being more prepared and comfortable to take on new challenges.”
Senior underwriter, private/nonprofit
SKYWARD SPECIALTY INSURANCE GROUP
Victoria Learned-Fenty has spent nearly a decade working in everything from E&S to corporate underwriting. Today, she’s a member of Chubb’s financial lines Midwest team, focusing on private/nonprofit management liability. “In our industry, management liability underwriting is a specialty discipline,” she says. “I think having a niche in financial lines at Chubb is unique. I don’t aspire to be like anyone else; rather, I value staying authentic to my preferences and maintaining a professional approach.” In addition to her latest role at Chubb, Learned-Fenty is a lifelong advocate for civic duty and social justice. She supports diversity, inclusion and equity efforts in the industry as a member of the National African American Insurance Association and the national Big I Diversity Council.
Andrew Robinson brings 20 years in top-level strategy consulting, 11 years in executive roles and three years in venture capital/ technology to his role as CEO of Skyward Specialty Insurance Group (formerly Houston International Insurance Group), which he was appointed to in May 2020. “I am genuinely honored to lead [Skyward] and its team of very talented professionals,” Robinson said at the time. “Given the recent equity capital raise via a rights offering, we are well positioned to seize the market opportunity that is in front of us today and to become one of the handful of truly premier specialty insurance groups.” Of the many challenges ahead, Robinson sees rapid deconstruction of the value chain and capital sourcing for risk transfer as pivotal. He predicts that technology will drive out costs, improve product designs and augment the customer experience.
ADRIENNE WOODHULL Area president, RPS Signature Programs RISK PLACEMENT SERVICES
As an area president for Risk Placement Services (RPS), Adrienne Woodhull oversees professional liability programs for A-rated clients, including lawyers, insurance agents and brokers, and title agents, a business that accounts for more than $40 million in GWP. Woodhull describes 2020 as “a year of change in many different ways across the globe. The insurance industry is feeling that change when looking at pricing, coverages and distribution. One change that I see in this industry would be the way you can quote, bind and issue a policy.” RPS is leading that transformation – earlier this year, Woodhull was instrumental in helping launch AttorneyShield, a lawyers’ professional liability product for small law firms that enables clients to quote, bind and issue online in under five minutes. It’s since become one of the most active lines in the RPS online platform. Outside of RPS, Woodhull is a member of the PLUS Eastern chapter and the Target Markets Program Administrators Association, where she serves on various committees. She is also active within her local community and her college alumni network, helping to recruit new students and promote college athletics.
HOT 100 ENYA HE South Central regional director LLOYD’S OF LONDON
“Growing up in a ghetto in east China, it was the insurance industry and the many amazing insurance professionals that transformed my life,” says Enya He. “I’ve always challenged the status quo and embraced new opportunities. For example, I left a comfortable life in China for education in the US; I left a tenured college professor position for Lloyd’s.” In her current role, He manages market development and relationships with Lloyd’s underwriters and brokers, US retail and wholesale brokers and agents, risk managers, and trade associations. She also leverages her background and success to help young professionals and champion diversity and inclusion initiatives. “At the senior management level, D&I needs to be a priority in strategic planning and performance review processes, with both initiatives and accountability,” He told IBA earlier this year. “It’s also important to train to equip line managers with tools to embrace, incorporate and execute corporate D&I strategies. If we all work together, we can rise to the challenge and make a better future for our children, our industry and our society.”
NGOZI NNAJI Founder, principal and managing partner AKO BROKERAGE SERVICES AND AKO INSURANCE CONSULTING
In addition to leading AKO Brokerage Services, Ngozi Nnaji launched AKO Insurance Consulting to help develop Black talent by creating more competitive and intercultural institutions, providing training and professional development services,
JULIA CHU Chief risk officer MARKEL
Julia Chu served as a managing director at Guy Carpenter, a vice president at Aon Re and a principal at Farmers Insurance Group before becoming Markel’s chief global ceded reinsurance officer in 2018. Recently, Chu was named Markel’s first chief risk officer, charged with overseeing enterprise risk management, capital planning and ceded reinsurance placements. “This appointment reflects the contributions Julia has made to our enterprise risk management framework,” Jeremy Noble, Markel’s chief financial officer, said at the time. “She has played a key role in further developing and implementing Markel’s ceded reinsurance strategy and has been instrumental in positioning our reinsurance placements and partnering with executive leadership to build and protect Markel’s capital.” Chu also helps to foster diversity and inclusion at Markel through its global diversity and inclusion steering committee and by leading the company’s employee resource group for Asian professionals.
and offering analytical data and strategic consulting. Her efforts led her to be named one of IBA’s Leaders of Change for 2020. “The time for passive commitments to ‘do better’ and figureheads leading empty diversity initiatives is over,” Nnaji told IBA earlier this year. “The need to be intentional and deliberate about our actions as an industry is immediate. Companies need to focus on their recruiting processes and procedures and also spend just as much time and effort – if not more – retaining the same talent that they’ve recruited. Recruiting plus retention equals representation.”
ALEXANDER MONTOYA Chief operating officer, Global Risk Solutions North America LIBERTY MUTUAL
In October, Liberty Mutual promoted Alexander Montoya to COO of Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions North America after years of success as president of the Liberty Specialty Markets division for the US, Latin America and Bermuda markets. During his tenure in that role, Montoya tripled growth and led the Latin American team to finish a five-year growth plan in just four years. Montoya is proud of his Colombian heritage – and Colombia is proud of him, too. He has been recognized by former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos as one of the top 100 Colombians living abroad. He is also committed to diversity and inclusion, participating in the Hispanic employee resource group Amigos@Liberty and the pro-woman Men As Allies initiative. “Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to fostering a culture of empowerment in the workplace,” Montoya says. “I believe in the necessity to harness the collective intelligence of all people and voices within an organization through a systematic and structured manner. The company’s transformation, especially digitization, starts with the advancement of individuals who feel empowered and valued.” Outside of the office, Montoya is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and the Brothers of the Street Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Miami.
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ABEL TRAVIS Vice president FUNDAMENTAL UNDERWRITERS/AF GROUP
Abel Travis started out as head of innovation and then chief underwriting officer at AF Group before being promoted to vice president of its subsidiary, Fundamental
Underwriters, last year. In his current role, Travis seeks out creative solutions for multiple commercial and specialty lines. He’s also built a reputation as a mentor, strategist, speaker and advocate for diversity and inclusion. “I am known throughout the insurance industry for bringing the discussion of innovation and championing the power of insurtech through The Insurance Innovators Unscripted podcast,” he says. “I use my voice and platform as a Black executive to convey the message of how diversity and inclusion helps to drive outsized growth and can lead to innovation.” Outside of the industry, Travis serves as a board member for a high school scholarship program. He received the 40 Under 40 Award from the Worcester Business Journal in 2017 and was named one of IBA’s Leaders of Change earlier this year.
Director, professional executive group CRC GROUP
After earning a bachelor’s degree in insurance and risk management from Olivet College, Ashley Schmidt got started in the industry through internships with Miller-Schuring Agency, the John Hancock Financial Network and Nationwide Insurance. Since joining CRC in 2007, she has risen through the ranks to become a director, overseeing innovative products for privacy and security liability; nonprofit/ private D&O; EPL; allied healthcare; and lawyers’, architects and engineers’, and contractors’ professional liability. She is an active member of the CRC Group ExecPro Practice Advisory Committee and works diligently toward the success of the overall practice. Despite COVID-19, she’s achieved double-digit growth in her book this year. Schmidt also helps to develop new talent for the industry. In addition to being a guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota’s Carson School of Management, she mentors students interested in insurance and risk management through the Spencer Education Foundation. She also serves as secretary and co-education coordinator for the Twin Cities Insurance Club.
JEFF MCINTOSH Commercial agent ENERGY INSURANCE AGENCY
In three-plus decades in the insurance industry, Jeff McIntosh has written more than $130 million in premium and generated $16 million in revenue in the areas of surety bonds, group health insurance and commercial property & casualty. Now he’s passing his knowledge on to others. “Last year, I finished writing a textbook to teach agents how to complete applications for commercial accounts,” he says. “The greatest skill a commercial – or really any – agent can master is the application process, and no one ever teaches it, at least not formally. I hated writing, but I wanted to give back to the industry.” McIntosh has also been an expert witness and has gone back to school to pursue a master’s degree in legal studies. “I plan to retire in 10 years,” he says, “but until then, I plan to use my experience to push the boundaries of what I can yet learn and what I can yet do. I plan to cross the finish line in a sprint.”
TYLER BREVIK Healthcare practice leader/account executive IMA FINANCIAL GROUP
After starting out in 2011 as a commercial underwriter for EMC Insurance, specializing in middle-market placements, Tyler Brevik made his way to IMA, where he works in a diversified unit overseeing insurance coverage for manufacturing, real estate, hospitality, wholesalers, nonprofit, social service, higher education and public entities. In addition, Brevik manages IMA Emerging Risk, which streamlines placement for small and middle-market clients. “I have an ability to help my clients understand the insurance industry and product that they are purchasing through my knowledge on the underwriting desk, agency conferences and CPCU leadership,” he says. “Also, my time at Wichita State University teaching insurance and risk management helped me further hone my skill of ‘teaching’ what my clients are purchasing.” Outside of IMA, Brevik is the president of the Wichita chapter of the CPCU Society and a member of the local United Way Young Leaders Association.
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HOT 100 DAN URIAS
Client executive – business insurance division
President of North America Specialty and EVP of Global Risk Solutions
MARSH & MCLENNAN AGENCY
REBEKAH RATLIFF Founder and president CAPITAL CITY MEDIATIONS
Rebekah Ratliff is the epitome of diversity in an industry that is still struggling for adequate representation of minorities. “There are not many Spanish-speaking African American female commercial complex casualty adjusters with my extensive subjectmatter expertise,” she says. In her 25-year career, Ratliff has managed and negotiated claims across the US and internationally. She’s since reinvented herself as a national mediator, arbitrator and consultant. She has also committed to giving back to the industry, including through HBCU I.M.P.A.C.T., an initiative she founded to attract, educate and employ students from historically Black colleges and universities in the insurance industry. “I, along with colleagues, actively engage college students and young professionals as a mentor, creating guidance for career navigation,” Ratliff says. A sought-after speaker in the insurance and legal industries, Ratliff frequently speaks about bridging multigenerational gaps; women in leadership; unconscious bias; and diversity, equity and inclusion. “I am making every effort to promote diverse talent to ensure the industry looks like the people we serve,” she says. “The change agents of the future will not be limited by the obstacles of the past.”
Dan Urias got stared in insurance in 2011, specializing in common interest developments and leading a small brokerage to double-digit growth. Since joining Marsh & McLennan Agency in 2015, he’s led the construction practice group for the Orange County and Los Angeles offices, generating impressive year-over-year growth and maintaining a 96% client retention rate. “I take a very holistic approach by sitting at the same table as a company’s banker, CPA, and legal and investment advisors,” Urias says. “My goal is always to elevate my clients’ objectives and strategies, utilizing information from all angles.” Urias is determined to look at the bright side of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I feel like the pandemic has exposed our industry’s antiquated ways of doing business in a big way,” he says. “I anticipate seeing new technologies and ancillary resources that make the insurance industry smarter, more data-driven and able to adapt to the remote economy that we’re in.”
MICHAEL J. SICARD Chairman and CEO USI INSURANCE SERVICES
Michael Sicard has met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession head-on. In addition to starting weekly all-employee meetings and overseeing 12 new agency partnerships, he launched STEER (Steer Through Epidemic and Economic Recovery), a suite of resources for USI clients, and USI Z(ONE), a real-time digital COVID-19 risk assessment and navigation tool. He has also overseen the
As president of Liberty Mutual’s North America Specialty arm and EVP of its Global Risk Solutions division, Matthew Dolan concentrates on building a great culture. “What motivates me is the challenge of pulling a team of experts together to identify and solve difficult business issues or to set longer-term strategy,” he says. “There is something very satisfying about bringing together people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, experience and expertise to discuss and often debate the best way forward. When you establish the right environment, great things can happen.” In addition to launching IronHealth and OneBeacon Professional Partners and serving as co-chair of the PLUS Medical Malpractice Symposium, Dolan serves on Liberty Mutual’s North American executive leadership team and helps drive diversity and inclusion initiatives. Outside the office, he is a guest speaker at the University of Connecticut School of Law and a supporter of cancer awareness initiatives.
launch of OMNI AI, a risk management insights analysis tool, and USI’s popular I’m With U program, which helps advance diversity and inclusion in the company and community. “Each of us has hopes and dreams to which we strive,” Sicard says. “And then we see the immediate challenges, risks and obstacles to making those happen. What we get to do every day at USI is take, head-on, those risks and concerns for people’s well-being and chart and navigate a path for our clients through those obstacles so they can pursue their hopes and dreams. And we get to do that together with a team of extraordinarily passionate and expert friends and colleagues. That’s a pretty great way to spend your days.”
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MELISSA EATON Vice president of customer success PIE INSURANCE
At Pie Insurance, an insurtech that offers worker’s comp insurance to small businesses, Melissa Eaton oversees the customer success team, which handles the policy services and billing, claims, and premium audit functions. Her leadership has helped Pie Insurance earn an excellent customer rating on Trustpilot and a spot on the InsurTech 100, FinTech Global’s list of the world’s most innovative insurtechs. “I love to find elegant solutions to hard problems, which is exactly what we are accomplishing at Pie Insurance,” Eaton says. “Working on something that truly matters and helps small businesses inspires me. Influencing the best in others is what brings me joy.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, she’s had a chance to do just that. In March, Eaton’s customer success team proactively started calling clients to find out their concerns about the pandemic and then made changes – such as granting billing leniency or making payroll adjustments – to help them throughout this unprecedented time. A Korean American female executive, Eaton frequently participates in diversity and inclusion panels in the insurance industry and advocates for women across the Colorado business community.
President, specialty practice
Vice president, learning, talent, inclusion and diversity
CRAWFORD & COMPANY
Clinton Anderson spent half a dozen years as a Missouri state trooper before launching his career in the insurance industry. Over the past two decades, Anderson has specialized in cutting employers’ total cost of risk. He built a brokerage and thirdparty administration company to more than 500 employees and worked for a regional brokerage in Chicago before joining HUB in 2016. As president of specialty practice, he concentrates on the contingent workforce space. “Insurance has gotten so complex that working with a team approach is imperative,” Anderson says. “The executive team at HUB is a key differentiator to my success. Everyone recognizes HUB as just acquiring companies, but the truth is the executive team is what helps to drive organic growth.” It’s working – Anderson has written more than $10 million in new revenue since he started at HUB, and he’s on track to place more than $2 million in annual commissions this year, despite COVID-19.
Responsible for learning and development, diversity and inclusion, and employee training programs at Crawford & Company, Nidhi Verma is concerned about helping employees develop the skills that will soon be in demand. “Today’s skills will be vastly different from those needed to drive value tomorrow,” she says. “To pivot to a new reality, I hope the insurance sector rethinks its focus on talent – what we have and what we need – and moves with renewed speed and a sense of urgency to reduce the gap.” Verma regularly publishes industry articles, participates in panels and mentors young professionals. She was also named to IBA’s Elite Women list for 2020. “A relentless desire to learn, grow and strive to be the best version of myself motivates me,” she says. “My work involves building capabilities, leadership skills and better outcomes – at every level, for every opportunity. With authenticity and curiosity, I engage with new ideas and insights and leverage teams’ collective wisdom to bring them to life.”
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20/11/2020 5:22:33 am
HOT 100 MARK BERNACKI Executive vice president/ president AMWINS GROUP/ AMWINS SPECIAL RISK UNDERWRITERS
PRIYA CHERIAN HUSKINS SVP and partner WOODRUFF SAWYER
Priya Cherian Huskins started her career as a corporate securities attorney in the lightning-fast internet era of the late 1990s. “As I watched my clients and really the entire technology industry grow and evolve – and then endure the pain that was the bursting of the first technology bubble – I became increasingly interested in the broader field of risk,” she says. Huskins took a job at Woodruff Sawyer, where today she leads the company’s D&O claims group and is a sought-after expert on D&O in the technology and life science spaces. She has appeared on CNBC and has been quoted in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to the Financial Times. She also writes about current issues in D&O liability, insurance and corporate governance on her popular D&O Notebook blog. In addition, Huskins advocates for diversity and inclusion, speaks at events, and uses her blog and media savvy to chime in on everything from the #MeToo movement to gender diversity laws. “A desire to keep up with my colleagues motivates me to keep learning, as do the gratified expressions of our clients when we work collaboratively to address what can be incredibly thorny business problems,” she says.
A dual US-UK citizen and a well-regarded global insurance executive, Mark Bernacki got his start in the industry at Liberty Mutual before moving on to the Beazley Group, where he was head of global property. He brings a wealth of international experience to his current leadership roles at AmWINS. In addition to driving strategy and building capacity for AmWINS Special Risk Underwriters, Bernacki leads the company’s alternative risk team and chairs the new product development committee. “Running operations for admitted and surplus lines owned by public, private, and mutual companies has provided me with a unique lens into the industry,” he says. “So too has my exposure to the business through various value chains as insurer, reinsurer, MGA and broker. At the same time, I have seen firsthand our industry’s opportunities and challenges through my work both in and out of the US. Managing operations in the US, UK, Europe, Southeast Asia, Canada and Latin America gives me a unique perspective and makes me a more effective leader.”
DREW CARSON Senior team leader and transportation underwriter CRC GROUP
MIKE BOSEMAN Chief operating officer BROWN & RIDING
Mike Boseman started out in Brown & Riding’s brokerage division and eventually transitioned to operations, where he’s been instrumental in managing B&R’s rapid expansion. Since 2017, Boseman has been COO, overseeing strategic operations and enforcing service standards. He also focuses on improving IT service offerings as a member of B&R’s technology committee. Over the past three years, he has helped the company transition from using off-the-shelf software solutions and external vendors to launching an application development team that’s creating a cutting-edge agency management and accounting system. Boseman sees technology as key to B&R’s future. “I believe we will see a continued shift towards remote work in a post-COVID environment,” he says. “As such, employers in the insurance industry who have lagged behind in this area will need to adapt rapidly in order to continue to recruit successfully, onboard and train new employees effectively, and maintain a healthy culture.” Boseman also drives B&R’s participation in charitable initiatives and helps foster a culture that rewards employees on merit.
After spending eight years at Burns & Wilcox, specializing in the transportation industry and becoming the brokerage manager for the transportation department, Drew Carson joined CRC in 2019 as a transportation team leader and underwriter. Carson relies on his strong work ethic, selfless attitude and competitive nature to find innovative solutions to emerging problems, fostering a collaborative, solution-oriented environment for retailers and carriers. His colleagues say he’s always available to help and consistently inspires his team to greater heights. Outside the office, Carson is active in the Fort Worth community and participates in several city charity golf tournaments each year.
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ORDINARY PEOPLE GETTING THE EXTRAORDINARY DONE
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JESSICA SCELZI Chief commercial officer THE ZEBRA
Jessica Scelzi is the first chief commercial officer for insurance comparison website The Zebra and a member of its Shebra women’s resource group. “I am a young woman in leadership in an industry still largely dominated by men,” she says. “The industry has made big progress in giving women more seats at the table, but there is still work to be done.” Since joining The Zebra in 2016, Scelzi has spearheaded the distribution strategy to help carrier partners acquire new business. She’s built relationships with more than 50 carriers and helped quadruple the company’s revenues. As chief commercial officer, she helps carriers capture online shoppers via The Zebra’s quoteto-bind product. Working for a startup has enabled Scelzi to see the writing on the wall for technological advancements in the industry. “The pandemic has thrown an interesting twist into what we might see in the industry in the near future,” she says. “I think the adoption of digital will rapidly increase pace, and I think we might see larger consumer adoption of usage-based insurance as we see larger market shifts in the way consumers work and live – and therefore how they use insurance.”
PETER R. TAFFAE Managing director EXECUTIVE PERILS
A 30-year veteran of brokering and underwriting D&O, E&O and employment practices liability policies, Peter Taffae is a creative problem-solver. “I respect the coverages and am able to develop creative solutions,” he says. During the internet boom of the late 1990s, Taffae wrote the initial first- and third-party cyber policies in 1997. During the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, he created a super continuity policy that protected companies if their primary insurance carrier failed. He also developed the DIC Flipp product, which enables public companies to maximize their D&O limits, and RE360, a comprehensive real estate policy covering sales and leasing, property managers and developers, construction managers, escrow, mortgage, and tenant discrimination. Outside of Executive Perils, Taffae sits on the board of trustees at Ithaca College and chairs the Taffae Family Foundation, which is focused on fostering diversity and inclusion.
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20/11/2020 5:22:40 am
HOT 100 MICHAEL MILLER President and CEO BRIGHTWAY INSURANCE
TARA TROUT Senior vice president and shareholder AHT INSURANCE
The director of the farm and equine division at AHT, Tara Trout has spent most of her life competing, teaching and participating in several equestrian disciplines. During her career, she has racked up more than 18 years of experience in insurance for all things equestrian, including horse insurance, farm, auto, workers’ comp, trainer’s liability and high-net-worth private client portfolios. For Trout, success in this niche market is all about maintaining great relationships. “Clear communications, trust, expertise and dependability to your clients when they need you as their trusted advisor is critical,” she says. “My motivation comes from solving problems by building relationships.”
CHRISTIAAN DURDALLER Executive vice president INSURETRUST
As executive vice president of INSUREtrust, Christiaan Durdaller leads the corporate solutions brokering team and helps ensure INSUREtrust’s market competitiveness. “I am motivated by being given the opportunity to innovate and differentiate ourselves in the marketplace,” he says. “One of the unique things about the cyber marketplace is that the threat landscape continues to change every single day. With that change comes an opportunity for our team at INSUREtrust to consistently bring
Michael Miller started Brightway Insurance with his brother, David, in the late 2000s. “After running an independent agency for five years, we looked at the market and asked ourselves, ‘What should we be?’ and invented the ‘You sell. We service’ business model that has helped Brightway grow into what it is today,” he says. This year, the company opened its 200th store, landed on the Franchise 500 list in Entrepreneur magazine and managed to drive growth despite COVID-19 and the economic recession. A seemingly endless string of local and regional awards attests to the company’s uniqueness. “We created Brightway to help everyone associated with the business reach their personal potential,” Miller says. “Helping others achieve their dreams and goals is incredibly rewarding and keeps us moving toward improvement every single day.” Outside the office, Miller is heavily involved in his local community in Jacksonville, Florida, and in driving diversity and inclusion across the insurance industry.
innovative solutions that better serve our clients and differentiate them in a positive way from their peers.” Durdaller has led INSUREtrust to win Advisen’s Cyber Risk Wholesale Broking Team of the Year Award for three years, and Durdaller himself was named Advisen Cyber Risk Person of the Year in 2018. Going forward, he expects insurance companies to take more refined look into cyber risk management. “I expect our risk management platform at INSUREtrust to play a larger role in our business in 2021 than it has in past years,” Durdaller says. “We are going to continue to move into a world where, in cyber, risk management and insurance are a part of the same discussion, as opposed to the historically bifurcated discussions.”
MARGARET REDD Executive director NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATION
Margaret Redd is a trailblazer for diversity and inclusion. More than 20 years ago, she helped found the first chapter of the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), where she currently serves as executive director of the national board. She has a diversified background in all lines of property & casualty insurance and specializes in helping organizations achieve their growth objectives by optimizing distribution platforms, organizational resources and best practices. “Real change means that African Americans’ representation in the industry will more closely resemble the country’s demographics,” Redd told IBA earlier this year. “It will also mean that, through our work, the insurance industry will become readily recognized as an attractive career choice. Last but not least, it means that African Americans will be appropriately recognized and rewarded for their talent, performance, and contributions, and the related data will support the fact that our work has served to mitigate the issue of racial inequity.”
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Regional head of financial institutions, North America
Executive vice president/COO H.W. KAUFMAN GROUP/BURNS & WILCOX
ALLIANZ GLOBAL CORPORATE & SPECIALTY
As executive vice president of the H.W. Kaufman Group, Danny Kaufman guides global sales, marketing and technology efforts. He also serves as COO for H.W. Kaufman Group subsidiary Burns & Wilcox, overseeing its US operations. “With the impact from wildfires, an active storm season and COVID-19, a hard market will continue through at least 2021,” Kaufman predicts. “Amid a volatile year, Burns & Wilcox continues to make investments in technology and talent. This approach, which harnesses the strength of our global team, supports this current environment.” When COVID-19 hit, Kaufman turned 60 brick-and-mortar sites into virtual operations in one weekend to support the operation’s 2,000 employees. He’s also overseen the expansion of the Burns & Wilcox team by 150 people so far this year. “Our people fuel our business,” he says. Kaufman’s approach has been successful: According to internal surveys, 83% of US employees think H.W. Kaufman Group is a great place to work, while 97% of Burns & Wilcox employees applaud the company’s response to COVID-19. Kaufman has been named to DBusiness magazine’s 30 in Their Thirties list and sits on the boards of Forgotten Harvest, the Detroit Historical Society and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Business development director
After getting his start in the insurance industry at AIG, Anton Lavrenko now leads coverage for financial institutions in North America for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, where he leverages contrarian underwriting and risk management principles to outpace competitors in the financial institutions space. “Sometimes my larger competitors become complacent and too comfortable by their larger market share,” he says. “I enjoy winning by acting quicker and sticking to my own beliefs on how a certain risk will behave through the crests and troughs of an economic cycle, as well as through Black Swan events such as the current COVID-19 outbreak.” A first-generation immigrant who came to the US from Moscow in his teens, Lavrenko says that “having been born and raised in a different country and having lived and worked in the US for some time now has certainly expanded my horizons. Everyone talks about D&I quite a bit, but I have had a chance to experience it firsthand in my career and feel a certain advantage over those who have lived their entire life in one place. As a result, they may have a myopic view of economic, geopolitical and other matters – matters which affect my decision-making and risk management on a daily basis.”
CHARLES TAYLOR CLAIMS SERVICES
For more than 15 years, Jane Hegeler has worked across North America, North Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, concentrating on providing emergency assistance centers to support business, workers’ compensation and adventure travelers. “I am on the assistance side of insurance, which means I only get involved when there is an incident or claim, often when the insured is in a desperate situation,” she says. “My goal is to ensure a compassionate level of service is provided to the insured, ensuring that costs and losses are contained for the insurer. Proactive case management is key.” Prior to landing at Charles Taylor, Hegeler started her career in Thailand, providing coverage for expats. She speaks fluent Thai and continues to support underprivileged children in the country. She followed up her time in Thailand with a stint in Malta, where she organized a medical team to assist with the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a vessel that helps rescue refugees who find themselves stuck in the Mediterranean while attempting to cross over to Europe.
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HOT 100 RAYMOND CHIUSANO
Property underwriting manager and regional leader, Northeast
Area executive vice president, property
Insurance has given Raymond Chiusano the opportunity to live and work in many locations, from managing general property accounts for global Fortune 1000 clients in Bermuda to overseeing property insurance business in the mid-Atlantic states. Now based in New York City, Chiusano manages property underwriting for the Northeast US region for AXA XL. “Insurance has brought my family and I to a number of different places around the world, including Munich, London, Bermuda, Philadelphia and New York City,” he says. “I have been involved in countless meetings with brokers and insureds through both a soft and hard market. These different roles, experiences and interactions over the years with people from many different backgrounds and points of view have made me an extremely well-rounded individual and have prepared me to take on any new challenges I’m presented with.” Having grown up playing a variety of sports, Chiusano remains highly competitive. “[I] don’t like to lose,” he says. “Losing or not being good at something only motivates me to work harder to succeed.”
ANEISHA GOLDSMITH Assistant vice president, cyber/professional liability CHUBB
To Aneisha Goldsmith, each day is an opportunity to learn more and to be better than the day before. It’s a philosophy she’s had throughout her nearly three decades in insurance, handling underwriting, claims,
RISK PLACEMENT SERVICES
JEFFREY T. BENSON JR. Managing partner PROMINENT INSURANCE SERVICES
At Risk Placement Services (RPS), Christa Nadler specializes in providing coverage for terrorism and high-hazard occupancies in the habitational, energy, hospitality, religious, public entity, education and manufacturing sectors – business worth more than $60 million in annual premium. “While a number of years ago, terrorism was not a coverage that was widely offered, today it is required to be offered on most commercial quotes,” she says. “I believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will have that same impact. Much like cyber insurance has been developed due to the rapid reliance on technology, the current pandemic will require the development of new insurance products to protect insureds and the economy.” Nadler is active in the RPS internship program, expanding diversity partnerships with colleges and universities, professional associations, and career development programs. She participates in the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association’s U40 group and Career Development Committee, earning the organization’s Dana Roehrig Award earlier this year. In addition, she contributes to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville.
As managing partner of Prominent Insurance Services, Jeffrey Benson Jr. sought additional products and services to help the company’s more than 300 clients through the COVID-19 pandemic – a move that is expected to boost the agency’s bottom line by 30%. He’s also gone out of his way to help families in his local community of Seaford, Delaware, by arranging meals, retail gift cards, rental assistance and even COVID-19 screening to people throughout the community. “I’m inspired and motivated every day to become a better me,” Benson says. “I do my best to represent my family, business colleagues and company well. I always want those who are most important to me to be proud when they look at me or see my name in a publication or on TV.” Benson serves on the Seaford School District Board of Education and the Delaware Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee. He also runs the Gentlemen’s Club, which teaches leadership skills to middle and high school students. He has won multiple awards for his diversity and inclusion efforts and is currently a doctor of business administration student at Wilmington University.
sales, marketing and account management. After 10 years with Chubb, where she’s done everything from field underwriting to strategy, Goldsmith was recently promoted to a leadership role in the cyber/professional liability division. “The intersectionality that comes with being a Black woman in leadership in the industry makes me unique,” she says. “I have been blessed to have mentors, coaches, allies and sponsors who have kept me motivated, included, supported and visible in places that I couldn’t get to myself.”
Determined to pay her success forward, Goldsmith is a graduate of the PLUS Diversity Leadership and Mentoring Program and a member of the National African American Insurance Association. “I anticipate that we will see a more diverse group of people entering the insurance market,” Goldsmith says. “We need diversity of thought, diversity of experience and diversity, period. We have so much opportunity to offer in this industry, and we need to ensure that we advance that message.”
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LARRY PHILLIPS Divisional vice president of culture and inclusion GALLAGHER
Larry Phillips understands the challenges minorities face, having grown up in the public housing authority in Chicago. In 2011, he landed an internship at Gallagher and leveraged his background to become a P&C producer specializing in public housing authorities, as well as higher education and K-12 schools. In 2017, Gallagher promoted him to help co-lead Gallagher Connect Partners, a network of around 50 minorityowned, woman-owned, veteran-owned and other diverse certified insurance firms. “I understand the challenges minorities face as it relates to exposure, career opportunities and professional development,” Phillips says. “Being one of the few African American leaders within the industry, I’m well positioned to help attract more diverse talent.” Phillips helps drive diverse recruiting strategies and internal diversity and inclusion efforts at Gallagher by cultivating partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities and partnering with a wide range of organizations focused on diversity and inclusion. Outside of Gallagher, he serves as junior board co-president for Boys Hope Girls Hope International, of which he’s an alum. “I’m inspired by the people who have made so many sacrifices before me or during my lifetime to make this work better for me and people from all walks of life,” Phillips says. “I’m motivated to pay it forward and help change the trajectory of others’ lives.”
DUCK CREEK TECHNOLOGIES
In the early 2000s, Laird Rixford launched the Insurance Website Builder product through his company, Evolution Designs. In 2008, ITC acquired the company and made Rixford vice president of product development and marketing. Now, as CEO, Rixford uses his 20-plus years of technology experience to deliver strategic leadership for ITC. A speaker and consultant on insurance technology, Rixford is motivated by the opportunity to make a difference. “It is not about fame or wealth, but making a difference in people’s lives,” he says. “Whether it is through creating technology solutions, enriching employees at ITC or enabling agents with the ability to meet the needs of their customers, that’s my motivation every morning. Genuine care and passion for this industry is what I use to differentiate myself and the team at ITC. Every day is a chance to improve not only oneself, but our mutual companies and our industry as a whole. You cannot do that if you do not care.”
SHERITA HARDY Assistant vice president AMWINS BROKERAGE OF TEXAS
As CEO of insurance software provider Duck Creek, Mike Jackowski uses his 25-plus years of experience in technology and operations to lead strategy and performance initiatives across the global enterprise. “Working with some of the most passionate and innovative experts in the insurance industry motivates me,” he says. “I have the means to apply technology to drive new levels of efficiency and engagement with customers. In the near future, I think there will be the acceleration of usage-based insurance, sensor technology and other Internet of Things to meet the expectations of the new post-COVID customer.” This year, Jackowski oversaw Duck Creek’s IPO and launched DuckCreekDev, a new developer platform designed to promote innovation in P&C insurance. He has also led the acquisition of three companies in the past four years and has been instrumental in expanding the company’s global presence, including establishing a new office in Madrid.
Sherita Hardy began her career as a receptionist at an insurance agency and worked her way up to her current role as assistant vice president of AmWINS Brokerage of Texas. She focuses on recruiting diverse talent to the insurance industry as a member of AmWINS’ D&I Council, co-chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the National African American Insurance Association and a committee member for the Dive In Festival. “I’ve always been passionate about helping those who are less fortunate, as well as people of color,” Hardy told IBA earlier this year. “Being a woman of color, I have had to work twice as hard to get to where I am. My hope is that the next woman of color is given the same opportunity as her white male counterpart.”
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BRANDEN A. WEBER Founder and CEO ALPHA INSURANCE GROUP
TRACY RYAN President, Global Risk Solutions North America LIBERTY MUTUAL
With 18 years of experience across several industries, including as a senior sales leader at a multinational Fortune 100 company, Branden Weber takes a process-oriented and results-driven approach to meeting the needs of his high-profile clients, earning him a spot as one of D Magazine’s best insurance agents for the past four years. In addition to professional sports stars, Weber helps Fortune 100 executives, medical thought leaders and award-winning musicians create and maintain generational wealth. “We understand athletes, their world and the unique challenges of all elite professionals,” he says. Weber is also focused on bringing greater diversity to the industry as the president of his local Xavier University Alumni chapter and a member of the National African American Insurance Association. He also created a financial literacy board game to support historically Black colleges and universities. “I believe we will see more change in the next five years than we have in the last 50 years,” Weber says. “As the insurtech companies become more efficient, so will the need for differentiation and unique experience. There will be a model for those who want to automate, yet still desire custom solutions. This fusion will be vital moving forward.”
After starting her career with Liberty Mutual in the mid-1990s, Tracy Ryan was promoted to chief actuarial roles, then became an account executive for the insurer’s largest customer, followed by chief claims officer for Liberty Mutual’s commercial and specialty business. “I’m an actuary, so I obviously love the analytical side of our business,” Ryan says. “While I brought analytical thinking and discipline to these roles, more importantly, I saw and learned how critical culture, leadership and customer-centricity are to achieving our goals and providing solutions for our customers.” After stints as general manager and chief product officer, Ryan was promoted to her current role as president of Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions North America earlier this year. She oversees $7 billion worth of business in North American commercial and specialty lines and is responsible for all operations, including underwriting, field distribution, claims and actuarial. In addition to contributing to multiple internal leadership teams, Ryan focuses on supporting women in the workplace. Outside the office, she serves on the board of WellStrong, a fitness and wellness community for people in recovery from substance abuse disorders.
EDWARD MACKOUL President MACKOUL RISK SOLUTIONS
With more than 25 years of experience in insurance and risk management, Edward Mackoul oversees Mackoul Risk Solutions, one of the leading personal insurance companies in the New York City area, which handles everything from personal and commercial lines to real estate and employee benefits. Mackoul has built a reputation as a thought leader and has been quoted in multiple publications and has been a featured speaker in several forums. “I enjoy guest speaking and have been invited to lecture at numerous seminars and symposia on vital insurance topics,” he says. “I also provide educational seminars to property management firms on insurancerelated issues.” This year, Mackoul has made extensive charitable donations to help provide food, supplies and donations for essential workers fighting COVID-19. He is also an active member of several professional organizations in New York and New Jersey, including the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Real Estate Management and the Community Associations Institute.
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Bryan Sanders has almost four decades of experience in the insurance industry, including stints at Aetna, Alterra Specialty, Hilb Rogal & Hobbs and MacDuff Underwriters. He joined Markel through its acquisition of Alterra Capital Holdings in 2013 and was promoted to president of Markel Wholesale in 2014. Four years later, he was named Markel’s president of US insurance, charged with overseeing underwriting and production in the US, Bermuda, Dublin and London. He also serves as the current president of the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association. “I really love what I do,” he said in an internal interview in 2014. “Not everyone is privileged with knowing exactly where they belong, but I do. I am privileged to lead a team of talented, motivated and tireless associates, including our regional presidents, underwriters and product line leaders, and a business development team that tells our story in compelling ways.”
Kirt Walker joined Nationwide in 1986 and has spent the past 23 years in a variety of leadership roles at the company, including serving as president and COO of the financial services business lines. In mid-2019, Walker was named CEO; today, he concentrates on meeting clients’ needs, developing leaders, driving performance and ensuring efficient operations. “I’m humbled and proud to lead this great company and iconic brand,” Walker said at the time of his appointment to CEO. “I often talk to our people about Nationwide’s unfair advantage over our competitors. It starts with our mutual heritage and our diverse portfolio, and it is fueled by our strong culture of caring for our members, partners, communities and each other. I’m incredibly optimistic about our future.”
BRENT JENKINS Assistant vice president and casualty broker CRC GROUP
After college, Brent Jenkins started his insurance career as a broker with Marsh. He earned an MBA and soon moved to CRC Group in Dallas, where he oversees general liability, hired and non-owned auto, and umbrella placements. A co-founder of the local chapter of the National African American Insurance Association, Jenkins also focuses heavily on promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry. “The insurance industry has a lot of room for growth in hiring and recruiting diverse talent,” he told IBA earlier this year. “I believe diversity is not just ethnicity, but background,
age and perspective. Companies that are truly committed to diversity will have realistic, attainable, written goals that are reviewed and a timeline to achieve those goals.”
CORYN THALMANN CEO and COO JIMCOR AGENCY
As CEO and COO of Jimcor, Coryn Thalmann has overseen the growth of the company from a mega-regional brokerage to one of the largest independent wholesale brokerages and MGAs in the country, with eight offices and five satellites writing across 43 states. “I am motivated by the associates I work with each day,” Thalmann says. “I love collaborating with them and finding ways I can help them grow as professionals, which in turn helps the company grow. I am also motived by how much I learn from them each day.” Outside of Jimcor, Thalmann sits on the board of the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) and was featured on the diversity and inclusion panel at this year’s WSIA Annual Marketplace. She also volunteers with Special Olympics and a variety of community organizations and is in the process of helping the WSIA set up its Insurance Industry Diversity Foundation.
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PHILLIP MASI Agency president ASSUREDPARTNERS
After studying accounting at the University of Central Florida, Phillip Masi started his insurance career at Brown & Brown in 2005 before moving to AssuredPartners in 2016. As an agency president at AssuredPartners, Masi represents the new school of the insurance industry, both in terms of his young team (16 of his employees are age 40 or under) and his approach to technology. “The insurance industry is moving away from an old-school, face-to-face, heavy physical paper load type business to an industry that can now transact business remotely, that is paperless and relies more and more on technology,” Masi says. “COVID has helped push this along, but our team was already doing most of these things well before COVID hit. The way we can continue to grow is by becoming more efficient every day. If firms don’t continue to change in this way, they will not be able to compete long term with teams like ours that do.”
HENNA KARNA Executive vice president and chief data officer AXA XL
Henna Karna started out as a actuary in the 1990s. She has more than 25 years of experience in data, analytics, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, financial technology and digital product innovation in industries
KEIA COLE Head of digital experience MASSMUTUAL
Before she joined MassMutual in 2017, Keia Cole had racked up a variety of experience, including serving as an investment banking analyst for media and communications companies, a litigation attorney representing corporations, and associate general counsel and chief of staff to the deputy secretary of the US Department of Education. At MassMutual, she leads a team charged with driving digital transformation through the design and development of modern tech solutions. “The digital experience team is a technology organization that is rethinking how a company founded in 1851 attracts and engages with its customers,” Cole says. “This work is personal for me. So many families experience the loss of a loved one and, while grieving, also have to worry about financial security. I am proud to be part of a company that is dedicated to using technology to make it faster, easier and cheaper for individuals to secure their future and protect the ones they love.”
ranging from technology to retail to risk and insurance. Responsible for AXA XL’s digital transformation, Karna and her team focus on a wide variety of areas, including digital products and solutions, data and analytics, talent/ capabilities, technology/data, and optimization of operational workflow. “My values are mission-driven with an ambition to help accelerate humanity through the advancement in technology,” Karna says. “I admire corporations that are anchored in a desire to pay it forward, to create generational impact that will outlast their own existence. The teams I lead are diverse across multiple dimensions, high-impact and tenaciously committed to making our world a better place for the generations who will succeed us.”
AYESHA WEST Vice president EVEREST INSURANCE
Ayesha West’s perspective is unique in the industry. “I am a first-generation immigrant with a law degree and an accounting degree who has also worked as a reinsurance broker, primary underwriter and placement broker,” she says. “I find it intuitive to find solutions, common ground and ways forward where they may not be immediately obvious to others.” West got her start in the industry courtesy of Third Point Re CEO Dan Malloy, and she’s determined to pay it forward. She co-founded The Water Street Club, which offers educational events, networking and mentoring opportunities to underrepresented insurance professionals. Her efforts led her to be named one of IBA’s Leaders of Change for 2020. “If insurance organizations only attract small numbers of underrepresented employees, they will struggle to understand, nurture, promote and retain them, fostering a cycle of underrepresentation,” West told IBA earlier this year. “My driving motivation is to positively impact economic equality for people of all backgrounds.”
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Arch Insurance would like to congratulate all Hot 100 winners, especially our own, Brian First and Valerie Turpin
Executive Vice President & Chief Underwriting Ofﬁcer – Programs, Property & Specialty
Executive Vice President – Head of US Property
ARCH INSURANCE GROUP | ONE LIBERTY PLAZA, NEW YORK, NY 10006 | ARCHINSURANCE.COM © 2020 Arch Insurance Group Inc. Insurance coverage is underwritten by a member company of Arch Insurance Group Inc. This is only a brief description of the insurance coverage(s) available under the policy. The policy contains reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Full details of the coverage are contained in the policy. If there are any conﬂicts between this document and the policy, the policy shall govern. Not all coverages are available in all jurisdictions.
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HOT 100 ROB FOOTE
President and insurance and risk advisor
FRANK H. FURMAN
NATHANIEL TURNER Chief technology officer BROWN & RIDING
With nearly 15 years of experience at Brown & Riding, Nathaniel Turner was promoted to chief technology officer earlier this year, charged with overseeing IT infrastructure, data security, cybersecurity and disaster recovery across 18 offices. “My motivation is to utilize all the technology at my disposal to make everyone’s day easier,” Turner says. “It’s a great feeling to work hard on something that you believe in and have your peers acknowledge your hard work.” During this year’s COVID-19 lockdowns, Turner fast-tracked a tactical disaster recovery plan by one year and implemented scalable and enhanced remote servers to accommodate remote working needs for approximately 300 employees. As a result, Brown & Riding was able to make a seamless transition to a remote work environment. Outside the office, Turner gives back to the community through local toy drives with the Los Angeles chapter of the National African American Insurance Association.
Since launching the roofing division of Frank H. Furman in the early ’90s, Rob Foote has grown the division into the largest roofing industry broker in the nation, accounting for more than $100 million in premium. Leveraging his nearly three decades of experience in the construction industry, Foote helps privately held middle-market businesses align their insurance programs with their risk and financial needs. He also actively coaches and mentors emerging producers, helping jump-start their books by trading down clients. Foote is involved in local, state and national roofing associations; is a renowned speaker and author; and participates in various charitable efforts, from hurricane relief to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to the American Heart Association. He’s a four-time member of IBA’s Top Producers list and a two-time member of the Hot 100 list.
JOHN POTTHAST Founder and president FOUNDATION INSURANCE GROUP
John Potthast started Foundation Insurance Group out of his basement while working as an agent for Erie Insurance in the mid-’90s. Since then, he’s grown it to become the largest Erie agency in Virginia and the fifth largest in the Erie organization. This year, despite COVID-19, Potthast has been instrumental in adding to his team,
VENTURE PACIFIC INSURANCE SERVICES AND ALKEME
Curtis Barton juggles two roles. As head of Venture Pacific Insurance Services (VPIS), Barton has expanded the company’s operations throughout Southern California and has helped VPIS be recognized as one of the best places to work in Orange County. This year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Barton rolled out a contingency plan that enabled a seamless transition to remote work and has fostered 20% year-over-year growth. Barton is also a founding member and CEO of ALKEME, a nationwide affiliated group with more than $350 million in written premium that’s delivering a fully integrated solution to solve the challenges of perpetuation and scaling of small to middle-market brokers. Beyond those roles, Barton is involved in multiple charities around Orange County and is continually seeking new opportunities to serve his community.
reorganizing roles to foster upward mobility and implementing an HR roadmap to help develop diversity and inclusion. He has also rolled out several initiatives to help maintain the company’s market competitiveness, including launching a new small business unit, developing new partnerships and improving risk management to address the uptick in COVID-19 exposure. Potthast has received multiple awards from Erie and is the president of the NOVA Coffeehouse Association, a group of Erie agents who meet to talk about industry issues and help one another with professional development. He also serves as the chair of the Professional Insurance Agents Political Action Committee for Virginia and Washington, DC.
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DARREN HICKEY Vice president HUB INTERNATIONAL
With nearly three decades of insurance experience, Darren Hickey joined HUB in 2019 as an expert in sports and entertainment, concentrating on covering motorsports in North America. “The dynamic and ever-changing nature of the world of motorsports is what has drawn me to this
ANIA CARUSO Vice president, growth and business development THE PLEXUS GROUPE
“Born and raised in Poland, I have been told that I have ‘the professional courage to be an advocate for positive change within the insurance industry with an accent,’” says Ania Caruso. A client-centric executive with a passion for building inclusive teams, Caruso joined The Plexus Groupe in May 2020 to lead its growth in the Southeast by offering innovative solutions for clients and prospects in a challenging marketplace. “On a personal level, I am motivated to show the value of a good work ethic to my two children,” she says. “I want them to see the importance of showing up with gratitude every day, ready to give your best even if we face obstacles and challenges. My second motivation comes from my interaction with clients. Earning and keeping client loyalty is of the utmost importance to me. I am driven to build world-class, diverse teams while solving challenges that seem impossible and reaching those audacious goals.”
BENNIE JONES President and CEO RISK MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS OF AMERICA
Bennie Jones has nearly 40 years of experience in the insurance industry. After working as a claims manager, account
GERALD HORTON Chairman and CEO USG INSURANCE SERVICES
Working his way up from claims, clerical and underwriting roles to management positions, Gerald Horton served as the branch manager of Bituminous Casualty Corporation’s main office for several years before transitioning to Burns & Wilcox, where, as executive vice
specialty,” he says. “It gives me the opportunity to continually learn and grow in order to always meet the needs of my clients.” Hickey also deals with music personalities, entertainers, banks and music companies, as well as the advanced manufacturing, hospitality and restaurant, event and mobile marketing, and transportation and logistics industries. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he has achieved more than 20% growth on current revenue in 2020. How does he do it? “We accomplish our strategic plan using the latest technology, backed by unmatched passion for our clients’ well-being,” Hickey says.
manager supervisor and adjuster, he founded and served as president of HCC, a managed care provider for the workers’ compensation market. He then co-founded Risk Management Solutions of America and has spent the past 20 years leading the company, which specializes in developing back-office support services for the insurance industry. A member of the National African American Insurance Association and chair of the IIABA’s Diversity Council, Jones is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion. “I have seen a shift in the attitude of leadership in the industry over the past five years,” he told IBA earlier this year. “We are admitting we have a problem. In the past, we put it on the industry at large; now, individuals are taking ownership for their part and acknowledging the existence of privilege. We have gone from just talking about the problem to actionable steps for improvement.”
president, he helped grow operations from three to 40-plus locations over the course of his 19 years at the company. Horton founded USG Insurance Services in 2001 and served as president until 2012, when he transitioned to the role of chairman and CEO. He oversaw planning for the footprint, distribution, products and infrastructure of the company, which now includes 20 locations, more than 200 team members and six divisions.
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SECTOR FOCUS: HOSPITALITY
Waiting for the green light Insurers are facing heat as the hospitality industry looks to recover business interruption losses caused by the pandemic
COVID-19 HAS had a tremendous impact on hospitality revenues. Social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders have forced hotels and restaurants to operate at a fraction of their normal capacity – or, in some cases, close their doors completely. Until it’s safe to gather again, there isn’t an opportunity for the industry to recover. In the meantime, lawsuits against insurers are piling up around denied business interruption claims. In one instance, luxury hotel company Ritz-Carlton filed a lawsuit against Zurich North America over the insurer’s denial of business interruption claims for Ritz-Carlton’s Dallas, Texas, location. The suit, filed in June, stated that the hotel operator’s losses had already reached several hundred million dollars, a figure that could increase substantially, depending on the severity and length of the pandemic. In another legal battle, renowned chef Thomas Keller filed a suit against Hartford Fire Insurance Company for pandemicrelated business interruption claims. In a release, Keller’s attorney, John Houghtaling, said the claims were turned down because Hartford said there were no “dangerous conditions” at the restaurants. Another celebrity chef, José Andrés, said in a press release that Travelers’ denial of his restaurant group’s business interruption claim was done “in bad
faith.” Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup also filed a lawsuit on behalf of 16 restaurants covered under the policy. “If insurers were to cover every business interruption claim as a result of COVID-19, it would completely take down the insurance industry,” says Evan Simmons, senior vice president and regional property & casualty practice leader at USI Insurance Services. “Some companies have started filing lawsuits against their insurers, and we are starting
there would be COVID coverage. Furthermore, most general liability policies have significant virus or pandemic exclusions.” The pandemic couldn’t have happened at a worse time for the insurance industry, Eggleston says. While bankers and landlords have been able to offer businesses some level of forbearance, the pandemic hit when insurance capacity was at a 20-year low as a result of more named hurricanes hitting the US than at any other time in recorded history, along with years of devastating wildfires in California and other Western states. After a long, very soft market, the combination of natural disasters and shareholder lawsuits has propelled premium increases, which came as a shock to clients who had gotten used to continuous reductions in previous years. “When COVID hit, that uncertainty just added to what was already going on,” Simmons says. “Retailers and hotel companies were shutting down, and bankruptcy concerns started to escalate from a D&O perspective.” Capacity started to shrink tremendously, and excess carriers reduced limits dramatically while also increasing pricing. “Carriers are already anticipating increased claims,”
“If insurers were to cover every business interruption claim as a result of COVID-19, it would completely take down the insurance industry” Evan Simmons, USI Insurance Services to see different verdicts, but there’s still a tremendous amount left to be played out, and that will happen in the courts.” Kevin Eggleston, managing director and hospitality practice lead at HUB International, adds that “we are trying to set realistic expectations that if there wasn’t physical property damage, which is what’s needed to trigger a property policy, the reality is that it is unlikely
Eggleston says. “It’s a perfect storm, and we have to be thoughtful to navigate it together.”
A public-private solution Of the economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, only a fraction is expected to be covered by insurance, and many in the industry are calling on the government to establish a federally backed
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pandemic reinsurance program to help manage the virus’s impact. “Unless the federal government backstops the insurance industry or facilitates relief, much like they did in the banking industry with the [Paycheck Protection Program] loans, we won’t see much relief,” Eggleston says. A new organization called the Business Continuity Coalition (BCC) was recently formed to develop a plan with policymakers and stakeholders to limit future economic damage from pandemics and other emergencies that cause business interruptions. The BCC is advocating for a public-private business continuity insurance program that, in the event of a government-ordered shutdown, will help employers limit job losses, reduce stress on the financial system and speed up economic recovery once governmentimposed restrictions lift.
HOTEL OCCUPANCY IN THE US THROUGH THE PANDEMIC 2019 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
69.3% 61.8% 54.4%
Source: State of the Hotel Industry Analysis, American Hotel & Lodging Association, August 2020
“Restaurants across the country were the first shut down by the pandemic and will be the last to recover,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs at National Restaurant Association, in a press release. “Restaurants that have managed to
survive are faced with an uncertain future and long-term challenges as pandemic threats continue to loom. A public-private backstop for business interruption insurance will help remove one of the unknowns in rebuilding and help small and large business
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SECTOR FOCUS: HOSPITALITY
owners plan for the future.” The efforts to create a plan for publicprivate business continuity insurance are still in the early stages, but the BCC points to models that have worked in the past, like the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which emerged after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. TRIA created a temporary federal program that provided a system of shared public and private compensation for certain insured losses resulting from a certified act of terrorism. A similar Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) was introduced in the US House of Representatives in May. If passed, it would mandate that insurance companies offering business interruption insurance policies cover losses incurred due to pandemics, but private insurance companies and the federal government would share the responsibility of paying claims for those losses. The key to building a more proactive and agile response to the next pandemic will be an insurance and risk management partnership that helps facilitate coverage, aligns the desires of insurers and insurance buyers, and encourages risk preparedness and mitigation
efforts, according to Marsh’s recent Pandemic Risk Protection Report. John Doyle, president and CEO of Marsh, noted that “a policyholder-led group will be a powerful force in driving consensus on a public-private solution for future pandemic risk.”
Staying afloat Without support from the federal government, Eggleston expects foreclosures in the hospitality industry to be inevitable. In the meantime, businesses have been finding creative ways to stay afloat. Some hotels have converted to housing for healthcare workers, while many restaurants have added takeout and delivery services to their offerings. However, until demand returns and business travelers are back on the road, the hospitality
“Unless the federal government backstops the insurance industry or facilitates relief … we won’t see much relief” Kevin Eggleston, HUB International
THE HOSPITALITY MARKETS HIT HARDEST BY COVID-19 Hotel occupancy, August 9–15, 2019 Oahu Island, HI Orlando, FL Boston, MA Miami, FL
Anaheim/Santa Ana, CA San Francisco/San Mateo, CA
Hotel occupancy, August 9–15, 2020
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
New York, NY
84% 83% 85% 93%
Source: State of the Hotel Industry Analysis, American Hotel & Lodging Association, August 2020
industry will continue to struggle. Meanwhile, companies are finding new ways to do business without traveling, using platforms like Zoom to stay connected while saving a significant amount of money – a trend that could continue post-pandemic. In this environment, insurers are making sweeping decisions, and many are pulling back from writing any new business until they can figure out what the future will look like. Some companies will take greater risk with fewer players in the market, but it will come at a cost. It’s up to brokers and agents to work with carriers to keep insureds informed. “A lot of insureds are just trying to survive, and they may come up with creative ideas without understanding new exposures and risks,” Simmons says. “An uncovered loss
could be significant to these businesses, so constant communication is key.” The hospitality industry is notorious for its tight margins, and for many, operating at a limited capacity could cost more than staying closed. Insurance brokers and agents need to show empathy and support by being upfront and offering every option to help clients make impactful decisions. Eggleston says some of those decisions will be difficult and could result in businesses changing hands, permanent closures and consolidation; however, he remains hopeful for the future. “The industry will recover,” he says. “People want to get back out on the road, go on vacation and meet their clients face-toface, but until those in leadership give us the green light, there won’t be a true recovery in the industry.”
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Eighty-five years strong During a milestone year for his brokerage, Hylant CEO Mike Hylant reflects on how the business has changed and how his company is keeping up
IBA: Hylant is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year – what’s the secret to the company’s longevity? Mike Hylant: A big part of it is family. I’m one of nine children, and at some point in time, all of us have been in the business, so it’s really been a family tradition to be part of the insurance brokerage world if you’re a Hylant. Additionally, staying true to our mission of serving our clients, communities and employees in alignment with our brand values of family, first and foremost, [as well as] empathy, hard work, honesty and respect. When you balance the top priorities of customer needs with employee satisfaction, the results are astounding – we have seen it firsthand.
IBA: How has the brokerage landscape evolved in recent years? MH: The change has been very rapid in the last 10 years with the introduction of private equity and the formulation of ownership firms that occupy our space. We find that the changes have actually worked to our benefit, meaning that as private equity firms come into our space and buy more peers and competitors that look and feel like we do, they change the landscape of the service deliverables, not only for the customers, but also for employees.
For us, having a family business, it’s not the same field, it’s not the same deliverables, and it’s not the same platform. Customers are looking for service platforms that are more responsive, and employees are looking for places that they can go [to] grow and participate in the success of firms. In keeping to our mission of putting clients first, we have invested in more talent and technology than ever before in this last decade, and we do not plan to take our foot off the gas on growing anytime soon.
IBA: What impact has COVID-19 had on Hylant? MH: Hylant is certainly not alone in feeling the impact of COVID-19. All things considered, our business has remained in full operation throughout the pandemic, and our employees have done a phenomenal job supporting our clients’ needs. While our employees miss the culture
that we have, 95% of our employees shared in a recent survey that they feel productive in their remote work environment, and managers concurred with that feedback. As far as the business goes, [COVID-19] is impacting our ability to go out there and acquire new customers. It’s harder to sell and connect with people when you’re not face-to-face. Having said that, though, we’re about 80% to where we thought we would be in new business coming into this period, so we feel pretty good about that. Client retentions are way up – they’re well in the upper 90th percentile – and I think clients are busy trying to hold on to their own businesses, so unless insurance and risk management programs are broken, they’re probably not looking at new solutions at this time.
IBA: How do you expect the pandemic to affect brokers in the US over the long term?
ABOUT MIKE HYLANT In 1935, an entrepreneur named Edward P. Hylant decided to form an insurance agency that would focus on relationships and building trust with clients. His grandson, Mike Hylant, is part of the third generation of the family to run the brokerage. Hylant served as president of the Cleveland office from its inception in 1989 and was named CEO in 2008. Earlier this year, the brokerage announced a succession plan that will see Hylant step into the role of executive chairman in 2022. He will be replaced by Andrew (Bubba) Berenzweig, the current president of the company’s Toledo office.
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FAST FACTS: HYLANT AREAS OF SERVICE
Family office practice
“We have invested in more talent and technology than ever before in this last decade, and we do not plan to take our foot off the gas on growing anytime soon” MH: I think it will expand the footprint of brokers as they take advantage of working remotely. Typically, brokers work within geographical areas and are surrounded by bricks and mortar. I think the bricks-andmortar value proposition is still going to be there, and you’re still going to have to be local to a degree, but the resources that a brokerage firm employs can be based anywhere. If you’re in Toledo, Ohio, where our headquarters are, we could certainly have people working for us in Charlotte, where we don’t
have bricks and mortar, as long as that talented individual or resource is capable of delivering service on a remote basis for our customers. I think the ability to go out and attract and retain really good employees is out there for those firms that want to think outside of bricks and mortar and their local geographies.
IBA: What’s ahead for Hylant as you look to the coming year and beyond? MH: Being a privately and family-owned brokerage is really a rare thing anymore in
Year founded: 1935 Headquarters: Toledo, Ohio Number of offices: 17 Number of employees: 750 today’s world, and there’s a distinct advantage for us to do that because I believe we can make decisions based on the needs of the customers versus the needs of investors – that’s a big difference in our world of deliverables. Our decisions will be made to satisfy client needs, and our service model continues to be much more responsive to customers, so we certainly hope it will impact our ability to continue to grow as we’ve historically been able to do, particularly in the last 25 years.
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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
Get the most out of every quote EZLynx is adding integration specialist to its offerings with the launch of the EZLynx Connect Marketplace
within the EZLynx platform. These partnerships create turnkey solutions that help independent insurance agents grow their business effortlessly. “For years, EZLynx has been known as the leader in home and auto rating; we are so much more than that now,” says Kevin Coplin, EZLynx’s director of strategic partnerships. “As a company, we are committed to continuous innovation. Integrating with industry leaders was a no-brainer. Our goal is to always provide the most value to our agency customers, helping them run their businesses more effectively and efficiently, while enabling them to make more money in the process.” EZLynx Connect allows agents to access more opportunities than they would be able to on their own. It’s a groundbreaking marketplace where agents can earn extra revenue from seamless cross-sell opportunities, use the latest industry-leading integrations and take advantage of modern ways to interact with their clients. EZLYNX, well known as the industryleading rating engine and provider of a stateof-the-art agency management system for independent insurance agents, is adding to its repertoire with the introduction of the EZLynx Connect Marketplace. EZLynx Connect is an innovative addi-
tion to the tech provider’s already impressive lineup of products. By opening the EZLynx framework and inviting carriers and vendors to work side by side with technologists, this revolutionary marketplace provides third-party vendors with an opportunity to distribute their products and services directly
Cross-sell commissions to grow your agency’s bottom line EZLynx Connect provides agents with an easy way to make additional income during the usual quoting process. By introducing options for cross-selling and rounding out
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accounts right inside the rating engine, EZLynx Connect presents agents with new revenue streams for their existing client and prospect base. “Our development team is always on the lookout for partnerships that will help agents provide customer value, as well as generate profits while using our products,” Coplin says. “EZLynx is actively searching for ways to get the most out of every quote opportunity. Generating revenue for our customers is a priority at EZLynx because when they succeed, so do we.” Partnerships with leading providers of life and flood insurance give agents a simple and effective way to discuss additional coverage options during the quoting process. Everything an agent needs to start the conversation and generate new business automatically appears on screen, with no awkward pauses to look up information. EZLynx Connect has also found untapped opportunities for agents by acting as a lead generator for various companies. Once the agent passes on an interested lead’s information, the referred company provides the agent with a commission at the completion of the sale.
Streamline workflows with seamless integrations Every company has software they know and love. EZLynx Connect provides ways for independent insurance agents to keep their preferred technology solutions through integrations with popular industry leaders. “As much as I like to think that EZLynx can do it all, I realize that other tools sometimes make sense for the specific needs of our agents,” says Derek Armentrout, EZLynx Connect product manager. “EZLynx Connect means we can help our agents use those tools with minimal friction.” Seamless integration with popular applications and software makes EZLynx more powerful and creates a holistic solution for
agents. For example, EZLynx has partnered with nationally recognized email software providers to allow agents to communicate effectively and easily with their clients. By creating a bridge between EZLynx and an agent’s inbox, EZLynx Connect allows users to add emails and attachments to records in EZLynx, identify existing customers and prospects, and see contact details. Integration software is available to connect a wide range of applications that agents use daily. By making it possible for different applications to talk to one another, EZLynx Connect lets agents streamline and simplify workflows in a multitude of ways.
any device, they no longer need to visit the agent’s office or provide their credit card information over the phone. Another integration automates scheduling, giving insurance shoppers direct access to an agent’s calendar and allowing appointments to be booked quickly and easily without the typical back and forth. Voice over IP solutions have become commonplace, and EZLynx Connect provides access to multiple options so that agents can apply the latest solutions. Through cloudbased communication, agents can collaborate more efficiently, stay connected and create richer customer experiences through live
“Generating revenue for our customers is a priority at EZLynx because when they succeed, so do we” Kevin Coplin, EZLynx Provide an unforgettable customer experience As the world evolves, so does the technology independent insurance agents need to remain up to date with best practices. Customers crave new and convenient ways to interact with agents in the digital age. EZLynx Connect provides agents with access to the latest and greatest technology to communicate with their clients. “The traditional model has been that agent interaction with the management system is completely separate from their interaction with their clients,” Armentrout says. “EZLynx brings this together with communication tools integrated into the management system and the client-facing portal.” EZLynx Connect makes online payment processing a reality for independent insurance agencies. When insureds can make simple and secure electronic payments from
interactive voice and video sessions. Agents need modern, innovative options to communicate with and appeal to new clients. With multiple solutions in one marketplace, EZLynx Connect gives independent insurance agents what they need to compete more effectively – all without the stress and hassle of research and implementation.
Discover the possibilities EZLynx Connect opens the door to endless opportunities for independent insurance agents to improve the way they do business. Through third-party partnerships, agents can make more money, streamline and improve their workflows, and retain state-of-the-art technology. With new integrations always in the works, agents can always access ways to unlock new opportunities through EZLynx Connect. Discover what possibilities await by visiting ezlynx.com/connect.
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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
Bracing for impact Dennis Toomey of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence tells IBA why he’s expecting a spike in pandemic-related insurance fraud in 2021
THE ECONOMIC impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been vast, and if history is any indication of what’s to come, the insurance industry should prepare for an increase in fraudulent activity. During the Great Recession, the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud saw a 21% increase in referrals in 2008 compared to the year before. Increases were noted in vehicle insurance fraud, mortgage fraud and workers’ compensation premium fraud, as well as arson for profit. “We are seeing more cases of opportunistic type fraud, most likely because of the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dennis Toomey, global director of counter-fraud analytics and insurance solutions at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. “People may be more motivated to do something they wouldn’t normally as a result of financial hardship.” Opportunistic fraud happens when a claimant takes advantage of a legitimate claim by exaggerating or claiming additional damages, whereas organized fraud refers to instances where the sole intention is to take advantage of the insurance system. This could be in the form of fraudulent medical clinics, repair shops or attorneys working together to defraud an insurance company. A staged claim can also be considered organized when it involves multiple parties – for example, in times of economic downturns, the industry tends to see more owner give-ups, where the insured claims their
vehicle is stolen so the insurance company will pay for it and they can get out from under a lien. The rise in fraud as a result of this pandemic and economic crisis has yet to peak, Toomey says, but he expects organized and staged fraud to become more prevalent through 2021. Earlier this year, the industry witnessed a decline in personal auto claims due to fewer vehicles being on the road and less opportunity to commit fraud; however, as the pandemic wears on, the financial well-
being of many is worsening. Google Trends showed a 125% increase in searches for the phrase ‘how to set a fire,’ peaking in March at the height of nationwide closures and shelter-in-place orders. One of the most interesting trends relates to the increased use of telemedicine. In September, the Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Health and Human Services reported charges against 345 defendants, including telemedicine executives, the owners of durable medical equip-
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ment companies, genetic testing laboratories, pharmacies and more than 100 medical practitioners. The charges involved more than $6 billion in alleged loss to federal healthcare programs, $4.5 billion of which was related to schemes involving telemedicine. “This speaks volumes to the evolution of fraud,” Toomey says. “Telemedicine fraud can include excessive medical billing, unbundling, upcoding certain types of procedures or prescribing medicine they shouldn’t and then fraudulently billing insurance companies for it.”
“Insurance fraud is a crime, and it’s not victimless,” he says. “People don’t realize the impact it has on the cost of goods sold and the cost of a policy. The greater the losses, the more insurers will have to raise rates, and honest people will pay the price.” Technology and data sources can help brokers tune in to who they’re doing business with, too. When a claim is filed, insurers have access to a lot of data, and technology is being used to detect anomalies and uncover suspicious activity. Leading insurers are also placing considerable value on social media
“We’ve had a lot of government help, but when more people have to start paying their mortgages and rent again, we are anticipating a spike in the number of claims”
ANTI-FRAUD BEST PRACTICES
Prepare for the unknown The extent and severity of the pandemic is yet to be determined
Adopt a proactive, risk-based approach Where are vulnerabilities across the organization? What controls are already in place?
Dennis Toomey, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence With more people working from home, some might be looking for ways to take advantage of their workers’ compensation policies as well. “We’ve had a lot of government help through PPP loans and stimulus packages, but when more people have to start paying their mortgages and rent again, we are anticipating a spike in the number of claims,” Toomey says. “I expect the severity of claims will be less, but volume will be high.” Going forward, brokers and agents need to be extra vigilant when it comes to verifying client identification, as well as the asset that is being insured, either through a physical inspection or by using technology. Toomey says synthetic IDs, altered documents and identity theft are common. Having conversations with clients about the repercussions of insurance fraud is important as well.
to help mine for hidden information vital to fraud investigations. Tools already exist to automate social media investigations. “If a claimant has already been paid fraudulently, that doesn’t mean they’re out of the clear, either – the statute of limitations can be five to seven years for insurance fraud,” Toomey says. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping carriers become more efficient in their investigations, while storing data and evidence of suspicious activity and mitigating the cost of fraud.” BAE Systems Applied Intelligence helps to protect more than 100 insurance carriers and affiliates against fraud and financial crime through anti-fraud software and services. The company also brings global insurance partners together to find solutions. “Someone could be in another part of the world committing fraud in your part of the
Adapt quickly Identify trends through increased monitoring of data and develop customized best practices
Improve communication Boost communication internally through daily briefs and externally with client materials and increased calls world,” Toomey says, “and if you don’t share intelligence, knowledge and experience, we will never be able to have the impact we need to when it comes to fraud.”
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5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARDS
5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARDS:
PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IBA polled brokers across the country to find out which carriers are offering the best professional liability products on the market
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FOR THE last three months, IBA’s research team has been canvassing the industry to find out what brokers and their clients look for in a professional liability policy – and how their current go-to policies stack up. Surveys and numerous one-on-one interviews with industry professionals have provided valuable insight into what brokers believe to be the very best policies on the market. At the start of the process, IBA asked readers what was most important to them across a range of professional liability policies. That important data was used to construct a weighting algorithm that was applied to survey and interview responses, allowing the team to score each product according to how important various attributes were.
NUMBER OF AWARD WINNERS BY CATEGORY
The vast marketplace for errors & omissions coverage is a multi billion-dollar business – yet it still appears to offer huge potential for growth. As of 2017, the US market was estimated to account for around $16 billion worth of annual premiums, with an estimated $21 billion in untapped premiums. But COVID- 19 has brought challenges with it: Industry revenue has been forecast to decline by more than 15% as a result of both the pandemic and the business upheaval that has come with lockdown. So how many carriers in this segment were ranked highly enough to make the list of the best professional liability policies on the market? Read on to find out.
Design E&O 9
Accountants’ E&O 18
Medical E&O 9
Construction E&O 12
Nonprofit E&O 9
Claims service 9
Access to risk mitigation partners 8
Underwriting expertise 7
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5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARDS PRIVATE AND PUBLIC E&O, EPLI AND D&O Because it protects decision-makers, directors & officers coverage is crucial to the operation of any corporation; so too is the provision of errors & omissions coverage geared toward indemnifying those carrying out their professional duties in the C suite. The need is perhaps greater than ever: According to figures from 2019, a whopping 97% of D&O underwriters say risk in the field is increasing worldwide. Given this background and the fact that D&O is experiencing a hardening market – premiums increased by nearly 17% in the second quarter of 2020 – it’s even more essential that brokers are providing their clients with the best policies and advice.
5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS PRIVATE E&O
Admiral Insurance Group
Berkley Professional Liability
Allied World Assurance Company
Allied World Assurance Company
Berkley Professional Liability
Great American Insurance Group
CFC Underwriting Chubb
Markel American Insurance Company
Great American Insurance Group
eRisk Solutions Great American Insurance Group Markel American Insurance Company QBE RSUI
Markel American Insurance Company
RSUI Tokio Marine HCC Travelers Vela Insurance Solutions
AIG AIG Allied World Assurance Company CFC Underwriting Chubb Great American Insurance Group Hiscox
Allied World Assurance Company CFC Underwriting Chubb eRisk Solutions Great American Insurance Group
Markel American Insurance Company
Markel American Insurance Company
AIG CFC Underwriting Chubb Great American Insurance Group QBE RSUI Sompo International Insurance Travelers
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From left: Tom Fitzgerald, Toria Lessman, Jim Mormile, Thaddeus Woolsey
QBE US headquarters: New York, NY Year founded: 1886 Employees: 11,000+ Number of offices: 90 Leadership: Tom Fitzgerald, president, specialty and commercial; Toria Lessman, SVP, head of professional lines and industry verticals; Jim Mormile, SVP, professional liability; Thaddeus Woosley, SVP, broker management and sales operations “THE CUSTOMER is at the center of everything we do,”
says Jim Mormile, senior vice president of professional liability for QBE North America, who calls the credo a common rallying point. “It’s about making sure the customers’ needs are met.” This customer-centric mindset has been key to QBE’s success in distinguishing itself in the eyes of brokers and has helped the carrier navigate the uncertainty created by COVID-19. As part of its customer focus, QBE has always held creativity, adaptability and responsiveness in high regard, and these qualities proved especially relevant with the onset of the pandemic. “Being nimble is one of our strengths,” Mormile says. “Customers can expect quick and creative responses with customized coverages, innovative technology and comprehensive solutions that will make their lives easier.” Professional liability was already the subject of a major expansion at QBE, Mormile says. “We’re in the midst of
increasing the underwriting staff by 25%.” The team is also finding new avenues for engagement with brokers amid the ongoing pandemic. Because almost 40% of QBE’s workforce already worked remotely before COVID-19, the insurer was uniquely positioned to maintain staff connectivity and productivity, despite the challenges posed by the lockdown. QBE has embraced the new normal via such measures as Zoom happy hours and workouts, both of which are open to brokers. These events, along with care packages sent to top-performing brokers with items like wireless speakers and phone chargers, “demonstrate our commitment to frequent communication on both a professional and personal level,” says Toria Lessman, SVP, head of professional lines and industry verticals. “It’s a top priority.” QBE’s outreach has eased the transition to working from home and has further reinforced the company’s connection with its broker partners and customers.
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5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARDS INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC E&O Errors & omissions cover for various industries is at the heart of professional liability, and the subcategories under this umbrella – products designed to cover lawyers, medical staff and financial professionals, among others – can be exquisitely nuanced, making broker expertise key to finding the right fit. The winners here are separated by industry they cover because different insurance providers have different strengths or focus. QBE won praise from brokers for the high amount of coverage its policies offer compared to some other carriers, while brokers singled out both QBE and Philadelphia Insurance Companies for being very flexible to deal with. Likewise, RSUI was mentioned several times for its willingness to help get a deal done. “They’re more like a partner who wants to help you write a policy, rather than finding a reason to decline it,” one broker said.
5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS LAWYERS’ E&O
Allied World Assurance Company
Admiral Insurance Group
Berkley Professional Liability
Markel American Insurance Company
Markel American Insurance Company
DUAL Commercial North America
QBE Tokio Marine HCC
Admiral Insurance Group
Allied World Assurance Company
Great American Insurance Group
Tokio Marine HCC
Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Markel American Insurance Company
Medpro Group RSUI
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PHILADELPHIA INSURANCE COMPANIES Headquarters: Bala Cynwyd, PA Year founded: 1980 Employees: 2,000+ Number of offices: 50 Leadership: Bob O’Leary, chairman and CEO; John W. Glomb, president; Brian O’Reilly, EVP and chief marketing officer; John Doyle, SVP and chief underwriting officer; Bill Benecke, EVP and chief claims officer. PHILADELPHIA INSURANCE COMPANIES (PHLY) designs,
markets, and underwrites property & casualty and professional liability insurance for more than 120 niche markets. PHLY understands the unique needs of its customers, who have given the company a 96% overall satisfaction rating. For nearly 60 years, PHLY has maintained a disciplined approach to business, delivering security to customers while also supporting employees and the community. Each year, PHLY partners with numerous local and national charitable organizations to give back to the communities it serves. Recognized as one of the best places to work in insurance
since 2011, PHLY continues to seek out the best people, provide them with opportunities and recognize their achievements. TEAMPHLY is committed to delivering innovative products, maintaining positive relationships, staying accountable and acting with integrity. The company has more than 50 offices across the country and is headquartered just outside Philadelphia in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. PHLY maintains an A++ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best, an A+ rating for counterparty credit and financial strength from Standard & Poor’s, and has been a member of Ward’s Top 50 since 2004.
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5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARDS CLAIMS, RISK MITIGATION AND UNDERWRITING EXPERTISE A good reputation for claims procedures might be the single most important aspect of coverage to policyholders – and it certainly came up often as an important factor for brokers when determining the best fit for their clients. The capacity to offer risk mitigation programs and other preventative measures can be very valuable, too. Meanwhile, the caliber of underwriting expertise is crucial for brokers when contemplating which carrier to choose – that particular area can make or break a relationship. “Tokio Marine are just head and shoulders above pretty much everyone I deal with,” said one broker, while another noted that the ease of dealing with the Tokio Marine underwriting team made them his go-to carrier across a range of industry-specific coverages. Another point that came up repeatedly in conversations with brokers was the importance of an easy-to-use policy form; brokers singled out Hiscox, Argo and Great American Insurance Group as the top carriers in that area.
5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS CLAIMS SERVICE AIG Beazley CFC Underwriting
ACCESS TO RISK MITIGATION PARTNERS Beazley CFC Underwriting
UNDERWRITING EXPERTISE Admiral Insurance Group Allied World Assurance Company Argo
Great American Insurance Group
Great American Insurance Group
Great American Insurance Group
Hiscox Markel American Insurance Company QBE RSUI Tokio Marine HCC Travelers USLI
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TOKIO MARINE HCC – CYBER AND PROFESSIONAL LINES GROUP US headquarters: Encino, CA Year founded: 1974 Employees: 250 Number of offices: 7 Leadership: Richard Robin, President, Cyber & Professional Lines Group; David Lloyd, COO, Cyber & Professional Lines Group; Dan Mogelnicki, SVP of Underwriting, Professional Lines; James Bechter, SVP of Underwriting, A&E/CP; Steve Hansen, VP of Underwriting, A&E/CP; Christopher Murphy, SVP of Underwriting, EPL; Christopher Robowski, Director of Underwriting, Allied, Social Services and SMML; Nick Rotondo, Director of Underwriting, MPL and Tenant Discrimination TOKIO MARINE HCC (TMHCC) is a leading
specialty insurance group conducting business in approximately 180 countries and underwriting more than 100 classes of specialty insurance. The company is composed of 16 highly entrepreneurial business units equipped to underwrite unique risks, companies and individuals, acting independently to deliver effective solutions. The business unit awarded in this feature is the Cyber & Professional Lines Group (CPLG). Headquartered in Encino, California, Tokio Marine HCC – CPLG underwrites leading products to cover emerging risks such as cyber liability, professional liability Dan Mogelnicki and bolt-on reinsurance. Underwriting, risk management and claims handling expertise are what set challenging for a myriad of businesses, but TMHCC – CPLG Tokio Marine HCC – CPLG apart from its competitors. has not seen a significant influx of claims attributable to “With underwriters who have many years’ experience, as the current pandemic,” Mogelnicki adds. “However, we well as deep specialty and technical expertise, we’re proud to continue to monitor and manage our book as exposures be acknowledged as global experts in understanding risk,” evolve. We are also fortunate to lean on corporate leadership says Dan Mogelnicki, Senior Vice President – Professional within Tokio Marine HCC to keep us apprised of any potential Lines Underwriting of the Cyber & Professional Lines Group. impacts, both globally and domestically, across a variety of “Our underwriters are recognized as some of the most industry products.” experienced and knowledgeable in the industry. They create According to Mogelnicki, when considering professional bespoke solutions, respond proactively to market changes lines coverage, insureds should look for a company that has and deliver on quick turnaround times that benefit our financial stability, experience and a proficient claims producers. Their synergy with the claims department department. Tokio Marine HCC – CPLG has been provides the best-in-class service and risk management tools underwriting and servicing professional liability for more than for our policyholders. 30 years, and its industry-leading products and unmatched “We are in unprecedented times, which have been services make it a premier specialty insurance carrier.
5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARDS 5-STAR EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS BY CATEGORY Carrier
Admiral Insurance Group AIG Allied World Assurance Company Argo Beazley Berkley Professional Liability CapSpecialty Insurance CFC Underwriting Chubb CNA Insurance DUAL Commercial North America eRisk Solutions Great American Insurance Group Hiscox Huntersure Markel American Insurance Company Medpro Group Philadelphia Insurance Companies QBE RSUI Sompo International Insurance Tokio Marine HCC Travelers USLI Vela Insurance Services
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Access to risk mitigation partners
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TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER LIFE Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE ROAD TO RECOVERY Broker and Special Forces veteran Dillon Behr dedicates his spare time to helping fellow vets recover through fitness and yoga
Behr received the Silver Star Medal for his actions in Afgha nista n
IN 2008, US Army Special Forces veteran Dillon Behr was severely wounded in combat and had to be airlifted to Walter Reed Military Hospital in Washington, DC. He spent the next two years in physical therapy before retiring from the Army in 2010. “After recovering from my injuries, I started a nonprofit CrossFit gym at Walter Reed,” says Behr, who is now a DC-area executive lines broker at Risk Placement Services. “We took guys out of therapy and taught them how to do rigorous workouts with adaptations. Most of the members had amputations, so they were able to learn to work out again with their prosthetics.” After closing that gym, Behr helped raise funds for VEToga, a nonprofit that provides yoga and meditation to veterans and their spouses and also helps veterans get certified as yoga instructors. “I was a beneficiary of many services that veteran nonprofits offered while I was recovering, and I have always felt it is my responsibility to pay it forward now that I am able,” Behr says. “The wounded veteran community has a special place in my heart because I can identify with every one of them, whether it is a serious physical injury or post-traumatic stress.”
Years Behr served in the military
Deployments to combat areas in Iraq and Afghanistan
Maximum pounds Behr can deadlift with a prosthetic hip
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Intelligent Insurance Fraud Solutions Fraud should not be the cost of doing business for insurers, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence can arm you with the right services and technologies to detect more fraud and, streamline genuine customer experiences – all delivered in real time. Fraud should not be the cost of doing business. •
We protect more than 100 insurance carriers and affiliates against fraud and financial crime
We analyze and score over 1 billion insurance entities annually
We have over 20 years experience enabling insurers and consortiums ability to detect and prevent fraud
We have seen $1M actionable fraud found in first week of go-live during a recent implementation of our solution
In many cases, up to 50% of fraud we identify is not detectable with traditional analytics tools
Find out more
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Expect big things in workers’ compensation. Most classes approved, nationwide. It pays to get a quote from Applied.® For information call (877) 234-4450 or visit auw.com. Follow us at bigdoghq.com.
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