Page 22

PEOPLE

INDUSTRY ICON successfully repositioning The Hanover and earning the trust of its agent partners. “What the team has done is one of the really interesting and great stories of our industry,” he says. “We have now been upgraded multiple times by all the rating agencies. As a matter of fact, we were the only company in America during the financial crisis that was upgraded by all three rating agencies. And we have been, for the last five years, one of the fastest-growing P&C companies in the industry and one of the most unique.” The Hanover is currently one of the top 30 P&C insurers in the US. It prides itself on providing tailored product solutions to customers, distributed through a select network of agents. “[What’s] been accomplished is extraordinary,” Eppinger says, “and it’s been because people have come together, they’ve rallied around the vision of the institution and done something pretty special. We’re one of the most talked-about insurance companies because we’re pretty unique in what we do – distributing our products and services exclusively through our select network of independent agent partners, helping them sell value and improve their economics.”

“We’re 163 years old, but we act like we’re a start-up. We’re trying to build our business and get better every day so we meet or exceed the expectations of our partners and their customers” nesses you’re not in … I tell people that if you can’t tell people what you’re not in, you don’t have a strategy. Our strategy is very clear. It’s all about building select, mutually beneficial relationships with our agent partners, providing franchise value, innovative products, responsive service and expertise, helping them build their businesses. “[You’ve] got to talk about [strategy] more, and more people have to know about it,” he continues. “I meet every new employee who joins the company within their first year here. It’s

important, because for us … we’re not the biggest company out there, but we are successful because people understand how they contribute and create value.” That approach clearly has worked at The Hanover. “If you talk to our people, one of the things I think that cuts across all of our people is this sense of ownership of the place and a commitment to strategy,” Eppinger says. “Our people believe they made a difference here because they did. We’re better because of them.”

MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY

FE

Strategic direction Part of The Hanover’s value proposition is that it works with a select group of approximately 2,200 independent agents and brokers across the country. “We spend probably more time with our independent agents than anybody else,” Eppinger says. “We do more in-depth planning with them… We understand them and their business. We care about them, and they care about us. We think the independent agent is not only viable, but is absolutely critical to the value-added segments.” Another key element of The Hanover’s strategy is that Eppinger and his team think of the organization as “the oldest start-up in America,” as he puts it. “We’re 163 years old, but we act like we’re a start-up,” he says. “We’re trying to build our business and get better every day so we meet or exceed the expectations of our partners and their customers.” Eppinger says that having a strategy for moving forward is more important in insurance today than it has been in the past. “All I mean by that is clarity in what you’re trying to achieve and what businesses you’re in, and what busi-

20

Being involved in the community is an important part of the business for Fred Eppinger. “Our involvement in our communities … is a big part of who we are,” he says. “I believe that great people think beyond themselves. We don’t require that everybody participates, but it’s remarkable how many people do. It’s not just the money. It really is the impact. “There’s this instinct that people have when they think about insurance companies, and it’s not all good … so my view is that this puts us above the fray. When people talk about our company, they think, ‘Wow! That’s a great company.’ Yeah, they know it’s an insurance company, but it makes people feel great because people think about us as an institution that really makes a difference. The governor of Massachusetts just finished his time in office, and he came out to see me. … He came up to my office, and he said, ‘I’ve got to just thank your company for all you guys do for the community.’

www.ibamag.com

18-21_Industry Icon-SUBBED.indd 20

13/03/2015 6:06:28 AM

IBA_Upc

Insurance Business America issue 3.02  

The magazine for America’s insurance broking and advice community.

Insurance Business America issue 3.02  

The magazine for America’s insurance broking and advice community.