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IBAMAG.COM ISSUE 4.12 | $12.95

Who brought the heat to the insurance industry this year? LET’S GET PHYSICAL

The no-sweat guide to insuring sports & fitness clubs

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What agencies need to know about obtaining financing for an acquisition


Are you prepared for the threats and opportunities of insurtech?

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ISSUE 4.12

CONNECT WITH US Got a story or suggestion, or just want to find out some more information?


UPFRONT 04 Editorial

How to break into the Hot 100

06 Statistics







New sports & fitness centers are popping up all the time – and many are likely woefully underinsured


On the heels of Little & Smith’s 90th birthday, Bill Smith Jr. reflects on the factors that have led to its longevity

The nuts and bolts of going digital

12 Intelligence

This month’s big movers, shakers and new products

14 Workers’ comp update

Facebook shuts down a startup’s attempts to use its data for auto insurance discounts

18 Opinion

Insurance agents have to start taking technology seriously if they don’t want to go extinct

PEOPLE 71 Career path

How Barry Casper’s career brought him back to his roots

72 Other life

Floating on air with aerialist Megan Tabor




Capital is a must for making acquisitions. Here’s what you need to know before seeking financing


10 News analysis


Wells Fargo’s Laurie Nordquist talks about the bank’s big plans for its insurance arm


What’s in store for the industry in 2017?

16 Technology update



08 Head to head

The Labor Department calls for interventions into the workers’ comp system

Who made the insurance industry sizzle this year? IBA reveals 100 of the hottest professionals of 2016


The numbers behind the insurtech revolution


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Exceptional Partnerships. Extraordinary Solutions. Not many companies are inspired to reach higher and take their business to the next level. Nor are they an industry leader with 35 years of experience in the E&S industry.

We are.

E&S/Specialty A.M. Best rating of A+ (Superior), FSC XV Fortune 100 company Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Š2016 Nationwide.

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It’s not just who, it’s how


t’s that time of year again – for the team at Insurance Business America, the Hot 100 feels like our very own Oscar ceremony for the power players in the industry. However, the real message is not so much who these people are, but how they have achieved their success. We often assume that people who are successful in any field are either simply blessed with talent or just plain lucky. It’s an assumption that is at best misplaced and at worst outright condescending – because the reality behind the achievement is usually very different. Even those who are ‘lucky’ enough to be born into success often face staggering pressures to match the achievements of those who have come before them, and those who had the financial backing to support their success still had to have the hard work, drive and commitment to make that cash boost count. A common trait among high achievers, no matter their background, is the ability to listen to those around them. In insurance, this is particularly crucial. When policyholders in a recent survey were asked to rate insurers,

A common trait among high achievers, no matter their background, is the ability to listen to those around them. In insurance, this is particularly crucial many highlighted localized and specialized offerings – personal service that makes them feel valued and involved. Customers engage with an insurer that goes further than just providing the cheapest deal. Those who have made our Hot 100 all share that vitally important ability to listen – not only to customers, but also to new ideas and trends that might drive them forward and take their businesses to new heights. Everyone loves an inspiring story – a tale of someone overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds or building success from humble beginnings. However, the reality is that behind almost every achievement, there is inspiration to be drawn. The IBA Hot 100 is not meant to be a list solely to celebrate – it’s a list that’s meant to inspire. By not only looking at the faces we spotlight, but also listening to the stories they have to tell, you stand the greatest chance of breaking your own barriers and writing your own success story. The team at Insurance Business America JANUARY 2017 EDITORIAL Managing Editor Paul Lucas Journalists Maryvonne Gray, Jordan Lynn News Writers Lyle Adriano, Louie Bacani, Mina Martin, Gabriel Olano Staff Writers Tim Garratt, Libby McDonald, Joe Rosengarten, Heather Turner, Ryan Smith Editorial Researcher Hannah Go Copy Editor Clare Alexander

CONTRIBUTORS John Tiene, John Sikkema

ART & PRODUCTION Design Manager Daniel Williams Designer Joenel Salvador Production Manager Alicia Salvati Traffic Manager Kay Valdez

SALES & MARKETING Vice President Cathy Masek Media Sales Managers Chris Wills, Chris Anderson, Megan Roth Mktg & Comms Manager Lisa Narroway

CORPORATE Chief Executive Officer Mike Shipley Chief Operating Officer George Walmsley Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil

Editorial Inquiries Subscription Inquiries Advertising Inquiries,,

Key Media 78O7 E. Peakview Ave., Suite 115 Centennial, CO 80111, USA tel: +1 720 316 0151 Offices in Denver, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland, Manila, Singapore

Insurance Business America is part of an international family of B2B publications and websites for the insurance industry Insurance Business Canada T +1 416 644 874O Insurance Business UK T +44 20 7193 0935 Insurance Business Australia T +61 2 8437 47OO Insurance Business NZ T +61 2 8437 47OO Insurance Business Asia T +61 2 8437 47OO


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Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as the magazine can accept no responsibility for loss.

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Tech-led transformation


$40 million

Cyber insurance economic risk modeling platform

In light of remarkable recent growth, insurtech seems poised to bring a wave of innovation to the industry CHANGE IS poised to sweep the insurance industry as a tide of capital flows into insurtech, powering a seemingly endless wave of startups. P&C alone has seen a swell in insurtech capital of more than 50% so far in 2016 compared to the year before. According to a recent study from Gartner, the onus is on insurance firms to seek out insurtech startups to partner with or acquire

$167 million



Increase in revenue per employee for agencies that use self-service applications

Increase in claims download transactions since 2013

Insurance Zebra

$17 million Auto insurance comparison


$103.1 million

to remain competitive. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2018, a whopping 80% of life and P&C insurers worldwide will be matched up with a complementary insurtech company in an effort to remain relevant. In fact, the firm reveals that 64% of the world’s 25 largest insurance companies have already invested in insurtech startups either directly or indirectly via their venture capital arms.


Amount of venture capital invested in insurtech companies in Q3 2016



Per-mile auto insurance 5


$25.5 million

On-demand personal item insurance

THE TOP 10 DISRUPTORS As of late September, a total of $336 million in aggregate funding had been raised by the 10 largest disclosed P&C insurance tech startups. Half of those 10 companies were based in the US, while German, Danish and Chinese firms made up the remainder.


Average national rate of digital technology adoption at an independent agency

Sources: Dow Jones Venturesource Venture Capital Report, Q3 2016; 2016 Applied Digital Agency Inaugural Report

WHO’S AFRAID OF TECH? When asked what impact venture capital investment in insurance startups would have the business of P&C insurance agencies, few respondents to a Vertafore survey expected a negative outcome.

INVESTMENT CLIMBS EVER UPWARDS Investment in insurtech has consistently risen over each of the past five years. When the trend-distorting effects of last year’s $931 million investment in Chinese online-only insurer Zhong An are stripped out, 2016 appears to be on track to continue that trend. 78 2016

2015 Not sure


Positive impact


Negative impact


$483 million 52

$496 million 30

$161 million 24



+ $931 million

$109 million No impact at all



12 $37 million Number of deals

Source: Hanover Research/Vertafore, “How Independent P&C Insurance Agencies Thrive in 2016’s Competitive Marketplace,” October 2016


Total investment Source: CB Insights, Insurance Tech Insights, P&C Insurance Tech Financing History

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7 6

$20 million

$22.5 million

Discount insurance buying site

Online comparison, including auto insurance

4 8

Xishan Information Technology


$28 million


$18.9 million

Mobile insurance management platform

Auto insurance comparison



$15.3 million


Huize Insurance

Peer-to-peer insurance broker

$46 million

Online insurance agency platform

Source: CB Insights, Insurance Tech Insights, P&C Insurance Tech Financing History



Early-stage deals dominate the activities measured in 2016; seven out of every ten P&C insurtech deals included early-stage investments. The corresponding figure the year before was just over 60%. 55

Respondents to Vertafore’s survey were more likely to report feeling unthreatened by venture capital investment in insurtech startups if they worked at a large P&C agency.



Large agencies

Medium-sized agencies






$27 million

$41 million



$15 million

$204 million

$231 million



2014 Number of deals

Total investment Source: CB Insights, Insurance Tech Insights, P&C Insurance Tech Financing History

Small agencies Source: Hanover Research/Vertafore, “How Independent P&C Insurance Agencies Thrive in 2016’s Competitive Marketplace,” October 2016

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What will 2017 bring for the insurance industry? What’s keeping producers up at night when they think about the industry’s position next year and beyond?

John M. Huff

Brady Kelley

“State insurance regulators are focused on challenging issues, including innovation, health insurance and international activity. We’re planning how to best address cybersecurity in the wake of high-profile cyber attacks, insurers’ use of big data and the impact of new technology. With rising health insurance costs making headlines, our concentration is maintaining stable health insurance markets while balancing healthcare’s availability and affordability. We are also focusing on the impact of federal and international developments influencing US regulatory policy. This includes coordinating with US and foreign regulators, working with emerging markets, and assessing how this activity will impact our markets and consumers.”

“Congress recognized the value of private flood insurance options with the BiggertWaters 2012 Flood Insurance Reform Act. However, an uncertain definition of private flood insurance remains, causing some lenders to decline private market solutions. The H.R. 2901/S. 1679 bill provides a simple solution and reinforces the need for private market alternatives to the National Flood Insurance Program. The legislation clarifies the definition of private flood insurance and ensures lenders can accept those policies, giving homeowners greater options. The House approved H.R. 2901 unanimously. When Congress returns to address government funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, it should enact S. 1679.”

President NAIC

Executive Director NAPSLO

Glenn Spencer Global COO Lockton Companies

“The biggest concern is the industry talent pool. Our industry must become a talent magnet for smart, hard-working people from all backgrounds. We are focused on recruiting and developing the next generation of talent for the industry. We don’t buy the notion that everyone will work at 10 companies during the course of their career. We want to keep them here for a long, long time. That requires maintaining an energizing and stimulating environment that will allow people to realize their professional ambitions. High associate retention results in high client retention. This feeds continued growth, which is the hallmark of a healthy business.”

LOOKING BACK ON THE YEAR GONE BY Between unexpected results in the presidential election, the Brexit referendum and the World Series, 2016 is a year unlikely to be easily forgotten by many. It also brought with it major floods in Texas and Louisiana, in addition to devastating fires in California; advances in technology that included increased drone use and exploding phones; and expansions in the use of autonomous cars. Amidst all this, technology further opened the door to what has become a thriving ‘sharing economy,’ while new insurance models and the effects of other disruptions continue to ripple through the insurance world. As the industry puts the last 12 months behind it and looks toward 2017, the big question is really how to best come to terms with a rapidly changing and unpredictable landscape.


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Beyond Security®



“It Takes Discipline”

Marty Hacala Fitness Enthusiast General Star President & CEO

“Rolling out of bed at 5am every morning to work out requires discipline. It’s my way of getting the very most out of my busy day. “At General Star, we strive to get the very most out of our wholesale broker relationships. As a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, our financial strength is unsurpassed. But it’s our disciplined approach to building and maintaining profitable partnerships with a select group of brokers that drives us. “Discipline: Whether sticking with an early morning exercise regimen or standing firm with a limited number of valuable wholesale broker relationships, it remains the cornerstone of our success.” To locate the General Star broker nearest you, visit our website at

© 2015 General Star National Insurance Company is licensed in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all states. General Star National Insurance Company has its principal place of business in Stamford, CT and operates under NAIC Number 0031-11967. Insurance is placed with General Star National Insurance Company by licensed producers. General Star Indemnity Company is an eligible surplus lines insurer in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It has the status as an unlicensed insurer in California and operates under NAIC Number 0031-37362. Insurance is placed with the General Star Indemnity Company by licensed producers and, for risk that qualify, by licensed surplus lines brokers. Atlanta 404 239 6777

Chicago 312 267 8600

A.M. Best A++ XV

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Los Angeles 213 630 1930


New York 212 859 3950

Stamford 203 328 5700


A Berkshire Hathaway Company

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Embracing progress The digital revolution isn’t coming – it’s already here. Yet even though it’s obvious innovation is vital, even the biggest names in the industry appear to face stumbling blocks

FORGET ABOUT ‘location, location, location’ – the message in the insurance industry over the past year seems to have been ‘digital, digital, digital.’ Barely a day goes by without one expert or another attempting to drive home the message that technology is not just important, it’s crucial to the industry’s future. However, that’s the easy part. What comes next? How do insurers turn the theory into practice? Here, it seems, there is much more confusion. Recent data from market research firm Raconteur, sponsored by FIS, attempted to delve into the challenges facing insurers – more than 99% of whom admitted they face

So what’s holding insurers back? Legacy IT systems are one element that appears to be preventing progress from the ground level up – nearly three quarters of firms surveyed admitted that their legacy technology is simply too complex to replace. James agrees that it’s a “hard leap” for insurers to take – which is why it’s important to think through the process of what really needs to change. “Look at what can be leveraged in terms of the existing system,” he says. “Don’t think so much about switching out a code base and getting a more modern system. Think about small functionality, good business practice – there are many things that, when

“The focus on digital is something that insurers are struggling to plan for and struggling to pay for” J.P. James, FIS obstacles in terms of delivering innovation, primarily because of limited budgets, organizational constrictions and poor management. “The focus on digital is something that insurers are struggling to plan for and struggling to pay for,” explains J.P. James, head of insurance at FIS, “even though they recognize they need to do it.”


enhanced, can help you leverage even better. Of course, if you’ve got subject matter problems, then you really need to make a call and move forward.” That move forward can be made in many ways – from wholesale migration when systems become too expensive or inefficient to support, or even robotic automation that

can extract and process information across multiple systems. No matter what approach is taken, Anthony Elliott, head of business innovation for Zurich Insurance, believes costs should not be seen as a barrier. “Businesses should set aside a dedicated budget for new innovations,” he said in the report. “Failure to do so will expose them to significant business risks such as competition.” Another issue with bringing the digital message to life is determining who takes the lead – according to James, many smaller firms are not following the trail set by some of their larger competitors, even though it is arguably more straightforward for them to do so. Indeed, the report shows that over a third of companies with gross written premium of more than $5 billion, and nearly half of those with GWP of between $2.5 billion and $5 billion, believe they are more innovative than others. However, less than a quarter of the smallest firms (GWP below $100 million)

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of businesses believe they will lose market share if they don’t innovate


of insurance companies admit they face obstacles in delivering innovation


of insurers believe digitalization can help their firm more than any other technological improvement


believe responsibility for innovation falls mainly on IT and technology teams Source: FIS/Raconteur, “The Innovative Insurer – How to Get Ahead in the Digital Age”

have the same conviction. “A lot of the mid-sized insurers are not moving as quickly as some of the larger insurers,” he says. “I would have thought they’d be more nimble, more focused, from the standpoint of not having to deal with some of the bigger issues such as Solvency II.”

Michael Busch, head of IT for ING, said in the report. “They need to be open-minded and inventive, particularly to engage with a new generation of employees, partners and customers.” “If it’s not coming down from the top, then it’s not a strategic direction that’s going

“Businesses should set aside a dedicated budget … failure to do so will expose them to significant business risks” Anthony Elliott, Zurich Insurance So who should be driving the push? Across all firms, IT and technology teams will take major responsibility. However, they should not be alone in battling for change – senior management must share the burden. “Leaders should invite disruptive innovation, encourage others to drop outdated approaches, and take balanced risks,”

to get a lot of focus and attention,” James adds. “I would definitely say it needs to be a top-led initiative. You’ve got to be across the board.” Once the leadership has been established, the next step is to get a team together and focus on the opportunities for growth through digitization.

“There is a lot of focus around customer experience and leveraging that,” James says. “It’s easy to go down the route of investing in things that basically just rebuild what you already have – but focus on customers and growth, and think about how you’re going to get there fundamentally. Then think about what’s next.” For more than half of the insurance companies surveyed, the top reasons for innovation are to boost customer satisfaction and value, as well as to improve their competitive advantage. Rather than businessfocused advancements, such as blockchain or even cybersecurity, the focus appears to be on customer technology trends like mobile and wearable technologies. These new sales and distribution options are giving insurers the chance to upsell and increase profits. That bottom line should provide the ‘why’ for embracing digital in any business – and push them to quickly find the ‘how,’ because the ‘when’ is definitely now.

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AmTrust Financial Services

ANV Holdings

AmTrust will shell out $203 million for the deal

Aspen Insurance Holdings

Blue Waters Insurers

Blue Waters will open the Puerto Rican and Caribbean markets for Aspen

The Hilb Group

Fundamental Insurance and Retirement Planning

Hilb will leverage the partnership to expand its network of agents

NorCal Mutual Insurance

PPM Services

NorCal will expand its practice into anesthesia liability with the acquisition

Northwest Insurance Services


Northwest will leverage Winans’ distribution network in New York and Pennsylvania

NSM Insurance Group

Vantage Holdings

Vantage specializes in leisure and liability insurance products

Securian Financial Group

Canadian Premier Life Insurance Group

The transaction will be made final in early 2017

Ametros announces medical cost pricing service

Healthcare finance firm Ametros Financial recently launched its CareQuote service, aimed at improving transparency in the pricing processes used to settle personal injury cases, especially in liability and workers’ compensation. According to Ametros, a team of dedicated professionals will facilitate the service by providing post-settlement pricing for home-based healthcare, skilled facility and highquality medical equipment services to injured parties. The service is expected to provide value by helping the parties involved in a settlement project the future cost of care.

MetLife may be looking to exit India venture

Despite promising prospects in India, major insurance player MetLife is reportedly preparing to exit the market to focus on mounting challenges on its home turf. Sources close to the matter said the insurer is pulling out of India, despite new rules that allow foreign companies to own as much as 49% in domestic holdings, up from the previous 26%. The US insurer owns a 26% stake in a local joint venture, which it plans to sell due to its poor performance, said a source close to the matter. The Punjab National Bank has a 30% share in the company. The news comes as MetLife shows healthy vital signs in the country. Its Indian interests include assets under management worth around $2.08 billion and a solvency margin of 212%. After entering into an agreement with PNB, its market share rose to 4% from 1.5%. MetLife is present in 7,000 locations across the country, as PNB carries its products and services.


New products evolve from Blockchain

Blockchain, a more secure form of database that stores and verifies information across a network of users rather than centrally, is expected to spin off myriad new services as it matures, including new insurance products. Among those that hold promise, according to a recent report, is parametrics, in which insurers pay a certain amount upon the occurrence of certain risk triggers instead of outright coverage for a loss. Parametrics entails the use of smart contracts, which adjust claims payouts depending on the extent of the damage.

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PEOPLE XL Catlin expands its cyber coverage

Design professionals such as architects and engineers rely heavily on technology, leaving them particularly exposed to cyber risks. According to XL Catlin’s Joe Reynolds, “a stolen laptop, a network hack or random computer virus can create enormous and costly consequences for a design firm’s practice and reputation.” In response, the company has added cyber insurance as an optional coverage to its professional liability insurance for design professionals. The specialized product covers privacy and network security liability, data breach response, and supplementary payments.

Annexus unveils VC fund for insurtech opportunities

Financial solutions firm Annexus recently launched its venture capital fund, Annexus Ventures, in a bid to take advantage of opportunities emerging from the integration of technology with the finance and insurance sectors. The VC firm will focus on making early-stage investments in insurtech, fintech and software startups. Along with seed funding, Annexus will tap into its financial expertise, existing business networks and resources to support nascent technology companies. It is currently negotiating partnerships with leading startups and is set to announce outcomes in the coming weeks.

Pennsylvania launches life insurance finder

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department recently announced the availability of a life insurance finder service for those who have lost a loved one but are unable to locate their policy. The service was developed in conjunction with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. When a Pennsylvania resident files a location request, the Insurance Department will ask carriers to search their databases for life insurance information. If a policy is found and the inquiring party is a beneficiary, the department will then ask the insurer to notify the beneficiary.





Brian Benjamin


XL Catlin

Head of global mergers and acquisitions, insurance division

Bobby Bierley


Lockton Cos.

Strategic broker leader

Carl Hess


Willis Towers Watson

Head of investment, risk and reinsurance

Barbara Luck


XL Group

President of global casualty excess business

Doug Massey


Insurance Technologies

Senior vice president of sales

Carla Owens


QBE North America

Senior vice president, specialty business group operations

Barbara Sandelands


CNA Financial Corp.

Senior vice president of commercial underwriting services

Mike Sorge


Lockton Cos.

Strategic broker leader

James C. Trainor



Senior vice president of cyber solutions group

Rene van Winden


Lockton Cos.

Senior vice president and national energy property leader

Carol A.N. Zacharias


QBE North America

Senior vice president, underwriting counsel

Former FBI cybercrime official joins Aon

Aon has enlisted the services of a former FBI official to expand its products and services designed to protect corporate clients from cyber threats. James C. Trainor, former assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, will take on the role of senior vice president in Aon Risk Solutions’ cyber solutions group. Trainor served as a military intelligence officer in the US Army before joining the FBI in 1996. At the FBI, he led the agency’s efforts to pursue adversaries who run counter to US interests.

Insurance Technology appoints new SVP

Insurance Technologies, an automation firm catering to the insurance and financial industries, recently announced the appointment of industry veteran Doug Massey to the post of senior vice president of sales. In his new capacity, Massey will oversee operational performance and undertake initiatives to drive growth through sales strategies for the products in the company’s portfolio. Massey has more than two decades of experience in the insurance and technology industries; Insurance Technologies hopes to tap his expertise in consultative leadership.

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WORKERS’ COMP UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS California sets aside $35 million to combat comp fraud

The California Department of Insurance is tightening its drag net on workers’ compensation insurance fraud with additional funding to support district attorneys. California insurance commissioner Dave Jones recently announced that the regulator is providing $34.9 million in grants to 37 district attorney’s offices representing 44 counties throughout the state. The grants, funded through employer assessments, will primarily support law enforcement initiatives through the investigation and prosecution of workers’ compensation insurance fraud. 

Payers’ workers’ comp drug spend declines Payers’ pharmacy spend went down by almost 9% in 2015, according to the latest survey by CompPharma, a consortium of pharmacy benefit managers [PBMs]. The annual survey examined the 2015 pharmacy cost data of 30 workers’ compensation carriers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers and state funds. According to the study, payers credited the downward trend to more stringent clinical manage­ ment, prescriber interventions and improved integration with PBMs.

WCRI reports on effects of reforms on workers’ comp systems

The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute recently released data that examines the effects of policy reforms in 18 states. The study looked into trends in payments, prices and medical care for injured workers. It found that reforms have affected workers’ compensation systems to varying degrees. For


instance, medical payments per claim in California decreased 3% in 2014, but the same item increased in Illinois by an annual average of 3% between 2012 and 2014. Medical payments per claim grew in Virginia, the fastest rate among all the study states, from 2009 to 2014.

Texas simplifies workers’ comp dispute resolution The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation [TDWC] is expanding a program to expedite the resolution of disputes. Under the program, a dispute is split into related claim issues so the hearing officer can decide on the issue that has wider impact first. This step then paves the way for the resolution of secondary issues under the claim. TDWC initiated the pilot program in May 2015 in Welasco and later took it to Dallas. It is currently available in 20 offices across the state. To date, 50% of disputes entered into the program were scheduled for a hearing, while 33% resulted in full resolution.

Sheriff’s deputy arrested in workers’ comp scandal

Attempts by Orange County, California, to crack down on instances of workers’ compensation fraud took an unexpected twist recently when a sheriff’s deputy was charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $35,000 in unearned benefits. Orange County began the investigation in May 2015 when other county employees reported that deputy Nicholas Zappas was posting photos online that aroused suspicion. Zappas was charged with 18 felony counts of knowingly failing to disclose his true physical abilities to medical providers. Zappas, who is 36, was also charged with lying under oath; if convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison.

DOL decries changes to workers’ comp laws In a new report, the US Department of Labor calls for greater oversight of state standards The Labor Department is sounding the alarm over state workers’ compensation laws that are continuing to shrink benefits for injured workers. “Working people are at great risk of falling into poverty,” the regulator said in a recent report on changes in state workers’ compensation laws. According to the department, these changes have resulted in “the failure of state workers’ compensation systems to provide [injured workers] with adequate benefits.” “As the costs of work injury and illness are shifted, high-hazard employers have fewer incentives to eliminate workplace hazards and actually prevent injuries and illnesses from occurring,” the DOL report said. “Under these conditions, injured workers, their families and other benefit programs effectively subsidize high-hazard employers.” The report also noted that over the last decade, US states have approved laws, policies and procedures that have “limited benefits, reduced the likelihood of successful application for workers’ compensation benefits and/ or discouraged injured workers from applying for benefits.” Formed in 1970, the National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Laws identified five major objectives of a successful workers’ compensation program, including broad coverage of employees and of workrelated injuries and diseases, substantial protection against interruption of income,

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provision of sufficient medical care and rehabilitation services, encouragement of safety, and an effective system for delivery of benefits and services. “These objectives are still valid,” the DOL said. “They are not being met in many, and an increasing number, of states.” To address the situation, the Labor Department recommended an exploration of federal interventions, specifically “the establishment of standards that would

“Injured workers, their families and other benefit programs effectively subsidize high-hazard employees” trigger increased federal oversight if workers’ compensation programs fail to meet those standards.” Other areas the Labor Department believes need to be addressed are the federal role in oversight of workers’ compensation programs, strengthening the linkage between workers’ compensation and injury and illness prevention, and developing programs that use evidence-based standards to assist in long-term management of workers’ disabilities. In response, the American Insurance Association [AIA] issued a statement opposing the proposed interventions. “AIA appreciates the need to periodically review the state workers’ compensation system,” AIA vice president Bruce Wood said. “However, changes and improvements to the workers’ comp system should be debated at the state level, where whatever policy balance results can be more readily fine-tuned as circumstances require.” AIA added that state economies are more sensitive to changes.


Dr. Marjorie L. Baldwin Academic director for public health programs ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Fast fact Since the recession, employer costs per $100 of covered payroll have been lower than they were before ($1.35 in 2014 versus $2.05 in 1994)

An economist’s take on workers’ comp What trends have you observed in the workers’ compensation segment since the recession? What we have observed over the last two decades is that medical costs are becoming a relatively more important share of overall workers’ compensation costs. In part, this surely reflects the rising costs of healthcare overall. So, anything we could do to make the delivery of healthcare to injured workers more efficient would help control the costs of workers’ compensation.

What’s driving this trend of higher medical costs? The primary factor driving the trend is the rising cost of healthcare overall. In addition, many of the cost-saving mechanisms that exist in regular health insurance (e.g. co-payments, deductibles) are not present in workers’ compensation. I’m not suggesting that should be changed – merely stating the fact. Workers’ compensation actually provides 100% coverage for the costs of work-related injuries – better than almost any regular health insurance plan. The issue is to make sure that employers and employees know what constitutes a work-related injury, and that all legitimate claims are filed.

From a public health perspective, how can we make the delivery of healthcare to injured workers more efficient? Several things can be done. For example, we have shown that the costs of work-related musculoskeletal injuries are lower when workers are treated by providers who have experience and training in treating work-related injuries, and who follow best practice guidelines regarding surgery and rehabilitative care. Some large employers have in-house clinics or a nursing staff to assess workers who become injured and help them file workers’ compensation claims. Other research has shown that employers can reduce durations of work absence following a work-related injury by providing special accommodations or ‘light work’ assignments, and by staying in touch with injured workers who are absent from work on temporary disability.

Do you think there’s a need for legislative remedies to the current workers’ compensation situation? If you’re asking about legislation at the federal level, absolutely not. Workers’ compensation is a state-run program; there are no federal mandates except for injury reporting and workplace safety requirements. There are many advantages to this decentralized structure – the states can learn from one another, state systems can be more responsive to local issues, and administrative costs are lower at the state level.

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Facebook blocks insurer’s plans The social media site has stonewalled Admiral Insurance’s hopes of leveraging user profile data

interest to charge on a loan. A Facebook spokesman said that protecting the privacy Facebook users is of the utmost importance to the social media giant. “We have clear guidelines that prevent information obtained from Facebook from being used to make decisions about eligibility,” he said. “We have made sure anyone using this app is protected by our guidelines and that no Facebook user data is used to assess their eligibility. Facebook accounts will only be used for login and verification purposes. Our

“We have clear guidelines that prevent information obtained from Facebook from being used to make decisions about eligibility”

Facebook has blocked an attempt by Admiral Insurance to analyze users’ social media profiles in order to affect their insurance premiums. The move comes as the app was due to launch. Admiral said its firstcarquote app would look at data from first-time car owners’ Facebook accounts, such as the language used in posts and pages they had liked, in order to determine whether they would be a safe driver and to potentially reduce premiums.


Privacy advocates, including the Open Rights Group, have questioned the notion of financial decisions being made based on information from social media accounts. In a statement on the group’s website, it said Admiral’s app has been found to be in breach of Facebook’s Platform Policy section 3.15, which prevents companies from using information obtained from Facebook to make decisions about eligibility, including whether to approve or reject an application or how much

The upside of cyber’s low market penetration

Cyber insurance is a fastgrowing segment, but there’s still plenty of room for it to get even bigger, according to Jeremy Barnett of NAS Insurance. At a panel during Insurance Business’ Cyber Risk 2016 Masterclass, Barnett said cyber insurance’s market penetration is only 10% to 20% – and most of that is from large companies. Panelist Robert Rosenzweig of DeWitt Stern/Risk Strategies Group added that because this is still a relatively new risk category, a deep knowledge of cyber liability could give brokers a competitive advantage.


understanding is that Admiral will then ask users who sign up to answer questions, which will be used to assess their eligibility.” Admiral described the app as a voluntary service that would not increase premiums, but instead would give users a discount of between 5% and 15% if their Facebook data indicates they are careful drivers. The insurer has admitted that the app’s launch has been delayed and that it has been in discussions with Facebook Europe, but it did not say on what grounds. A notice on the company’s website says it “still has to sort a few final details.”

Two insurtech firms announce partnership

Comparison site CoverHound and pay-per-mile insurer MetroMile are joining forces to offer auto, homeowner’s, renter’s, motorcycle and other property & casualty insurance. MetroMile’s Katy Allen said the partnership will allow the thriving startup to offer more than just auto insurance. “We recognize that our pay-per-mile car insurance customers have insurance needs beyond car insurance,” she said, “so we’re pleased to partner with CoverHound to give our customers access to a broad selection of insurance options.”

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Mark Breading Partner

Insurtech will reshape the insurance industry


Fast fact According to PwC’s Global Fintech Survey, 74% of insurance companies believe that some part of their business is at risk of disruption from technology

How significant has social media become for a typical insurance agency? Social media has been used by insurers in three main areas: branding/marketing, human resources (hiring) and claims fraud investigation. Most insurers have a presence on the main social media sites, but still tend to leverage them as broadcast mediums instead of a way to create one-on-one interactivity with customers. Today, agencies are more actively leveraging social media to build relationships and identify new prospects.

How would you assess the insurance industry’s response to continued developments in technology and the emerging risks? New technologies always provide new benefits to society, but they have the potential to create new risks as well. There are far-reaching implications of emerging tech like the Internet of Things, wearables and autonomous vehicles in terms of the risk landscape. In theory, the traditional risks may be significantly reduced, but cyber risk is likely to increase dramatically. New and unforeseen risks are also sure to surface.

Do you think insurtech will cannibalize the current market for insurance? I don’t see an insurance Uber appearing out of nowhere. There will certainly be insurtech companies that help to transform and reshape the industry, but

App promotes transparency for consumers

A new app from insurtech startup SafeStuff establishes greater transparency between users and insurance companies by letting users take control of their possessions and evaluate their net worth with a few clicks and swipes. The idea is that consumers can handle their insurance claims through a much faster, simpler and more secure process, since they will have proof of what they own in case it gets stolen or damaged, enabling them to also choose the most appropriate coverage for their assets.

that is more likely to be the result of partnering with insurers rather than replacing incumbent insurance companies. The area most at risk of disruption/ replacement is distribution for commodity-type products like personal auto, term life and potentially small commercial insurance.

How would you advise insurance companies to get their feet wet in the new developments as the technology market evolves? It is important to actively track developments in the areas that are most relevant for the lines of business they write. Following emerging technologies, insurtech companies and developments in adjacent industries is vital. Recruiting talent from outside the industry and the active development of innovation programs should be key components of any insurer’s plan.

How has technology changed the insurance market? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Technology, up to this point, has largely been about automation for operational efficiency. But recently, the industry has leveraged business intelligence and analytics for more insight on customers and risks, and to gain market advantages through technology. The next phase will be leveraging technology to rethink products, business models, operations and the nature of the customer relationship.

US insurance “disturbingly” behind on security

The insurance industry may be risk-minded, but that hasn’t stopped it from continuing to use technology systems and practices one computer scientist calls “disturbingly” unsecure. In a recent study, Dr. Bill Curtis found that insurance firms are among the least secure financial services businesses. “Because of the complexity of the systems and the piecemeal, bolt-on solutions [software] engineers often put in place in a hurry, insurers’ applications are disturbingly less secure and more likely to experience outages,” Curtis said.

Technology is best opportunity for reinsurance growth

The reinsurance sector’s use of technology is the biggest potential driver of growth in 2017, industry executives believe. At the Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America’s 2016 meeting, executives were asked about the top opportunities and threats for their business in the year ahead. The poll revealed that technology innovation is considered the top opportunity by 42%, with new products (25%) and new geographical markets (13%) rounding out the top three.

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BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN Wells Fargo’s Laurie Nordquist talks about returning to insurance after spending three decades in the broader financial industry LAURIE NORDQUIST has been with financial services giant Wells Fargo for 26 years, but only since December 2013 has she been part of its insurance business. It’s a case of coming full circle for Nordquist, who actually began her career in insurance. “I was hired out of college into an excellent training program and spent four years in a variety of roles, but more on the life and pensions side,” she says. So, how does she feel about returning to insurance after spending decades working outside the space? “It’s fun to come back and not be the expert because you can ask questions [like] ‘Why do we do it this way?’ and ‘Have we thought about it?’” she says. “That, to me, has been really refreshing.”

digital services for that microbusiness space?’ And I think, historically, our group would’ve tried to build it, and I really challenged them.” That led to a partnership between Wells Fargo and Insureon, an online multi-carrier small business insurance provider. “They have robust online capabilities for small business owners, and they have been a fabulous partner,” Nordquist says. “Our team was able to roll that out in about nine

development in the insurance world now – always starting with what the benefit will be for the customer. We’re trying to listen to what’s important to our customers and build that into our technology strategy.” In terms of the biggest challenges she’s faced during her extended tenure at Wells Fargo, Nordquist names M&A activity, but adds that those times have also been the most rewarding. She references the two largest

Instituting change

“[Direct insurers] are doing innovative things. They’re pushing all of us to be better – forcing us, as agents and brokers, to think about how we actually show up and demonstrate the value-add”

Nordquist reflects on some of the innovations implemented since she took on her current role, singling out a change in Wells Fargo’s approach to microbusiness customers. “We were trying to service those customers the same way we would service a customer with $20 million in sales,” she explains. “One of the things we found is that those customers are wearing many different hats. They don’t have a head of HR – they probably don’t even have an office manager – and they wanted the ability to do more online. We took a step back and said, ‘How are we going to deliver more

months … and offer it to our small business customers. The team was amazing and delivered a great experience.” Another important project for Nordquist has been changing the customer experience in the retirement space, an initiative where customer feedback was crucial. “Taking that customer lens first and then working backwards to [ask] what it really means … made a huge difference in the experience review. We’ve really taken that approach as we are doing innovation and


transactions in which the wider organization has been involved – the $31.4 billion Norwest/ Wells Fargo merger in 1998, and Wells Fargo’s $15.1 billion purchase of Wachovia in 2008. “You have an opportunity when you’re doing something large like that to step back and look at two systems with different business processes and products, and really get a chance to take the best,” she says. “There is a lot of work around it, and there can be tension as everyone lobbies for what they’re familiar with, but in the end, if you do take the best of both,

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PROFILE Name: Laurie Nordquist Company: Wells Fargo Insurance Title: Head of personal and small business insurance division Years in the industry: 34 Fast fact: Immediately prior to taking on her current role, Nordquist served as executive vice president and director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust

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instead of picking one over the other, you end up in a much better place. “I think the success is being able to blend the best of both cultures and leverage the best leaders and teams from the two organizations,” she adds. “I’ve seen other organizations, when they do an acquisition, [who] don’t take any of the leaders from the acquired company, and they really miss out.”

The threat of direct? Talking about the evolving insurance landscape, Nordquist doesn’t see a threat to

“In the small business space, we actually have some verticals where we have agents who specialize in a particular industry, like healthcare or transportation,” she says. “So, when a customer is going to talk with an agent who has that specialty, it’s not just about, ‘Your coverage is going to cost x amount,’ but they can really bring expertise and say, ‘I work with other healthcare companies. Here’s what we see. Here’s something for you to consider’. “Not every carrier is the same, and not all products are the same, and for us to be able to explain the nuances, to know there’s maybe

“We’re the number-one small business lender in the country, and we have an immense ability to partner with the broader Wells Fargo. Every one of our customers needs insurance, so why not leverage Wells Fargo Insurance to be able to do that?” brokers in the small business space from the direct channel. Instead, she argues that direct insurers have actually helped the industry raise the bar. “[Direct insurers] are doing innovative things,” she says. “They’re pushing all of us to be better – forcing us, as agents and brokers, to think about how we actually show up and demonstrate the value-add. But we’ve got to be able to do a good job of reminding them, articulating what that value is that we’re adding … and it’s not just about price. It’s really helping them understand the different products, different coverages that are out there and where we’re going to get the best fit for them.” So if direct insurers aren’t a threat, what is the biggest challenge for the industry today? Nordquist believes it’s the tendency of customers to view insurance as a commodity.


a new product out there that can really meet a need for them … then we get away from it being a commodity, and it’s really something where they do want that guidance and advice.” Looking ahead, Nordquist says Wells Fargo Insurance’s key focus for 2017 is growth. “We’re the number-one small business lender in the country, [and] we have an immense ability to partner with the broader Wells Fargo. Every one of our customers needs insurance, so why not leverage Wells Fargo Insurance to be able to do that? “So, clearly our focus is on growth and working with our banking partners on what’s the trigger event or when’s the best time for us to have that conversation with the customer around their insurance needs,” she adds. “The more we can integrate into the broader banking experience, I think we really get into doubledigit growth then, which I’m excited about.”



The year Wells Fargo Insurance was founded


Wells Fargo Insurance’s rank among the world’s largest insurance brokers


Number of Wells Fargo Insurance offices (across 27 states)


Number of people employed by Wells Fargo Insurance

$9.1 billion

Amount of risk premiums written or placed by Wells Fargo Insurance professionals every year

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Avoid the fate of the dodo Agents know that technology is changing everything – but, writes John Tiene, they underestimate just how much INSURANCE AGENTS should heed the lesson of the dodo bird. Most notable for its sudden extinction some 300 years ago, the flightless dodo had no natural predators until humans colonized its native island, Mauritius. The clumsy birds were easy to catch and defenseless against the island’s new population of cats, rats and monkeys. The demise of the dodo was swift. In just 75 years, the bird ceased to exist. Agents stuck in the old ways of doing business may face a future as dire as the dodo. Most agents understand that technology is changing, but they underestimate how dramatically technology is impacting the relationships they have with their clients. Consumer expectations are evolving. Clients still want a relationship with their agent, but the nature of that relationship is very different than it was just a few years ago. From my vantage point, insurance agents are not changing fast enough to keep up, and the clock is ticking. Agencies still look a lot like they did 20 years ago: people sitting at desks in front of computers, using the phone as the primary way to contact customers, all between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In the next 10 years, successful insurance offices will look dramatically different. A physical office may not even exist because portals and cloud-based computing will enable clients to do many transactions themselves – faster, more efficiently and, most important, when it’s convenient. Consider the new client. At the beginning of the relationship, you have a lot of

personal interaction. You’re counseling them, explaining coverage options, building a relationship. Eventually you sell them a policy. At this point, a lot of agents would send a paper policy. But today’s clients don’t want a stack of paper. They expect a portal connected to an app on their phone, laptop or tablet where they can access all the information they need: policies, ID cards, driver information and so

in the insurance marketplace are even further along in terms of technology adoption and integration, and they’re threatening the traditional distribution insurance model. Lemonade, for example, is a new peer-to-peer insurtech startup that promises customers instantaneous homeowner’s and renter’s insurance quotes with a simple swipe of their smartphone. A feature called ‘switching’ allows users to cancel policies, obtain a refund and buy a new policy with the click of a button. Within the first 48 hours of launching in New York, the company had 142 policies and thousands of dollars in premiums. No agents involved. There are hundreds of these disruptors looking to build a better mousetrap. Independent insurance agents have a tremendous advantage in the marketplace – existing relationships with clients, the ability to provide consultative advice and a tradition of serving their communities. A well trained, knowledgeable insurance professional will always be successful because clients still want the counsel and support that only a

“If agents don’t embrace technology, their clients are going to migrate to new insurance channels, and it won’t be easy to get them back” on. Using the portal, they can also chat with agents and download forms. The connected consumer of today is already using technology to buy their groceries, clothes, utilities and financial services. Companies like Amazon, Google and Charles Schwab are leading the way, defining what convenience and efficiency look like in the minds of our clients. For example, Charles Schwab customers can interact with a financial advisor in person or via text, email or phone. At some point, consumers are going to ask themselves, “How come I can’t do insurance this way?” If agents don’t embrace technology to offer a multi-channel approach with the convenience and ease of use that clients expect, they will no longer be relevant. Their clients are going to migrate to new insurance channels, and it won’t be easy to get them back. It’s not just about retaining clients; it’s about attracting new clients, too. Disruptors

real live professional can provide. However, the nature of that relationship must change for that agent to survive. Today’s tech-savvy clients want to be able to do things seamlessly without making a phone call. They don’t need advice and consultation to manage billing or get an ID card. This kind of change is not easy, but it is essential. Agents resistant to change will be viewed as slow and old-fashioned. Their clients will move to an insurance platform that fits their lifestyle demands. Before long, these agents may find themselves out of business and, as the saying goes, “as dead as a dodo.”

John Tiene is the CEO of Agency Network Exchange, an alliance of independent insurance agents. Recognized for his service to the P&C insurance industry, he has advised industry leaders for more than two decades.

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Meet 100 of the hottest influencers, innovators and game-changers in America’s insurance industry INDEX BY COMPANY COMPANY


Agency Network Exchange


John K. Tiene

AHT Insurance


Derek Symer



Tracie Grella



Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty


Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty


Brightway Insurance


David and Michael Miller

Broadspire Services, Inc.


Danielle Lisenbey

Faye Sahai

Burns and Wilcox Brokerage


Denis Brady

Adam Posner

Cedar Risk Management & Insurance Services


Malena Farrell



Russ Cohen



Kevin Fuhriman

James van Meter

Allied World Insurance


Joseph Cellura



Dr. Howard Botts

Alper Services, LLC


David Macknin

Cyber Data Risk Managers, LLC


Christine Marciano

Eagan Insurance Agency, LLC


Marc Eagan

Euclid Program Managers


Chris Golonka



Nag Rao

Aon plc





Gregory Case

Aon Risk Solutions


Randy Nornes

Applied Systems


Reid French

Arch Insurance Group


David McElroy



H. W. Kaufman Financial Group


Alan Kaufman

The Hanover Insurance Group


John C. Roche

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.


John Wilcox

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company


Tim Zeilman



Ryan Edgmon



William J. Crocker

Hiscox USA


Ben Walter

Hiscox USA


Kevin Kerridge

The IMA Financial Group, Inc.


Rob Cohen



Chad Eddy

Insurance Information Institute


Sean Kevelighan


Laird Rixford


Shaun E. Kelly

Freberg Environmental Insurance 56

Renee Miller

General Star


Martin Hacala

Insurance Technologies Corporation

Arlington/Roe & Co.


Mark Maucere

Arthur J. Gallagher


Bill Bohstedt

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Gorst & Compass Insurance


Bryan Clark



Andre Basile

Great American Insurance Group


Mike Liguzinski

Lexington Insurance Company (AIG) 48

David M. Kennedy

Breckenridge Insurance Group


Tracey Carragher



G. Greg Gunn

Liberty Mutual

Debbie Michel


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THIS YEAR has, without a doubt, been one for the books. Amid major world events such as the Rio Olympics, the US presidential election and the Cubs winning the World Series, industries far and wide have been rocked to the core – and insurance was no exception. That’s why we want to celebrate 100 movers and shakers who have heated things up the insurance world this past year. For our fourth annual Hot 100 list, we asked the insurance community to nominate major power players who are shaping the future of the industry. Although this list doesn’t include every professional who is making a difference, we’ve narrowed it down to 100 individuals who we believe deserve mention for their accomplishments in 2016, as well as a few up-and-comers you should keep an eye on in the year ahead.



Chairman and CEO




A nearly 30-year veteran of the industry, Timothy Turner heads up RT Specialty, Ryan Specialty Group’s wholesale brokerage. During the past year, Turner has strengthened RT Specialty’s power base on both coasts with two key brokerage acquisitions, and by hiring a number of experienced wholesale brokerage professionals. Prior to taking the reins at RT Specialty, Turner served as president of CRC Insurance Services, at the time the largest wholesale broker in the US.

Since joining Agency Network Exchange in 2011 as CEO, John Tiene has led the group’s rapid expansion over the last five years. A former director of personal lines, sales and marketing for OneBeacon Insurance Group, Tiene conducted extensive research while at OneBeacon on the topic of building effective independent agency distribution systems. He also served for more than a decade as the chief lobbyist and spokesman for the Insurance Council of New Jersey.







Lloyd's of London


Inga Beale

Norman-Spencer Agency, Inc.


Brian Norman

The Travelers Companies, Inc.


Robert Brody

Lockton Companies


Glenn Spencer



Jeff Eiserman

US Risk Insurance Group


John Guadagno

Rodger J. Laurite

Pacific Interstate Insurance Brokers


Larry Manning

United Educators Insurance


Robb Jones

PURE Insurance


Gary Stephen

University of South Carolina


Robert Hartwig

QBE Insurance


Ted Stuckey

USG Insurance Services


Timothy Horton



Amy Zupon

Lockton Companies – Southeast Series


Mackoul & Associates


Edward J. Mackoul

Markel Specialty


Matt Parker

Markel Ventures


Michael Heaton

RIC Insurance General Agency, Inc.


Michael R. Sullivan

Marsh USA, Inc.


Machua Millett

Victor O. Schinnerer & Company


Matthew Kletzli

Risk Placement Services, Inc.


Joel Cavaness



Phil Trem

Wells Fargo Insurance Services


Suzanne O'Keefe

Risk Placement Services, Inc.


Edward Levy

McGowan Program Administrators

Wells Fargo Insurance Services


Mario Paez


Paul Marshall

RT Specialty


Timothy Turner

Richard Bird

Patrick G. Ryan

Stacy Brown




Midlands Management

Ryan Specialty Group

Willis Programs

Mark Walls

John Haley

Mark Kaufman




Safety National

Willis Towers Watson

Monarch E&S Insurance Services

Mike Scrudato

Andrew Caldwell

Brian Vassallo




Munich Reinsurance America

Smart Choice

Worldwide Facilities, LLC

St. Joseph Health


Lisa Ramthun

Worldwide Facilities, LLC


Davis Moore



Brady Kelley

Starr Insurance Holdings


Charles H. Dangelo

Wrap Up Insurance Solutions




Keri Kish

State of Iowa

Larry Jackson and Brian Billhartz


Nick Gerhart

NAS Insurance


Mike Karbassi

XL Catlin


Marcin Weryk

Nationwide Excess & Surplus/ Specialty


Matt Masiello

XL Innovate


Sarah Street


Tom Clark

Strategic Insurance Agency Alliance (SIAA) Symantec


Pascal Millaire

Zurich North America


Lori Bailey

NIF Group


Vince Terlaje

The Travelers Companies, Inc.


Joan Woodward

Zurich North America


Mike Foley

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DR. HOWARD BOTTS Vice president and chief scientist, insurance and spatial solutions CORELOGIC

With more than 30 years of experience in geographic information systems, Dr. Howard Botts leads CoreLogic’s team of GIS professionals in geospatial database development efforts to generate and maintain natural hazard solutions. The founder of geospatial information provider Proxix Solutions, Botts joined CoreLogic in 2007 when the company acquired Proxix. A professor emeritus of geography at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, Botts is a recognized expert in natural hazard risk solutions and regularly speaks on a variety of topics related to the field. His dedication and work help to answer some of the insurance industry’s questions about what has happened and what could happen in terms of our planet’s natural hazards.

SARAH STREET Director XL INNOVATE EVP, strategy and innovation initiatives XL CATLIN

ALAN JAY KAUFMAN Chairman, president and CEO

Sarah Street joined XL in 2001 as the CEO of XL Capital Investment Partners and has moved through the ranks over the last decade and a half. After serving as chief investment officer of XL Group for more than nine years, where she was responsible for investment strategy, including asset allocation, compliance and risk management, Street assumed her current role as EVP of strategy and innovation initiatives for XL Catlin. She also serves as acting director and investment team member for XL Innovate, a venture capital investor sponsoring global entrepreneurial teams with ideas for innovative enhancements in insurance and risk management. Street is also non-executive director of New Ocean Capital Management, an asset manager that has expertise investing in reinsurance risk products.




Under Alan Kaufman’s leadership, Kaufman Financial Group and its portfolio of companies achieved double-digit growth and more than $1.8 billion in revenue in 2015. Kaufman supports a number of civic, community and business organizations, in addition to establishing the Kaufman Family Foundation and the Herbert W. Kaufman Memorial Scholarship through NAPSLO. Earlier this year, Kaufman set up a major endowment within the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, his alma mater, to provide academic leadership in insurance. He also initiated the company’s first major sports sponsorship of 2016 PGA Champion golfer Jimmy Walker, which has given Kaufman subsidiary Burns & Wilcox a tremendous amount of brand exposure.

Larry Jackson and Brian Billhartz have more than 25 years of experience in the P&C industry. They provide a range of services, including production, marketing, account management, claims management and loss control/risk management. For the past 15 years, Jackson, Billhartz and their team have worked exclusively with owners, developers and contractors, as well as their insurance representatives, on wrap-up programs. Recently, they provided wrap-up services for the Golden 1 Center (which became home to the Sacramento Kings this year), the Dallas Cowboys office complex and practice facility, and the expansion of the University of Oklahoma’s football stadium.

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Matt Masiello oversees the operational management of the largest alliance of independent insurance agencies in the US, leading almost 50 master agencies and

thousands of independent agents across 48 states, who collectively produce more than $6 billion in premium every year. This year, Masiello led the establishment of the group’s 49th master agency. His more than 20 years of experience have instilled in him the knowledge, expertise and skills to provide executive leadership to SAN Group, SIAA’s original and largest master agency operating across the Northeast, and its West Coast counterpart, Strategic Independent Insurance Agency Solutions. As a member of

the leadership team, Masiello contributes to the continued development of SIAA’s internal operations and strategic direction while consulting with the master agencies on the implementation, operations and growth of their organizations. As a speaker and writer, Masiello regularly shares his insights on industry trends through various publications and events. When not working in insurance, he is busy raising funds for veterans’ programs such as the Wounded Warriors’ Project and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes’ Fund.

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EVP and general manager, national insurance casualty unit

VP of communications and strategic analysis



Just one year ago, Debbie Michel was appointed to her current role as EVP and general manager of Liberty Mutual’s national insurance casualty unit, overseeing the underwriting, sales and service of casualty insurance products for the large risk market. Michel is also president of Helmsman Management Services, the wholly owned third-party administrator of Liberty Mutual. A 20-year veteran of Liberty Mutual, Michel grew Helmsman to become the fifth largest multiline TPA.

As VP of communications and strategic analysis at Safety National, Mark Walls focuses on industry education, government affairs and monitoring workers’ compensation issues and trends nationwide. The majority of Walls’ 26-year career has been on the claims side, giving him perspective into the day-to-day challenges faced by employers, carriers and TPAs. In his current role, Walls directs all thought leadership activities by combining perspective and market knowledge to create content.


Boasting more than 28 years of insurance industry experience, including 18 years in the London market, Richard Bird joined Midlands Management in 2007 and now serves as the company’s chief operating officer. His background includes extensive work in both domestic and international markets, with significant experience in the placement of treaty reinsurance and program development and management. Bird’s most notable accomplishments have been in the accident, health and workers’ compensation segments, and throughout his career, he has been particularly involved in the self-insured workers’ compensation arena. As part of the executive leadership team at Midlands, Bird is focused on delivering innovative insurance coverage and industry-leading services to manage risk and protect the people and assets of the company’s clients nationwide.



This year, Robert Cohen was tapped to lead the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers as the organization’s new chairman, giving him a direct hand in guiding the national organization that helps shape policy for the insurance industry. Apart from his new appointment, Cohen is also CEO of The IMA Financial Group. Since 2000, he has led the company to grow by more than $100 million in revenue, and in footprint through a mix of organic and acquisition-driven growth. Cohen also serves on the boards of Colorado Succeeds, Denver Sports, the Denver Zoo, the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, the Metropolitan State University Denver board of trustees, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation, and Visit Denver.

ROBERT BRODY EVP, claims services and special liability group THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES

Leading Travelers’ claims services and special liability group teams, Robert Brody is responsible for all claims functions, as well as the special liability group and risk control organizations at the international insurance provider. Following Hurricane Matthew, Travelers launched a team of claims professionals using small drones to assist in the assessment and inspection of property damage in the states affected.

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A NAME THAT SHARES KNOWLEDGE At Risk Placement Services (RPS), we recognize that knowledge means empowerment. And we are committed to sharing our knowledge with our retail partners so that they can be empowered to offer solutions to meet their customers’ needs and access to the finest markets and top producers in the industry. Now that’s information we can advocate.

For additional knowledge on RPS, contact an RPS representative at 866.595.8413 or email us at

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DEREK SYMER Principal and director, nonprofit practice AHT INSURANCE

In his work as director for AHT’s nonprofit practice, Derek Symer focuses on helping clients such as NGOs, associations, educational institutions and think tanks analyze their risk exposures and develop risk mitigation strategies. He is an experienced property and liability insurance broker, specializing in D&O, employment practices, media and publishers, and cyber liability, as well as international coverage. Symer’s work with nonprofit organizations goes beyond insurance. He co-founded the Business Managers Roundtable, a networking and educational forum for business officers of private and independent schools, and is part of the National Business Officers Association and the American Society of Association Executives.

Early this year, Michael Heaton was promoted to president of Markel Ventures, on top of his COO title. Since 2008, he has been integral to the growth of Markel Ventures, which invests in business outside the specialty insurance market to support the finances of Markel Corporation. Heaton became managing director in 2012 and COO in 2013. He also serves as senior director of affiliate investments at Markel Corp. and sits on the boards of several Markel Ventures companies.


In February, John Guadagno joined US Risk as EVP for its affiliate company, US Risk Underwriters, a specialty E&S lines wholesaler specializing in contract binding, brokerage, MGU and program business development. Guadagno joined US Risk from Endurance, where he was VP of marketing. Active within the industry, Guadagno is a member of the AAMGA, NAPSLO and the Target Markets Program Administrators Association.


In October, Amy Zupon took on the role as Vertafore’s new CEO. A leader in the insurance technology arena, Zupon has held multiple leadership positions within the software industry. Her expertise in driving customer-centric innovation will undoubtedly be an asset to the company, which focuses on offering modern technology solutions to better prepare the insurance industry for digital disruption.



After completing his undergraduate degree, followed by a stint in graduate school at the College of Insurance in New York, Marc Eagan received his certification in risk and insurance and went on to London to work at

G. GREG GUNN Managing partner GUNN-MOWERY

G. Greg Gunn’s appearance on this list comes as his company bags three ‘bests’ for 2016 – Best Practices Agency from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (for the seventh year), “Simply the Best Insurance Agency” from Harrisburg Magazine, and “Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania” (for the 10th year) from the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal. Gunn himself was honored as Executive of the Year in 2013 by the same journal. Gunn has been a managing partner at Gunn-Mowery since 1988 and has served as chairman for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers’ Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware chapters. Recently, he was named a director for Pennsylvania on IIABA’s board, in addition to serving on the board of several other organizations and nonprofits. Lloyd’s for 18 months before joining the family business in 1980. He has served as president of Eagan Insurance since 1988. He was also the president of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana from 2011 to 2012, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Eagan has been named one of the “Top 50 Money Makers” and “Driving Forces” of the New Orleans metropolitan area by New Orleans CityBusiness, which has also recognized the company as a top workplace for several years, as did the Times-Picayune in 2015 and 2016. Outside insurance, Eagan’s other career is sailing; he has served as an instructor and a competitor in events, and is a five-time winner of the Flying Scot North American Championship.

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As the first female member of the Crawford & Company global executive team, Danielle Lisenbey has held the position of president and CEO of Broadspire Services since 2012. Broadspire, an international thirdparty administrator, offers a broad suite of customized claim, medical management, accident & health, and disability and leave

management services designed to increase employee productivity while containing costs. Throughout her career, Lisenbey has mentored and helped develop women in business. Under her leadership, four of the seven executive management teams within Broadspire are led by women. Recently, Lisenbey was named Claim Executive of the Year by the New York Claim Association and selected as a winner of the Silicon Valley United States Women World Awards in the Female Executive of the Year category.

Involved with various community and trade organizations, Lisenbey currently serves as a board member for Moving in Spirit, a youth development program that uses the art of dance to positively transform the lives of children and teens in Atlanta. She also sits on the boards of the Disability Management Employer Coalition and the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation. Her other memberships include the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the National Association of Women Executives.

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VP of digital innovation

National director, nonprofit and social service




Randy Nornes has been one of the pioneers of insuring the sharing economy. As leader of Aon’s Global Sharing Economy Practice, he has spearheaded the creation of new solutions and continues to demonstrate a deep understanding of disruptive technology, having worked with companies such as Google, PayPal and Uber. Nornes also leads the Alternative Risk Finance Practice, and has developed a next-generation risk finance process that incorporates captive insurance backed by multiyear and multiline reinsurance, along with a risk management framework for multinational organizations.

As VP of digital innovation at QBE, Ted Stuckey heads the company’s global Digital Innovation Lab, which provides the capacity and resources needed to experiment with the latest technologies that fuel growth and efficiency. He also collaborates with academics and startup communities to supplement his efforts. In August, QBE partnered with a local high school’s computer science class to help students see the relevance of their coursework to their future careers. In October, Stuckey served as one of the speakers at the InsureTech Connect 2016 conference.

In late 2015, Vince Terlaje was appointed as national director for NIF’s nonprofit and social service program, which provides insurance solutions and advice on nonprofits to brokers. He has been president of NIF Pacific since 2012 and continues to hold that title. Before he joined NIF in 2009, Terlaje worked with Safeco Insurance (now Liberty Mutual) for more than a decade, where he served as underwriter for its nonprofit and social services program. He eventually took on various leadership positions, including territory underwriting director and assistant vice president of risk management.

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Under Chad Eddy’s leadership, the team at Indium is challenging the established model of insurance and redefining how independent insurance agents get the edge they need to stay independent. When Eddy took over the reins at Indium two years ago, he took the company back to its roots and modernized its noble purpose with a cutting-edge new brand promise for its agency partners: “Get an edge. Stay indie.” Eddy and his team recognize that independent agents must adopt new behaviors in order to stay relevant and win in the industry. As a result, they are focused on delivering innovative solutions for their agency partners, including relevant technologies and training, as well as strategic partnerships designed to make independent agents the most informed, most educated, most capable, most valued and most valuable in the industry.

Some Things You Can Always Count On

MACHUA MILLETT Chief innovation officer, FINPRO US MARSH USA

In September, Machua Millett was instrumental in the creation and launch of Marsh’s new product, CCO Preferred, to insure chief compliance officers who are becoming more vulnerable to regulatory investigations and are prone to being held responsible for faulty programs that are not of their making. Millett joined Marsh after 10 years as an attorney at Skadden Arps, Bingham McCutchen and Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, where he practiced law as an intellectual property, securities and general commercial litigator and insurance coverage defense lawyer. In his current role with Marsh, Millett serves as a technical expert and claims resource on management and professional liability issues for private and public companies, as well as private equity, venture capital and hedge fund managers. Millet also currently serves as the business development chair for HOLA, Marsh’s Latino colleague resource group; co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Financial Institution Steering Committee; and Massachusetts membership chair of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association.

Experts in Workers’ Compensation and Excess Workers’ Compensation for public and private entities, count on Midlands to provide customized work injury benefits solutions including unparalleled underwriting expertise, innovative risk management and bottom-line driven claims management. Find out why we’re an industry-leader, let us go to work for you today.


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Charles H. Dangelo is president and chief operating officer of Starr Insurance Holdings, a global insurance organization. In this role, Chuck provides leadership for Starr’s insurance companies and subsidiaries. In addition, Chuck serves as president and CEO of Starr Indemnity & Liability Insurance Company, Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company and vice chairman of Starr’s Bermuda-based insurance company, Starr Insurance and Reinsurance Limited.


Under Nag Rao’s leadership, EZLynx has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation. Its flagship EZLynx Management System was built on top of the EZLynx Rating Engine to provide the only single platform solution used by half of all independent agents in the industry. EZLynx has been the fastest-growing agency management system for four years, and was also the first to integrate with Amazon’s Alexa in 2016.


As an advisor on business risk, Jeff Eiserman knows what clients need and how to change


MARIO PAEZ Vice president and national practice advisor



VP of operations

Apart from growing his book of business to more than $10 million in written premium and more than $1 million in commission and fee revenue, Mario Paez has taken the lead in technology and network security. As leader of the technology, privacy and network risk team at Wells Fargo Insurance Services, he specializes in technology E&O, professional liability, and network security and privacy liability insurance coverage and risk management. A thought leader in his area of expertise, Paez regularly holds talks and seminars on professional liability and network security for internal and external clients, as well as with different professional organizations. Most recently, Paez sat on the risk management panel of the Insurance Business 2016 Cyber Risk Masterclass. their impression of insurance, having been a small business owner himself at one point. Instead of just offering policies, Eiserman works alongside various organizations such as tech companies, educational institutions, healthcare organizations and nonprofits, helping them examine all aspects of their operations, identifying the areas of risk and tailoring the solutions accordingly. “Jeff has led the charge to bring awareness to the threat of cybersecurity in the Midwest,” a colleague says. He is an expert on data security and cyber liability, and regularly speaks to organizations about data breaches, commercial crime and risk management strategies. In addition to his day job, Eiserman is president of the Discovery Center of Springfield, a hands-on science museum in Springfield, Missouri.


One of Malena Farrell’s most notable accomplishments at Cedar Risk Management has been calling on her joint passions for beer and insurance to set up the niche marketing company Cedar Brew, which markets insurance to wineries, breweries, alcohol distributors and restaurants. First starting in insurance at the age of 16, doing filing work and answering calls, Farrell eventually became interested enough to get a producer license, specializing in home and auto insurance before finally entering commercial lines. Now as VP of operations, her daily work covers everything from helping claimants to adding a teen driver to a policy, as well as talking to corporate clients, learning new coverages and advising carriers on system and policy changes. As head of Cedar Brew, Farrell’s passion shows no signs of slowing as America’s craft beer revolution carries on.

CHRIS GOLONKA Managing partner/principal, public sector alternative risk EUCLID PROGRAM MANAGERS

Earlier this year, Euclid Program Managers announced the formation of Euclid Public Sector Alternative Risk, co-led by Chris Golonka. With extensive experience in alternative risk insurance and reinsurance, Golonka has worked with public entities, scholastic pools and nonprofits. Now he leads the newly created MGA, which specializes in underwriting custom alternative risk products for the public sector.


As president of Risk Placement Services, Joel Cavaness heads up one of the nation’s largest managing general agencies and fastest-growing P&C wholesalers. As president, Cavaness leads more than 1,300 RPS employees in over 30 states. Under

his guidance, the company’s innovative program design, commitment to long-term relationships and high professional standards have ensured that it keeps growing. In 2014 and 2015, RPS acquired nine companies, including Monument, Excel Insurance Services and American Wholesalers Underwriting. After graduating from Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor’s in business administration, Cavaness spent three years working as a casualty underwriter for

standard and excess & surplus carriers. In 1986, he joined Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in St. Louis as a marketing representative, working his way up to area VP by 1990. In 1996, he moved to Itasca as president of International Special Risk Services. In 1997, he was named president of RPS. Cavaness is very active in NAPSLO, having served on the board of directors since 2010. He also holds both CPCU and ARM designations.

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Senior vice president



As president of Smart Choice since late 2014, Andrew Caldwell has been in charge of the Smart Choice Agents Program, which has achieved a record for 2016, adding more than 600 new agency partners in just the first half of the year. The company now has more than 5,000 agencies in total – a benchmark it has been eyeing for a long time. Smart Choice is committed to add 1,000 additional agency partner locations, a goal Caldwell says the company fully expects to meet, if not surpass, by the end of the year. In addition to the Smart Choice Agents Program, Caldwell also oversees the Smart Start initiative, as well as the accounting and sales departments. He was previously executive vice president of business development, and has served in a number of capacities since he joined Smart Choice in 2003.

Regarded as “the hardest-working person I know” by an industry peer, Brian Vassallo has been in the insurance industry for just over a decade. Early this year, he was appointed to the position of senior vice president at Worldwide Facilities, LLC, and opened a new office in the Los Angeles area. Vassallo remains focused on maintaining outstanding service levels and market relationships while continuing to develop exclusive products and proprietary coverage through his expertise in national infrastructure, commercial and residential projects. In addition to his work in insurance, Vassallo also serves as vice president for the City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Council in Coastal San Pedro, where he chairs the Port and Environmental Committee while also participating on the Public Safety Committee. In 2015, he introduced a grassroots initiative to help combat property crime in the area.


Paul R. Marshall has almost 25 years of insurance and risk management experience, beginning with retail agency sales and moving into underwriting, claims and program management. Since joining McGowan Programs Administrators, Marshall has developed several innovative underwriting facilities for medical professional and healthcare management liability. One of Marshall’s most recent market innovations, active shooter insurance protection, was highlighted in an IBA article as “the next cyber.” There are significant challenges to securing places of business, especially ones where visitors come and go frequently. These organizations are particularly susceptible to lone attackers who can enter buildings unchallenged. The increase of mass shooting threats, along with the ensuing litigation, has created public awareness and demand for this new line of coverage. Marshall’s program fills this need and provides third-party liability, property and business interruption coverage while offering crisis response services to any class of business.


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As the head of Hiscox USA, Ben Walter has led the division’s growth and profitability over the past five years. Walter joined Hiscox as


As CEO of Breckenridge Insurance Group, Tracey Carragher is a true trailblazer in the insurance industry. Since founding the company in 2009, Carragher continues to drive strategic growth of the specialty wholesale firm while strengthening its culture internally and key partnerships externally. With more than 350 team members, 14 offices, new technology and capital to invest, Breckenridge is attracting diverse talent from across the country. The focus of Carragher’s team is clear: to drive value for the agents, carriers and financial institutions the company serves. Prior to establishing Breckenridge, Carragher was CEO of Cambridge Integrated Services Group, which became the largest third-party claims management company in the country. She worked in senior management at Aon for 20 years, during which time she grew the wholesale and facultative brokerage divisions, and handled M&A deals and struggling business units. In recognition of her many accomplishments – particularly as a champion of diversity in the industry – Carragher was named the 2015 Insurance Woman of the Year by the Association of Professional Insurance Women.


TRACIE GRELLA Global head of cyber risk insurance AIG

This past summer, Tracie Grella and her team at AIG launched CyberEdge, a stand-alone policy designed to provide clients with primary insurance protection for a broad range of cyber risks, including property damage,

COO in 2011 from BlackRock, where he was a managing director for the asset manager. Prior to that, he held roles at Gap, the Boston Consulting Group and Continental Airlines. As of September 2016, Hiscox USA’s gross written premium has exceeded the previous year’s total by 33% as the division’s niche products and approach to service grow increasingly popular in the market.

bodily injury, business interruption and product liability. This comes just two years after AIG became the first major carrier to offer cyber event protection for property damage and bodily injury on an excess and difference-in-condition basis. Since joining AIG in 1995 in the professional liability division, Grella has held various underwriting and management positions.



Chairman and CEO



David H. McElroy has served as chairman and CEO of Arch Worldwide Insurance Group, an executive position of ACGL, since September 2012, and chairman and CEO of Arch Insurance Group since July 2012. He also serves as a member of Arch Capital’s Executive Strategy Committee. McElroy joined Arch Insurance Group in 2009 as president of the financial and professional liability group, which is comprised of the executive assurance, professional liability, surety and healthcare lines. Prior to joining Arch Insurance Group, McElroy was a SVP at The Hartford Financial Services Corporation, where he joined in 2000 after the acquisition of the D&O and E&O business of Reliance National. A graduate of Temple University with a B.A. in business administration, McElroy started his insurance career with Chubb.

Vice president, commercial lines underwriting

Since Mark Maucere joined the industry in 1998, he has worked in various roles, from business development to marketing to management. He served as president of both London-American General Agency and WSIB Motorsports Insurance Agency for nearly a decade until 2006. After a stint as SVP of transportation underwriting at a national insurance wholesaler, Maucere joined Arlington/Roe in 2015 to manage the company’s commercial lines. He is a former president of the California Insurance Association and is currently sits on the board of directors for AAMGA, receiving the association’s Earle Dillon Award in 2012. Recently, Maucere has been appointed to the AAMGA/NAPSLO Exploratory Merger Committee to evaluate the proposed consolidation of the two organizations.


Martin Hacala assumed his current role as president and CEO of General Star and Genesis in early 2015 after starting

his career with the Gen Re Group in 1997. Through the years, he has held a number of senior underwriting and claims positions with Genesis, General Star and Gen Re. Prior to joining the Gen Re Group, Hacala was a partner at the Washington, DC, law firm of Ross, Dixon & Bell, where his practice centered on

insurance coverage litigation and counseling. Before that, Hacala served as a trial attorney in the employment litigation section of the civil rights division of the US Department of Justice. A frequent speaker and author, Hacala has addressed a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance topics.

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Global head of special lines ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP

It’s been another busy year for Davis Moore. In 2016, Worldwide Facilities, LLC, opened two new offices and expanded others with the addition of team members and leaders, acquired a wholesale insurance broker specializing in the energy sector, added to its motor program, and won second place at the AAMGA Marketing Awards for its print marketing campaign. Moore also serves as a director on the NAPSLO board and chairs its Career Development & Next Generation Committee. In a recent feature in IBA, he discussed the NAPSLO Next Generation Leadership Council’s work in addressing the needs of the younger generation.


In 2010, Matt Parker joined Markel following its acquisition of FirstComp, a workers’ compensation and business owner insurer catering to small businesses. Parker served as managing executive of Markel FirstComp before being promoted to president of Markel Specialty in 2015, leading more than 200 employees in its Omaha office. Markel supports nearly $700 million in program business and is working on new partnerships with program administrators. Prior to joining Markel, Parker held leadership roles in various industries in the US, UK and Germany.


KEVIN KERRIDGE EVP, direct and partnership division HISCOX USA

Kevin Kerridge is executive vice president of the direct and partnership division at Hiscox USA, the US arm of the global specialty insurer. A partner at the firm, Kerridge currently leads the small business insurance practice. In 1999, Kerridge started Hiscox’s first direct-to-consumer online business in the UK, leaving it in 2009 with a market-leading position in the small business and affluent homeowner’s


A former US Marine, Timothy Horton has led the double-digit annual growth of USG since taking the reins as president of the national wholesaler and MGA in 2012. Under his leadership, USG has expanded its operations to include 19 locations and five subsidiaries. Horton’s innovation in technology has propelled USG and the industry forward, challenging the status quo and streamlining operations. His commitment to providing exceptional

Responsible for the development and implementation of global strategies for Zurich Insurance Group, Lori Bailey leads portfolio management, underwriting governance and product development globally for all specialty lines. Since being named global head of special lines in 2014, Bailey has overseen technical underwriting operations for professional and management liability, security and privacy/ cyber liability, financial institutions, surety, trade credit, and related lines of business. Over the last several years, she has successfully led several product rollouts around the world and formed many thought leadership initiatives. A thought leader in various aspects of financial lines and cyber liability, Bailey frequently speaks on panels and forums, and regularly pens articles on the topics. insurance arena. He now guides Hiscox’s effort to reinvent small business insurance in the US, delivering it through a best-in-class online and service center delivery model. Hiscox had first mover advantage when it launched the service in 2010 and is now focused on stretching its lead and capitalizing on the almost $200 million invested so far in the technology, marketing and service center. Today, Hiscox is recognized as one of the most progressive brands taking advantage of the changing landscape, already handling more than 160,000 policies through this contemporary digital model. customer service and value for carrier partners and retailers has contributed to USG’s position as one of the top wholesale brokers in the nation. This year, USG rolled out a one-of-a-kind wholesale platform, INS LINK, which allows agents to view their accounts and data in real time for both brokerage and MGA accounts. In addition, USG celebrated its 15th anniversary under Horton’s direction in 2016. A testament to his commitment to advancing industry technologies, Horton also serves on NAPSLO’s Technology Committee, working to expand the technological collaboration and communication of the surplus lines industry.

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RUSS COHEN Director of cyber services CHUBB

Russ Cohen heads Chubb’s North American loss mitigation and incident response services, which help policyholders analyze cyber exposures and respond to cyber events when they occur. Cohen has more than 15 years of cybersecurity and technology experience under his belt, and he spent seven years as Chubb’s global security architect. Prior to joining Chubb, Cohen held many roles in the industry, including as an ethical ‘white hat’ hacker, a systems architecture consultant at a large pharmaceutical corporation and a senior consultant at one of the largest software companies in the world. In October, Cohen and his team introduced Cyber COPE, “a new model for cyber underwriting, intended to simplify and improve the assessment of both cyber and privacy risks.” Cohen penned an advisory explaining how the model is patterned after the COPE model used in property underwriting and how it demonstrates the “art and science” in underwriting.


In August 2016, the Insurance Information Institute appointed Sean Kevelighan as president and CEO. His predecessor described him as “a strong, strategic leader for the III and a persuasive spokesperson for [this] industry,” given his 18-plus years of experience in public affairs, communications and media relations, as well as his leadership roles in property & casualty insurance. In his current role, Kevelighan will provide strategic direction for the organization and serve as a key spokesperson for the P&C industry. Before joining III, Kevelighan spent three years at Zurich, where he served first as head of government and industry affairs for North America, then as global head of public affairs, responsible for setting the company’s global public policy and corporate responsibility agendas. He was also head of group media relations in North America for Zurich earlier in his career. Kevelighan has taken on a number of media-related positions in government offices, and has advised many multinational companies on policy issue management programs, corporate reputation campaigns and crisis communications.


JOHN C. ROCHE EVP and president of commercial lines THE HANOVER INSURANCE GROUP

Responsible for the commercial lines business of one of the largest insurance companies in the US, John “Jack” Roche also serves as the head of the Domestic Underwriting Committee at The Hanover. Since the beginning of his career, Roche has worked for companies such as Atlantic Mutual Insurance, Fireman’s Fund Insurance and The Travelers Companies, where he was vice president of commercial accounts prior to joining The Hanover. Through the years, he has held vital positions within the organization, including vice president of field operations, marketing and distribution across both personal and commercial lines. In addition to his responsibilities at The Hanover, Roche also serves on the board of directors for the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Mike Scrudato leads the mobility domain that works across Munich Re’s US P&C operations. In this role, he spearheads the development of new risk management solutions and services related to telematics, shared mobility, crash avoidance, connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles. Under Scrudato’s leadership, the mobility domain has underwritten new mobility risks, identified and partnered with mobility startups, and conducted numerous pilot programs with clients to assist in reducing their auto exposure. In an era when autonomous vehicles are quickly becoming less of a pipe dream and more of a reality, Scrudato’s expertise in the space will be increasingly valuable as these cars of the future begin to hit the roads.

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A legend in the insurance world, Patrick Ryan is the founder of Aon Corporation and has served as its chairman and CEO for more than 41 years. In 2010, he founded Ryan Specialty Group, which today is a global organization boasting a wholesale brokerage, underwriting managers and

other specialty services for agents, brokers and carriers. In 2016, Ryan has focused on organic growth and key acquisitions to continue his company’s mission of serving specialty insurance agents, brokers and carriers. RSG has launched two new MGUs this year – EmergIn Risk (cyber) and SafeWaters Underwriting Managers (luxury yachts and ocean cargo) – to bring its total number of MGUs to 17. Its wholesale broker, RT Specialty,

is now the third-largest wholesaler in the US. Ryan is a member of the International Insurance Society’s Insurance Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. He became an Academy of Arts and Sciences Inductee in 2008, has been recognized as the College of Insurance’s Insurance Leader of the Year and is the recipient of the Insurance Federation of New York’s Free Enterprise Award.

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The use of drones is increasing dramatically around the world: The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that 2.5 million drones will be sold in 2016 alone, and that the total number of unmanned aerial vehicles sold will rise to 7 million by 2020. A US Marine Corps veteran, licensed pilot and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, James van Meter is now the regional head of general aviation and head of the unmanned aircraft product line for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. Recently, van Meter debuted a podcast, “Rise of the Drone,” to address the emerging risks, regulatory challenges and safety issues associated with the use of UAVs/drones.

GREGORY CASE President and CEO



Division president, specialty human services

Senior underwriter, terrorism and political violence insurance



Mike Liguzinski heads Great American’s specialty human services division, which provides specialty P&C solutions to hundreds of classes of nonprofits and social service organizations nationally. In the midst of the current heroin epidemic terrorizing regions of the US, the division recently announced that it would cover social service workers and others who administer naloxone, the medication that counteracts heroin overdoses. An industry veteran with 34 years of experience, Liguzinski first joined the specialty human services division in 1998 and now oversees its strategic planning and organizational effectiveness, as well as its financial and operational excellence.

Adam Posner crossed the pond this past summer, bringing his expertise in terrorism underwriting from XL Catlin in the UK to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty in New York, where he works in the company’s crisis management division. Following recent terrorist attacks in Orlando, San Bernardino, France and other areas of the world, Posner’s knowledge in the terrorism insurance space will be essential to the expected growth of AGCS’ crisis management division in North America. Formed in early 2016, the division is focused on assisting clients in preventing, preparing for and recovering from crisis incidents.


In his role as president and CEO of Aon, Greg Case provides strategic direction to operations run by more than 72,000 people in over 120 countries. He has developed a three-part strategy of providing distinctive value for clients, attracting the best talent and achieving operational excellence. In October, Aon acquired a cybersecurity specialist to enhance its risk mitigation services and provide more insights to insurers developing cyber solutions. Case was named one of the top 100 “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review in 2014.



Since being appointed CEO in 1998, John Haley has led Towers Watson through three successful mergers, the most recent of which happened this year when Willis Group and Towers Watson merged to form Willis Towers Watson. Soon to celebrate his fourth decade with the company, Haley has served in a number of roles, including consulting actuary and leader of the global retirement practice, since he joined in 1977. He currently serves on the board of directors of MAXIMUS and the Miami Cancer Institute. He is also a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries, and has served as a trustee of The Actuarial Foundation.

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Over the course of his 50-plus-year career, Mike Sullivan built one of the largest regional insurance agencies in Northern California, NorthWest Insurance Agency,

which he sold in 2010. In the last decade, he has built a $220 million MGA, RIC Insurance Agency. Since Sullivan purchased the company in 2005, RIC has expanded to encompass several profit centers and 150 employees across five offices. Sullivan has received a number of carrier production awards throughout his career. Instead of sitting on committees and taking

on key positions in industry groups, he has focused instead on mentoring sales and service professionals in the industry. Working with his shareholder partners, Dennis Stanley and Gary Kitchen, Sullivan is constantly seeking out the next deal. But what he takes the greatest pride in is the people he has been able to employ, develop and help over the course of his career.

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KEVIN FUHRIMAN Risk consulting catastrophe manager, North America personal risk services CHUBB

Wildfires spread across the country in 2016, destroying thousands of acres of land from California to the Smoky Mountains. In 2008, Kevin Fuhriman developed and

launched Chubb’s Wildfire Defense Solutions program as a complimentary service for personal risk services clients in Western states that are the most susceptible to wildfires. The program offers helps educate clients on ways protect their properties from wildfire, and to monitor, alert and protect homes prior to and following a wildfire event. Since joining Chubb in 1984, Fuhriman has served in various roles in catastrophe mitigation. Following the 2006 wildfires in California, Fuhriman represented the insurance industry as a member of the advisory committee that developed a wildfire education program for the business sector, which was sponsored by the San Diego Natural History Museum.

JOSEPH CELLURA President, North America casualty division ALLIED WORLD INSURANCE

PHIL TREM Senior vice president MARSHBERRY

In the six years since Phil Trem joined MarshBerry’s merger & acquisition team, he has personally been involved in more than 25 M&A transactions. Last year, he was promoted to senior vice president and is an essential member to MarshBerry’s M&A services division, where he uses his knowledge in acquisition analysis, due diligence, and deal negotiation and integration for the management consulting firm. He regularly contributes to MarshBerry’s consulting practice and is active within the company’s Peer Exchange Network. Recognized as a thought leader in the industry, Trem has been published numerous times in trade publications, as well as MarshBerry’s own publication, and has spoken at events and forums and participated in training workshops. “Phil has been an ambassador of the MarshBerry brand throughout his six years with the company,” says John Wepler, chairman and CEO of MarshBerry.


Joseph Cellura is the president of Allied World’s North American casualty division. Since joining Allied World, Cellura has held roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as the head of the entire casualty


Standing at the forefront of the cyber insurance revolution is Christine Marciano, president of Cyber Data Risk Managers,

division, including primary casualty, excess casualty, environmental, surety, primary construction and programs business for the US, Bermuda and Canada. Prior to his current role, Cellura was the head of US excess casualty business, where he built an impressive team and fostered leadership and growth for the company.

a boutique brokerage that specializes in cyber/data breach insurance and in helping organizations create a data breach response plan through the use of a cybersecurity policy. Marciano is a recognized thought leader in the cyber insurance space. She recently offered her expertise as a panelist for the Insurance Business 2016 Cyber Risk Masterclass. As an insurance broker who specializes exclusively in cyber insurance, Marciano helps organizations of all sizes and in all industries understand not just the various cyber and data breach policies that are available today, but also the nature of evolving cyber threats.

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ROBB JONES SVP and general counsel for claims management UNITED EDUCATORS INSURANCE

In an era when protests are increasingly finding their way onto college campuses across the US, Robb Jones of United Educators Insurance [UE] is taking charge by advising public universities to re-examine how they are responding to political and cultural tensions. Jones first joined UE in 1997; he now heads a team of 26 lawyers and 29 other professionals responsible for liability claims management for nearly 1,300 colleges, universities and K-12 schools. Jones has more than 35 years of experience serving the education community and regularly speaks on topics related to the industry. He currently serves as a trustee for a liberal arts college and is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and an advisor to the American Law Institute’s project on sexual and gender-based misconduct on campuses. Prior to UE, Jones developed and managed training and continuing legal education programs for the federal courts as the director of the judicial education division of the Federal Judicial Center and served as chief of staff to former Chief Justice Rehnquist at the US Supreme Court.


Some games shouldn’t be played without a safety net.


For Mike Foley and his team at Zurich, the goal is to keep delivering “world-class claims and risk engineering services.” Recently, the company announced that its commercial markets and global corporate businesses would merge into one unit, which Foley hopes will “simplify [its] customer interaction and go-to-market approach.” It’s been a busy year for the company, which announced apprenticeship programs in partnership with the US Department of Labor in February, funded a flood control project in New Orleans and acquired a crop insurer in April, and opened its new headquarters in September. Foley began his professional career in 1984 when he joined the financial management training program of Armtek Corporation. He then worked for Deerpath Group, Electrocal and McKinsey & Company before joining Zurich in 2006 as COO of its North American commercial business. He is also chairman of the board for Zurich Holding Company of America and member of the board of the American Insurance Association.

NAPSLO members are specialists who create innovative solutions for nonstandard insurance risk. Count on them to deliver custom, costeffective solutions that are expertly tailored to meet your specific insurance needs. NAPSLO members... where complex risk meets innovative solutions.

National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices


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Under Brian Norman’s leadership, NormanSpencer Agency has raised more than

KERI KISH Director of government relations NAPSLO

BRADY KELLEY Executive director NAPSLO

Brady Kelley has served as NAPSLO’s executive director for the past five years, providing overall management for the association’s activities. Recently, NAPSLO held its annual convention in Atlanta with a record attendance of over 4,000 attendees. Kelley and his team have also been instrumental in several legislative victories this year, including NRRA-specific legislation and the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act. A former chief financial and business strategy officer for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kelley spent 13 years with the organization, providing oversight of all financial management and reporting, business strategy, risk management, and compliance activities.


Responsible for implementing NAPSLO’s government relations and legislative advocacy program, Keri Kish serves as the liaison and advocate for the organization on a state and federal legislative level. Kish joined NAPSLO in 2012 after spending six years as antifraud counsel for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners


Insurtech is growing at an accelerated pace, and Reid French is banking on the continued success of startups to prod independent agencies into investing more in technology.

$100,000 for the firm’s nonprofit foundation, NS Cares, which Norman founded in late 2014. Through the years, Norman has led the way in the insurance agency world by creating a culture of caring that permeates not only his agency, but also the communities in which his employees live and work. In addition to raising funds, NS Cares donated more than 60,000 meals to local food banks, and the entire agency staff participated in a project to package more than 50,000 meals in partnership with The Outreach Program, a national and international relief program. Apart from NS Cares, Norman served as vice-chair of the program panel for the AAMGA in 2016 and participated in the CHART Panelist Seminar, speaking on the topic of office culture. [NAIC]. In that role, Kish provided legal and staff support to various regulatory task forces and working groups. Prior to the NAIC, Kish served as a staff attorney for the Kansas Insurance Commission, responsible for administering the Kansas workers’ compensation fund. Kish is a member of the Kansas and Missouri state bars, was a member of the inaugural class of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series and was twice selected to attend the US Department of Justice National Advocacy Center in South Carolina. According to a recent report published by Applied Systems, agencies using client self-service portals and other time-saving storage and search tools end up with higher revenue and improved efficiency. In the past year, Applied has been busy introducing new products and reaching new markets. Recently, the company acquired an Ireland-based insurance software provider and an e-trading platform to expand its international operations. French continues to promote gradual automation of the insurance life cycle so brokers and insurers can extend more products and better services. He joined Applied in 2011 after serving as chief operating officer at Intergraph Corporation, a global company that pioneered geospatial and computer-aided design software.

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A lifelong entrepreneur and technology consultant, Laird Rixford joined Insurance Technologies Corporation [ITC] in 2008 when he sold his successful agency marketing business to the company, which provides marketing, rating and management software and services to the insurance industry. Named president in

2014, Rixford manages the direction of ITC’s products, as well as the sales and marketing departments. His vision and expertise has helped grow TurboRater, ITC’s personal lines comparative rater, increasing users by 63% and growing agencies’ quote volume by 81%. In the midst of the growing insurtech movement, Rixford has been regarded as a thought leader in promoting new technologies to both agencies and the industry as a whole. Rixford regularly speaks on the topics of marketing, technology and the future of the

industry, and is known to use data-driven insights to offer context to his audience as he shares his expertise and best practices. “Savvy, fortitude and a tenacious work ethic are things that come to mind when I think of Laird Rixford,” a colleague says. “We’ve worked closely together for more than three years, and Laird always impresses me with his forward thinking that continues to push our company to provide the latest and greatest solutions for the independent insurance agent.”





Becoming the first female CEO of a 300-year-old specialist insurance market was an impressive feat Inga Beale conquered just two years ago, but she hasn’t stopped there. Since being appointed CEO of Lloyd’s of London in 2014, Beale has worked to modernize the company and London markets through the use of new technologies and processes to improve competitiveness. As a female leader, Beale recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry. She is a founding member of the Insurance Supper Club, a member of the Women Corporate Directors and a patron of Insuring Women’s Futures. In 2014, Beale was instrumental in creating the Dive In Festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance.


RYAN EDGMON Managing director, energy team HIGGINBOTHAM

Ryan Edgmon began his career in property & casualty insurance when he joined his family’s agency at age 22 after graduating from Oklahoma State University. He completed the State Auto Insurance Pacesetter Program and was named the top new producer of his class in 2011. When his family’s agency merged with Higginbotham in 2014, Edgmon used his local experience to spearhead the development of the North Texas energy division and become one of firm’s top producers and the youngest producer to reach $1 million in revenue. Now, at just 28 years old, Edgmon is the youngest of more than 60 managing directors handpicked to lead Higginbotham, the largest independent insurance broker in Texas.


Larry Manning joined PIIB in 2001, when the network had only seven agencies. He became president and COO, and then CEO in 2012. In that time, the company grew to include 220 agencies, which write more than $550 million in premium and have operations that expand outside of California. Prior to joining PIIB, Manning served as regional vice president at Hartford Insurance Group for 16 years. He started out in the industry as a loss control representative and also served a casualty underwriter before he was appointed to a management position.


Glenn Spencer was appointed COO and US president of Lockton in September 2015; just nine months later, the company named him president and CEO, effective May 2017. He has played a key role in Lockton’s growth, leading its producer development program and talent branding initiative, the goal of which is to hire as many as 10,000 associates in the next decade.


The continuing rise of artificial intelligence and robotics is transforming the way we live and work, which exposes us to new risks. That prompted David Kennedy to introduce a unique solution, Robotics Shield, which combines product liability insurance, robotics services E&O insurance and specialized risk management services specifically tailored for the robotics industry. Kennedy is as an agent of change at AIG, driving unique solutions and services and reinvigorating a culture of innovation among employees across AIG through the organization’s global Innovation Boot Camps and Crowdsourcing Challenges.


This has been a great year for Stacy Brown. After spending seven years as the CEO of Willis Towers Watson subsidiary Freberg Environmental, he was appointed this summer as president and CEO of the company’s program administration business. Brown successfully strengthened Freberg’s service capabilities, increasing premium volume by 50% while maintaining carrier profitability. Now as CEO of Willis Programs, Brown sets the strategic vision for the firm’s seven offices nationwide that manage $400 million in annual premium volume.

ALL THE DATA YOU NEED TO HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS FAYE SAHAI Global head of technology innovation and people AIG

ROBERT HARTWIG Professor of risk management, insurance and finance UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Dedicating himself to producing “the next generation of top-flight talent that this industry so desperately needs and will continue to need for years to come” is Robert Hartwig’s focus these days as a professor at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business and co-director of the University’s Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management. In 1998, Hartwig joined the Insurance Information Institute as an economist and became its president in 2007. He is the immediate past president and continues to serve as a special consultant to the organization, which focuses on improving understanding of key insurance issues among various stakeholders, from consumers and insurers to legislators, investors and media. As an educator and thought leader in the industry, Hartwig has published several papers on a variety of topics, ranging from cyber risk to terrorism; has represented the industry before US Congressional committees; and has received awards such as the Chairman’s Award from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and the American Society of Workers’ Compensation Professionals Legends Award.

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With more than 20 years of experience in innovation, Faye Sahai launched the AIG Global Innovation Center in San Francisco to identify, test and deploy innovation. Throughout the years, Sahai has leveraged her expertise to lead strategic initiatives for global companies such as Disney, HP, Charles Schwab and others. Sahai leads AIG’s innovation team to drive difference by partnering with venture capitalists, corporate partners, incubators and accelerators to create safer solutions for clients. In October, Sahai sat on the insurer panel of the first InsureTech Connect conference, which attracted about 1,500 tech entrepreneurs, investors and insurance executives from around the world.



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After 17 years with AIG, where he took on underwriting, management and regional leadership roles, Matt Kletzli joined Victor O. Schinnerer as senior vice president and head of management liability in April 2015 to help develop the firm’s management liability line, including nonprofit; kidnap, ransom and extortion; private company; and healthcare portfolios. This year, in keeping with the cyber insurance trend, Kletzli led the launch of a cyber protection package for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as a comprehensive cybersecurity solution in collaboration with Microsoft and Spanning by Dell EMC that includes Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security and Spanning Backup for Office 365. Kletzli is currently working on a new product targeted to the cyber insurance industry that is expected to launch in 2017.

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MARSHBERRY Securities offered through MarshBerry Capital, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC, and an affiliate of Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc. 28601 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 400, Woodmere, Ohio 44122 (440.354.3230). Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. and its affiliates are non-affiliated entities with Insurance Funding, Zywave, 49 Westfield Insurance and Insurance Journal.

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For the past three years, Edward Mackoul has been busy growing Mackoul & Associates, resulting in 40% growth and doubled profits. The company was named a Best Agency to Work for in the East in 2013 and included in IBA’s Elite Agencies in 2014. Last year, Mackoul celebrated 20 years with the agency; during that time, Mackoul & Associates has grown by more than 1,400%. He also created the Mackoul School and teaches some of the insurance classes offered to real estate property managers and boards of directors of community associations. Mackoul shares his insights on real estate insurance topics in various publications and at a number of events, and participates in several organizations, including the Community Associations Institute and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.

BILL BOHSTEDT Corporate vice president, mergers & acquisitions ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER



As the leader of Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Joan Woodward has hosted hundreds of educational events in communities across the country on the topics of cybersecurity, small business challenges, the essentials of personal insurance, disaster preparedness, America’s debt crisis and coastal wind insurance. The Institute draws upon the expertise of Travelers’ senior management, risk professionals and other experts to provide information, analysis and recommendations to public policymakers and regulators. Prior to joining Travelers, Woodward worked on Capitol Hill for 12 years before heading the Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs. As the VP of mergers & acquisitions for one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, Bill Bohstedt works closely with regional M&A executives, as well as Arthur J. Gallagher regional and branch managers, to source and pursue M&A deals. He began his insurance career in 1976 as an underwriting trainee with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, joining Arthur J. Gallagher in 1978 as an account executive. Appointed to his current role in 2011, Bohstedt leads the M&A efforts of Gallagher’s US retail property & casualty brokerage operations. Between January 2012 and September 2016, Gallagher completed more than 200 acquisitions across all divisions.

PASCAL MILLAIRE VP and general manager, cyber insurance SYMANTEC

Symantec promotes itself as the “global leader in next-generation cybersecurity,” so cyber insurance seemed the natural next step for the company. That’s how Pascal Millaire entered the picture as the creator and general manager of Symantec’s cyber insurance business unit, helping manage the intersection between cybersecurity and the insurance industry. Millaire has built a team of actuaries, engineers, data scientists, economists and product managers, as well as a global network of contacts across each of the primary, reinsurance and broker realms. Millaire established the first insurance catastrophe model for a Fortune 500 tech company through Symantec’s cyber cat model, and has launched industryfirst products that combine insurance and cybersecurity. As described by a colleague, “the progress is notable both in terms of pure effort, travel and time required, as well as in the novelty of the idea, as he was among the first in the world to consider pairing traditional insurance data and roles with cybersecurity information to fill gaps much needed by the modeling community.”

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Hired into a newly created position at The Hartford in September, John Wilcox now serves as the company’s chief strategy and ventures officer. In this role, Wilcox will lead efforts to identify and capitalize on new opportunities through innovation and improved operating capabilities to help drive growth of the organization. Wilcox rejoined The Hartford from Risk Strategies Company, where he was president and COO. Prior to Risk Strategies, Wilcox spent four years at The Hartford, where he held senior leadership positions in corporate strategy and M&A and personal lines.


WILLIAM J. CROCKER Vice president and real estate practice leader HIGGINBOTHAM

Since joining Higginbotham in 2013, William “Billy” Crocker has successfully placed more than $3 billion in officer, retail, industrial and habitational real estate in the US, Asia and Europe. A member of the insurance industry for just under a decade, he has designed insurance programs for companies in the communications, manufacturing, food, construction and biotech industries. As the current president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Austin, Crocker piloted a program to engage a local professional organization, the Austin Young Chamber, to help promote the insurance industry and attract new talent to local agencies.

ANDRE BASILE SVP and global underwriting officer, executive and professional lines BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY SPECIALTY INSURANCE

Andre Basile joined Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance after working at AIG for 21 years in New York, Boston and London. Most recently, he served as SVP and COO of AIG financial lines for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. During his tenure at AIG, he also served as financial lines underwriting manager for Europe, head of commercial D&O for UK and Ireland, and SVP of AIG national accounts commercial D&O for the US East Coast region.

This has been a busy year for Lisa Ramthun in her efforts to maintain St. Joseph Health’s proactive approach to handling risks. She has formulated an advanced risk management strategy that includes responsive investigative protocols, risk analysis and improved corrective action; developed an advanced RCA tool that is becoming widely adopted by health systems around the country; and introduced SJH staff to a Khan Academy-style learning management system based on collaborative just culture principles. The Health Quality Institute of the California Hospital Association also recognized Ramthun as lead cohort and champion of Health Care Reliability Organizing. She has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, specifically in safety and risk management, and joined the board of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management in May.

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Since 2013, Nick Gerhart has served as Iowa’s insurance commissioner, overseeing one of the largest domestic insurance hubs in the nation – approximately 6,100 insurance




and financial services firms have a presence in the state. In his role, Gerhart is focused on improving technology, resources and operation for the industry, including the many insurtech firms that have emerged in his state. Iowa is also home to the Global Insurance Accelerator, a mentor-driven business accelerator designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry by supporting startups.

As the leader of one of the Midwest’s largest independent insurance brokerages, David Macknin is responsible for strengthening and guiding the growth of Alper Services. He focuses on delivering best-in-class risk management and insurance services to middle-market businesses and organizations in Chicago, the US and internationally. During his five-year tenure of the now-50-year-old firm, Macknin and his team have nearly doubled revenues to $10 million, and he has charted a course to once again double the size of the company in the next five to six years. With 33 years of professional expertise in risk management, property & casualty and employee benefits, he knows how to explain and deliver enterprise risk management to the middle market. Macknin is widely recognized for partnering with professional services, technology, real estate, manufacturing and social services organizations to identify, understand and treat their business risks. Denis Brady leads Burns & Wilcox Brokerage, a specialized team of experts dedicated solely to wholesale brokerage. Under his leadership, the group has transformed the company’s brokerage business with the resources required to handle complex brokerage accounts of all sizes. Today, Burns & Wilcox Brokerage spans the country, bringing breakthrough products that deliver unique risk solutions to its retail broker and agent partners. Brady most recently added a Chicago presence and is evaluating opportunities to expand on the West Coast. His career in the insurance industry spans more than 25 years and includes extensive experience in brokerage, underwriting and management.

SUZANNE O’KEEFE Head of insurance bank partnerships WELLS FARGO INSURANCE SERVICES

Suzanne O’Keefe’s work ethic, leadership style and outlook can be summed up by the motto “attitude determines altitude.” Starting out as a customer service representative and working in various sales and business development roles, O’Keefe eventually joined Wells Fargo Insurance in 2002 and was recently promoted to her new role as head of the recently formed insurance bank partnership division of Wells Fargo Insurance. Leading a team of business development officers, she is responsible for overseeing cross-sell activities between Wells Fargo’s insurance brokerage and consulting business and its corporate and commercial banking partners. Prior to her new role, O’Keefe led the small business insurance team and served as managing director for the Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas regions. She is the current chair of the Hartford Small Business Advisory Council, an active member of the Hartford VIP Council and serves a mentor for women in the insurance industry.

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In his first year as president, Tom Clark’s goal was to perpetuate E&S/Specialty’s gold-standard reputation of delivering profitable growth and industry leadership through exceptional partnerships and extraordinary solutions. Leading the

$2.7 billion organization and 1,700 associates, Clark and his team focused on strategies and actions that would produce a strong return on capital, strengthen partnerships and leverage the Nationwide brand. Composed of E&S contract, E&S brokerage, management liability and specialty, and Nationwide Private Client, E&S/Specialty delivers value to its distribution partners through diversification and financial strength.

With the belief that the right talent, empowered and engaged, will continue to be its primary differentiator, the team has significantly increased associate engagement by focusing on talent development and retention and creating a great work environment. Clark has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry and has held leadership roles at Allied, Harleysville, Fireman’s Fund and the Treiber Group.

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Shaun Kelly has been CEO of US operations at Ironshore since 2008. The company has been busy growing for the past few years, and in July 2016, it filed for an IPO in the US. Most recently, Kelly participated in the 2016 PCI Annual Meeting, which examined various political and economic uncertainties besetting the industry and proposed ways for members to cope and get ahead amidst instability. He is also part of the Northeast Division Board of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation. Prior to his role in Ironshore, Kelly was president and COO of AIG subsidiary Lexington Insurance. He joined AIG in the mid-1980s and held a number of senior management positions in environmental operations, risk management and industry specialty groups. He also served as VP of AIG’s property casualty group and CEO of Risk Specialties Companies, which provided business on behalf of Lexington and other specialty carriers.


Under Mark Kaufman’s guidance, Monarch E&S has grown to become the largest independently owned E&S line and wholesale brokerage in California, with an average of $65 million in gross written premium and new offices in Arizona and Hawaii. Kaufman started his insurance career in 1984 as a high-school student in the mailroom of Howard James Company. He was promoted to an underwriting position and continued to work his way up the ladder. He joined Monarch E&S in 1994 and has served as the company’s COO for the past eight years. He has also served on the board of the California Insurance Wholesale Association for the past three years and is currently its president. He was also a member of the board for the Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena chapter of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California for several years.







Bryan Clark joined Gorst & Compass in 1997 and became president in 2014. Under Clark’s leadership, the company has had exponential growth the last five years, doubling their revenue. The California-based brokerage experienced their best year in 2016, exceeding $80 million in written premium. Clark’s leadership role continues in industry organizations – he is currently a board member for the California Wholesaler’s Association as well as the AAMGA, where he served as president of the association’s Under Forty Organization from 2007-2008.

Vice president and underwriting manager

With more than 10 years of underwriting experience in the cyber and privacy liability space, Marcin Weryk has assisted with product development, underwriting strategy and education of this fast-growing product. Appointed to his current position within XL Catlin’s cyber and technology underwriting unit in 2012, Weryk previously served as a senior underwriter with CNA, focusing on the underwriting of technology E&O, miscellaneous E&O, and media and cyber liability. In November, Weryk joined other cyber thought leaders as a panelist for the Insurance Business Cyber Risk Masterclass. Through the years, he has been directly involved in the underwriting of all business classes and sizes of risk, including Fortune 500 companies.

RODGER LAURITE Financial services Southeast practice leader LOCKTON COMPANIES – SOUTHEAST SERIES

An expert on executive liability, author, panelist, and contributor to publications and conferences – these are some of the accomplishments Rodger Laurite has achieved in his 20-plus years in the industry. Laurite oversees Lockton’s financial services practice in Atlanta, and he has grown its

Southeast practice by 50% in four years. Through the efforts of Laurite and his team, Lockton Financial Services was named the office of the year and the fastest-growing office for 2016. Laurite joined the company in 2007 as SVP and unit manager, and has since served as client advocate and placement broker for all of the company’s management liability lines, including D&O, employment practices, E&O, crime and fiduciary liability. He also sits on the Lockton Financial Services National Operations Committee and Unit Managers Committee.

GARY STEPHEN EVP, claims and risk management PURE INSURANCE

Since joining PURE Insurance in 2009, Gary Stephen has reinvented the claims process at the company through his leadership of two major initiatives to enhance the claims and risk management processes and support the member experience. First is the PURE Member Advocates, who are fully licensed adjusters, able to take first notice of loss so that members only need to tell their claims story once. Second is the purEQ, an emotional intelligence training program for team members to develop strong EQ and maintain outstanding claims services. These initiatives have led to a Net Promoter Score of 91 from members who have experienced the PURE claims service, a retention rate of 96% and satisfaction rate of 98%. In response to Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, Stephen designed a catastrophe readiness plan, which had more than 20 claims and risk management professionals and dedicated EMS/mitigation vendors and arborists stationed in affected areas to provide various kinds of assistance to members.


In 2008, brothers David and Michael Miller joined together to establish Brightway Insurance with the goal of changing “what consumers could expect from the independent insurance agency model in the US and build a company dedicated to helping everyone associated with it reach his or her personal potential.” Together, they set up an operating mandate of ‘win-win-win’ – for the agents, the customers and the employees. They also established the agency’s core values of smart, accountable and trustworthy, which are used in decision-making by everyone in the Brightway system to ensure

win-win-win outcomes. With more than $430 million in annual written premium, Brightway has grown over the past eight years to encompass 770 employees in 12 states, serving customers across the country. In 2015, Forbes recognized Brightway as America’s number-one “Franchise to Buy.” The company was also named a top franchise three years in a row by Entrepreneur magazine and one of the fastest-growing private companies in America for nine consecutive years by Inc. 5000. Apart from their insurance agency business, the Miller brothers are involved with United Way of Northeast Florida. David is the immediate past president of the Stein Fellowship Program and is currently a mentor, while Michael has focused his attention on developing a mentoring program that provides positive role models for the Jacksonville LGBT community.

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Edward Levy graduated in 1978 from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has 28 years of experience in the excess & surplus lines segment of the insurance industry. Levy has worked in all aspects of the business, starting as an errors & omissions broker and working his way to president of DVUA in 2005.  Levy earned the CPCU designation in October 1982, which he completed in just two and a half years. In addition to his CPCU, Levy has also earned ASLI and CIW designations. Levy joined RPS in May 2005 and is currently the Western region manager and vice president of binding. Levy completed his MBA at Temple University in 1988. He has been actively involved in a number of insurance associations, including serving as chairman of the excess & surplus and specialty lines section of the CPCU Society, and as a member of numerous committees for NAPSLO and AAMGA. He was elected to the board of directors of AAMGA on two different occasions. He is presently SVP of AAMGA and a member of the board of directors of the NAPSLO Derek Hughes Education Foundation.

RENEE MILLER SVP and chief underwriting officer and program manager – ECC FREBERG ENVIRONMENTAL INSURANCE

Earlier this year, Renee Miller was promoted to the role of chief underwriting officer for Freberg Environmental [FEI] and now leads all of FEI’s programs, including environmental consultants, contractors, site pollution and more. With more than 20 years of insurance experience, Miller joined FEI as a program manager in 2015; she formerly served as an environmental underwriter with Zurich North America for 13 years. Before joining the insurance industry, Miller worked for a national hazardous waste disposal company, providing technical assistance to waste generators, and also worked for a national environmental consulting firm.


Tim Zeilman leads The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company’s cyber insurance efforts as vice president of the company’s strategic products group. His responsibilities include the management of HSB’s Total Cyber, Data Compromise, CyberOne and Identity Recovery products. Prior to joining the strategic products group, Zeilman spent 13 years as an attorney in HSB’s law department. Most recently, HSB released a new cyber insurance product for consumers called Home Cyber Protection, which is the first personal lines cyber insurance program for consumers.


MIKE KARBASSI VP, underwriting manager, Northeast region NAS INSURANCE SERVICES

Serving as NAS Insurance’s lead cyber underwriter in Boston, Mike Karbassi is leading technology and cyber liability in the Northeast region for the independent underwriting manager. Throughout his career, Karbassi has worked for insurance companies such as AIG, Beazley and OneBeacon Professional Insurance.

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Playing for keeps Sports & fitness centers are popping up across the country, hoping to cash in on Americans’ newfound love of exercise, but many aren’t aware how critical proper insurance coverage is AS AWARENESS around the importance of eating healthily and exercising regularly seeps deeper into the public consciousness, more people than ever are joining gyms, fitness centers and sports teams. Wellknown fitness companies are expanding rapidly, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs are also entering the space, looking to take advantage of the national health kick. While securing financing, creating a brand and attracting a client base may seem like the three most important steps for a new fitness center, purchasing adequate insurance products is also absolutely crucial. All sports & fitness facilities, teams and leagues (if separate from a facility), and their employees are required to carry coverage. Independent trainers, coaches and instructors who work as contractors for sports and fitness centers must have their own individual professional liability policies if they’re not covered by a facility or team/league. “It is paramount to have a licensed insurance broker who has property & casualty experience and expertise in the sports & recreation facility business guiding the proprietor every step of the way,” says Sean Curtin, SVP of contingency and SHEL at Tokio Marine HCC – Specialty Group. “The exposures and risks associated with each center vary, and understanding what is available, what it means and how to access it is necessary to protect the center.” Missy Ross, a senior underwriter at K&K Insurance Group, advises fitness instructors to seek advice from licensed insur-


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ance professionals when researching the coverage they require based on activities they provide. “Fitness instructors working as independent contractors are most likely not covered under the health club’s insurance policy,” she explains, “and could be at risk of financial loss should an incident occur.” For a fitness center or independent contractor, not having adequate insurance coverage could be catastrophic. “They are at risk of losing their assets,” Ross says. “Having the necessary insurance coverage protects a company’s assets and also pays for obligations – including medical costs, for example – incurred if someone gets hurt on your property or when there are property


$30 billion




Annual revenue

Annual growth, 2011 to 2016

725,059 Jobs in the industry


Growth in 2016

Personal trainers in the US in 2012


Estimated number of personal trainers in 2018, based on population growth and increasing interest in health and fitness

Businesses in the industry Source: Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs Market Research Report, May 2016; Bureau of Labor Statistics

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THE UNITED STATES OF EXERCISE Adults in the following states were most likely to report exercising three or more days a week for at least 30 minutes: Vermont 65.3% Hawaii 62.2% Montana 60.1% Alaska 60.1%

The least likely were: Delaware 46.5% West Virginia 47.1% Alabama 47.5%

damages or injuries caused by the organization, employee or contractor. It could also cover the cost of legal defense and settlement if you should be successfully sued in a court of law.”

Coverage considerations The coverage required in the sports & fitness space is wide-ranging and includes general liability, property, inland marine, crime, commercial auto, sexual abuse and molestation, cyber liability, workers’ compensation, employment practices liability, and excess liability. As the industry has evolved, so has the coverage that sports centers and trainers are required to carry.

and proper valuation of it.” There are also some key differences in insuring small, independent sports centers and contractors versus large chains. “One key difference would be the risk characteristics involved in a smaller center versus a bigger facility,” Ross says. “Smaller fitness centers, such as personal training studios, may not necessarily have ‘wet’ areas such as Jacuzzis, swimming pools or shower areas, which would make them less risky. The larger multipurpose center is more apt to have the swimming, tanning, Jacuzzis, rock walls and saunas – these are a much different risk from an underwriting standpoint and are considered a higher risk.”

“The fitness industry has been and still is experiencing tremendous growth in many areas. With the new trends comes a necessary insurance coverage review” Missy Ross, K&K Insurance


of Americans report getting regular exercise


of homes in the US have parks within a half-mile, and about the same number have a fitness or recreation center within that distance


states do not require physical education for every grade, K-12

80.2 million

Americans aged six and older (28% of the population) are physically inactive


“The fitness industry has been and still is experiencing tremendous growth in many areas – from large, multipurpose facilities to the smaller personal training and fitness studios specializing in the latest fitness trends,” Ross says. “With the new trends comes a necessary insurance coverage review with an insurance provider who specializes in the sports and recreational industry. Doing this gives the client peace of mind, knowing that they are properly protected.” To excel in the space, understanding the intricacies of how a health club operates is essential. “In most cases, these are seasonally sensitive, cash-flow-driven businesses, and alignment of ex/renewal dates is part of the job of a good broker who understands when the proprietor has the money to pay for his insurance,” Curtin says. “That personal touch is required in best understanding the risk, which also includes lifetime of key equipment

The will to succeed Although awareness around the importance of insurance in this space has grown tremendously over the past decade, Jennifer Urmston Lowe, national accounts manager at Sports & Fitness Insurance Corporation, is still surprised by how many sports & fitness professionals do not know what type of coverage they need. “Due to the rising cost of healthcare, even a relatively minor sports injury, such as an ACL tear, can lead to an expensive claim that could be very serious for a facility, team, league or professional to have to pay out of pocket,” she says. “A severe injury or a lawsuit can easily put them out of business.” Urmston Lowe has also seen the nature of coverage in the sports & fitness space evolve in recent years. “In the past decade, programs with customized general liability coverage for the sports & fitness space

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have added employment practices liability, employee dishonesty and limited cyber liability to the underlying GL,” she says. “Also, many of the programs offer higher med pay limits and higher sexual abuse and molestation limits. All carriers are requiring background checks for employees to obtain the sexual abuse and molestation coverage. On the property coverage, most programs in the fitness space now offer equipment breakdown coverage standard.” Curtin explains that the industry’s evolution has heightened the need for buttoned-down risk management, loss control, and an insurance carrier who fully understands the specific exposures and is able to address them. “The one-trick-pony sports & rec center is a dying breed,” he says. “Most centers that previously focused on one or two attractions are diversifying and converting their centers into true FECs, which often include higher-hazard exposures.” Technology has also played a key role in the evolution of the space. It’s now common for an underwriter to scrutinize the information a sports & fitness organization posts online in order to review their potential exposures. “More facilities have cameras, which help defend claims, and most facilities have AEDs, which help reduce their risk of cardiac arrest exposure,” Urmston Lowe says. “The fitness equipment itself is more computerized, which has not had much impact yet on the claims experience, but it should reduce claims as users are able to receive more information.” For brokers who want to become leaders in sports & fitness, Urmston Lowe recommends finding a program that specializes in the space. “Work with them to develop a relationship with an assigned underwriter,” she says. “Fitness programs would love to work with an agent or agency that wants to specialize in and understand the sports & fitness space.” Ross also advises brokers to choose a carrier partner who is recognized as one of the top providers in health & fitness related insurance products. “It is more convenient for a club/studio to have a one-stop shop for their insurance needs,” she says. “This would include program development, sales and marketing, underwriting, policy issuance and administration, loss control and claims handling.” John Sadler, president of Sadler Sports & Recreational Insurance, says agents who want to succeed in this area must be well versed on the need for specific custom coverage enhancements and be prepared to review contracts for requirements and indemnification. “In addition, agents must be ready to provide niche-specific risk management advice and services, such as contractual transfer and custom risk management plans for brain injury and child abuse/molestation,” he says. “Agents and brokers must have a strong and experienced MGA or carrier partner to be successful in this niche. There is no substitute for decades of experience in working with sports & recreation clients, as many of the unique problems and solutions arise time and time again. It also helps to be on the cutting edge of emerging issues such as brain injury, cyber risk and abuse/molestation.”

Mind over risk The Tokio Marine HCC Sports and Recreational Facilities program offers a comprehensive package policy that addresses your client’s unique risks and allows them the freedom to pursue opportunity with confidence. A process of insurance we call Mind over risk. General Liability . Excess Liability Commercial Property • Batting cages

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Little & Smith This Georgia insurance agency recently celebrated 90 successful years in the business. Principal Bill Smith Jr. shares what distinguishes his agency from the rest

IBA: Little & Smith’s 90th anniversary is coming up this month – can you give us a little history about your agency? Bill Smith: A.D. Little Sr. founded Little & Smith on December 6, 1927. He was actually an employee of a local bank called First National Bank. Back in those days, you could do banking and insurance via the same professional. That’s certainly one thing that has changed over the years. Our start was in the insurance, real estate and loan business, and over time we transitioned to just doing insurance business.

IBA: How do you plan to celebrate? BS: To celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are going to have an employee and retired employee lunch. One of the unique things about it is that over that period of time, we have had three employees who have been with us for 50-plus years, and we have had several others who have been with us for 30-plus years, including five current employees. We will all get together and tell old stories and relive the past 90 years.

IBA: What are you focused on for the next 90 years? BS: I think the key to our success has been that we have always embraced technology. I can remember the days when it was typewriters and no management system, but those days are


in the past. Keeping up with technology and recruiting that next generation are really going to be the keys to our continued success. Thirty years ago when we were young whippersnappers, we said that we needed to have cell phones so we could continuously do business in the car or in the office. You would have thought that was a progressive idea at the time; it almost seems regressive now. Technology usage and the ability to communicate have evolved through the years. Now, policies, files and whatever you need can be found at your fingertips, and it enables you to do business 24/7 instead of the good ole working hours of a generation ago. So, adapting to change, which I think we have done a good job with today – that is definitely something that will be key in the future.

IBA: How is Little & Smith attracting new talent? BS: As we look at the next generation, we

are extremely fortunate that in the state of Georgia, we have two top risk management schools: the University of Georgia and Georgia State. We have had great success in particular at the University of Georgia. It is great to be able to recruit undergraduates from college who have knowledge of the insurance business, and in certain cases, many have worked while they were in school.

IBA: What is Little & Smith’s connection to local nonprofits? BS: We definitely have a focus on nonprofits to where we are able to give back to the community. One of the ways is having an expertise in the insurance marketplace as far as nonprofits are concerned, and ultimately, we do a lot of volunteering for our various nonprofit partners. Every year, we help serve the homeless and underprivileged around Thanksgiving, and that is also another way we like to give back to the community.

ABOUT LITTLE & SMITH Founded in 1926, Little & Smith currently has 24 employees working from a single office in Marietta, Georgia. About 80% of its business is in commercial lines; personal lines make up the remainder. Recognized twice as an IIABA Best Practices Agency, Little & Smith has an annual revenue of more than $6 million. Agency principals: William D. Smith, Bill Smith Jr., David Burruss, Gene Northcutt, Ben Witcher and Odie Wilson

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LITTLE & SMITH HISTORY 1926 A.D. Little Sr. starts the agency in Marietta, Georgia

1954 The founder’s son, A.D. Little Jr., joins the agency after serving in the Korean War

1958 North Carolina native and fellow serviceman William D. Smith becomes a partner at the agency

“Keeping up with technology and recruiting that next generation are really going to be the keys to our continued success” IBA: What makes Little & Smith stand out in the industry? BS: One thing we think keeps us ahead of our competition is our knowledge of workers’ compensation laws. We really try to help our producers understand all the nuances in workers’ comp from a state regulatory standpoint and the use of the drug-free workplace deductibles and how it affects businesses. In many cases, we will lead with workers’ compensation because of our industry knowledge of that line of business and then write the account from there. Also, our commercial lines business is where we distinguish ourselves from the competition. Part of it is industry knowledge, and part of it is partnering with insurance

companies and wholesale brokers who have an appetite that mirrors our appetite. We are in a growth market, being on the northwest side of Atlanta. Through this, our niches include the construction industry – not just general contractors and trade contractors, but related manufacturing wholesale distribution and those various industries that also reach into different segments of real estate. Also, we have other niche focuses in restaurants, technology and other areas. We have grown our areas along with the growth that surrounds the Atlanta marketplace. As Atlanta has grown, those have been natural ways for us to have higher penetration in those different markets.

1975 Little & Smith moves into its current headquarters, a historic home built in 1845 that survived the Civil War

1984 A third generation is established at Little & Smith when Bill Smith Jr. joins the agency after an apprenticeship with Chubb in New York

2016 Little & Smith continues to strive for an extraordinary level of growth, with a focus on commercial insurance services and the surety needs of business clients

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The role of financing in insurance IBA chatted with some industry insiders to find out how banks and financial institutions are helping insurance agencies fulfill lofty ambitions AS COMPETITION in the insurance industry continues to heat up, agencies are under pressure to expand their businesses and increase their client offerings. While conscientious strategies that enable organic growth should be a top priority, creating growth through acquisitions is also a key consideration for ambitious insurance agencies. “Depending on an agency’s view of their own future and business plans, accessing capital can be a critical component,” says David W. Tralka, president and CEO of Insurbanc. “If an agency wants to grow organically, they may borrow money to bring in new producers or improve their technology or communications platforms. If they’re thinking about inorganic growth and want to acquire another agency, accessing capital for acquisitions is a fairly common approach, because most people don’t have a pile of cash sitting in their backyard.” Insurance is an aging industry, and for agency principals who plan on exiting the business, financing can be used as an effective tool for an internal perpetuation. “The majority of the dollars we put out are for people buying out retired partners, doing a book roll-in, or attempting an acquisition – things that create


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“ tremendous value,” says Rick Dennen, founder, president and CEO of Oak Street Funding. “The other type of loan is for growth. An agency may hire four producers, which may require an extra $1 million of expense for that year, but they’ll hope to see growth from that investment in years two, three, four and beyond. Those are typically smaller-dollar transactions. The larger ones are for M&A, succession and smaller working capital growth.” Dennen is currently witnessing valuations and multiples in the insurance industry that are higher than ever before. “It’s a constant topic of conversation at all the conferences we attend,” he says. “It

Insurance distribution is going through significant consolidation.

Why should I be the one that is consolidated out?” You have built significant value in your agency through years of hard work. InsurBanc can help you to unlock the value to grow your agency to the next level, independently. InsurBanc can provide funding for acquisitions, perpetuations and producer development.

“Most agencies borrow for capital improvements or book or agency acquisitions, so there’s a relatively long life to these loans. During that life cycle, the agency doesn’t want the bank to hiccup when the market hiccups” David Tralka, Insurbanc comes down to the fact that there’s plenty of capital in the industry and everyone is looking for growth; therefore the multiples are high. If you can achieve it through organic growth, that’s probably the cheaper route, but it’s going to take you a lot longer.” Agencies that refrain from investing in their future risk being left behind by competitors who use financing to grow organically and inorganically, or invest in cutting-edge technology. Tralka believes that every investment should be made with the aim of creating or sustaining cash flow going forward. “Cash flow is what drives valuations, and everyone is very interested in marketplace valuations in the robust M&A market that we’re in,” he says. “Historically, agencies would be valued as a multiple of revenue, but now more attention is paid to cash-flow generation – the profitability of the agency.” Chip Mahan, chairman and CEO of Live Oak Bank, sees an overall lack of understanding of service industries like insurance on the part of financing institutions. “Most banks are interested in discussing loan value ratios, but in an insurance agency, there is not

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Uses of capital • Acquisitions • Recapitalizations • Successions • Debt restructuring • Business growth collateral, so to speak,” he says. “So, you need to understand the cash flow of the business – and that’s why there is limited financing, in my opinion.” When trying to achieve a positive valuation, Kelly Drouillard, general manager of the insurance lending division at Live Oak Bank, advises insurance agencies to consolidate premium volume with their best carriers. “Take care of any corporate paperwork bylaws, LLC agreements and any equity agreements that you’ve given to producers, and make sure all of that is in order before you put the agency up for sale,” Drouillard says. “Get up to speed, know your numbers, and educate yourself on what the market is for agencies of your size. Realize that some of the large multiples being paid are from large agencies, and understand, depending on your size, where the comparative multiples are in the market.”

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“There are a number of cash buyers in the business, and to be able to successfully win an agency acquisition, you need to have your financing lined up so that you can be in the same negotiation shoes as the other buyers” Kelly Drouillard, Live Oak Bank Drouillard encounters many sellers with unrealistic price expectations, given their agency’s revenue size, and advises any agency owner thinking of selling to make use of the educational resources available online. Drouillard also encourages potential sellers to first look internally for anyone who has the potential to be an owner at some point in the future. “If there’s nobody suitable, then you may consider strategically hiring a producer who could potentially be your owner at some point,” she says. “As a seller, you need to understand what your priorities are. Is it retaining your staff and keeping the brand identity? Is it getting the most possible cash out of the deal? Is it a particular type of transaction that allows you to work for a number of years post-closing? You need to spend some time thinking about the most important points of the transaction.” Any agency looking to secure financing should expect their bank to ask them questions about how an insurance agency works,

Loans and lines of credit subject to approval. Potential borrowers are responsible for their own due diligence on acquisitions. CA residents: made pursuant to a Department of Corporations California Finance Lenders License (#6039829). 66 Loans

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WHAT WILL DRIVE INSURANCE M&A? LOW PROFITABILITY AND LOW INVESTMENT YIELDS These two closely linked factors are encouraging insurance companies to seek both domestic and international expansion. TECHNOLOGY Innovations like automation, data analytics and telematics are becoming increasingly important in the industry. Agencies may use M&A as a way to instantly improve their technological capabilities. DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES Aging populations will likely drive an increased need for life & health insurance and long-term savings, prompting insurance agencies to consider these offerings when making acquisitons. Source: PwC, “Insurance 2020: A quiet revolution – the future of insurance M&A”

including questions about loss ratios, retention, profit sharing and whether or not they’re a trust. “Those questions are indicators that the bank actually ‘gets it,’ and that’s very important,” Tralka says. “This can be cyclical business – markets harden and soften – and the lender needs to understand that.” When assessing an agency’s suitability for fi nancing, Live Oak Bank looks at the quality of the book of business, conducting an analysis of the premiums and commissions by carrier and line of business. “We look at renewal retention, the loss ratio, and we also look at the experience of the buyer agency owner,” Drouillard says. “We also look to see if there have been any E&O claims as a result of disputes against the agency in recent years.” Agencies should aim to develop a sustainable relationship with their lending bank – a partnership that withstands the market’s ups and downs. “Most agencies don’t borrow money for working capital; they borrow for capital improvements or book or agency acquisitions, so there’s a relatively long life to these loans,” Tralka says. “During that life cycle, the agency doesn’t want the bank to hiccup when the market hiccups.” Drouillard believes an agency’s approach to fi nancing plays a fundamental role in whether or not they’ll secure funding. “There are a number of cash buyers in the business, and to be able to successfully win an agency acquisition, you need to have your fi nancing lined up and prequalified so that you can be in the same negotiation shoes as the other buyers,” she says. “A lot of times, having the capital behind you sets the seller’s mind at ease; it lets them know you’ll be able to successfully close the transaction. It can also improve your negotiations with the seller. The less seller fi nancing that is needed, the stronger position the buyer will be in.”



Mike Strakhov, CPCU


Matt Richter


Kelly Drouillard


©2016 Live Oak Banking Company. All rights reserved. Member FDIC

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The power of giving The act of giving is now expected of most businesses, explains John Sikkema, and you won’t just be helping people in need – your staff will feel great about it too

PHILANTHROPY WAS once considered a noble endeavor for the rich, but the social market has shifted. The new generation expects businesses and corporations to be socially responsible and engaged. Donating money is not enough – the expectations of businesses are now higher due to globalization and access to social media platforms. There are now an increasing number of new enterprises whose sole purpose is to make a difference in the world – but to do it in a profitable way, rather than purely exist for profit share. Businesses such as Who Gives A Crap, which sells toilet paper to fund developing world sewer problems, is one example. They stepped into the consumer goods industry to gain market share from the corporate giants, with the goal of siphoning funds into the nonprofit sector while increasing the profile of the cause. Thankyou Water has shown that, by combining entrepreneurial flair with a noble cause and an existing product, you can persuade consumers and suppliers to switch from traditional brands, all because the profits are used to provide clean water in developing countries and allied philanthropic and charitable causes, as compared to traditional brands, which are solely focused on maximizing shareholder investment returns. Often people place philanthropic activity in the to-do-later basket, saying they’ll get to it “when I have more money or time, or when


I’m retired.” What opportunities are passing you by? Melinda Gates’ mother persuaded Bill and Melinda to become philanthropic 20 years ago, saying, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Imagine if they had not listened to her.

A life of significance As a success-driven business builder, I had a personal experience that shifted my focus. I realized I was focused on monetary success, and this was no longer satisfying. This, as outlined in my book, caused me to have a huge paradigm shift. I wanted to build a life of significance – one focused on others, not

the luxury of our five-star resort. I was unsettled and felt a deep conviction that we should be giving back to the community. As CEO, I shared my thoughts, and our team came up with the idea of building an orphanage in Thailand that would be run by a local NGO. In the space of an hour after

Melinda Gates’ mother persuaded Bill and Melinda to become philanthropic 20 years ago, saying, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Imagine if they had not listened to her just myself. I took this on as both a personal and corporate challenge. How could my company become actively engaged with philanthropic opportunities? While in Phuket for our company’s conference, our team was transported daily between the hotel and the conference venue. We saw great poverty, an extreme contrast to

launching our plan, we raised the funds to build the orphanage from our franchisees and staff. I was surprised by the significant acts of generosity that came from several of the most hard-headed businesspeople in our organization. Over a decade later, whenever we meet, their first question is, “How’s the orphanage

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everyday small businesses and people. It begins with the heart of a leader to embrace the concept that to whom much is given, much is expected. A good place to start is by following these three principles:


Align your philanthropic activity to your life purpose or life mission statement

What are you passionate about? What needs do you see around you, locally or globally, that get you angry, that others are not tackling sufficiently? What organizations exist that do good that you could help make better? Virtually every business has a business plan, but sadly I have found very few business owners or key leaders who have a clear personal plan for their life. By establishing your life purpose, it then becomes clearer which opportunities to pursue.

going?”, rather than how we grew our small business into a very successful national firm. If you embrace the practical power of giving, the personal and corporate rewards will astound you. It will take the culture of your company to a level well beyond where boardroom planning or HR programs teaching theoretical corporate values can take you. Here are seven reasons why giving will take your company to another level: Corporately unifies employees Creates a culture of collaboration among the staff Creates a corporate and individual purpose beyond themselves Broadens people’s horizons and experiences, creating excellent opportunities for personal growth Gives employees a conversation starter in varied social settings, which increases their connection with people around them Exposure to the difficulties that developing countries face creates a sense of gratitude and gives employees a realization of the

power they have to change the world Gives your business a leading edge among competitors to become an employer of choice I see personal transformation as the most powerful catalyst to become a genuine, giving and generous person, which ultimately will flow into the DNA of the organizations that you lead. Unfortunately, in our Western culture, we have given away our personal responsibility to help those in need and expect the government to use our taxes to take on that responsibility. This means many people miss out – the task is simply too big! Thankfully, the tide is turning, and wealthy individuals such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are setting a great example. These business owners are pledging to give away 90% of their wealth to needy causes around the world prior to dying. There is now a healthy global movement where other wealthy individuals have been challenged to do likewise. This is cascading down to


You will need to lead


Be prepared for change

Once you have a compelling vision in the philanthropic space, others will follow, but initially you may get some opposition. Maybe you are the only person in your sphere of influence who is committed to making a positive impact in the world. Clarity, communication and passion for your cause are needed.

The bigger the philanthropic project or cause you embrace, potentially the bigger the changes you will need to make. Risktaking, uncertainty and adventure are all key things to embrace as you seek a life that is fulfilling and meaningful. As children, we’re often encouraged to dream about how we can make the world a better place. It’s now time, as adults, to use our time, skills, personal and corporate resources, and childlike attitude of sharing to make a difference in the world. Why not start today?

John Sikkema is a philanthropist, thought leader and entrepreneur. He is executive chairman of Halftime Australia, inspiring leaders to live their life purpose now.

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An altar boy and farmhand in his youth, Barry Casper has found his way back to his past by insuring farmers and churches Growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, Casper worked on the farm next door as a child, feeding animals and running the machinery for a dollar an hour. Ever the entrepreneur, he made extra spending money selling corn along his paper route “I’ve always had my own business of some kind, as long as I can remember”




ENTERS CORPORATE AMERICA Expanding his horizons with a stint in international insurance that involved dealing with Lloyd’s, followed by a job in Philadelphia at Alexander & Alexander – at the time, the second-largest broker in the world – gave Casper a taste of the corporate world

1998 RETURNS TO INDEPENDENCE After a stint working with International Insurance Brokers after its merger with InterNorth Associates, followed by a year off to attend to personal changes, Casper again went the independent route, going into business with a partner “I liked being with International. I liked the job; I’m not afraid to try things, [but] I do better on my own”

2016 STUMPS FOR TRUMP Casper recently took part in history as one of Donald Trump’s Pennsylvania delegates at the Republican National Convention “On my 18th birthday, someone showed up at my house to tell me that I had to register as a Democrat; I still remember it like it happened last night. That was my first taste of politics. And then it was like a fever. I decided I was going to do all I could to have an effect”


FINDS INSURANCE At the end of a stint in the military as a ‘cold warrior,’ Casper found himself working at a bank while finishing college and realized that he had made more money selling corn as a youngster than he was making at his current job “My father-in-law said, ‘You should go into insurance; you could make a lot of money.’ My first insurance job was with Prudential; they had a good school. From there, I expanded into auto insurance, and then marine and international insurance”

1990 STARTS HIS OWN BUSINESS His distaste for dealing with big companies, coupled with an independent ethos, led Casper to go out on his own. He founded InterNorth Associates; the day his second daughter was born was also the day Casper launched his business

“I didn’t like what these large companies expected of me. My upbringing and my ethics made me think I would be better off working for myself” 2006

FOUNDS BARRY CASPER INSURANCE Working again in Pennsylvania, Casper felt like he’d come home “I said to myself, ‘I have to do what I do best’ – and I’ve been working with farmers and churches ever since. I’ve had a lot of great experiences, met a lot of great people, and at the end of the day, I came back to where I started, and I’ve been having a lot of fun”

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When insurance agent Megan Tabor is off the clock, she can often be found just hanging around AFTER SPENDING much of her childhood as a dancer, Megan Tabor, a California-based agent with GetInsured, tried an aerial class when looking for a new workout three years ago, “and I’ve been doing it ever since.” Tabor’s recreational devotion to what she considered “just another form of dance, something new to try and a fun way to work out” gave way to performing with the RockAngel Cabaret a little over two years ago. Her aerial act encompasses the use of three apparatuses – the hoop, silks and the hammock – as well as the more earthbound skill of spinning LED hula hoops. Apart from the pleasure of performing, what Tabor likes the most about her work as an aerialist is negotiating the various demands the activity makes on her body. “There are so many different challenges: strength, flexibility – there’s always a new move to learn,” she says. “You never run out of things to do; there’s always a challenge.”


Number of aerial performances Tabor has given



Number of hours Tabor estimates she has devoted to practice


Number of years Tabor has been dancing

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Expect big things in workers’ compensation. Expect to save a third of your clients 30% or more. Most classes approved, nationwide. For information call (877) 234-4450 or visit Follow us at Š2016 Applied Underwriters, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best. Insurance plans protected U.S. Patent No. 7,908,157.

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Insurance Business America issue 4.12  

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

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