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INDUSTRY ICON

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.

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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.”

WELLS FARGO INSURANCE BY THE NUMBERS

1903

The year Wells Fargo Insurance was founded

10

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

67

Number of Wells Fargo Insurance offices (across 27 states)

3,559

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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24/11/2016 4:44:57 AM

Insurance Business America issue 4.12  
Insurance Business America issue 4.12  

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