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IBAMAG.COM ISSUE 7.06 | $12.95

2019 Meet 68 women who are changing the face of leadership in the insurance industry UPS AND DOWNS IN OIL AND GAS How ongoing volatility is affecting the sector’s insurance market

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SHOULD YOU SELL OR JOIN A NETWORK? How to decide which option is right for the future of your agency

CYBERSECURITY PLANNING Are your clients missing a crucial piece of the puzzle?

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ISSUE 7.06

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

CONTENTS

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UPFRONT 04 Editorial

Auto insurance is in need of an overhaul

52 FEATURES

A FERRARI WITHOUT A DRIVER

SPECIAL REPORT

24

ELITE WOMEN 2019

IBA spotlights 68 women who have risen to the upper echelons of the insurance industry

Companies are more aware of cybersecurity than ever, but many are missing a key part of the process

INDUSTRY ICON

Joel Cavaness built Risk Placement Services from scratch more than 20 years ago – and now he’s working to ensure it continues to lead in the MGA space

20

2

Key data that should be on your radar this month

08 Head to head

Checking in on the burgeoning cannabis insurance market

10 News analysis

Partnerships have been key for insurance companies branching out into the shared economy

12 Intelligence

This month’s big movers, shakers and new products

14 Workers’ comp update

How one workers’ comp insurer is using virtual reality for pain management

54 FEATURES

PEOPLE

06 Statistics

PUMPING THE PIPELINE

The oil and gas industry has been on a roller coaster in recent years – so how has insurance responded?

16 Technology update

A mega-brokerage is turning to tech to help clients get a clearer picture of risk management

23 Opinion

Embracing the latest technology means stepping out of your comfort zone

PEOPLE 58 Broker insight

How Renae Flanders is working to promote diversity and inclusion at Aon – and beyond

63 Career path

Chris Carlson’s early exposure to insurtech has served him well

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64 Other life

Hitting the links with former pro golfer and insurance executive Walker Taylor

FEATURES

THE GOLDEN TICKET?

Why agency owners contemplating selling to a larger brokerage should consider joining a network instead

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Focused on solutions.

We are.

Inspiration to reach higher and create solutions unrivaled in the marketplace. Industry leader with 35 years in the E&S business. nationwide.com/weare

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. Š2019 Nationwide

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UPFRONT

EDITORIAL

Repairing the auto insurance system

A

ccording to an annual report from car insurance search engine The Zebra, insurance rates increased for more than four out of five American drivers last year as premiums hit their highest levels on record. As if that weren’t bad enough, The Zebra reports that drivers in Michigan – the state with America’s highest auto insurance premiums – are paying another 83% above the national average, or $2,693 per year compared to $1,470. Of course, Michigan is something of a unique case. It’s the only state requiring unlimited personal injury protection, which typically makes up half of premiums. Currently, Michigan does not have a fee schedule for medical treatment covered by auto insurers, meaning they end up paying considerably more for the same services than government or employer health insurance plans. This, however, may change soon, based on recent moves by the state legislature.

“Vehicles ... continually get more expensive to fix. A car that cost $3,000 to fix [a couple of years ago] might be $6,000 to fix today” Still, this issue is only part of the story. There are many factors to blame for insurance premiums increasing across the board, from a driver’s ZIP code to the increasing cost of repairing technology-laden vehicles. “Vehicles are more expensive to fix and continually get more expensive to fix,” Larry McLean, vice president at Insurance Office of America, told Insurance Business America. “We’ve got adaptive cruise control, cameras, parking assists – all those things [were implemented] in high-end cars a couple of years ago, and now a lot of the cars have them. A car that cost $3,000 to fix might be $6,000 to fix today.” Changes, however, are coming. For example, a bill recently introduced to Congress would make it illegal for auto insurers to use consumers’ credit scores in determining rates, which would hopefully keep the poorest customers from being priced out of cover. Meanwhile, tech-based tools – from telematics to devices that can block the use of a phone while a car is driving – are being touted as a way to help drive down premiums. These measures, however, will take time to implement – placing the emphasis firmly on brokers to keep communication open with insureds to explain what they can do to mitigate their risk. As McLean put it: “It’s not a matter of flipping a switch, but it’s trying different levers that might help altogether.” The team at Insurance Business America

www.ibamag.com MAY 2017 EDITORIAL

Managing Editor Paul Lucas Journalists Alicja Grzadkowska, Nicola Middlemiss, Bethan Moorcraft, Ksenia Stepanova News Writers Lyle Adriano, Krizzel Canlas, Terry Gangcuangco, Mina Martin, Gabriel Olano Staff Writers Tom Goodwin, Libby MacDonald, Joe Rosengarten, Ryan Smith, Heather Turner Copy Editor Clare Alexander

CONTRIBUTORS Simon Oddy

ART & PRODUCTION Designer Joenel Salvador Production Manager Alicia Chin Traffic Manager Ella Dayandante

SALES & MARKETING Vice President, US Market Cathy Masek Vice President, Sales John Mackenzie Media Sales Managers Chris Anderson, Desiree McCue Global Head of Communications Lisa Narroway

CORPORATE Chief Executive Officer Mike Shipley Chief Operating Officer George Walmsley President Tim Duce Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Editorial Inquiries paul.lucas@keymedia.com Subscription Inquiries subscriptions@keymedia.com Advertising Inquiries cathy.masek@keymedia.com, chris.anderson@keymedia.com, desiree.mccue@keymedia.com Key Media 78O7 E. Peakview Ave., Suite 115 Centennial, CO 80111, USA tel: +1 720 316 0151 www.keymedia.com Offices in Denver, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland, Manila, Singapore, Seoul

Insurance Business America is part of an international family of B2B publications, websites and events for the insurance industry Insurance Business Canada john.mackenzie@kmimedia.ca T +1 416 644 874O Insurance Business UK luther.rahman@keymedia.com T +44 20 7193 0935 Insurance Business Australia peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Insurance Business NZ peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Insurance Business Asia peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Printed in Canada 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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Now large scale EDITORIAL apartments can be less complex.

UPFRONT

We have amassed the largest collection of actionable data in the wholesale business. It helps our team deliver better outcomes and more efficient results for any property risk from a sprawling complex to a simple home. It’s our way of placing you first.

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UPFRONT

STATISTICS ONLINE SECURITY FEARS

57%

CANADA

of Americans are very worried about cybersecurity issues

6%

GLOBAL INSURTECH INVESTMENT ON THE RISE

53%

are worried about online payments and purchases

42%

are afraid that their identity will be stolen

48%

feel companies and institutions aren’t doing enough to protect their information

US

46%

The first quarter of 2019 marked the third straight quarter of more than $1 billion in insurtech investment worldwide, according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest briefing on the sector. Globally, the total deal count increased 35% from the fourth quarter of 2018, and more than half of deals in the first quarter (54%) were done outside the US.

CLAIMS SATISFACTION LEADS TO CONFIDENCE In a recent survey of small business owners, Forbes Insights and The Hanover Insurance Group found that 64% of small business owners were ‘satisfied’ or ‘highly satisfied’ with their most recent claims experience. Of that group, 94% said they’re confident in their insurance program. Meanwhile, only 58% of unsatisfied claimants reported confidence in their insurance program.

+44%

12% 4%

20%

26% SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS’ SATISFACTION WITH THEIR MOST RECENT CLAIMS EXPERIENCE

38% Highly satisfied Unsatisfied

Satisfied

Somewhat satisfied:

Very unsatisfied

Sources: Global Consumer Survey, Generali Global Assistance, 2019 Source: The Small Business Risk Report, Forbes Insights and The Hanover Insurance Group, 2019

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TRANSACTIONS UP, VOLUME DOWN The first quarter of 2019 had the highest number of total insurtech investment transactions and the highest number of P&C transactions since Willis Towers Watson began tracking deals in the sector, although volume was off slightly from the end of 2018.

TOTAL INSURTECH INVESTMENT VOLUME $2bn

$1.5bn

+50%

UK

-38%

CHINA

10%

$1bn

6%

$500m

Share of global insurtech deals in Q1 2019

Change in deal volume from Q4 2018

$724 $579 million million

$1.25 billion

$1.59 billion

$1.42 billion

Q1 2018

Q3 2018

Q4 2018

Q1 2019

$0 Q2 2018

Source: Quarterly InsurTech Briefing Q1 2019, Willis Towers Watson

Source: Quarterly InsurTech Briefing Q1 2019, Willis Towers Watson

TOP RISK MANAGEMENT REQUESTS Sixty-nine percent of small business owners told Forbes Insight and The Hanover that they would appreciate having access to multiple risk management services; safety training and background checks topped their wish lists.

CYBER INSURANCE UPTAKE SPIKES According to Marsh, cyber insurance uptake has doubled over the last five years, rising from 19% in 2014 to 38% by the end of 2018. While growth was evident across all industries, hospitality and gaming led the field last year with a 67% increase.

MOST VALUABLE TYPES OF RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

CYBER INSURANCE UPTAKE INCREASES BY INDUSTRY, 2018 Hospitality and gaming

Employee safety training Employee background checks

67%

Equipment theft prevention and recovery

34%

Data breach preparation and remediation services

Business continuity resources

30%

Driver safety training

22%

10%

20%

30%

Healthcare

Power and utilities

Manufacturing

32%

Disaster and recovery planning

0%

Education

40%

50%

60%

Source: The Small Business Risk Report, Forbes Insights and The Hanover Insurance Group, 2019

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

Source: 2018 Cyber Insurance Trends: Purchasing, Limits and Pricing, Marsh

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UPFRONT

HEAD TO HEAD

Is the cannabis insurance market working in the US? How has the insurance industry adapted to the opening up of a whole new market?

Susan Etter

Norman Ives

Danny Bozzuto

Vice president, underwriting Professional Program Insurance Brokerage

Broker/cannabis property & casualty specialist Worldwide Facilities

Co-founder and president of operations Cannabis Connect Insurance Services

“The insurance industry, unsurprisingly, has been slow to embrace the cannabis industry. Typically, any reservations to jump in come down to one of three things: federal versus state law, banking or moral issues. Those in the market often don’t have enough capacity to keep up with demand from what are multimilliondollar businesses with formal boards of directors, multiple corporations that work in various states, and innovative business owners working on solving problems with creativity. Our carrier partners are working to increase capacity and flexibility but need help from other carriers to meet the needs of the industry.”

“The US insurance market continues to perform unevenly regarding coverage options and policy offerings for businesses working in and around regulated cannabis. The casualty market has seen an increase in overall capacity and the number of carriers participating over the last year. However, property, management liability and commercial auto exposures continue to be difficult placements. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill earlier this year, which removed hemp with less than 0.3% THC from the Controlled Substances Act, we expect to see carrier participation and coverage quality continue to improve over the coming months.”

“I believe it is. The market is still evolving, but we have a long way to go before we have an insurance product for every avenue of this industry. With each new carrier entering the market, we’re seeing better coverage terms and great leniency with industry practices. For example, insurance for on-site consumption used to be on the wish list, but now we are seeing carriers writing policies for these events. Cannabis businesses are in a better place today with their insurance than they were three years ago, but we’re still a ways off from having a complete product.”

RELUCTANCE REMAINS While more than two dozen carriers across the US and Canada provide coverage to various components of the cannabis industry, others are holding back. Their hesitancy is due in part to the fact that cannabis is still classified as a controlled substance at the federal level in the US, despite being medically and recreationally legal in several states. “Those directly and tangentially involved in the industry need insurance that addresses the specific needs of growers, retailers, distributors, property owners and lab researchers,” wrote A.M. Best in a recent report on the sector. “However, despite growing demand from both producers and retailers alike, many carriers are reluctant to embrace the industry, owing to its classification as a Schedule I drug in the eyes of the US federal government.”

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W T


We’re Better Together.

UPFRONT

HEAD TO HEAD

Every day, across the globe, our team strives for one thing – to exceed our clients’ expectations. That’s why we depend on the wide range of skills and abilities made possible through our diverse and inclusive global team. We’re expanding and empowering our international network, adding complementary services, and enhancing our expertise so we can serve our clients better than ever.

Quality solutions. World-class service. That’s our commitment to you. That’s McLarens. LOSS ADJUSTING EXCELLENCE Property | Casualty | Third-Party Administration SPECIAL EXPERTISE Aviation | Agriculture | Builder’s Risk Business Interruption | CAT Response Construction & Engineering | Crisis Management Environmental Consulting | FAJ & Specie Hospitality | Manufacturing | Marine Municipalities & Education | Natural Resources Transportation & Heavy Equipment | Risk Services US Middle Market

Congratulations to our own, Nancy Greenidge, recipient of Insurance Business America’s Elite Women 2019.

| www.ibamag.com 9 mclarens.com | 800.813.mclarens

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UPFRONT

NEWS ANALYSIS

Sharing in the risks As the sharing economy continues to evolve, insurers are relying on partnerships to develop solutions that confront emerging exposures

OVER THE past decade, the sharing economy has exploded from a handful of startups to global companies whose names are emblematic of the industry itself, which is expected to generate global revenues of around $335 billion by 2025. Ridesharing makes up a key component of the sharing economy, and it’s a big focus for insurers, considering the fundamental ways that these companies are shifting consumers’ driving habits and the promises of further evolution in the near future, like Elon Musk’s announcement that he’s aiming to get a million self-driving Tesla “robotaxis” on the road next year. In the meantime, insurance companies are making inroads on solutions tailored to the specialized risks facing rideshare drivers

work for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. Drivers will be able to buy on-demand coverage through an app when they need it, at variable increments that align with the time they are driving for the ridesharing platform. For Nationwide, the partnership was essential to entering the on-demand space. “To be able to implement this on our legacy platform and to be able to do on-demand insurance from a legacy standpoint would have taken significantly longer than if we were to partner with a company,” says Teresa Scharn, associate vice president of product development for personal lines at Nationwide. “The other big challenge is really working to understand what ridesharing drivers need and what ridesharing drivers really want.”

“To be able to implement [on-demand insurance] on our legacy platform ... would have taken significantly longer” Teresa Scharn, Nationwide and autonomous vehicles. In many cases, they’re forming partnerships with experts who can help them create innovative products – a necessity as the sharing economy and the expertise around it grow. For example, Nationwide recently partnered with Slice Labs to develop on-demand rideshare insurance solutions for drivers who

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In a relatively new market, it can be tough to attract customers when there’s a lack of knowledge and education about what is and isn’t covered, Scharn adds, which is another area where an experienced player in the space can bring valuable insight. Partnerships like this have permeated throughout the sharing economy and auton-

omous vehicle spaces. Automakers Ford and Volkswagen have both made investments in artificial intelligence company Argo AI, which will lend robotics experience and speed to market to both brands’ autonomous vehicle development. Beyond the auto industry, many other companies have been forced to adapt to new consumer habits that have been influenced by the sharing economy. “Just about every traditional business today is redefining themselves in this way – whatever they did yesterday plus technology equals whatever they’re going to do tomorrow,” says Robert Bauer, Marsh’s US sharing economy and mobility leader. “You see this, for instance, with hotels, with chains embracing affinity programs to help show more loyalty to their guests. I think you see this in the fast food space, where if you are a restaurant franchise owner or a restaurant

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INSURANCE AND THE SHARING ECONOMY

25%

of those operating in the sharing economy want coverage they can activate or deactivate as needed

22%

of consumers are interested in being automatically insured when buying or renting services or possessions

47%

of sharing economy workers said they’d stay with a platform that required them to buy insurance

that allows franchises, you understand that it’s not just a physical location anymore, but also whatever happens in those four walls – food preparation, food delivery – needs to

service for a month, the exposure base is different, and therefore the structure of the insurance policy needs to be different, and therefore the pricing needs to be different,

“The risks shift, but the way the insurance policy responds needs to change as well” Rob Bauer, Marsh reach consumers [through] last-mile delivery, and that’s where they’re growing as well.” As in the entertainment and food delivery spaces, consumers’ transportation needs are starting to shift to membership models, and there’s a clear need for the insurance industry to keep up. “[If you’re] subscribing to a mobility

yet these realities [are ones] we haven’t seen before,” Bauer says. “It’s almost like going to a different planet and explaining to others how life exists in a world where you have more options.” Inside the teams at insurance companies working to develop solutions for the sharing economy are experts from across

28%

said they would likely leave a platform that required them to buy insurance Sources: Deloitte, AIG

disciplines, along the same lines of the partnerships that are being created between manufacturers, insurance companies and technology vendors. “The risks shift, but the way the insurance policy responds needs to change as well, and some insurers know this – many of them have innovation labs,” Bauer says. “I think in three to five years, we’re going to have different levels of expertise in the sharing economy, but right now, we’re in the teamwork phase, because many different types of expertise need to be brought to bear.”

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UPFRONT

INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE ACQUIRER

TARGET

PRODUCTS COMMENTS

Alera Group

HighRidge Insurance Services

California-based HighRidge provides employee benefits services with an emphasis on strategy consulting

Confie

Best Rate Insurance and Luxor Insurance

The two acquisitions expand Confie’s footprint in Alabama and California, respectively

Hub International

RIMS Insurance Brokerage Corporation

RIMS’ focus on the healthcare industry supports Hub’s specialty practices

Ryan Specialty Group

Atlantic Specialty Lines

The Atlantic Specialty Lines team will become part of RT Specialty, RSG’s wholesale brokerage unit

Tangram Insurance

GMG Underwriters

GMG is a Pennsylvania-based MGA that specializes in crisis management products

The Hartford

The Navigators Group

The $2.1 billion deal received regulatory approval in May

The Hilb Group

Summit Insurance Services

Summit Insurance Services provides employee benefits throughout the Mid-Atlantic region

W.N. Tuscano Agency

Insurance Markets

Insurance Markets is a Pennsylvania-based MGA and surplus lines broker

Highland adds contractors’ equipment insurance

Highland Insurance Solutions, a Tokio Marine Kiln subsidiary, has introduced a new contractors’ equipment product that offers comprehensive coverage with the convenience of scheduled or blanket reporting coverage. The product provides limits of up to $10 million and is designed for general contractors, street and road crews (including batch plants), oil and gas servicing, bridge builders, demolition, open-pit and above-ground mining, recycling crews, water and sewer cut-and-cover crews, land development, and pipelines.

Confie snaps up agencies in two states

National insurance distributor Confie has announced the acquisitions of two agencies that specialize in non-standard auto insurance: Best Rate Insurance in Alabama and Luxor Insurance in California. Adding six new locations in total, the acquisitions will expand Confie’s footprint in both states and are part of the company’s aggressive growth strategy for 2019. “We welcome Best Rate and Luxor to the Confie family and look forward to serving the residents and businesses in their communities,” said Confie CEO Cesar Soriano. “Adding these brands to our portfolio increases our footprint in two existing markets and builds momentum toward becoming the largest insurance distribution company in the nation.”

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HSB introduces cyber coverage for farmers

Hartford Steam Boiler, a Munich Re company, has launched a new cyber insurance solution designed to protect farmers and farm technology from hackers, malware and other cyber attacks. The product, HSB Farm Cyber Insurance, covers losses due to a data breach, computer attack, cyber extortion or misdirected payment fraud. It also protects data collected by various equipment across the farm, from farm machinery to drones, and provides coverage for loss of income and the costs of restoring data and systems in the event of a cyber attack.

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PEOPLE Church Mutual tackles crisis management

Specialty insurer Church Mutual is making several resources available for its school, nonprofit and religious organization clients to help them improve their safety and crisis management capabilities. Its armed intruder resource kit includes videos, checklists, FAQs, and important assessment and planning guides for organizations to use to gauge and improve their resilience against armed intruders. The kit is free to download on the insurer’s website. Church Mutual is also partnering with industry experts Firestorm and ALICE Training Institute to offer a series of seminars on armed intruder risk.

Independent agents get new cybersecurity resource

The Westfield Agents Association [WAA], a member-based nonprofit associated with Westfield Insurance, is launching a new resource to addresses the cybersecurity needs of independent insurance agents. Developed in conjunction with cybersecurity firm Arete Advisors, InsuraShield will combine software, services and information to help insurance agencies better understand cyber threats and meet cybersecurity regulations. InsuraShield also features active threat monitoring to help agents detect threats such as ransomware.

Unico Group rolls out specialty truck program

Unico Group has launched a new offering that expedites the process of insuring newly purchased over-the-road Class 7 and Class 8 trucks. The product, called Short-Term Drive Home Coverage, is available to dealers of both trucks and trailers. Dealerships can access the coverage for their clients via the Sandhills Cloud, a web-based suite of hosted business solutions. “With Unico’s new Drive Home Coverage, truck drivers can purchase that insurance on the spot, directly at the dealership,” said Sandhills Global corporate sales executive Darren Weber.

NAME

LEAVING

JOINING

NEW POSITION

Donna A. Belvedere

Chubb

CorRisk Solutions

Head of professional liability

Marc Bertha

N/A

AXA XL

Head of US Eastern region multinational casualty group

Mike Cain

N/A

Aspen Insurance

Group chief operating officer

Mike Daoussis

USI

Newfront Insurance

Principal and head of program innovation

Stephen Jalkut

Tokio Marine

Arch Insurance

SVP, corporate marketing and strategic initiatives

Max Koonce

N/A

Sedgwick

Chief claims officer, casualty division

Jennifer Mackay

WSG Specialty Underwriters

Globe Underwriting

Head of North American property

Patrick Moore

USI

Lockton Midwest

Senior vice president and employee benefits consultant

Marc Orloff

N/A

Liberty Mutual

General manager of field distribution, Global Risk Solutions

Sue Srinivasan

Marsh

Arch Insurance

SVP, retail strategy and market

Anthony Stevens

Marsh

Victor International

President

Brian Winters

N/A

Zurich North America

Head of sales and distribution for US commercial insurance

Liberty Mutual creates new field distribution role

Liberty Mutual has appointed Marc Orloff to the newly created role of general manager of field distribution for Global Risk Solutions [GRS]. Orloff, who most recently served as Liberty Mutual’s general manager of national insurance casualty and middle market for the Northeast region, will be in charge of ensuring that brokers have better access to Liberty Mutual and Ironshore’s full range of commercial and specialty insurance products. “The creation of this role and appointment of Marc helps us deliver on our commitment that distribution partners can easily access the full capability of Liberty and Ironshore, and it will create new opportunities for us to partner in a multiline, collaborative way,” said Shaun Kelly, president of distribution for GRS.

Victor International appoints new president

Victor Insurance Holdings, the world’s largest managing general underwriter, has named Anthony Stevens as president of Victor International. In his new role, Stevens will be responsible for advancing Victor’s insurance specialty outside of North America. Stevens has worked throughout Europe and Asia-Pacific on the carrier, brokerage and consulting sides of the industry. Prior to joining Victor International, he served as head of international development for Marsh’s global risk and digital division. “A technology-driven leader, Anthony’s extensive experience in building nextgeneration commercial insurance distribution models, as well as international development, make him ideally suited to drive Victor International’s extensive growth plans,” said Victor Insurance Holdings CEO Christopher Schaper.

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UPFRONT

WORKERS’ COMP UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Sentry brings predictive analytics to claims program

Sentry Insurance has enhanced its in-house workers’ compensation claims analytics program by using predictive analytics to help the company’s claims staff immediately evaluate data. The system assesses both structured and unstructured data from first notice of loss throughout the life cycle of the claim, which the insurer hopes will lead to cost savings. “With this technology, our claims professionals will be able to instantly recognize key relationships between dozens of variables involved in each workers’ compensation claim,” said Sentry Insurance chief claims officer Michele Dufresne.

Travelers program reduces opioid use in construction

Since introducing its Early Severity Predictor model in 2015, Travelers has seen an almost 40% reduction in opioid use among injured construction workers, in conjunction with its comprehensive pharmacy management program. The model helps forecast which injured employees are at higher risk of developing chronic pain, which is often treated with opioids. This allows interventions to occur before opioid misuse can take hold. “Identifying effective treatment of chronic pain is at the heart of what we’ve been trying to do,” said Rick Keegan, president of construction at Travelers.

Hub International named Agency of the Year by CompWest

Workers’ compensation specialist CompWest Insurance Company has named Hub International its Agency of the Year. In addition, Hub, along with six other agencies, was recently named

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to CompWest’s President’s Club, thanks to written premium of more than $2.5 million, a five-year cumulative loss ratio below 50% and premium retention of 80% or higher. “Like CompWest, the Hub team is clearly committed to their customers,” said Al Gileczek, president of CompWest and Accident Fund. “We’re proud to work with them in offering world-class workers’ compensation products and services.”

Ohio employers to get near-total rebate on WC premiums

Ohio employers are set to receive a $1.5 billion in rebate on 2018 workers’ compensation premiums due to a strong return on investments by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The rebate, announced by Governor Mike DeWine, would be Ohio’s sixth investment return to private and public employers since 2013. “This money will help Ohio employers expand their businesses, create jobs and invest in capital improvements,” DeWine said. “Ohio’s economy is strong, and this proposal reinforces our goal of creating more jobs in the state.”

California sees drop in workers’ comp premiums written in 2018

California’s workers’ compensation system saw its second drop in total direct written premium in two years, which declined by 3.8% to less than $12.3 billion in 2018. According to market data collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the aggregate premium of workers’ comp insurers in the state dropped by nearly $489 million in 2018. Berkshire Hathaway wrote the most premium in the state in 2018, despite a 5.7% decline in volume. In second place was the State Compensation Insurance Fund, which saw its total premium volume decline by just 1.6%.

Using technology to battle pain One insurer has turned to virtual reality to bolster pain management It’s common to turn to distractions like movies or video games for some light relief when we’re sick or injured. Now Travelers is taking that idea a step further by exploring how technology such as wearable devices and virtual reality can assist with pain management for injured workers. As part of a clinical trial with healthcare firm Cedars-Sinai, pharmaceutical company Bayer, therapeutic VR provider appliedVR and tech giant Samsung, Travelers is working to find the best use cases for technology in post-injury pain management, which it hopes can lower injured workers’ dependence on pain-masking prescription drugs. “In this clinical trial, one of the tools we’re trialing is a VR headset. One use case for this could be directly post-surgery,” says Rich Ives, vice president of workers’ compensation claims at Travelers. “Instead of needing morphine or a strong dosage of opioids, can an injured worker utilize technology to help them cope with the pain? By watching videos through the VR headset, injured workers can focus on something other than their pain. “The VR headset is not just a distractor of pain; it can also relieve anxiety,” Ives adds. “Based on our surveys of injured employees utilizing this device so far, we’ve seen a 52% reduction in the amount of pain the injured worker said they were experiencing prior and a 60% reduction in anxiety. For those who experienced less pain, that raises the question

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of how much of their prior pain was measured upon their ability to cope and channel their attention elsewhere.” A second use case Travelers is exploring is how the VR headset can be used to help injured workers who don’t need surgery. These workers can use the equipment and other wearable devices at home to either help cope with their pain or to track their recovery process: How active are they? Are they following through on their physical therapy advice? Are they getting enough sleep?

“The VR headset is not just a distractor of pain; it can also relieve anxiety” Virtual reality can also be used in a game-type context to engage the mind while increasing mobility. One of the videos Travelers is using in its pilot is a game where users must look at a target to place a ball or an object inside a sphere. To succeed, users must move their heads in all directions, encouraging a range of motion that some might be apprehensive about post-injury. “This technology isn’t targeted at any specific industry segment; it’s more about the specific use case,” Ives says. “We’re not yet sure whether it’s more effective directly postsurgery, or if it’s a better solution for somebody who’s dealing with a minor discomfort like a sprain or a strain. We’re trying to find the exact injured employee use case for how we can help enable recovery. “At Travelers, we’re going at this issue of chronic pain from every angle we possibly can,” he adds. “Technology, data and analytics will help us do that if we stay focused on what we’re trying to achieve.”

Q&A

Kip Daniels Senior vice president

Benefits of a non-submit MSA

NUQUEST

What’s the backstory on NuQuest’s NuShield product?

Years in the industry 15 Fast fact NuShield is the first comprehensive non-submit Medicare Set-Aside product on the market and was designed to provide an alternative to the standard MSA and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services voluntary review and approval process

Back in 2001, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] issued the Patel memo, which outlined requirements for workers’ compensation insurers to consider Medicare’s interests in the case of claims with closure of future medical care. The memo also outlined the voluntary submission process, which insurers have essentially relied upon as their golden ticket. A CMSapproved Medicare Set-Aside [MSA] gave insurers the ability to indicate they did adequately consider Medicare’s interests. In 2006, prescription drugs became a Medicare-covered item. The inclusion of prescription drugs as part of the MSA has been a big cost driver over the years. Unfortunately, Medicare’s methodology has evolved into over-allocating, not only from a prescription drug perspective, but also in terms of future medical. With further changes to the WCMSA Reference Guide, insurance carriers started looking for alternatives to consider Medicare interests with reasonable allocations and the ability to streamline settlements, and so we developed our NuShield nonsubmit program.

Why did you push this product to market in 2015? In the spring of 2015, we saw two perfect storms merge in the workers’ compensation space. The first was a sharp rise in medical costs, a lot of which had to do with prescription drugs. Then, in December 2015, Medicare issued a reference guide, which outlined that as part of any submission, they wanted to receive personal medical record information. This caused a backlog of cases with Medicare, as the settling parties lacked easy access to this information. We were already providing a non-submit MSA product for a few carrier clients of ours, and so we took the framework from those programs, secured additional protections on behalf of the settling parties, added an administration component and then rebranded our product under the NuShield Certified and Compromise MSA umbrella.

What are the benefits of the NuShield program? Utilizing our NuShield program is going to provide a much more reasonable MSA, which is typically going to be 30% to 40% less than an MSA you would find in the traditional Medicare process. It also provides clients the ability to resolve their claim in an expedited fashion. They don’t have to worry about the delays the settling parties often come up against in the voluntary approval process, such as chasing releases or Medicare issuing some type of development letter, which can slow down the ability to obtain approval. Our program also comes with an administration option, which provides assistance to the injured worker post-settlement, as well as value-adds to the injured worker and his or her counsel in the post-settlement claims environment.

www.ibamag.com

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UPFRONT

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

Taking a holistic approach to risk How one global brokerage is simplifying risk management for its clients

Merkovsky says, “and they’re designed to bring the concepts of insurance and finance together. Rather than thinking about analytics for analytics’ sake, our desired outcome is to help clients make better decisions by bringing in finance concepts.” WTW is also developing technology that gives clients a holistic or dynamic total cost of risk across their portfolio. In April, the company launched Connected Risk Intelligence, which brings advanced risk modeling and simulation capability, including

“We wanted to … empower our brokers to have the best possible conversations with our clients” Corporate risk managers have to master a balancing act in figuring how much risk to maintain versus transfer – and then they must justify their decisions to senior management and the board of directors. Recognizing this, Willis Towers Watson [WTW] has equipped its brokers with a suite of technology tools – including data analytics and risk modeling capabilities – to help commercial clients gain a holistic understanding of their risks in a language that’s accessible to all stakeholders. “We decided a couple of years ago that we wanted to delight our clients and compete in

NEWS BRIEFS

the global insurance marketplace as that smart, technical digital broker,” says John Merkovsky, WTW’s head of risk and analytics. “We wanted to advance our use of technology so that we could empower our brokers to have the best possible conversations with our clients. Ever since, we’ve been building out our capabilities to deliver on that vision, and we’ve got a really exciting pipeline of products in the works.” That includes a suite of core stochastic models focused on individual risks such as cyber, property and commercial auto. “All of those models are built around Big Data,”

Vertafore adds VUE Software to its portfolio

Insurtech provider Vertafore has acquired VUE Software as a complement to its own Sircon products. Founded by Computer Solutions & Software International more than 20 years ago, VUE Software offers configurable products to meet the needs of the life and annuity, health, and property & casualty markets. “Combining VUE with Sircon’s credentialing and compliance strength, we can now deliver an integrated and simplified solution for insurers managing their distribution,” said Vertafore CEO Amy Zupon.

16

dependency and correlation modeling, to the corporate sector. The tool identifies opportunities to take advantage of market inefficiencies, providing clients the ability to optimize the balance between retained and transferred risk. “We realized that through our early stochastic models, we’ve helped clients optimize individual lines of insurance, but when we started looking at their wider portfolios, we found that some clients were inefficient in how they spent their money,” Merkovsky says. “We have good data on that, and we can use Connected Risk Intelligence to help our clients solve that problem.”

US lags behind the UK in online insurance shopping

According to a recent study by ACORD, the global standards-setting body for the insurance industry, 80% of insurance buyers in the UK engage in online research, while only 65% of US consumers do the same. Meanwhile, 45% of those looking for coverage in the UK make their final purchases online, while only 20% take this route in the US. Chris Newman, managing director of ACORD in London, attributes this difference to the presence of aggregator sites in the UK, which he said “have set the benchmark for customer digital experience.”

www.ibamag.com

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Stay

curious, hungry,

optimistic, ambitious, collaborative,

creative,

energetic,

and diligent.

We will preserve your vision.

Innovation never stops. Neither do we. Companies have to constantly innovate to stay ahead in business. So do we. Ironshore has a well-earned reputation for leveraging deep industry expertise to solve complex problems. Access to senior leadership, our in-house claims specialists and a nimble approach has helped us stay as agile and relentless as the companies we protect. For more information go to ironshore.com. The information contained herein is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any product or service.

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7/06/2019 3:10:21 AM


UPFRONT

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE Q&A

Laird Rixford CEO INSURANCE TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION [ITC]

Years in the industry 17 Fast fact Global spending on the Internet of Things is expected to reach more than $1 trillion in the next few years

Insurance in the Internet of Things era How will the way we insure US cities change with the rise of the Internet of Things? As cities become more connected via IoT technology, the amount of data that’s going to become available is enormous. All of these IoT devices collect data, process data and push out a lot of data. This means we’ll be able to paint a bigger and more accurate picture of the risks that are prevalent in our cities. It will also improve the insurance claims process because we’ll be able to track and figure out exactly what happened at the point of an incident. When cities start using autonomous vehicles and other smart devices like drones, surveillance systems, trash cans or even little delivery robots that bring you your Amazon parcels, one of the biggest challenges is going to be determining liability if one of those smart devices is involved in an incident. I think this is something that’s yet to be fully vetted out, and we’re not yet in a spot where everyone is in consensus. Is the liability held by the software developer or the device maker? Is it held by the actual manufacturer of the device or the person who owns it? There are lots of unanswered questions about how to determine liability around these smart devices.

How important is data protection and cyber risk management in smart cities? It will be infinitely important. As IoT-connected devices continue to grab this data, the definition of what is personally identifiable information keeps

Willis Towers Watson upgrades Radar software

Willis Towers Watson has released an updated version of its Radar pricing software with new security features that provide a more sophisticated governance process and improvements to the software’s machine-learning and optimization capabilities. “This latest release provides significant analytical improvements, as well as the governance and security advantages crucial to operational efficiency, helping insurers to deliver improved speed to market and pricing accuracy,” said Colin Towers, product leader for Radar.

18

growing. These devices can instantly create a picture of a person’s life – where they are, when they go somewhere, for how long, etc. – and this type of data is now being treated just as importantly as traditional personally identifiable information like social security numbers, driver’s license information, birthdates and so on. As countries around the world adopt stricter privacy legislation, like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, the stakes are only going to get higher and the restrictions are going to get tougher around data collection and protection.

What opportunities will the emergence of IoT technology bring to insurers? This is a broadly untapped market, in my opinion. I think we’re just getting to the cusp of where that smart connected technology can really play out. Just think about the potential of smart traffic systems and cameras. If insurers have access to data on how people are driving on the road at a mass scale, they can build products and infrastructure around that data. Beyond that, insurers could start using license plate technology to understand how insureds drive without actually tracking them via a dongle or a tracking app. If the infrastructure of a smart city can create usagebased metrics, then it creates an opportunity for insurers to look at these risks at scale. That’s just one example in auto insurance. There are many exciting ways that interconnected cities could aid developments in other types of insurance as well.

Farmers to use virtual reality for employee training

Farmers Insurance has announced a partnership with virtual reality provider Talespin to develop a VR training curriculum that focuses on simulating workplace conversations. “By implementing Talespin’s virtual human training technology, we will enable our claims representatives to practice critical interpersonal situations and complement our current training processes, empowering our employees and continuing to offer our customers quality service,” said Tim Murray, Farmers’ head of claims shared services.

CNA launches tech platform for global businesses

In an effort to meet the needs of global businesses, CNA has launched CNA ComPass, a technology platform that allows CNA and its strategic network partners to write and manage local admitted placements around the world in real time. “International business coverage that follows a business and employees worldwide is critical,” said CNA’s Kathleen Ellis. “Our strategic network allows us to service multinational organizations with complex local policy requirements more efficiently through CNA ComPass.”

www.ibamag.com

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PEOPLE

INDUSTRY ICON

TEAM PLAYER Joel Cavaness brought decades of insurance experience when he founded Risk Placement Services more than 20 years ago. Today, he’s built a growing company that recognizes the importance of its people

MANY INSURANCE professionals find themselves working in the industry by chance, but Joel Cavaness, president of Risk Placement Services [RPS], was destined for a role in insurance. Cavaness was just 5 years old when his father bought a retail insurance brokerage in southern Illinois, and he grew up surrounded by the property & casualty business. “I guess it’s in my blood, so when I went away to college, my intent was to somehow get involved in the insurance industry,” Cavaness says. “I graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1983, and I was lucky enough to go work for Crum & Forster as an underwriting trainee ... back then, a lot of insurance companies had great training programs.” After Crum & Forster, Cavaness worked for an MGU owned by Mission Insurance Company before moving to Arthur J. Gallagher in St. Louis, where he remained for a decade. In 1996, he relocated to Itasca, Illinois, to serve as president of International Special Risk Services. The next big milestone in his career came shortly thereafter. “The next year, we started Risk Placement Services with four employees in downtown Chicago, and I’ve been the president ever since,” says Cavaness, who counts

20

the founding of the wholesale brokerage and MGA as the highlight on a long list of career achievements. “My biggest accomplishment has been to start a fledgling company with only four people and no name and no business and no markets, and be able to have the tenacity to

you leave behind, so I think it’s important for all of us who have enjoyed the riches of the industry to also give back to others through involvement in the industry,” says Cavaness, adding that WSIA is asking critical questions about the fate of the insurance industry. “How we can actually move the needle so

“It’s really not what you take out of life, but what you leave behind, so I think it’s important for all of us who have enjoyed the riches of the industry to also give back to others through involvement in the industry” turn it into a firm that now has over 2,700 people who are building careers here,” he says. Cavaness’ own professional development continues to this day. He’s currently serving as president of the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association [WSIA], where he’s contributed to the industry by collaborating with board members to make important decisions that impact a growing membership. “People a long time ago told me that it’s really not what you take out of life, but what

that we do more together? What’s the next category of risk, the next category of things that we can do together to provide better solutions to our customers? How do we create new products, how do we fill voids in the marketplace, and how do we work together to provide those solutions? People start the conversation, and that’s what [events like the WSIA Underwriting Summit] are all about – coming up with great ideas on how we can do more together.”

www.ibamag.com

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MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA

PROFILE Name: Joel Cavaness Title: President Company: Risk Placement Services Based in: Rolling Meadows, Illinois Years in the industry: 36 Industry involvement: Is the current president of WSIA and has been active on the organization’s board since 2010

www.ibamag.com

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PEOPLE

INDUSTRY ICON

Investing in the future Aside from establishing a successful MGA, another key accomplishment for Cavaness is the internship program at RPS, which has been driven by the company’s willingness to invest in the next generation of insurance experts. This summer, RPS’ internship program will host 71 college students. Considering the history of the program, as well as the progress made by past recruits, the next batch of young people coming through the company’s doors have a lot to be excited about. “The first intern that we had over 17 years ago at RPS is still with us today, and she’s leading a large casualty unit for us in down-

different coverage lines. That interests me because no one can know it all – it’s impossible in this industry, and it always keeps you interested.”

Keys to growth While RPS’ two-pronged approach to growth consists of growing its teams organically and undertaking mergers and acquisitions (the company has made more than 80), one factor remains at the heart of any expansion. “[The acquired company] has to be a sound business for us to be interested in a merger, but we really do our due diligence on the people first to make sure that they’re going to fit within our culture, that they can

“You never stop learning in this industry – it’s always changing, there’s always something to learn, and you never learn it all” town Chicago,” Cavaness says. “[We can] look at some of our senior leadership within RPS and count the number of interns who started with us in their college years and then joined us after they graduated from college, [who have been] able to take all these stepping stones along the way to now run branches and regions and hold some of the other important roles within our company.” The fact that there’s so much to learn in the insurance industry is exactly what has kept Cavaness engaged throughout his career, and he hopes it’s also something new professionals will find engaging about working in insurance. “You never stop learning in this industry – it’s always changing, there’s always something to learn, and you never learn it all,” he says. “There are so many different parts to the industry, whether that’s underwriting or claims or wholesale broking or retail broking, and so many specialties and hundreds of

22

RPS BY THE NUMBERS

add to our culture,” Cavaness says. “They are mindful about their business, but they’re also mindful about the community in which they work and serve.” Alongside the community involvement that RPS is known for, its growth has allowed the company to continue serving the insurance marketplace with innovative solutions and teams of experts prepared to respond to new risks and changing consumer needs. “We’re always looking at ways that we can expand what we do today,” Cavaness says. “That could be a product offering; that could be in technology; that could be in a process or the way we do things in our back rooms and in our offices. We really strive for constant improvement in the way that we deliver our products and technology, the way we interact with our retail customers to be able to interface with them. We make it much more of a seamless transaction and give them what they’re looking for in a much faster way.”

1997

Year RPS was founded

200+

Markets RPS has access to

2,700

Number of insurance professionals RPS employs throughout the US

80+

Number of RPS offices around the country

$87,000

Amount RPS raised for the Ronald McDonald House of Nashville in 2019

www.ibamag.com

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UPFRONT

OPINION

GOT AN OPINION THAT COUNTS? Email iba@keymedia.com

Death of the spreadsheet Keeping up with the latest technology requires surrendering the comfort of established systems, writes Simon Oddy “TECHNOLOGY. I don’t get it.” Those were the words of my father, an accountant, many years ago. His mental arithmetic was outstanding, and his understanding of his clients’ issues was excellent. But his career predated today’s technological world, where we use spreadsheets, software and other technology by default. I watched him resist the shift to computers and spreadsheets, fearing that users would simply accept answers and wouldn’t know how to explain the outcome. With the launch of Microsoft Excel in 1985, spreadsheets became a staple in the field of finance. But to a large degree, my father’s fears were unfounded. Excel still requires the user to understand the problem and the calculations behind the outcome. My colleagues and I still need to understand the inputs, outputs and the theory behind our calculations. Recently, I’ve noticed major change once again in the way we use technology. Surprisingly, I’m now that person I described above, because part of me wants to resist the change. Yet I realize I must embrace it. Where I work, we have an innovation group that is well on its way to improving and enhancing how we use and leverage technology. We are making huge leaps in the way we work and how we deliver our product, responding to clients’ needs and their user habits. I sense that, with these changes, we are entering the phase where the spreadsheet will be replaced. But will that take us further away from fully understanding the

mechanics of the problem we are dealing with? Will we get to a place where we enter data into a system and blindly accept the outcomes? We hear about drivers who follow GPS technology and end up in a lake (or perhaps that’s just one of my favorite moments from The Office). Are we running full speed down that path in business? The way in which we and our clients absorb data has changed: both the how and the when. The speed with which people

seem happy with life that way. Our clients want solutions and resolution. We must provide the tools for them to achieve that – quickly, accurately, efficiently and in the way they want. To provide this kind of service level, we will need to look to technology advancements in what we do and how we deliver. The race is on to create the best app, client platform, algorithm or artificial intelligence platform. In all sectors, we are looking for apps, software and programs to get us to the answers and help us with decisions. We need to start asking our clients of the future what they would like our deliverables to be. And we need to gather the knowledge of our younger staff, listen to their concepts and ideas, and bring them into the discussion. We know that our clients want charts, data maps and models, and are happy to place faith in such things to make decisions. They don’t necessarily need to know the mechanics – just that the technology works and the conclusions are accurate. That does concern me. Will we stop fully understanding the work we do? Will our ability to truly understand

“Our clients want solutions and resolution. We must provide the tools for them to achieve that – quickly, accurately, efficiently and in the way they want” want updates, revisions and data analysis is driven by our lifestyle habits. Lead times are shrinking as everything is delivered on demand. Within our firm and across the industry, we must meet the new needs of the client. Delivery is changing, too. No longer will a client request and receive data from the service provider. They want access to it on their time, without the need for interaction. We can tell ourselves that the face-to-face client relationship is still important, but sadly, its significance is shrinking. I watch my younger colleagues IM one another from 10 feet apart. The need for interaction is fading, it seems. That scares me, but they

and explain the problems we are handling lessen? I have to hope not. I do think that a full understanding of the problem will still be needed if we are to explain it. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m watching for opportunities to embrace the next change. And I’m doing my best to recognize that those around me may have the answers. After all, they are the clients of the future, and we must meet their needs. Simon Oddy is a partner in the global forensics practice at accounting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause. He specializes in quantifying large, complex losses in insurance, fraud, liability and cyber claims cases.

www.ibamag.com

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7/06/2019 3:11:08 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019

2019 ELITE WOMEN INDEX NAME

COMPANY

Allen, Laura

Risk Placement Services Inc.

Andolsen, Tanya Arky, Nancy

PAGE

NAME

COMPANY

37

Dreuth, Donna

Captive Resources LLC

35

Argosy Risk Specialists

30

Dumeny, Riva

AmWINS Group Inc.

27

Alliant Underwriting Solutions, a division of Alliant Insurance Services

28

Erbig, Alison

Liberty Mutual Insurance

48

Flanders, Renae

Aon

47

Bandy, Stacy

Burns & Wilcox Brokerage

36

Gallagher, Maureen

AssuredPartners

31

Bendick, Heidi

CNA Insurance

48

Garner, Emma

CRC Group

45

Boone, Nina

Aon

32 Glennon, Kari

Hub International Insurance Services Inc.

36

Goldie, Bobbie

Chubb

46

Goltermann, Lori

Aon

44

Gonsalves, Judy

Chubb Bermuda

28

Preferred Employers Insurance, a Berkley company

42

Brogan, Marcia

Marcia C. Brogan Agency LLC

40

Brown, Maureen

Munich Re Specialty Insurance

38

Cazares, Teresa Champagne, Collette

Beecher Carlson Hagerty

49 38

PAGE

NAME

COMPANY

PAGE

Korver, Angela

The Insurance Center, an Alaskan corporation

50

Law, Jennifer

Nationwide

39

Loftin, Katie

Marsh Wortham

42

Logue, Teresa

Zurich North America

50

Lusky, Estela

Alliant Insurance Services Inc.

30

Madsen, Katie

IMA of Dallas

50

McLaughlin, Betsy

RLI Corp.

43

McMullan, Leigh

Crum & Forster

38

Mendenhall, Jennifer

Alliant Insurance Services Inc.

27

Moody, Terry

AmWINS Brokerage of Texas Inc.

28

Murphy, Christina

Marsh

51

Chipurnoi, Christine

USI Insurance Services

48

Graham, Stephanie

Cousins, Ellen

Athenium Analytics

32

Greenidge, Nancy

Norcross McLarens

43

Murray, JoAnne

Allan M. Block Agency Inc.

35

Davies, Elizabeth

Stonemark Inc.

25

Hargrove, Donna

AmWINS Group Inc.

34

Nash, Kelly

BKS-Partners

34

de Sordi, Laura

Sedgwick

44

Hazell, Janelle

AHT Insurance

26

Oliver, Marita

Arch Insurance Group Inc.

30

DelPrete, Geraldine

SterlingRisk Insurance

40

Hunter, Ashley

HM Risk Group

47

Osborne, Courtney

El-Ad Group

34

Dolin-Benguigui, Tracy

S&P Global Ratings

51

Kodryanu, Anna

Burns & Wilcox

34

Pane, Janet

Willis Towers Watson

44

Drabik, Laura

Guidewire

38

Kornesczuk, Jane

Great American Insurance Group

42

Pavlov, Denise

Topa Insurance Group

44

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www.ibamag.com

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Insurance Business America celebrates 68 of the industry’s foremost female leaders WOMEN ACCOUNTED for 61% of the insurance industry workforce from 2006 to 2015, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics – and their presence continues to grow as companies become more dedicated to fostering diverse and inclusive workspaces. Yet despite growing numbers in the field, women remain underrepresented in leadership positions. This year’s class of Elite Women challenges that notion – 35% of this year’s list is composed of C-level executives, in addition to a wide range of directors and vice presidents. From insurtech leaders and specialty program experts to entrepreneurs and analytical masterminds, these women have proved that they’re more than capable of achieving any goal, even in an industry that is still largely helmed by men. In doing so, they’re forging a path for future generations of women – and men – to follow.

ELIZABETH DAVIES NAME

COMPANY

Pealer, Nikki

Lockton Affinity LLC

40

Pena, Jackie

Acentria Insurance

26

Poopor, Sharone Menczel

Everest Insurance

30

Preston, Susan

Professional Program Insurance Brokerage

49

Propis, Marya

All Risks Ltd.

26

Quane, Alessa

AIG

46

Randall, Kim

Worldwide Facilities LLC

28

Reed, Kimberly

AIG

42

Rodriguez, Lisa

Brown & Riding

32

Sansone, Michele

AXA XL

48

Sawdey, Bonnie

Crawford & Company

35

Serpico, Madeline

Aon

46

Singh, Pomy

HipTen

32

PAGE

Spriggs, Élise

State Auto Insurance Companies

46

VanAbel, Christine

VAST

26

Wallace, Carey

IntellAgents Inc. and Ohio Insurance Agents Association Inc.

42

Wilson, Shannon

Lockton Affinity LLC

36

President Stonemark

As head of Stonemark, Elizabeth Davies has overseen the firm’s growth of more than 550% over the past five years, leading Stonemark to be become one of the largest independently owned premium finance companies in the US. With more than 35 years of experience, Davies’ leadership skills have resulted in significant and consistent year-over-year growth – a true testament to the strong foundation she has built at Stonemark. Last year, she led the company to merge with Royal Premium, a subsidiary of H.W. Kaufman Group, and now leads the combined organization, continuing to operate and integrate the business with specialists deployed throughout the family of companies. She received the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers’ Innovation Award in 2012, and she also serves as a board member for the National Premium Finance Association.

www.ibamag.com

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7/06/2019 4:26:30 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 CHRISTINE VANABEL Chief operating officer and chief financial officer VAST

This year is Chris VanAbel’s 50th in the insurance industry – and with the same agency. After starting her career at VAST in 1969, VanAbel held a variety of positions before taking on the roles of COO and CFO in 1997. She has helped cultivate VAST’s growth and has turned it into an award-winning workplace by adapting to meet the needs of young mothers through job-sharing positions, remote work sites and flexible scheduling. VAST has been recognized as an IIABA Best Practices Agency for 11 consecutive years and was an IBA Top Insurance Workplace in 2018. Outside of VAST, VanAbel is dedicated to giving back to her community through numerous charitable organizations, including the United Way and the YMCA. In 2018, the Rotary Club of Marquette named her Community Citizen of the Year, and this year, she was awarded the Hildebrand Award from the Michigan Association of Independent Agents and will be inducted into the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame. She also serves as chair of the Independent Insurance Agents’ national council for best practices.

JANELLE HAZELL

JACKIE PENA

P&C client services manager

Vice president

AHT Insurance

Since starting her insurance career in 1998, Janelle Hazell has worked in nearly every function of the industry, from commercial underwriter and account executive to commercial lines manager and controller/ops manager. Today, Hazell is the P&C client services manager at Virginia-based AHT Insurance, where she is responsible for maintaining focus on achieving bottom-line results, while formulating and implementing practical business solutions. She also leads the P&C service staff and all workflows and processes, and works to ensure the service team is working effectively and efficiently and delivering desirable results for clients. Outside of AHT, Hazell is a member of the National African American Insurance Association and membership chair for its National Capital Central Maryland chapter.

26

Acentria Insurance

Before partnering with Acentria Insurance in 2018, Jackie Pena was the president and founding partner of ASI Florida. With more than 15 years of insurance experience, Pena developed her book of business organically from zero to more than 1,100 client policies, including over 500 condominium association policies, with a client retention rate of more than 95%. Pena is a Certified Professional Insurance Account Manager and Certified Professional Insurance Agent, as well as an active member of the Latin American Association of Insurance Agents, serving as the organization’s legislative fly-in.

MARYA PROPIS Senior vice president, distribution and broker partnerships All Risks Ltd.

As SVP of distribution and broker partnerships at All Risks, Marya Propis supports field distribution and sales initiatives and leads the execution of national growth, broker engagement, compensation and strategic partnerships. Propis is a frequent speaker at industry events on the topics of emerging leadership, education and talent development, and she is a fierce advocate of women in leadership. She was honored by the New York City Association of Insurance Women as Professional of the Year in 2019, was named to IBA’s 2019 Hot 100 list and was awarded the 2017 IICF Global Inclusion Champion Award, which recognizes insurance professionals who advance diversity while demonstrating an inspiring level of personal commitment to community service. Outside of insurance, Propis has been on the Spencer Educational Foundation board of directors since 2012 and currently serves as chairperson. She is also part of the industry advisory council for the risk insurance and healthcare management department at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, sits on the board of trustees for Canisius College and is a board member at large for Disabled Sports.

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JENNIFER MENDENHALL Assistant vice president Alliant Insurance Services

As an assistant vice president at Alliant, Jennifer Mendenhall plays a central role in the firm’s carrier relation efforts in the Northwest, where she has helped strengthen the company’s relationships and deepen its access to markets through a three-pronged approach that includes communication, strategy and technical expertise. Believing that profitable business is driven by positive energy and thoughtful communication, Mendenhall has become a trusted resource for product and operational matters for colleagues in a wide range of roles. Whether it’s a technical coverage question, a procedural issue or marketing intelligence, Mendenhall’s expertise is essential in helping her team achieve the best possible outcomes. In addition, she has played an instrumental role in helping young professionals advance their careers at Alliant and serves as a senior member of a number of customer service teams.

RIVA DUMENY Executive vice president, operations and strategy AmWINS Group

Since Riva Dumeny joined AmWINs in 2014, she has held a variety of leadership roles across its group benefits and P&C businesses. As executive vice president of operations and strategy, Dumeny supports AmWINS’ operations and manages strategic initiatives, including the expansion of centralized support services and a segment of centralized brokerage and binding authority business that handles E&S placement for large P&C retail clients. Previously, Dumeny worked for Connextions, where she was responsible for a $98 million P&L, primarily focused on healthcare benefits organizations with several thousand year-round and seasonal workers and corresponding strategic account plans.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 JUDY GONSALVES Vice president/division president Chubb Group/Chubb Bermuda

As vice president of Chubb Group and division president of Chubb Bermuda, Judy Gonsalves is responsible for the company’s Bermuda-based commercial property & casualty insurance business, which writes high-limit excess liability, property, directors & officers and political risk coverage worldwide. In addition, Gonsalves leads all strategies around production, product development and management, and profit and loss performance for Chubb Bermuda. With 30 years of insurance industry experience, Gonsalves previously served as EVP and chief underwriting officer of Chubb Bermuda from 2010 to 2018. She joined Chubb Bermuda (formerly ACE Bermuda) in 1992 as an assistant underwriter in the excess liability department. In 2004, she was appointed senior vice president and was promoted to executive vice president before being named vice president of Chubb Group in 2018. Gonsalves began her insurance career in the risk management department of AIG’s captive reinsurance division in Bermuda.

NANCY ARKY First vice president Alliant Underwriting Solutions, a division of Alliant Insurance Services

Nancy Arky is the underwriting engine behind Tribal First, the largest provider of insurance solutions to tribal nations in the United States and part of Alliant Underwriting Solutions. Arky and her team play an integral role in instituting a sound underwriting structure and positioning Tribal First to maintain its leadership in this space, while also expanding its reach to new categories of clients and partners. Arky’s contributions have enhanced Tribal First’s underwriting methodologies, positioning the firm for continued growth and dominance in its market. She has also made significant strides in the field of analytics by developing proven methods that enable Tribal First to gather key program metrics and intelligence to ensure its clients receive the best possible rates and the broadest coverage.

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TERRY MOODY

KIM L. RANDALL

Executive vice president

Executive vice president and property director

AmWINS Brokerage of Texas

Worldwide Facilities

With 26 years of experience as a casualty E&S broker, Terry Moody serves as the casualty team leader for AmWINS Brokerage of Texas in Dallas, where she specializes in residential, commercial and industrial construction risks, as well as upstream, midstream and downstream energy risks. Before joining AmWINS, Moody worked for AIG in the construction risks division while attending the University of Texas at Dallas. Early in her career, Moody’s mentors helped her build a technical foundation and taught her how to establish lasting relationships; today, she pays it forward by leading, guiding and serving the next generation of insurance professionals.

Kim Randall entered the insurance industry in the 1970s as a trainee with CNA. For the first eight years of her career, she trained as a property/package underwriter with CNA, Hartford Insurance and Hartford Specialty. In 1985, she joined Swett & Crawford in Los Angeles as a broker trainee, and within three years, she had risen to the top property producer position. She then served as manager of the Los Angeles property department before joining Worldwide Facilities in 2000 as property director. Over the past 19 years, Randall has helped build Worldwide Facilities into one of the top property wholesalers in the United States and has trained and mentored a new generation of property brokers and assistants, in addition to being one of the premier earthquake brokers in the country.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 MARITA OLIVER Executive vice president, chief compliance officer and chief risk officer Arch Insurance Group

In her 40 years in insurance, Marita Oliver has trained and mentored countless successful insurance professionals. At Arch Insurance, Oliver is the lead for all of the company’s US regulatory functions, responsible for filing rates and forms, and coordinating market conduct examinations and other regulatory reviews. She also oversees Arch’s product development group, which is responsible for developing new forms in conjunction with the legal and claims department, as well as monitoring and analyzing emerging issues.  In addition, Oliver leads premium audit services for Arch’s domestic business divisions and oversees enterprise risk management and business continuity functions for Arch US and Arch Canada, including the emerging risks working group. She also executed a program of qualitative underwriting audits and reviews across the Arch Insurance Group worldwide, ensuring compliance with underwriting best practices and business unit strategies and guidelines. 

SHARONE MENCZEL POOPOR

ESTELA A. LUSKY

TANYA ANDOLSEN

Vice president

Argosy Risk Specialists

Vice president, structured solutions

Alliant Insurance Services

Everest Insurance

Sharone Menczel Poopor recently joined Everest Insurance as a vice president in the company’s structured solutions group, where she’s responsible for underwriting unusual and complex risks and providing clients with a range of bespoke underwriting solutions. Prior to joining Everest, Poopor was a senior vice president and senior managing underwriter at Ironshore, where she managed a structured reinsurance portfolio and led new product development efforts. Previously, she led the product innovation and private equity/ financial institutions groups at Ironshore. Before joining the insurance industry, Poopor was a tax attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Kirkland & Ellis.

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For Estela Lusky, risk management is more than just a job – it’s a way to extend a hand to an injured worker, safeguard a business against paralyzing losses or provide relief to a family displaced by a natural disaster. The leader of an all-female team at Alliant, Lusky is instrumental in business development, client services, internal systems management and development to better serve multinational companies. She also provides consulting expertise to clients with international exposures. In recent years, she has participated in the closure of claims related to hurricanes Maria and Irma, and has established various internal practices and procedures that have spurred revenue growth.

President

A 24-year veteran of environmental insurance, Tanya Andolsen started her career at AIG Environmental, where she worked alongside industry leaders responsible for developing the fundamental coverages and underwriting guidelines that have been the building blocks of environmental insurance. After nine years with AIG, Andolsen moved to the brokerage side of the market to become a national environmental resource for Wells Fargo Insurance Services, working with clients nationwide to address a wide range of environmental exposures with risk management and insurance. She then served as senior vice president and director of environment for Armada Risk Partners before being named president of Argosy Risk Specialists in 2018; today, she helps structure state-of-the-art environmental insurance programs at the Cleveland-based wholesale brokerage.

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MAUREEN GALLAGHER Agency president and national real estate and workers’ compensation practice leader AssuredPartners

Maureen Gallagher’s passion for insurance goes beyond serving as AssuredPartners’ Michigan president and national real estate and workers’ comp practice leader. In 2003, she established Insurance Partners Academy, an educational company where she serves as director. Prior to AssuredPartners, Gallagher was president and CEO of Acordia of Michigan, assuming that role after leading her own agency, Gallagher Group, for more than 10 years. A frequent lecturer and presenter, Gallagher was part of the faculty for the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research for 15 years. She is the creator of several certification programs, including Property Risk and Insurance Specialist [PRIS], Certified Workers Compensation Counselor [CWCC], Certified Experience Modification Advisory [CXMA] and Real Estate Certified Insurance Professional [RCIP], as well as Producer Peak Performance Boot Camp training. In addition, Gallagher is a member of the American Bar Association and the Society of Trainers and Educators, and serves on the technical affairs committee for the Insurance Service Office. Her achievements include being named one of the Best and Brightest and one of Detroit’s Most Influential Women by Crain’s Detroit Business, being honored by Liberty Mutual with the Responsibility Leader Award, receiving the 2016 Woman of the Year Award from Women Leaders in Insurance and Finance, receiving a key to the city of Louisville for her commitment to leadership and education at the Women’s Leadership Conference in 2014, and receiving the Soaring Eagle Leadership Award from The Executive Committee.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 NINA BOONE US sales leader, mergers and acquisitions, transactions solutions group Aon

For the past four years, Nina Boone’s passion has been the advancement of diversity and inclusion within Aon. What started as a short-term mentoring project has turned into a deeper and more meaningful business strategy that has resulted in tangible outcomes. Most recently, she combined her passion for diversity and her experience in revenue growth to create conversations in the diverse investment community. With more than three decades of experience in senior and executive level leadership roles, Boone has remained focused on growth and has been recognized as one of the top overall growth leaders at Aon. She served as the US chair for Aon’s D&I board from its origination in 2017 until January 2019, and she has spoken on the topic of D&I at a number of conferences and interviews. Outside of Aon, Boone continues to mentor female entrepreneurs and serve as a voice in lifting women up economically.

POMY SINGH Co-founder

Chief science officer

HipTen

Athenium Analytics

Experienced in both insurance and IT, Pomy Singh realized the insurance industry was evolving, yet many insurance agencies weren’t leveraging technology to streamline their operational efficiency and effectiveness. She responded by co-founding HipTen, a Salesforce partner focused on digitally transforming the insurance industry. Rising quickly as a female leader, Singh has doubled the company’s growth year-over-year since its founding in 2016. Her mission is to help the insurance industry evolve by bringing technology to the forefront of business practices. Every year, Singh hosts an annual e-summit that educates and inspires insurance industry leaders to leverage technology to streamline their operational efficiency and effectiveness.

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ELLEN COUSINS

Following her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Dr. Ellen Cousins joined the team at Weather Analytics in 2014. When Weather Analytics acquired Athenium in 2018, Cousins co-founded Athenium Analytics, where she serves as chief science officer. She leads a team of more than 30 meteorologists, data scientists and machinelearning specialists; is the driving force behind the company’s innovative predictive and analytical capabilities; and continues to innovate new products that will shape the P&C insurance industry. Cousins has a PhD in engineering sciences from Dartmouth College, where her primary concentrations were in space physics and electrical engineering/ instrumentation.

LISA RODRIGUEZ Senior vice president and broker Brown & Riding

More than 20 years ago, Lisa Rodriguez started her insurance career in an entrylevel position. Within six years, she had worked her way up to a broker role, taking on a small book of business, which she has since grown to more than $1 million. At Brown & Riding, Rodriguez established the company’s small business unit, which is high-volume, low-cost and offers high profitability for the organization. Specializing in monoline sexual abuse coverage for high-risk clients, such as baseball teams and religious organizations, Rodriguez focuses on nonprofit organizations and private company EPLI. In addition, she is the practice leader of Brown & Riding’s nonprofit and human services specialty, which addresses the specific needs of the human/social services sector. Rodriguez regularly teaches continuing education courses on EPL and management liability and is an expert on the D&O exposures plaguing nonprofit organizations. She has also been teaching CE courses for 15-plus years, is a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society and has mentored many entry-level staff during her tenure at Brown & Riding.

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POWER

through Partnership

CONGRATULATIONS

TO THE 2019 IBA ELITE WOMEN

At AssuredPartners, we’re not just in the insurance business. We’re in the business of developing strong, lasting relationships. Relationships built on trust that we earn day in and day out by working as partners – to achieve common goals. That is what we call Power through Partnership.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 KELLY NASH

ANNA KODRYANU Managing director

Managing director, private risk management BKS-Partners

Kelly Nash joined BKS-Partners in 2017 with nearly 15 years of experience in the high-networth insurance space. As managing director of private risk management, Nash has focused on key operational efficiencies and enabling growth in key revenue segments, resulting in 85% growth year-over-year, as well as a 373% increase in operating income and a 153% increase in EBITDA. Her team also expanded its geographic footprint into three new locations and grew its headcount by 79%. Nash’s team was recently named Best High Net Worth Insurance Broker by Private Asset Management magazine. Both a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance and a Certified Personal Risk and Insurance Advisor, Nash serves on Chubb’s national advisory council and often speaks at conferences and industry events, most recently at the Private Risk Management Association’s national conference.

Burns & Wilcox

The managing director of Burns & Wilcox’s New York City and New Jersey offices, Anna Kodryanu joined the company in 2017 to manage and grow its Northeast presence. Responsible for commercial, personal and professional lines, Kodryanu has more than 10 years of experience in a variety of roles in underwriting, sales and marketing, brokerage, and management. She has earned a strong reputation as a knowledgeable, trusted advisor and a well-respected broker and colleague within the environmental and energy sectors. Outside of Burns & Wilcox, Kodryanu serves as vice president of the New York Young Insurance Professionals [NY-YIP] and chair of the organization’s membership committee. She was most recently selected as NY-YIP’s 2018 Professional of the Year, and the Burns & Wilcox New York and New Jersey offices were named the organization’s 2018 Partner of the Year. Kodryanu was also recently selected to participate in the Kaufman Advancement Management Program, a program designed to prepare and propel future leaders within the company.

DONNA L. HARGROVE General counsel AmWINS Group

As general counsel at AmWINS Group, Donna Hargrove is responsible for identifying and managing all compliance and legal risks for the company. Prior to joining AmWINS in 2008, Hargrove served as lead corporate in-house counsel for BB&T Insurance Services. Earlier in her career, she served in private practice with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters.

COURTNEY OSBORNE Vice president of insurance and risk management El-Ad Group

With more than 15 years of experience in risk management for the real estate, construction and financial services industries, Courtney Osborne provides leadership, direction and creative solutions to risk management challenges arising from El-Ad Group’s multibillion-dollar real estate portfolio and assets under development. Prior to joining El-Ad Group, Osborne ran risk management for Starwood Capital Group, a private equity firm focused on real estate and hospitality, and oversaw billions of dollars in real estate acquisitions, in addition to a global real estate and hospitality portfolio. She has also served as an account executive in the real estate practice at Arthur J. Gallagher and held a national business development role at Crawford & Company, working with real estate firms to streamline their operations through the claims management process. An active member of many professional organizations, Osborne currently serves on the board of directors of RIMS New York and the New York City Association of Insurance Women.

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DONNA DREUTH Chief financial officer Captive Resources

As chief financial officer of Captive Resources, a leading consultant to member-owned group captives, Donna Dreuth specializes in offshore group captive insurance companies with complex financial requirements. Her introduction to captives began in 1998 when she worked as an auditor for Deloitte. Since then, she has audited captives in both the US and Cayman Islands. Through her work with Captive Resources’ Cayman-based sister company, Kensington Management Group, Dreuth saw firsthand the value and benefits group captives bring to their member-owners. Eventually, her work with group captives led her to Captive Resources, where she has progressed through various leadership roles over the past 13 years. At Captive Resources, Dreuth provides strategic financial leadership for the company and its group captive insurance company clients. She leads the company’s corporate and captive finance teams, encompassing financial planning and analysis, corporate tax, internal control, and captive financial reporting, and she oversees all financial services provided to 40 captive insurance companies, comprising $2.5 billion total annual premium. Dreuth encourages collaboration among her staff; her department sets goals collaboratively and works closely with other departments in order to be viewed as a strategic partner, rather than just a resource or functional area of the company.

BONNIE SAWDEY Chief people officer Crawford & Company

Boasting three decades of experience at Crawford & Company, Bonnie Sawdey was named SVP of human resources and chief people officer in 2016, responsible for all aspects of global human resources, including developing and executing people strategy, talent acquisition, talent management, employee relations, total rewards, the HR information system, and learning and development. She is also a member of the global executive management team. Throughout the years, Sawdey has held numerous positions within Crawford & Company’s human resources department. She joined the leadership team in 1998 when she was promoted to vice president of corporate benefits. Since that time, she has served on the company’s plan administration committee and as chairman of Crawford Cares, a nonprofit organization she helped create to assist Crawford & Company employees impacted by natural disasters. Sawdey also implemented Crawford’s Global Day of Service, a program that helps deliver on the company’s mission to “restore and enhance lives, businesses and communities.”

JOANNE MURRAY President Allan M. Block Agency

Over the course of her career, JoAnne Murray has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments. She is past president of the Westchester Independent Insurance Agents Association, where she was instrumental in establishing a 501c3 designation for the IIAWC/Westchester County Volunteer Firefighters Association Scholarship, which is awarded to the children of volunteer firefighters. Murray also serves on the Professional Insurance Agents council, the Sleepy Hollow Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce, chairs the annual Tarrytown Halloween Parade committee, co-chairs the Rubber Duck Derby and more.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 KARI GLENNON Chief sales officer Hub International Insurance Services

Kari Glennon provides sales leadership, organizational strategy and sales coaching as chief sales officer at Hub International, where her number-one aim is to drive new revenue by offering real-world examples and in-depth analysis to help sales professionals achieve their goals. Glennon has led successful sales and marketing teams and has worked on both the sales and procurement sides of a variety of industries, including insurance, manufacturing, technology, retail and construction. Adding to her depth of experience, Glennon has been an owner and partner in two successful businesses, giving her a C-level point of view.

STACY BANDY Managing director Burns & Wilcox Brokerage

When Stacy Bandy joined Burns & Wilcox Brokerage in 2013, she brought more than two decades of wholesale brokerage experience. As managing director of the organization’s San Francisco office, she actively manages relationships with retail agents and carriers, oversees day-to-day operations and the growth of the office, and plays a role in developing specialty programs, specializing in casualty and construction. During her time with Burns & Wilcox Brokerage, Bandy has established a reputation for successfully expanding business and, in some cases, tripling policy premium while striving to provide exceptional client services. Her efforts helped the office earn second place in H.W. Kaufman Group’s Office of the Year Division II Award in 2017. Passionate about mentorship, Bandy strives to ensure that the culture at her office is inclusive and uses her team’s ongoing feedback to encourage and shape the company’s long-term success. Outside of insurance, Bandy is an active member of Women of Wholesale and Veteran’s Path of California and volunteers with organizations such as La Casa de las Madres, a shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

SHANNON WILSON Program executive and senior vice president Lockton Affinity

A seasoned insurance professional with 30 years of industry experience, 20 of which have been with Lockton, Shannon Wilson currently serves as a program executive and SVP at Lockton Affinity. Wilson’s broad and diverse background includes stints as an insurance broker and a program administrator, handling individual risks and program business for carrier businesses. Throughout her career, Wilson has served as the quarterback of the team, coordinating all services provided to her clients. A go-to resource within Lockton Affinity, she is well respected for developing and maintaining strong client relationships and has been instrumental in writing new business, retaining business, and balancing growth and profitability. Prior to Lockton Affinity, Wilson was with GE Insurance Solutions and earned a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification; she continues to demonstrate this knowledge in the way she successfully manages her programs. 

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The relentless pursuit to be the best program partner in the industry.

LAURA ALLEN Vice president, Southeast region Risk Placement Services

Since 2014, Laura Allen has served as the vice president of binding operations for Risk Placement Services’ Southeast region, responsible for managing five profit-center leaders to accomplish local, regional and divisional goals. She is also involved in M&A, producer recruiting and corporate strategic initiatives. Prior to taking on her current role, Allen was area president for RPS Fort Lauderdale, where she was responsible for recruiting, training and developing strategies for growth. Previously, she served as underwriting manager for the RPS branch in Lexington, Kentucky, where she established and grew the property & casualty binding department. In 2019, she was recognized with RPS’ David E. McGurn Founders Award. She also received the 2013 NAIW CWC State Award and the 2008 Underwriter Excellence Award. Allen is active in and supports a number of organizations, including WSIA, the CPCU Society, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies, the UK Alumni Association, AOPi Alumni and Southland Christian Church.

www.ibamag.com

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 MAUREEN BROWN

LAURA DRABIK

COLLETTE (COCO) CHAMPAGNE Chief operating officer Hagerty

Working with Hagerty’s executive team, Coco Champagne oversees the firm’s member sales and service, strategy planning, human resources, employee engagement, growth culture, and more. Champagne managed sales and service operation for Hagerty prior to joining the HR side of the business in 2002. Her experience gives her a unique vantage point from which to incorporate employee policies, cultivate and recruit talent, and lead the effort to incorporate world-class customer service within an innovative sales culture. Prior to joining Hagerty, Champagne was an officer of a national bank focused on retail consumer lending, where she led the region in generating government-guaranteed mortgage loans. Outside of insurance, she is a member of the Society of Human Resource Managers. In addition, she serves on the board of the Downtown Development Authority for Traverse City, Michigan, and was previously a member of the executive board of Goodwill of Northern Michigan.

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Group vice president of business innovation

SVP, innovation underwriting unit

Guidewire

Munich Re Specialty Insurance, a unit of Munich Reinsurance America

At Guidewire, Laura Drabik keeps her finger on the pulse of insurance industry disruption to coach insurers on ways to innovate their businesses and achieve a competitive advantage. An experienced executive, presenter and product strategist, Drabik brings technological ideas from the field to life. She also works to inspire the next generation’s passion for insurance by advising insurtechs, organizing and judging community hackathons, and mentoring students. Her respected Driving Insurance Innovation blog series highlights the latest technological trends that are rapidly transforming the P&C landscape, and she recently gave a TEDx Talk on how technology is changing the insurance industry.

As senior vice president of Munich Re’s innovation underwriting unit, Maureen Brown identifies, researches and underwrites new and emerging risks with the goal of fostering new areas of growth. She leads a team of underwriters and actuaries who are trained to look at risks differently. “It is our mission to focus on using innovative methodologies to deliver valueadded products, services and solutions to our clients and distribution partners,” she says, “and leverage our expertise in new and emerging risks that can’t be written in traditional commercial markets today.” Prior to her current role, Brown was a casualty underwriter in the specialty markets division’s chief underwriting office, where she focused on emerging issues such as drones, terrorism and cyber.

LEIGH MCMULLAN Senior vice president, executive risk Crum & Forster

Leigh McMullan leads the management, professional and cyber liability businesses at Crum & Forster and helped develop the team from an E&O-only group to a full-functioning executive risk division by adding D&O liability, cyber and technology E&O, in addition to expanding the crime team. Since joining Crum & Forster’s professional liability department in 2011, McMullan’s role has grown in scope and responsibility, thanks to her strong leadership and creative vision. In 2019, she was selected as a participant in the 2019 Fairfax Leadership Workshop, an honor reserved for rising leaders within Fairfax, Crum & Forster’s parent company. A noted expert on matters in executive risk and professional liability, McMullan speaks regularly on topics impacting the insurance marketplace. She sits on the advisory committee of the John Street Insurance Association, where she was the 2017–2018 president of the board, and she previously served on the Professional Liability Underwriting Society’s Eastern chapter steering committee.

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JENNIFER LAW Associate vice president, Management Liability and Specialty Nationwide

Jennifer Law brings nearly 20 years of insurance experience to her role as associate vice president and head of Nationwide’s Management Liability and Specialty [MLS] operations. Prior to joining Nationwide’s E&S/Specialty group 10 years ago, Law held similar roles with Marsh and Arch Insurance Group. In her current position, Law leads a team of eight MLS professionals who are responsible for all underwriting products for the West Coast region. Additionally, Law manages the design and delivery of special integrated projects for MLS and played a significant role in the innovation of a new end-to-end core underwriting solution. She also has been integral in the creation of a new data and predictive analytics tool, which uses a combination of statistical models and underwriting disciplines to extract knowledge from industry data. The tool has been of tremendous value to D&O underwriters in their account decisions. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Law is gala co-chair for the Raphael House, which serves the needs of homeless and low-income families in the Bay Area, where she is based.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 NIKKI PEALER Program executive and senior vice president Lockton Affinity

For 17 years, Nikki Pealer has been with Lockton Affinity, where she works to develop, implement and execute strategies across various insurance programs. Her background spans the nonprofit, franchise, financial services and auto segments, and she has experience in property & casualty, life and health coverage. Pealer is also the chair of Lockton Affinity’s Women in Leadership [WIL] group, which aims to establish professional and personal bonds in support of career development and to create an environment for professional growth, mentorship and sponsorship. As a member and leader within WIL, Pealer has a strong voice in promoting professional development opportunities for other women. By participating in and supporting various networking events, conferences and other opportunities, she has contributed to helping all women in the workplace. Pealer also serves as a parent mentor at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

MARCIA C. BROGAN Owner and agent Marcia C. Brogan Agency

A Buffalo native with more than 35 years of insurance experience, Marcia Brogan is a pillar in her local community. In addition to being an agency owner, Brogan is past president of the Kenmore Business Association and past president of the Buffalo Niagara chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners [NAWBO]. In 2018, Brogan created the Start a Conversation program, in which NAWBO members met with female high-school students to educate them on the opportunities and benefits of entrepreneurship. Also in 2018, Brogan was honored as NAWBO’s Member of the Year. She was also named a Woman of Influence in 2017 by Buffalo Business First, won the New York State Women’s 2016 Women in Leadership Award and received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the State Council of Early Care and Learning in 2013.

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GERALDINE DELPRETE Senior vice president and director of programs SterlingRisk

Geraldine DelPrete has more than 25 years of experience in senior reinsurance and program development positions at some of the world’s largest insurance brokers. She began her career at investment banking firm J. Henry Schroeder before launching her reinsurance career at Guy Carpenter & Company, where she held several positions over a 12-year period. She went on to work for Aon Re, American Re, Willis Re, Gallagher Re and TigerRisk Partners before joining SterlingRisk in 2018. Recognized as a mentor to many insurance professionals, DelPrete “takes training of emerging leaders in our industry to another level,” a peer says. Outside of SterlingRisk, she is active in Covenant House New York, Covenant House New Jersey and the Insurance Supper Club.

www.ibamag.com

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CRIIB


Insurance, reimagined. Captive Resources, LLC congratulates our very own Donna Dreuth, Chief Financial Officer, on her well deserved recognition as one of America’s Elite Women in Insurance. For 35 years, Captive Resources has been the preeminent consultant to group captive insurance companies, offering middle-market businesses from a range of industries, the opportunity to take control of their insurance needs. As the indisputable leader of the group captive industry, Captive Resources is the ideal partner to leverage the full power of a captive and reduce costs, implement safety-focused operations, and transform company culture.

••• Call 847.781.1400 or visit captiveresources.com to learn more about how Captive Resources offers insurance, reimagined.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 JANE KORNESCZUK President, executive liability Great American Insurance Group

After graduating from DePaul University with a finance degree, Jane Kornesczuk joined CNA Insurance, where she discovered a passion for D&O underwriting. In 1990, she joined the executive liability division at Great American Insurance Group and has become one of the leading D&O executives within the industry. Two years ago, she became the first woman to be named divisional president, overseeing a business operation with more than 130 employees across numerous locations. As a senior executive who embraces diversity in the workplace, Kornesczuk is a sought-after mentor within Great American Insurance Group and the industry as a whole. In addition, she serves as a trustee for the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.

STEPHANIE GRAHAM Assistant vice president, medical services

KATIE LOFTIN

Preferred Employers Insurance

Senior sales executive

For more than 30 years, Stephanie Graham has built bridges between healthcare, claims management and workers’ compensation insurance in California. As assistant vice president of medical services at Preferred Employers Insurance, a Berkley Company, she helped develop and currently manages the company’s directly contracted medical provider network [MPN], which is the only carrier-managed MPN in California. Graham’s expertise in the insurance and medical provider field helped shape the development of Preferred’s most recent service offering, MPN+, an app that helps injured workers obtain real-time medical treatment from emergency room physicians. As a leader, mentor and innovator, Graham has been instrumental in guiding Preferred Employers Insurance and its clients smoothly through California’s complex workers’ compensation medical environment.

CAREY WALLACE CEO/COO and CFO IntellAgents/Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Carey Wallace has worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years and with small businesses for more than 20 years. As the CFO and COO of the Ohio Insurance Agents Association, she works to ensure the organization is well positioned to help independent agents grow. Wallace has led the effort to develop key business consulting services to ensure that agencies have the information and support needed to successfully perpetuate their agencies to the next generation. These services are now available in eight states across the country.    Additionally, Wallace serves as the CEO of IntellAgents, a new nationwide organization that she helped create. IntellAgents has created the fastest-growing warehouse of independent agent data, which will represent more than 20,000 agencies across the country by the end of 2019. The organization is focused on leveraging data and technology to help independent agents make informed business decisions, grow their agencies and compete in the changing insurance marketplace.

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Marsh Wortham

As a senior sales executive for Marsh Wortham, Katie Loftin works with a variety of clients, from the healthcare and technology sectors to construction and education. Specializing in property & casualty with a background in underwriting, Loftin often assists colleagues with complex property placement, and she also helps market Marsh Wortham’s capabilities in personal lines and employee health and benefits. Prior to joining Marsh Wortham in 2012, Loftin spent 10 years with Chubb in its property and marine underwriting division. During her tenure there, she was responsible for profitably growing a book of business, managing a team of underwriters, and growing agency relationships in Texas and Florida.

KIMBERLY REED President, US Southeast zone AIG

Kimberly Reed joined AIG as president of the Southeast zone in 2018. A seasoned executive with more than 30 years of experience in multiple roles throughout the insurance industry, Reed previously held leadership positions at XL Catlin, Arch, Marsh and ACE.

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ORDINARY PEOPLE GETTING THE EXTRAORDINARY DONE

NANCY GREENIDGE National general adjuster Norcross McLarens

When Nancy Greenidge joined Norcross, a McLarens company, to expand its auto and heavy equipment division in the Pacific Northwest in 2013, she brought decades of experience in the material damage sector. Her extensive background includes training in specialty adjusting such as casualty, recreational vehicles, marine/boat appraising and heavy equipment, and she holds an I-CAR certification. As a national general adjuster, Greenidge oversees and assists with many national accounts and participates in adjusting catastrophe losses throughout the country. A lifelong learner with a strong passion for her job, Greenidge leads and participates in many industry-related activities and educational events. She is the current president of the Oregon Casualty Adjusters Association and is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, Claims Litigation Management and the National Association of Professional Women. Outside of insurance, Greenidge is a strong supporter of Called To Rescue, a nonprofit that helps raise awareness to rescue children who are missing or have been abused or trafficked. She is also an active sponsor of Open Arms International, primarily the Open Arms Village outside Kenya, which is home to more than 150 children, most of whom have been orphaned, abandoned, or removed from homes due to neglect or abuse.

BETSY MCLAUGHLIN

Industry-Leading Wholesale Broker & Program Manager

Let us go to work for you today. Email your next risk to submit@midman.com where you’ll have access to the world’s foremost carriers and programs.

Vice president and chief claim counsel RLI Corp.

Betsy McLaughlin joined RLI nearly 20 years ago as director of claims and held various positions in the claims department before being promoted to vice president and chief claim counsel in 2017. Prior to joining RLI, McLaughlin was a claim consultant for The Hartford.

Since 1990

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 DENISE PAVLOV

LAURA DE SORDI

Chief underwriting officer

Managing director, Latin America and Caribbean

Topa Insurance Group

Sedgwick

LORI GOLTERMANN CEO, US commercial risk solutions and health solutions Aon

As the CEO of Aon’s US commercial risk and health solutions sectors, Lori Goltermann oversees 6,000 colleagues across 40 company offices. Since she joined Aon in 1993, Goltermann has devoted nearly three decades of her career to enhancing, challenging and molding US operations to position the organization as a leading professional services firm. She has served as a significant figure in delivering client value through Aon’s framework, Client Promise, and is passionate about helping her clients achieve their aspirations through their risk, retirement and health needs. Before being appointed CEO, Goltermann was the executive vice president for Aon’s US health and benefits practice, where she helped clients customize benefits strategies and design private health exchange solutions. Goltermann was also responsible for designing and launching data analytics casualty offerings to aid organizations in identifying cost-saving opportunities using internal and industry data. Outside of her responsibilities at Aon, Goltermann has played an active role on several boards, including the Edgewood Children’s Center and Forsyth School. She also sits on the CIAB board and is a member of The Chicago Network.

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Denise Pavlov joined Topa Insurance Group in 2018, bringing more than 30 years of industry experience, with an emphasis on commercial and personal lines underwriting and customer service. In her role as Topa’s chief underwriting officer, Pavlov oversees the company’s underwriting products, program development, human resources and marketing. Throughout her career, Pavlov has had success in launching insurance products in new states, implementing new billing and processing systems, reducing new business transaction costs, building agency relationships, and leading multiple departments.

Following the opening of Sedgwick’s new operational hub in Miami, Laura de Sordi was appointed managing director, leading field operations across Latin America and the Caribbean. Since assuming her new role, de Sordi has been working with market leaders in 11 countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. She is also responsible for managing business and enhancing relationships with clients, assisting with complex claims, and developing business opportunities across the region. An Italian-qualified lawyer and private judge, de Sordi previously spent 12 years in London, working for a major reinsurer as head of the legal department and head of claims for Spain and Latin America.

JANET PANE Managing director and head of global services and solutions Willis Towers Watson

For more than two decades, Janet Pane has transformed multiple teams at Willis Towers Watson through her leadership and multicultural expertise. She serves as the company’s head of global services and solutions for corporate risk and broking, where she manages a collaborative network of insurance experts in more than 140 countries to ensure consistency and excellence. “Janet drives forward-thinking change by harnessing client-focused energy and identifying opportunity,” says Mike Liss, head of corporate risk and broking for North America at Willis Towers Watson. “She’s an asset to clients and colleagues alike.” Pane is also active on industry panels and councils, including the Excess Line Association of New York, where she formerly served as chair. She is also highly committed to diversity and inclusion initiatives and mentoring young industry professionals.

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EMMA GARNER Executive vice president CRC Group

At age 19, Emma Garner was the first female broker at Cooper Gay, where she became a key figure in placing US catastrophe property reinsurance and wholesale business into the London market. Garner relocated to Cooper Gay’s New York operation in 1996, and her two-year assignment in the city became a permanent one, as she proved to be an integral force in driving the business forward during the company’s merger with Swett & Crawford in 2010, securing her spot on the senior leadership team. By nurturing relationships, Garner has played a vital role in developing CRC’s portfolio. Today, as CRC Group’s executive vice president, Garner is a passionate leader and mentor who is committed to fostering a corporate culture that promotes lasting relationships with employees, partners and clients. Amid a changing industry, Garner is focused on enhancing CRC’s capacity to provide excellent service to clients while empowering young people and women in the insurance industry. This passion led her to establish the CRC Women’s Group last year, aiming to provide a space that supports personal growth and business development.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 BOBBIE GOLDIE

MADELINE H. SERPICO

Senior vice president, North America financial lines

US CEO, multinational clients Aon

Chubb

As Aon’s US CEO for multinational clients, Madeline Serpico focuses on forming relationships with multinational clients across various Aon disciplines. Her position allows her to empower clients to expand their respective businesses and achieve success. Drawing on her extensive experience in the insurance industry, she helps Fortune 1000 companies formulate global risk, health, talent and retirement strategies. Before she joined Aon, Serpico held leadership positions at Marsh, Chubb, Travelers and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also serves as an advisory board member for investment and wealth management firm Cerity Partners.

ÉLISE SPRIGGS SVP, associate and external relations State Auto Insurance Companies

As the senior vice president of associate and external relations at State Auto, Élise Spriggs is responsible for directing all human resource functions that support 2,000 associates in the company. She led the implementation of State Auto’s Time Away program, which eliminates traditional paid time-off schedules, and leads State Auto’s efforts in government, regulatory, community and public relations. She was instrumental in State Auto’s support of Amethyst, a central Ohio program that serves single women in substance abuse recovery and their families. As a member of State Auto’s senior leadership team, Spriggs helped lead the successful turnaround of the company, which included significant transformations of the business and culture. Outside of State Auto, Spriggs co-chairs the public-policy-making committee of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. She also represented the city of Columbus as a member of Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program and sits on the boards of the Jo Ann Davidson Leadership Institute, the United Way of Central Ohio and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

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With more than two decades of insurance industry experience, Bobbie Goldie is a senior vice president at Chubb, where she has spearheaded innovations that have improved the overall growth and profitability of the company’s cyber solutions sector. In the last two years, Goldie has led two major developments: the Chubb Cyber Index and the Cyber COPE Insurance Certification with Carnegie Mellon University. Goldie joined Chubb in 2010 to lead the professional liability sector within the US Central region. Since then, she has assumed a variety of roles in property, casualty and financial lines throughout the US and Canada. Before Chubb, Goldie served as vice president at Hays Companies. Her expertise and contributions within the industry have made her a frequent speaker and author, and she is also a guest lecturer for Carnegie Mellon’s CISO executive education program.

ALESSA QUANE EVP and chief risk officer AIG

With more than 20 years of experience, Alessa Quane oversees enterprise risk management at AIG. Quane has extensive experience in both the domestic and international insurance markets, having spent 13 years creating and leading AIG’s pricing and corporate actuarial functions in Europe and the UK. She relocated to New York to create the ERM function for the international business within AIG Property Casualty. Prior to her tenure with AIG, Quane specialized in pricing and research for non-standard auto at Allstate.


ASHLEY M. HUNTER

RENAE FLANDERS

Managing director

Chief operating officer, construction services practice

HM Risk Group

Aon

Renae Flanders has been with Aon for more than two decades and is now the COO of the company’s construction practice, responsible for its operational health and well-being. Flanders’ strong financial acumen, strategic background and institutional knowledge help her team deliver exceptional service to current and prospective clients. Outside of her responsibilities at Aon, Flanders is a member of multiple organizations, including the American Institute of CPAs, the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs and the CFO Leadership Council. She also sits on the board of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Foundation and serves as a mentor to MBA students at the University of Delaware’s Lerner School of Business.

Under Ashley Hunter’s leadership, HM Risk Group has become a leader in developing niche insurance products for the assisted reproductive technology industry. As managing director, Hunter has diligently assisted numerous startups and corporations with alternative risk transfer schemes and reinsurance placements. HM Risk has also been instrumental in developing policy forms for multinational insurance companies. Prior to founding HM Risk, Hunter worked in various claims and underwriting management positions for State Farm and AIG. She is an active member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society, Women in Private Equity and the Waters Street Club. She is also an accomplished concert violinist with a degree in music theory and composition.

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP SAYS A LOT. On behalf of the 3,000 employees of RPS, congratulations to

Laura Allen | 2019 Elite Women in Insurance. We’re proud to work beside you. Visit us at RPSins.com.

Risk Placement Services, Inc. RPS35672A

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 ALISON B. ERBIG

HEIDI BENDICK

Senior vice president and comptroller, corporate finance

Vice president, claim operations CNA Insurance

CHRISTINE CHIPURNOI Senior vice president, real estate, construction, hospitality and nonprofits USI Insurance Services

With an insurance career spanning more than 30 years, Christine Chipurnoi has been instrumental in developing and maintaining insurance programs for a variety of clients. At USI Insurance Services, she specializes in property, casualty, professional and loss-sensitive insurance programs while leading one of the top teams in the country. Chipurnoi is a member of numerous industry associations, including the CREW Network, one of the largest professional organizations for women in commercial real estate. She was also named the first female president of the Insurance Brokers Association of New York in more than 115 years. Over the course of her career, Chipurnoi has won many individual accolades and has been a regular speaker on a multitude of insurance-related topics. She also educates law and accounting professionals at major firms about the in and outs of the insurance industry. Outside of USI, Chipurnoi is involved in several philanthropic organizations, including the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, the American Heart Association, CREW Foundation and the St. Francis Food Pantry.

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Heidi Bendick leads CNA Insurance’s back-office support functions, enabling claims professionals to focus on adjudication and the customer experience. Bendick joined CNA in 2015 as assistant vice president of customer service and sales, charged with strategizing and directing the overall experience for customers, agents and callers. Before CNA, she held managerial and underwriting positions at various insurance companies, including Travelers, Allied Insurance and Safeco Insurance. Bendick is a charter member and former chair of the Lake Mary chapter of CNA’s Women Impacting Leadership employee resource group, as well as a former executive sponsor of CNA’s operations employee engagement committee.

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Alison Erbig has served as senior vice president and comptroller at Liberty Mutual since 2015, leading and managing a team of 350 people in multiple offices across the country. As a key person on the leadership team, Erbig is responsible for Liberty Mutual’s accounting and financial reporting on both a US GAAP and statutory basis, in addition to the planning and budgeting process, accounting and actuarial operations, reinsurance operations, and more. Erbig’s career at Liberty Mutual began with handling the company’s financial management program, a rotational program for college graduates. She also held various roles within the corporate accounting and investor relations departments, further contributing to her expertise in the industry.

MICHELE SANSONE President, North America property AXA XL

Since 2014, Michele Sansone’s role as president of North America property at AXA XL has allowed her to serve the global market with unparalleled knowledge of managing large global property risks. Sansone directs AXA XL’s property underwriting activities and oversees a global network of risk engineers who provide on-site risk analysis and property loss prevention programs. Previously, Sansone served as chief underwriting officer of the business, responsible for establishing the underwriting standards and protocols that helped guide AXA XL on complex property risks. Sansone started her career as an underwriting trainee at AIG and Home Insurance Company. Since then, she’s held numerous underwriting positions, including managing the US Eastern property division at Zurich. Outside of her daily responsibilities at AXA XL, Sansone dedicates her time to numerous charitable activities, serving on the board of the Spencer Educational Foundation, the March of Dimes board and co-chairing the Gourmet Gala in 2014 and 2015. She has also sponsored the Tom Joyce Scholarship Fund Golf Outing since 1998, which benefits St. John’s School of Risk Management, Insurance & Actuarial Science.

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SUSAN PRESTON

TERESA CAZARES

President

Senior vice president

Professional Program Insurance Brokerage

Beecher Carlson

As senior vice president at Beecher Carlson, Susan Preston has built a positive reputation in the insurance industry

Teresa Cazares is responsible for account team oversight and the company’s overall service to

by providing quality services to the

clients. With more than 18 years of experience

permanent cosmetic, tattoo and beauty industries since 1993. Under

in the insurance industry, Cazares has formulated insurance programs on directors &

her guidance, Professional Program Insurance Brokerage has been at the forefront of setting up insurance programs for

officers liability, cyber, employment practices liability, fiduciary liability, professional liability, crime, and kidnap and ransom. She also had the

budding companies across the country. Named to IBA’s Hall of

opportunity to expand her experience and network when she worked at

Fame in 2017, Preston is also a renowned speaker and writer who has worked with governing bodies in setting regulations for her

Beecher Carlson’s Bermuda office. Outside of Beecher Carlson, Cazares has led panels for New York

fields of expertise. Outside of insurance, Preston sits on three nonprofit boards and is set to chair the board of the Luther Burbank Center in Northern California starting in July 2019.

RIMS; the Professional Liability Underwriting Society; and the Corporate Liability, Travel Risk and Duty of Care Conference. She has also been invited by several insurers to speak to new employees and interns to promote careers in the insurance industry.

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SPECIAL REPORT

ELITE WOMEN 2019 TERESA LOGUE Vice president and head of lean management Zurich North America

With more than 20 years of experience in progressive leadership roles, Teresa Logue’s leadership and commitment to the people around her have accentuated her versatile approach in engaging teams and individuals. As the lead of Zurich North America’s Women’s Innovation Network, Logue helps to inspire, connect and develop women at every stage of their careers, while also helping to build a more engaging and connected culture. Her passion for coaching and mentoring individuals both inside and outside of Zurich has allowed Logue to help develop the careers of countless individuals. Outside of Zurich, Logue sits on the board of the nonprofit organization Partners for Our Communities, which helps connect people to local resources and pathways to integration and success. In addition, she completed the Senior Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the Full-Spectrum Innovation Program at the Wharton School’s Aresty Institute.

ANGELA KORVER Owner and director of operations The Insurance Center

Before she entered insurance, Angela Korver started her career in the marketing and advertising industry, where she worked for various startups, as well as national companies like AT&T and Microsoft. Today, Korver co-leads The Insurance Center, an independent MGA based in Anchorage, Alaska, alongside her husband. Over the past 13 years, Korver has been actively involved in multiple organizations, including serving as the executive director of the Alaska Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers from 2009 to 2010, serving as associate membership chairperson for Alaska Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers [AIIAB] from 2018 to 2019, and currently serving as the AIIAB convention committee chair. Korver has also been on the Insurance Professionals of Anchorage board for the past four years, serving as the organization’s first secretary until being named president in 2018.

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KATIE MADSEN Vice president and commercial lines leader IMA of Dallas

Since Katie Madsen’s arrival at IMA of Dallas, the office has quadrupled its property & casualty revenue, and Madsen’s team has expanded from four to 15 members. In addition to managing her team, she maintains a $1.2 million book of business with a 95% client retention rate, and she has personally been involved in onboarding more than $1.2 million in new business. One of Madsen’s primary objectives has been to enhance the local brand and reputation of IMA of Dallas, and the firm has successfully gained preferred status with several carrier partners through business growth and a commitment to carrier relationships. Active in her community, Madsen serves on the fundraising committee for IMA’s annual Sandblast Volleyball Tournament, which pulls together more than 200 local insurance industry leaders and has raised more than $100,000 over the past two years in support of area nonprofits, including North Texas Junior Achievement. Madsen is also a regular speaker at forums such as the Travelers New to Insurance Industry group and SHE Travels panels.

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CHRISTINA H. MURPHY

TRACY DOLINBENGUIGUI

Senior vice president

Senior director and sector lead, insurance ratings

Marsh

S&P Global Ratings

A senior property broker within Marsh’s energy and power practice,

Repeatedly recognized for her performance through fast-track promotions, Tracy Dolin-

Christina Murphy is responsible for providing strategic direction, program

Benguigui most recently took on the role of senior director and insurance sector lead at

optimization, efficiency, innovation

S&P Global Ratings, where she’s responsible

and coverage enhancements for her clients’ insurance programs. Each year, Murphy undertakes numerous site visits at various

for annual sector outlook publications, topical commentary, portfolio stress tests and thematic peer reviews.

refineries, gas processing facilities, LNG sites and geothermal sites to provide underwriting advocacy for her clients. She has

Additionally, Dolin-Benguigui co-chairs a focus team covering the global multiline insurance market, evaluates different capital structure

significant expertise with complex quota shared and/or layered

scenarios relative to rating agency capital requirements and regulatory

property accounts, including experience with captives and reinsurance markets. She also has extensive knowledge of the marketplace and works with various markets, including mutual companies such as FM Global and AEGIS.

constraints, analyzes complex M&A transactions, leads S&P’s insurance practice’s research and commentary council, and more. Beyond her work at S&P, Dolin-Benguigui has spoken about insurance and ratings trends at numerous conferences.

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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

CYBERSECURITY

A Ferrari without a driver US firms are increasingly investing in cybersecurity infrastructure – but, as Hiscox cyber product head Meghan Hannes explains, they’re missing the crucial step of training their employees

CYBER RISK is a real threat to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Both the frequency and severity of cyber attacks are rising, and awareness of the risk is slowly but steadily growing around the world. According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2019, 61% of firms suffered a cyber attack in the past year, compared to 41% the year prior. The median cost for losses associated with cyber incidents shot up from $229,000 to $369,000. The specialist insurer surveyed nearly 5,400 cybersecurity professionals from the US, UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and the Netherlands; of the 1,000 US companies surveyed, 53% of respondents reported an attack in the past year, compared to 38% the year prior. The mean cost of cyber incidents in the US was $119,000, which, for most small to middlemarket companies, “is a very real figure that could have serious operational impact on their businesses,” says Meghan Hannes,

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cyber product head for Hiscox in the US. The increased cost and frequency of cyber incidents have not gone unnoticed by US businesses. According to the Hiscox survey, 72% of US firms plan to spend more money on their cybersecurity in the coming year. However, only 11% of respondents said they would pump more funding into employee training and cultural changes as a result of a cybersecurity incident. “We see a strong desire from organizations to do more, which seems to be translating into them spending more money on cybersecurity infrastructure,” Hannes says. “A far smaller percentage of firms – only 11% – are actually planning to train their employees, which strikes me as a pretty significant disconnect. Essentially, they’re buying the Ferrari of cybersecurity, but they’re not training their employees on how to use it.” Hiscox evaluated respondents’ strategy and execution in handling cyber incidents

and then ranked the firms into three categories: cyber novice, cyber intermediate and cyber expert. Based on Hiscox’s proprietary module, companies had to achieve a minimum score of 4.0 out of 5 in strategy and execution to qualify as a cyber expert. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of US-based large and enterprise companies considered cyber experts dropped from 26% to 11%. Hannes attributes this dive partly to the lack of investment in employee training. Spending money on security infrastructure is only ever “half the picture,” she says, comparing cybersecurity spending without proper employee training to “the equivalent of pouring water into a leaky bucket.” Another key finding revolved around unexpected risks in the supply chain. More than half of US firms (56%) experienced cyber-related issues in their supply chains in the past year. Despite this, only 7% of respondents said they would increase their evaluation of the supply chain as a result of a cybersecurity incident. This is the first year Hiscox has incorporated supply chain risk into its Cyber Readiness Report, so there are no year-overyear comparisons, but Hannes says it’s clear that there’s very little visibility into supply chain risk – and in cases where there is visibility, awareness of how to mitigate, measure and respond to supply chain incidents remains challenged. “Cyber risk in the supply chain needs to be taken more seriously,” she says. “Companies need to audit third-party vendors to see what their cyber readiness posture is, check what their contracts look like and determine how everyone will respond in the event of a breach. There’s often a lot of uncertainty as to who is responsible for what when a cyber incident happens. Skipping that step alone in the preparation process can have a very detrimental impact on both parties.” Insurance is another vital aspect of cyber risk readiness, and there has been some

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“Only 11% [of firms] are actually planning to train their employees … essentially, they’re buying the Ferrari of cybersecurity, but they’re not training their employees on how to use it” Meghan Hannes, Hiscox encouraging growth in the marketplace across businesses of all sizes. However, of the 1,000 US businesses surveyed by Hiscox, 27% said they have no plans to purchase cyber insurance, and 5% said they were unsure of what cyber insurance is. This suggests there’s still a lot more work to be

done by the insurance community. “We reference the ‘leaky budget syndrome’ in our report, which is where companies keep spending money on cybersecurity, but the risk doesn’t materialize and their readiness doesn’t necessarily improve,” Hannes says. “The problem is, companies don’t always see

an immediate return on investment, which means it can be hard to spend the money.” In addition, she says, “cyber risks tend to stay dormant for a long time before they rear their ugly heads. Business leaders sometimes make false assumptions that everything’s OK because they haven’t had an obvious breach, but that’s not a fair assumption because of the dormancy of some of these major attacks. Like an iceberg, malware can live under the surface for months before it surfaces, and then it can cause a lot more damage than its initial appearance might suggest.” To download a copy of the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2019, please visit hiscox.com/cybersecurity.

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: OIL AND GAS

Pumping the pipeline The oil and gas industry offers a deep well of insurance opportunities, but brokers and agents need to approach it with some caution 54

RIDING THE ups and downs in the oil and gas market takes stamina, as does crafting insurance solutions for an industry that’s known for high-hazard exposures and a host of developing risks. It’s hard to talk about the sector without mentioning the price of oil, which has kept the industry on its toes over the past decade. Between mid-2014 and early 2016, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate [WTI] crude oil dropped from over $100 to just $26. “The days of $100-barrel oil are over, and the industry needed to readjust itself to this new pricing,” explains Andreas W.K. Graham, excess casualty vice president and head of energy at Everest Insurance. “Over a threeyear period, the oil and gas industry really did make adjustments.” Between 2016 and 2019, oil prices rose again but continued to fluctuate, falling to around $42 in December 2018 before rising to $66 again by April 2019. The price roller coaster has had reverberations for the sector – and for the insurance industry. “[The price of oil] is always the biggest indicator of whether there are going to be operations in the oil and gas fields or not,” says Joshua Sizemore, senior energy broker at Burns & Wilcox. In turn, the state of the insurance marketplace has changed as the sector experiences pricing highs and lows. “If you look at the results from 2016 onwards, it’s been just terrible because the losses have started coming in, and the rates are much too low because the initial capacity has driven down pricing,” Graham says, speaking about the London market specifically, though he adds that the US market has experienced a similar trajectory. “We saw rates being fairly buoyant through 2014 and 2015, and then a big slide down again as the industry demanded less insurance and more carriers were chasing fewer insureds.” Over the past 12 months, there has been a shift away from writing energy accounts

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because the view is that companies can’t make money amid the volatility, says Graham, who focuses on the demand side of the oil and gas sector. As a result, insurers don’t see the premium equation working in their favor, and they’re pulling back the amount of exposure they want on their book. “The demand for the quantity of petroleum in the US moves over the economic cycle, but it moves fairly predictably and not in great swings,” Graham says. “By focusing away from the commodity and more on the demand side, we can smooth out our exposure and smooth out our results over the cycle.” The US-China tensions aren’t helping, either; oil prices have been fluctuating as investors worry that the back and forth between the trading titans will limit demand. Nonetheless, many experts still anticipate good results, considering that the Permian Basin in West Texas is booming with oil. “This is feeding some of these countries involved in the trade wars,” Sizemore says. “It’s still to be determined how it all plays out, but it’s important that key pipelines and certain aspects come into play so that the Permian can keep supplying oil and gas [and] we can be that exporter.”

“There have been a lot of companies that have paid some very sizable claims over the last few years”

WHY MAKE RISK RISKIER?

Heath Cunningham, AmWINS Entrances and exits The last two years have seen carriers come into the oil and gas space and then promptly exit. In a boom-and-bust cycle, that type of insurance landscape is to be expected. “With massive growth, you’re going to have massive losses, and a lot of it is stemming from aspects of oil and gas operations that these losses are coming from, such as trucking,” Sizemore says, again highlighting the situation in the London market. “A lot of losses are energy-sector-based, and Lloyd’s is one of the biggest energy sector providers, so it is trickling down. We’re seeing a tightening of the market, but a lot of that has to do with the massive expansion of the market as a whole. When it gets big, it usually is elastic and rebounds to where it needs to be.” Drilling down into components of the industry, midstream oil and gas accounts in particular are witnessing a tightening in the insurance market. “Right now, we’re seeing rate increases on the midstream

www.ibamag.com

55

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: OIL AND GAS

[accounts] – around 5% on accounts that have performed well over time,” says Heath Cunningham, executive vice president and co-leader of the national energy practice at AmWINS. “We are definitely seeing that people will limit their capacity on midstream right now, and there are fewer and fewer markets in that space than a year ago.” Midstream is one energy segment that requires commitment because a loss can happen any day, Cunningham adds. “They’re very sizable losses because you could have some bodily injury, but a lot of times, it’s going to be property damage or damage related to pollution,” he says. “If you go through the industry and some of the losses out there, there have been a lot of companies that have paid some very sizable claims over the last few years.” Teaming up with pipeline operators that focus on safety is one way Cunningham has maintained a steady book of business, though a misstep in even the best company’s processes could happen at any time. “Even if you do everything right, if you dump a bunch of crude on the ground, it’s not going to be cheap to clean it up,” he says. “You can only do your best.”

Risks gushing forward From contract language to the use of water in fracking operations, emerging risks are creating new challenges for oil and gas companies and their insurers. “Contract language situations are reverberating in the insurance marketplace because insurance products are having to be built on the back and the skeleton and the map of these contracts. Some of these contracts are opportunistic,” Sizemore says, pointing to contractual limitations and other requirements that could have huge implications on insurance companies. “Insurance agents and brokers are all having to get more and more involved in the contract language, asking for concessions or even pushing back or finding creative new

56

WHERE IS OUR OIL COMING FROM? TOP 5 SOURCES OF US PETROLEUM IMPORTS IN 2018

Canada Saudi Arabia Mexico Venezuela Iraq 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Source: US Energy Information Administration, as of May 2019

“We’re seeing a tightening of the market, but a lot of that has to do with the massive expansion of the market as a whole. When it gets big, it usually is elastic and rebounds to where it needs to be” Joshua Sizemore, Burns & Wilcox ways to comply with these contracts.” Water is also a critical factor for oil and gas companies because of the large cost associated with its use in a variety of operations. “The contractors who are working the fields right now are getting very innovative in their engineering and design to not only use less water, but also reclaim it and recycle it,” Sizemore says, though he adds that this is not necessarily good news for insurance. “With emerging or new technology, there are no loss models or history, so it’s hard for the insurance companies to determine if it’s going to be too risky or if it will be a subliminal risk,” he says. “For the oil and gas companies, they’re seeing a lot of people just chasing the cash cow, which is water, so we’re seeing a lot of inexperienced, or maybe not

the most safely regulated companies, enter the market space.” Looking forward, experts predict that infrastructure in the oil and gas sector will continue to improve. There’s still quite a lot of old infrastructure that’s expensive to maintain, and there’s been a steady demand to upgrade and improve it, along with a demand for more pipelines. Meanwhile, “from an insurance perspective, we are seeing a general de-risking of portfolios,” Graham says. “The idea of larger limits lower down in towers is really not very prudent at the moment. We have seen most of the major carriers cut back on the amount of capacity they’re willing to put out on any one risk, and I would see that as ongoing through 2019, particularly in volatile segments.”

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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

WOMEN IN INSURANCE Valley Insurance Agency Alliance has a total of 45 women-owned agencies in its network, most of which were represented at the VIAA 2019 Spring Conference

The women of Valley How one network is helping women thrive in ownership DON’T TELL Valley Insurance Agency Alliance [VIAA] that leadership in insurance is for men. VIAA is a cohesive family of more than 120 independent insurance agencies in Missouri and Illinois, but the group is especially proud of the fact that more than a third of its members are women-owned agencies. “I think it’s because women are awesome at selling insurance but were not always given the resource to get set up to do so, and this is what VIAA provides,” says Elizabeth Powers, director of agency development and a member of IBA’s 2018 Elite Women list. “Our women-owned agencies are experts in the industry and some of the most respected business owners in their communities.” Powers notes that many of the female owners at VIAA began their insurance careers by running or building someone else’s agency in their community, then decided they wanted to do it on their own and set themselves up to build and perpetuate their own agency. “It’s great to be part of a group where women empower other women, whether

it’s sharing advice on marketing or sales strategies or just daily things that someone is struggling with in their agency or lives,” says Traci Wiley, owner of Wiley Insurance Agency in West Plains, Missouri. “In our

“I have four other women in the agency, and we are a very caring but a strong force,” says owner Cansada Hines. “We always strive to do our best, and we are a true family.” Jenks/Long was an established agency in the 1990s, when Hines started working there in high school. She had grown up wanting to be a business owner, but she had no idea what that business would be until she got the job at Jenks/Long at age 17 and found “a true mentor” in William S. Jenks III. She dreamed of one day owning the agency herself. That goal came to fruition in 2017 when Hines purchased the agency. Even through the ownership transition, the agency experienced double-digit growth, and Hines feels it is poised for long-term growth as well. “I put a lot of research into VIAA, and for me, it was the vision of VIAA,” Long says of her decision to join the alliance. “They have so many great things in place to help your agency grow. That includes technology classes to stay on top of what’s happening in our industry, and if you need advice, they always find a way to help you get that information. VIAA has been a great choice for my agency, and I can’t wait to see where they take us into the future.” Tina Miceli, an owner at LP Miceli, is also excited about the future of her agency. The first VIAA member back in 2006, LP Miceli experienced double-digit growth in 2018 and is set for further growth this year. “I think it is beyond helpful to have such

“It is beyond helpful to have such an amazing support system with all these brilliant women” Tina Miceli, LP Miceli industry, as women, it is hard to have confidants, and the encouragement we can share can make a real difference.” Not only are these women-led organizations encouraging each other, but the agencies are thriving. Collectively, these women grew their agencies by 31% in 2018 and are projecting a similar growth pattern this year. Wiley’s agency, for instance, grew by 34% in 2018. Jenks/Long Insurance Agency in Rolla, Missouri, is another women-led agency that is experiencing rapid growth.

an amazing support system with all these brilliant women,” Miceli says. “We can lean on each other and use each other as sounding boards. I love having an agency, but it’s not always peaches and cream – so it is invaluable having people to fall back on.” Founded in 2006, VIAA generates more than $200 million in written premium and is the regional founding member for the Strategic Insurance Agency Alliance [SIAA], a more than $8 billion national alliance. For more information about Valley Insurance Agency Alliance, call 314-333-4906 or visit viaa4u.com.

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PEOPLE

BROKER INSIGHT

Making D&I a reality Renae Flanders, Aon’s diversity and inclusion co-leader, tells IBA how the industry can better support the careers of women and minorities

IBA: How is the insurance industry excelling at diversity and inclusion? Renae Flanders: I think it works really well when the senior-most management of the firm has the belief and resolve for diversity and inclusion. Promoting women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities cannot just be a human-resources-led exercise; it has to be led from the top. At Aon, D&I is absolutely a center-stage topic at every single leadership meeting. Our US Diversity & Inclusion Council is composed of the seniormost leaders of our US organization, and we set it up that way for a reason – so the strategy carries the gravitas that is required. We all know that having a diverse team creates better team dynamics, a healthier work environment and overall better business results. But if it is not led from the top, it will not garner the respect and command that it requires to make real and sustained change, and any shortcoming I see is when people say they want change but don’t mean it.

IBA: How can the industry better support women and minorities? RF: Forbes released a study last year that said women held only 24 CEO positions in the Fortune 500, which is less than 5% and way too small of a percentage. Women are generally underrepresented, but despite that, I think it’s a good time to be a woman in this industry. Yes, we are underrepresented at

58

the senior-most levels, but there is so much emphasis being placed on this issue right now that I believe we will move the needle. I’m hoping that the days of being the only woman in the room are coming to an abrupt end. While mentorship is important, sponsorship is critical when supporting the careers of women and minorities. As co-leader of our US D&I Council, I have personally requested that our US leaders include sponsorship as part of their annual goals. Often we need to encourage our diverse talent to apply for open roles at the firm, and having the guidance of a sponsor is critical in that process.

IBA: What can insurance do to better attract women and minorities? RF: The reality is that we have to recruit differently if we want a different outcome. For the industry, women and minority networking events and panels will continue to shine a proper light on D&I. Internally, some of the things we are doing have actually changed the landscape of our talent pool, which we need

to do because if we’re going to attract women and ethnic minorities, we need to change our talent pool. One of the things we’re doing is recruiting from historically black colleges and universities, in addition to serving our regular college circuit schools. The key is that we need to keep doing this, because if we address the historically black college group only once or twice, it won’t be a sustainable outcome, and the makeup of our firm will not change long-term. We have to continually do it to change the talent pool and our colleague population. Another thing we are doing is holding Insight Days in some of our larger markets, which are designed to reach early-career students and inner-city students who might not understand what a career in insurance looks like. So we reach out to them and educate them in hopes that in the future, they will apply for some of our entry-level roles. For our more tenured colleagues, the first step is communication and ensuring that open positions are posted so people know that they

DIVERSITY CHAMPION For more than two decades, Renae Flanders has held a variety of positions within Aon, from overseeing the firm’s practice groups and national sales and brokerage teams to client profitability. Today, she is chief operating officer for Aon’s construction services group, in addition to co-leading the firm’s US Diversity & Inclusion Council and being the founder of the Philadelphia chapter of Aon’s Women’s International Network.

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DIVERSITY IN THE US INSURANCE INDUSTRY

1.6 million

women are part of the US insurance workforce

12%

of C suite positions in the industry are held by women

13.7%

“Promoting women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities cannot just be a human-resources-led exercise; it has to be led from the top”

of insurance underwriters identify as African American

6.2%

of insurance underwriters identify as Hispanic are available. We do open posts for all of our roles, and we try very hard to gather a diverse slate of candidates before we start interviewing. This is where sponsorship comes in: A sponsor can proactively reach out to sponsored colleagues [to encourage them] to apply to open roles, especially if they don’t know they are open or if they are hesitant to apply. A good sponsor will say, “Throw your hat in the ring,” and sometimes the sponsored colleague needs that little push.

We also require a diverse interview panel. We want to eliminate as many unconscious biases as possible in the interview. For us, unconscious bias is something that we talk about how to improve or at least recognize so we can help women and minorities improve their careers. It’s human nature to look for people who look like we do or have the same background as we do, but we need to get past that and be more open to a broader candidate slate.

3%

of agency principals and senior managers are African American Sources: Women in Insurance: Leading to Action 2018, STEMconnector; Current Population Survey, US Bureau of Labor Statistics; 2016 Agency Universe Study, Future One and IIABA

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: NETWORKS AND ALLIANCES

The golden ticket? Agency M&A is booming – but joining an agency network or alliance can be an attractive alternative to selling up 60

INSURANCE AGENCIES in the US have experienced an explosion in merger and acquisition transactions in recent years as mega-brokerages like Gallagher and Hub International continue to snap up regional agencies in order to expand and diversify their market reach. As a result, agency valuations are at an all-time high, and the temptation among agency owners to sell up is very high. Perpetuation and succession planning are two key elements of running a business, but acquisition is just one of the routes agency owners can take to achieve this. Another option is to join an agency network or alliance. Rather than selling and forfeiting their independence, network members can tap into benefits similar to those they would gain by joining a larger brokerage – greater market access, increased revenues, access to innovation and technology, expert consultations – while still retaining their independence and their unique culture. There are multiple reasons why agencies might consider becoming part of a network or an alliance. They can gain an additional revenue stream via profit-sharing and greater market access. Most networks provide their members access to a greater number of insurance carriers or to carriers with greater expertise in certain markets. As a member of a network, agencies essentially gain greater clout with those carriers because of the amount of business the network as a whole drives through those markets. “A lot of networks will offer resources beyond market access,” says Michael Strakhov, executive director of insurance lending at Live Oak Bank and an advisory committee member at Insurance Networks Alliance. “For example, an independent agency might need loss-control services or claims services in order to compete with larger brokerages. Some networks give agencies the opportunity to bring those services to the table and have a little bit more firepower. Ultimately, networks can help agents play at

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a higher level. They can level the playing field with the larger agencies in terms of access, services and expertise.”

Cultural contingency One of the key differences between selling to a larger brokerage and joining an agency network is that agencies can retain their independence. The principals still own the agency and maintain autonomy over how it’s run, but they’re part of a larger alliance that gives them better revenue, more market influence, greater service capabilities and the ability to develop a contingency roadmap. “Our agency members are constantly

“Ultimately, networks can help agents play at a higher level. They can level the playing field with the larger agencies in terms of access, services and expertise” Michael Strakhov, Live Oak Bank getting phone calls and offers from potential acquirers – even those members who aren’t yet ready to sell and aren’t in the perpetuation phase of their careers,” says Rene Swan, president at United Valley Insurance Services. “The

agencies who refuse the offers or even turn down the conversations are the ones who want to retain their culture. You can’t put a number on culture. If you’re perpetuating your agency for the next generation, and those inheritors

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: NETWORKS AND ALLIANCES

WHAT IS A NETWORK OR ALLIANCE? A network or alliance is a group of agencies that operate under one master agency code. Networks give individual agencies access to more insurance companies, products and contacts, allowing them to expand their potential business. In return, the agency shares profits with the network or alliance in the form of percentages of commission, monthly fees or both.

are your kids or your family, you’re going to be extremely conscious of the culture that will be created when you exit. That’s one of the biggest value propositions of the networks – the ability to retain your own culture and manage your own business model.” When agencies sell, the first thing that’s lost is their culture, according to Steven Pearson, president at ISU Insurance Network Agency. One of the reasons why agencies opt to join a network as opposed to joining a larger brokerage, he says, is because “they care about their customers, their staff and their culture.”

Planning ahead Many of the established agency networks and alliances are built around a consultative model. Not only do they provide market access, but they also provide expert advice and cross-agency networking opportunities. One area where agencies frequently need support is business contingency and succession planning. “We have a lot of member agents at a point in their professional career where they’re trying to figure out the future of their agency,” says John Tiene, CEO of Agency Network Exchange [ANE]. “Historically, they might have said, ‘I’ll just sell. I don’t have a succession plan, so I’ll ride the M&A wave before

62

it goes away.’ But that’s not their only option. Networks and alliances have a collective desire to help their agency members succeed and grow. We can provide that consultative component and help them figure out what’s next for their business. “Agency principals often wear many hats,” he adds. “They’re focused on their clients, their services and their business growth, but sometimes the component of contingency planning gets buried. At ANE, we bring that back to the table.” If they eventually decide to sell, members of agency networks can again draw on these consultative services to ensure their agencies are best positioned and prepared for highquality deals. The network can also help in the courtship phase.

agency valuation advice, Tiene says. Often, when agents sell, they don’t get the glorious returns they hoped they would, especially if they make a rushed decision. If they take the advice offered by the network and enact some changes over a couple of years, they could increase the value of their agency by 20% or 30%. On the buying side, networks can also provide members with a potential funding mechanism to acquire an agency that otherwise might have been outside of their individual reach, Pearson says. His network, ISU, is one of the largest in the US by premium volume. Its member agents control about $4 billion, which allows the network to return lots of revenue to its members. “As that transition occurs and an agency

“You can’t put a number on culture … That’s one of the biggest value propositions of the networks – the ability to retain your own culture and manage your own business model” Rene Swan, United Valley Insurance Services “Networks can definitely help with matchmaking,” Strakhov says. “If an agency principal knows they want to retire in five years but they don’t have a successor, as an agency member, they can be introduced to potential suitors who might buy the agency and create a more meaningful transition than selling to an outside firm. That has downstream benefits. Agents are often concerned about what will happen to their staff and their customers post-sale. If they sell to an agency that they already have a relationship with and that’s a similar size and has a similar mindset, that can allow for greater control on the outcome of the agency post-transaction.” Networks can also provide members with

joins ISU, they’re typically adding $100,00 or $200,000 or more to their annual revenue,” Pearson explains, “and because it doesn’t require a lot of investment of additional time, that drops right down to EBITDA and enhances the valuation of that agency. Circling back to the topic of contingency and succession planning, if the next generation wants to purchase another agency or finance it, their balance sheet becomes much stronger after a couple of years in the network. While the older generation is sometimes reticent to change, we’re seeing the younger generation look to ISU as an additional funding mechanism that will help them to grow their businesses via acquisition.”

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PEOPLE

CAREER PATH

AGENT OF CHANGE

Insurance innovation is second nature for Chris Carlson, who has always been a driver of transformation

As a political science major with an eye toward law, Carlson took a risk management class in college and immediately fell in love with the field. “It was interesting, and I did well at it – after that, I changed my major. People think insurance is pretty dry, but you’re working for people, to keep their businesses going or to get their lives back on track. It seemed like a noble endeavor.”

2002

FINDS RISK MANAGEMENT

2005 MOVES INTO UNDERWRITING With his sights set on becoming an underwriter, Carlson joined Zurich North America’s underwriting assistant program. “I bet on myself that I could be an underwriter, and within a year, I was training other underwriter assistants. Later, I was selected to participate in the operational transformation project to deliver efficiencies and create global standards. They were very willing to listen to a young, inexperienced voice.”

2012 OPENS UP THE HOUSTON MARKET Promoted to vice president, Carlson led the charge to expand Liberty’s offerings to the Houston market, where the company had no onshore energy presence. “I was transacting a significant amount of business in Houston, so I proposed that we should have a local presence there. Once again, I bet on myself that we could get this done. The lasting operational legacy is an accomplishment I’m most proud of.”

2018 GETS PROMOTED Recently promoted to EVP and head of US property at Aspen, Carlson is focused on the future. “I want a cohesive team across the country that enjoys working in a collaborative environment. It’s up to me to embed that culture. I believe in servant leadership, a philosophy that listens, puts the needs of employees first and helps others reach their full potential. I want to inspire my team to do what we need to in order to reach – and surpass – our goals.”

2004

BLENDS INSURANCE AND TECH While still at college, Carlson interned at and was later hired by MarketScout, a startup seeking to integrate technology into insurance. “It was a new company riding the tech boom; they were very cutting-edge and run entrepreneurially at a time when people didn’t think of insurance as a field you could innovate in. That stuck with me – insurance might not be recession-proof, but it’s always going to be there.”

2008 SPECIALIZES IN ENERGY A desire to move into the energy space prompted Carlson to make the move to Liberty in Dallas. “I made a decision to broaden my knowledge base with a different product line. The energy and construction business can be complex. but it also can be quite gratifying. Based on my previous project experience and job roles in insurance, I brought a unique perspective to the table that resonated with my colleagues and enabled me to positively impact all levels of our business.”

2016 TAKES THE LEAD A desire to manage a team led Carlson to leave Liberty to head a similar line of business (onshore energy and construction) at Aspen Insurance.

“Progress can’t happen if you don’t create and maintain an efficient culture, and that responsibility falls to the person in the leadership role. The right culture and talent fosters teamwork and open communication, empowering people to challenge the status quo and position the company for success” www.ibamag.com

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PEOPLE

OTHER LIFE

TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER LIFE Email iba@keymedia.com

Taylor has been one of the 250 America n me mbers of the Royal a nd Ancient Golf Clu b of St. Andrews since 2005; he has played the venera ble course at least two dozen times

35

Tournaments Taylor played in during his year as a pro golfer

4

Out-of-town competitions Taylor played in last year

7

Number of holes in one Taylor has made

OVER PAR Though his days as a pro golfer are behind him, insurance exec Walker Taylor is still a regular on the course CONSIDERING THAT he lived only a few blocks from a golf course as a child, it’s hardly surprising that Walker Taylor took up the sport. “My buddies played golf; I tagged along – and I loved it right away,” he says. “I got good at it pretty quickly.” So good, in fact, that Taylor, the

64

managing director of Gallagher’s life sciences practice group, played for his high school team and was recruited to play in college. Taylor even left a position at The Hartford to be a pro golfer for a year, an adventure he funded via prize money and endorsements.

Even now, Taylor is drawn by the challenge of the game, as well as the beautiful setting and the social element. “It’s a game everyone can play,” he says. “The golf ball doesn’t know how young or old or rich or poor you are. It’s the most democratic game there is.”

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Profile for Key Media

Insurance Business America 7.06  

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