2018 Power Broker

At Large

Top Negotiator

Bruce Droz, CPCU, ARM
Senior Vice President
Alliant, Fresno, Calif.

Ruiz Foods saw collateral obligations under its workers’ comp coverage continue to climb and its out-of-pocket costs increase to unsustainable levels.

“Bruce Droz and his team worked to decrease the amount that carriers required us to maintain in standby letters of credit by more than $1 million,” said Bill Wheeler, corporate controller.

“Bruce also helped save us money in fees” for the LOCs, “and increased our credit line capacity. He also had his firm do some earthquake modeling for us to determine what the risks were in our particular geographic area to help us make informed and appropriate coverage decisions.”

“This year Bruce was suspicious that our umbrella carrier might reduce coverage or even bail, so ahead of time he recruited another carrier and gave them a tour of our facilities,” said Bob Brown, president and CEO, CALAMCO.

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“When our carrier did reduce coverage, we switched carriers, and since we were prepared, there was no lapse in coverage.”

“Our company has a high experience modification rate which would normally result in extremely high premiums” for workers’ comp, said the CFO of a company that grows figs. “Since our company has an improved safety program and reduced recent claims, Bruce was able to secure coverage at significantly reduced rates — saving us thousands of dollars.”

The International Expert

David Fraser
Senior Vice President
Aon, New York

A U.S. private equity client, through the European Fund, purchased the European businesses of a large office supplies company. David Fraser engaged M&A colleagues to assist him in identifying any insurance liabilities and negotiating wording in the purchase agreement to ensure they were addressed.

Fraser created a standalone insurance budget, which proved challenging; the seller did not collect local claims details. Data collection, therefore, had to be done in each country in local languages and then converted back into English for the creation of master policies.

He secured warranties insurance coverage — another challenging task, as the U.S. client bought a European business with a Dutch purchase and sale agreement.

After the deal closed, Fraser implemented a multi-million-dollar insurance program with minimal data available on standalone basis, utilizing full global leverage of private equity relationships at each of the key insurance carriers to obtain support on the challenging multifaceted risks.

He also created a new trade credit platform with new insurers, critical for the office supply company to continue to receive products from vendors.

“David Fraser is spectacular,” said Curt Deane, real estate professional, Starrett City Associates.

“He’s immensely responsive and for us, that’s very important because we have a lot of obligations in the area of workers’ compensation.”

Emphasizing Cyber Security

Shannon Groeber
Senior Vice President
JLT Specialty USA, Philadelphia

LabCorp benefited from Shannon Groeber’s holistic risk-based approach to cyber threats.

Prior to her involvement, LabCorp was advised that only a fraction of the overall cyber market would have interest in insuring its risk and only in a way that centered around market appetite — not LabCorp’s actual exposure.

Groeber unified various internal stakeholders to leverage meaningful underwriting information to attract quotes that increased available capacity by a factor of 10.

Then she provided LabCorp with tangible and forward-looking data to allow it to make an informed decision on the most efficient structure that matched its goals and priorities.

“We moved our cyber coverage this year to JLT and a big part of that reason is because of Shannon,” said Christina Reisinger, vice president, risk management.

“She was able to get coverage in many more markets than our previous broker.”

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“Shannon Groeber has done a fantastic job for us,” said Steven Levine, director of risk management, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews. “She’s always responsive, has strong industry contacts and is an expert in cyber.”

“Shannon has been able to negotiate well for the insured and brings forth a very successful marketing effort during renewals,” said the director of treasury operations and risk management for a portfolio of media and digital businesses. “She continues to impress us with her ability to work under tight deadlines on complex renewals.”

Staying on Top of International Markets

Michael Lombardi, ARM, AINS
Senior Vice President
Lockton, New York

Michael Lombardi created a centralized global program and responsive M&A platform for multiple, roll-in acquisitions over a three-year period for a large manufacturer. It achieved synergies exceeding $2.5 million, resulting in a material reduction in the client’s total cost of risk.

The International Practice leader also developed a global compliance matrix with an exposure-based approach to local policies.

The matrix outlined key decision criteria in issuing local policies, which improves compliance for multinational clients, especially those that have globalized management liability programs.

“Michael is extremely knowledgeable about the idiosyncrasies of foreign insurance markets and the regulatory mandates of each jurisdiction,” said the director, risk management, at a tool manufacturer.

“He partners with us to design compliant programs offering broad coverages that are appropriately priced.”

“Michael Lombardi balances the ability to see the entire picture with the ability to take care of details,” said the vice president, risk management, at a health care services and products company.

“Every person who has met him has been very impressed with his ability to think strategically, to problem solve and to be an advocate for his clients.”

“Michael Lombardi and his team have done a great job of understanding our insurance needs and getting what we need in terms of coverage terms and price,” said the director of insurance at a company that makes fine quality alcohol beverages.

Relaying Best Solutions

Tim Losie
Vice President
USI Insurance Services, Houston

A property & casualty insurance client approached Tim Losie with concerns about its D&O policy and professional liability handled by another broker. Upon review, Losie found holes in the overall management liability coverage, noting it did not address aspects of the client’s complex business.

The client allowed Losie to approach additional insurers. He negotiated a solution tailormade for the client’s needs, while also delivering lower retentions and premium. The client moved the business to USI.

“We had a lot going on with our company last year and Tim Losie helped us a lot,” said Jennifer Crane, CFO, Crossroads Systems.

“We’re a public company, but we went through a pre-packaged bankruptcy and had several questions about our D&O policy. Everything was urgent, but Tim always responded very quickly. He even got on a Board call with us, and a Board member complimented Tim on how well he explained the information to us.”

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“Tim Losie did a superior job in helping our client analyze their risks and coverage and identifying best solutions and best practices,” said Charlie Renie, vice president of account management, KBIC Consulting.

“Tim Losie has been working on a particular D&O and E&O tower for us, and his knowledge of the marketplace has been very impressive,” said the chief administrative officer at a company that provides products and services for owners of alternative assets.

Ensuring Safe Travels

Logan Payne, CPCU, ARM
Vice President
Lockton, Kansas City, Mo.

Logan Payne coordinated a team of Lockton experts for two clients to resolve a similar problem: inconsistencies in coverage between the various products they purchased that protected employees while traveling.

Payne was able to enhance and standardize the level of coverage offered to the clients’ employees worldwide. This reduced the clients’ liability under “duty of care legislation” for the countries they operate in.

It also helped each of his clients develop robust and efficient travel risk management plans, which included improvements in communication with employees while they were traveling.

Payne and his team overhauled and standardized coverage across 20 countries of operation for the one client. He was also able to do the same in 11 countries for the other client.

Additionally, Payne and his team secured several renewal options that provided broader, more inclusive coverage at a savings of up to 40 percent over expiring global premium spend.

“Logan Payne is an incredible service provider. He has in-depth expertise in a wide range of domestic and international risk management issues and is proactive in helping his clients find effective solutions to manage their ever-changing risks,” said one client.

“Logan is very client-focused and has been instrumental in shaping our global insurance program,” said another.

Planning for Loss Control

Manny Pereira
Director
Aon, Philadelphia

The Mosaic Company suffered significant losses due to maintenance issues. Before renewal, Manny Pereira addressed the problem directly by having Mosaic engineering and other senior executives talk to carriers in meetings about what was being done to prevent the issues from reoccurring.

Armed with this information, Pereira was able to leverage data analytics and make an argument for the importance of the facility to negotiate a rate reduction that exceeded benchmarking data.

“Manny understands our business and how we are focused on implementing loss control improvements to reduce the risk of loss,” said Michael R. Bishop, director, risk management.

“He articulates that very well to underwriters, so that he can get the best deal possible for Mosaic.”

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“During a debated claim, Manny was instrumental in us obtaining a very favorable outcome and quick pay by the insurers,” said Benji Holt, corporate risk and insurance manager, Bridgestone.

“His level of knowledge and detail on property policy wording and loss control are unequaled.”

“Manny Pereira did a fantastic job this year,” said another client. “He made some commitments during the RFP process that were very impressive.”

Growing with the Times

Brian Pfund, RPLU
Vice President
Marsh, Portland, Ore.

A client’s business model shifted from being hardware-focused to software-focused, which changed the client’s exposures. As a result, a manuscripted errors and omissions policy became necessary to ensure they were properly insured.

Marsh’s Brian Pfund negotiated full limits to the client’s once-sublimited E&O/cyber coverage, while improving language and reducing premium.

But the “true solution to the challenge” was Pfund’s additional insight into how the market’s appetite for cyber risk shifted throughout the year given the evolving nature of the exposure —  supplemented with analytics, benchmarking, third party assessments, modeling and quantification.

With a more holistic view of the client’s risk and mitigation strategies, the client now has several E&O/cyber program structures that can be immediately executed.

“Brian has been a huge help in helping to educate our decision makers about the changing complexity of our insurance policy and how we needed to make decisions about increasing coverage,” the client said.

“Brian has saved us money on our cyber liability policy,” said the director, global risk management, at an outdoor apparel manufacturer.

“Last year he was able to secure broader coverage in a year that we had filed a claim 21 days before the policy renewed. Brian was able to convince the underwriter to maintain the renewal terms they had previously offered.”

A D&O Expert

Chris Rafferty
Managing Director
Aon, Chicago

A new client had a dual board and a complex organizational structure that necessitated a revisit of its management liability insurance.

Chris Rafferty and his team determined specific areas for potential enhancements to the client’s existing D&O policy by providing insight into the probability of a claim, estimates of the largest exposures the client could potentially face, as well as a client peer analysis of programs where a controlling shareholder and a unique program structure were present.

Ultimately, Rafferty and his team were able to build two D&O programs to address the dual-board structure, negotiating the necessary language to ensure coordination across the two towers at a price that was less than the expiring program.

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“Chris Rafferty is a very professional individual who I believe continues to gain in knowledge in the area where he’s an expert,” said the risk manager at a manufacturer of nitrogen products. “That up-to-date knowledge in the marketplace benefits clients.”

“Chris Rafferty is fantastic,” said the risk manager at a company that provides advanced engineering and manufacturing solutions. “On a personal level he has a superb personality, and on a professional level, nobody knows D&O better than he does.”

“Chris Rafferty is very knowledgeable about the programs he manages for us,” said the risk manager at an aviation manufacturer. “He is very action-oriented and responsive and has a balanced relationship with the insurers and his insured.”

Leader in Reducing Rates

Galo Santana
Commercial Insurance Broker
Aon, Morristown, N.J.

Galo Santana had concerns about the frequency and severity of losses within a client’s workers’ compensation program. The client’s auto insurance policy reflected loss activity as well.

The major renewal challenges were the client’s operations and adverse loss history; it was emerging as a loss-leader for carriers. Workers’ comp and auto insurers sought rate increases.

Santana approached nine carriers including the incumbent. Due to an intense marketing effort, he was able to overcome the obstacles presented at renewal and provide the client with a very competitive renewal offering. He was able to negotiate approximately 10 percent savings overall.

For Acosta Inc.’s property insurance renewal, Santana approached 11 carriers, including the incumbent. Most insurers could not be competitive on the target rate due to CAT exposure and COPE (construction, occupancy, protection and exposure) concerns or had difficulties matching the expiring limits.

However, as result of the marketing effort, Santana was successful in reducing the property account rate by over 38 percent and received numerous program enhancements.

“Galo is very diligent,” said Theresa McLaughlin, director risk management.

“We have about 190 properties, some outside the U.S., as we do a lot of acquisitions. Galo keeps us up-to-date on what assets are moving and what assets need to be reduced. He stays on top of his game and works to get the right information to us.”

Sealing the Deal

Dan Schoenberg
Managing Director
Aon, New York

An Aon client’s deal for a competitor was in jeopardy due to a potential $175 million tax exposure: Certain employees of the competitor owned profits interests, and the client was concerned that, after the acquisition tax, authorities would argue the competitor should have withheld employment taxes.

Dan Schoenberg worked with the client’s law firm and accounting firm to draft the tax advice that would be provided to the carriers for underwriting purposes.

He designed the insurance program, obtained five quotes for the client, negotiated the key points in the winning carrier’s policy and spearheaded the extensive due diligence process between the client and the carrier, closing the program under the client’s budget.

The client paid 20 percent less than anticipated with no retention.

The policy covered potential U.S. federal and state income taxes, plus interest, penalties and defense costs. The policy also provided a “gross-up” for the tax owed on any proceeds received by the client under the policy.

The client got a full wrap of the exposure, which allowed its transaction to receive Board approval.

“Dan Schoenberg provides great service and pays attention to detail,” said the vice president, accounting, at a pharmaceutical company.

“We approached him about the coverage we needed, and he was able to deliver a product that fit our needs, which helped us out in a very challenging time when we needed to deliver on a project.”

Keeping Risks on Radar

Christian Wise
Senior Vice President
Aon, Boston

An Aon client signed an agreement to upgrade, maintain and monitor radar installations along the Arctic Circle. The challenge? Broker Christian Wise was to determine the appropriate cost of property insurance.

The installations were in remote locations and lacked adequate fire protection — one had burned to the ground, resulting in a $20 million loss. The initial cost to incorporate this exposure into the global property program was roughly $1.8 million dollars, eradicating any anticipated profit.

A loss control engineer traveled to the remote locations — complete with protective gear and a shotgun to ward off polar bears — assessing their value, which was nearly half of what was provided.

Wise and his team drafted a coverage form meeting the requirements of the contract, including broad coverage.

The team took advantage of the Aon Client Treaty in London that provides additional capacity of 20 percent to a line slip. They met with key London markets and placed a separate policy for additional savings. The original premium cost was ultimately reduced by $1.3 million.

“Chris Wise and his team have been responsive to our growing needs and challenges — combined with their client focus and industry relationships, they are truly assets and help make my job easier,” said the director of risk management at a company that provides wireless communications infrastructure.

The complete list of 2018 Power Broker® winners can be found here.

Finalists:

Robert Foote
President
Frank H. Furman Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.

Marcus Henthorn, CLCS
Area Vice President
Gallagher, Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Christopher Mee
Assistant Vice President
Aon, Chicago

Thomas Sewell
Brokering Executive
Wells Fargo, Atlanta

James Shih, ARM
Managing Director
Krauter & Company, San Francisco

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

In the Fast-Paced World of Retail, This Risk Manager Strives to Mitigate Risks Proactively and Keep Senior Leaders Informed

Janine Kral works to identify and mitigate risks, building strong partnerships with leaders and ensuring they see her as support rather than a blocker. 
By: | October 29, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

My very first paid job was working on my uncle’s ranch in British Columbia in the summers. He had cattle, horses and grapes — an unusual combo. But my first real job out of college was as a multi-line claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

Right out of college I applied for a job that turned out to be a claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual. I accepted because they were offering six weeks of training in Southern California, and at the time that sounded really fun. I spent about three years at Liberty Mutual and then I spent a short period of time at a smaller regional insurance company that hired me to start a workers’ compensation claims administration program.

I was hired at Nordstrom as the Washington Region Risk Manager, which was my first job in risk management. When I started at Nordstrom, the risk management department had about five people, and over the years it has grown to about 75. I’ve been vice president for 11 years.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

I would say that technology has probably been the biggest change. When I started many years ago, it was all paper and no RMIS.

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R&I: What risks does the retail industry face that are unique?

We deal with a lot of people — employees and customers. With physical brick and mortar settings, there are the unique exposures with people moving in and out in a public environment. And of course, with ecommerce, we have a lot of customer and employee data, which creates cyber risk — which is not necessarily a unique risk in today’s environment.

R&I: Can you describe your approach to working with senior leaders and front-line staff alike to further risk management initiatives?

It starts with keeping the pulse of what’s happening with the business. Retail moves really fast. In order to identify and mitigate risks proactively, we identify top risk areas and topics, and then we ensure that we have strong partnerships with the leaders responsible for those areas. Trust is critical, ensuring that leaders see us as a support rather than a blocker.

R&I: What role does technology play in your company’s approach to risk management?

Janine Kral, claims adjuster, Nordstrom

We have an internal risk management information system that all of our locations report events into — every type of incident is reported, whether insured or uninsured. Most of these events are managed internally by risk management, and our guidelines require that prevention be analyzed on each one. Having all event data in one system allows us to use the data for trending and also helps us better predict what may happen in the future, and who we need to work with to mitigate risks.

R&I: What advice might you give to students or other aspiring risk managers?

My son is a sophomore in college, and I tell him and his friends all the time not to rule out insurance as a career opportunity. My advice is to cast a wide net and do your homework. Research all the different types of opportunities. Read a lot — articles, industry magazines, LinkedIn. Be proactive and reach out to people you find interesting and ask them about their careers. Don’t be shy and wait for people and opportunities to come to you. Ask questions. Build networks. Be curious and keep an open mind.

R&I: What are your goals for the next five to 10 years of your career?

I have always been passionate about continuous improvement. I want to continue to find ways to add value to my company and to this industry.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

My favorite book is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a true story about a man who was in prison in Australia after being convicted of armed robbery, and he escaped to India. While in India, he passed himself off as a doctor in a slum. It’s a really interesting story, because this is a convicted criminal who ends up helping others. I am not always successful in getting others to read the book because it’s 1,000 pages and definitely a commitment.

R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?

Fiorella’s in Newton, Massachusetts. Great Italian food and a great overall experience.

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R&I: What is your favorite drink?

“Sister Carol.” I have no idea what is in it, and I can only get it at a local bar in Seattle. It’s green but it’s delicious.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

Skydiving. Not tandem and without any sort of communication from the ground. Scary standing on a wing of a plane, but very peaceful once the chute opened, slowly floating down by myself.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

I can’t think of one individual person. For me, the real heroes are people who have a positive attitude in the face of adversity. People who are resilient no matter what life brings them.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

It’s rewarding to help solve problems and help people. I am proud of the support that my team provides others. &




Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]