2018 Power Broker


Call Her Maestro

Jenny Charles
Senior Broker
Aon, St. Louis

Jenny Charles is a master at getting the right people together in a room and orchestrating business relationships and deals that wouldn’t happen if each party was singing their own tune.

Says one source, “Jenny orchestrated a meeting between one of her clients and a major firm. It was a win-win for everyone involved.

“The client got an introduction to a company that could write maybe nine lines for them. The credit people in the room got to know her client and become more comfortable with them and left with a better understanding of their needs.”

The result: Charles’ client received preferential consideration and ultimately better credit terms, and the company got to write a whole lot of coverage.


Another client said, “Jenny is extremely knowledgeable, which I feel is built by her experience and dedication. She’s also very customer focused. She makes herself available at a moment’s notice. Even though she is [an] Aon employee, she acts like an ‘arm’ for us and projects our high values.”

“We have tremendous confidence in Jenny, which is key,” said one managing director who sang Charles’ praises.

He added, “Jenny managed the placement of our 2017 umbrella program where she brought a new and creative structure with individual company primary umbrellas and a shared excess, which resulted in tremendous balance sheet protection in addition to year-over-year savings.”

In the Driver’s Seat

Greg Myers
Executive Managing Director
Beecher Carlson, New York

“If you are in the auto insurance industry, you know Greg Myers,” said one client, a director of risk management. “And if you don’t know him, you should.

“Greg has tremendous knowledge, and he works closely with those of us in the risk area of the auto business. He thinks out-of-the-box and has alternative solutions” she added.

One of Myers’ ideas was designed to help manufacturers. “Greg came up with the idea to have a group of manufacturers come together and pool resources across the industry. And he got us

all talking about risk management and sharing information.”

A recent risk solution involved a German original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

The goal was to convert its private label customer insurance program to a self-insured program, which meant leaping over hurdles such as controlling risks, meeting sales goals and developing a product that satisfied the vehicle purchaser and dealers.

Greg got in the driver’s seat and took off! He became part of the client’s risk management team and performed a consulting study. Then he led his client through the program design, program structure, the development of a national sales team and the formation of the captive insurance company and obligor company.

Additionally, Greg led the expansion of cyber and media liability coverage for one OEM and the marketing of cyber liability coverage for yet another OEM.

Look for Myers at RIMS where he’ll once again lead industry discussions.

Manufacturing Cyber Coverage

Carrie Yang, ARM
Assistant Vice President
Aon, Chicago

Bringing property and casualty components into cyber coverage for the manufacturing industry — who knew? Carrie Yang, of course.

“Carrie’s industry knowledge is impressive,” said Lynn Haigler, director, insurance and risk financing, BJC Healthcare.

“We didn’t know a lot about cyber risk and liability, and Carrie has been instrumental in educating us.”

For traditional manufacturing companies, cyber data breach exposure is not where the big risk lives. Instead, property damage, general liability and products liability resulting from cyber incidents are what keeps these risk managers up at night.

But typical cyber policies on the market explicitly exclude property damage and bodily injury, which makes cyber policies less attractive to manufacturers. Yang knew they needed it, and  her team set out to make sure they got it.


Aon’s team developed a new program — entirely manuscript — to address uncovered exposures. Yang and a specially formed Aon team spent a year developing the form, which incorporates property and casualty components into cyber. Yang played a key role in drafting the policy and broking the placement, making Aon a leader in this coverage.

Craig Coluzza, insurance risk manager, AIG, said, “Carrie and I worked on manuscript policy language for weeks. It was difficult enough to create this language, but then she had to negotiate the acceptance of this broad policy language with several insurance carriers.

“I was pleasantly surprised that Carrie was able to maintain the majority of our original policy language after intense negotiations with carriers.”

Guiding His Team and Clients

Bruce Ludwig
Managing Director
Marsh, Chicago

Following a successful outcome of a defensive and offensive RFP, Bruce Ludwig aligned his team to deconstruct a fragmented global liability program and aggressively market to new global carriers. They delivered better coverage at pricing nearly 75 percent below the incumbent terms.

Utilizing Ludwig’s highly consultative approach to client service, the team worked to align the program with other global coverages, ensuring consistency and streamlined administration.

“Bruce is very responsive,” said Marc Brinkschulte, director, corporate risk and insurance management, Robert Bosch, LLC. “You can always reach out to him and get a quick response. He is very familiar with and very interested in a broad spectrum of issues across the automotive and technology industries.”

Ludwig blends a technical knowledge of complex global insurance programs with an intense focus on aligning the client and Marsh service teams to achieve and deliver stretch objectives. Understanding what good and great results look like leads to a thoughtful discussion of what a stretch outcome could possibly be.

Ludwig has 35 years’ experience in the industry and has been an underwriter, product line broker and client executive for the last 22 years. Most of his clients utilize captives as a foundational core of their risk financing strategy and as such, Ludwig helps align clients’ captives into the program efficiently.

Plan More, Worry Less

Kathy Weaver, CIC, CRM
Managing Director
Aon, Southfield, Mich.

Hope for the best and plan for the worst. It is good advice in any industry, but Kathy Weaver is helping clients apply it in the automotive space.

One such example: Weaver was asked by client Delphi to provide an in-depth review of their Mexico facilities from an asset valuation and business interruption perspective.

They found that a critical component of Delphi manufacturers was made at only one location, which meant that a loss or business interruption at that one location could potentially be detrimental to the company as a whole.

“Kathy’s best strength is her customer service. She listens to what I’m looking for and provides well thought out solutions on how to address the particular issue at hand,” said Brian Eichenlaub, Delphi’s treasurer, America, and director of risk management finance.


Weaver and her team also guided another client, a global automotive supplier, through a move abroad.

They helped the client address named insured wording in their policies as well as manage their insurance once the leadership team relocated.

More recently, Weaver and her team assisted the same client with a business interruption analysis post fire loss at one of their Mexico locations.

They procured a $1 million advance, and at press time, they were working to finalize the remaining payment with the adjustor.

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

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Report: Marine

Crewless Ships Raise Questions

Is a remote operator legally a master? New technology confounds old terms.
By: | March 5, 2018 • 6 min read

For many developers, the accelerating development of remote-controlled and autonomous ships represents what could be the dawn of a new era. For underwriters and brokers, however, such vessels could represent the end of thousands of years of maritime law and risk management.

Rod Johnson, director of marine risk management, RSA Global Risk

While crewless vessels have yet to breach commercial service, there are active testing programs. Most brokers and underwriters expect small-scale commercial operations to be feasible in a few years, but that outlook only considers technical feasibility. How such operations will be insured remains unclear.

“I have been giving this a great deal of thought, this sits on my desk every day,” said Rod Johnson, director of marine risk management, RSA Global Risk, a major UK underwriter. Johnson sits on the loss-prevention committee of the International Union of Maritime Insurers.

“The agreed uncertainty that underpins marine insurance is falling away, but we are pretending that it isn’t. The contractual framework is being made less relevant all the time.”

Defining Autonomous Vessels

Two types of crewless vessels are being contemplated. First up is a drone with no one on board but actively controlled by a human at a remote command post on land or even on another vessel.

While some debate whether the controllers of drone aircrafts are pilots or operators, the very real question yet to be addressed is if a vessel controller is legally a “master” under maritime law.


The other type of crewless vessel would be completely autonomous, with the onboard systems making decisions about navigation, weather and operations.

Advocates tout the benefits of larger cargo capacity without crew spaces, including radically different hull designs without decks people can walk on. Doubters note a crew can fix things at sea while a ship cannot.

Rolls-Royce is one of the major proponents and designers. The company tested a remote-controlled tug in Copenhagen in June 2017.

“We think the initial early adopters will be vessels operating on fixed routes within coastal waters under the jurisdiction of flag states,” the company said.

“We expect to see the first autonomous vessel in commercial operation by the end of the decade. Further out, around 2025, we expect autonomous vessels to operate further from shore — perhaps coastal cargo ships. For ocean-going vessels to be autonomous, it will require a change in international regulations, so this will take longer.”

Once autonomous ships are a reality, “the entire current legal framework for maritime law and insurance is done,” said Johnson. “The master has not been replaced; he is just gone. Commodity ships (bulk carriers) would be most amenable to that technology. I’m not overly bothered by fully automated ships, but I am extremely bothered by heavily automated ones.”

He cited two risks specifically: hacking and fire.

“We expect to see the first autonomous vessel in commercial operation by the end of the decade. Further out, around 2025, we expect autonomous vessels to operate further from shore — perhaps coastal cargo ships. For ocean-going vessels to be autonomous, it will require a change in international regulations, so this will take longer.” — Rolls-Royce Holdings study

Andrew Kinsey, senior marine risk consultant, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, asked an even more existential question: “From an insurance standpoint, are we even still talking about a vessel as it is under law? Starting with the legal framework, the duty of a flag state is ‘manning of ships.’ What about the duty to render assistance? There cannot be insurance coverage of an illegal contract.”

Several sources noted that the technological development of crewless ships, while impressive, seems to be a solution in search of a problem. There is no known need in the market; no shippers, operators, owners or mariners advocate that crewless ships will solve their problems.

Kinsey takes umbrage at the suggestion that promotional material on crewless vessels cherry picks his company’s data, which found 75 percent to 90 percent of marine losses are caused by human error.


“Removing the humans from the vessels does not eliminate the human error. It just moves the human error from the helm to the coder. The reports on development by the companies with a vested interest [in crewless vessels] tend to read a lot like advertisements. The pressure for this is not coming from the end users.”

To be sure, Kinsey is a proponent of automation and technology when applied prudently, believing automation can make strides in areas of the supply chains. Much of the talk about automation is trying to bury the serious shortage of qualified crews. It also overshadows the very real potential for blockchain technology to overhaul the backend of marine insurance.

As a marine surveyor, Kinsey said he can go down to the wharf, inspect cranes, vessels and securements, and supervise loading and unloading — but he can’t inspect computer code or cyber security.

New Times, New Risks

In all fairness, insurance language has changed since the 17th century, especially as technology races ahead in the 21st.

“If you read any hull form, it’s practically Shakespearean,” said Stephen J. Harris, senior vice president of marine protection UK, Marsh. “The language is no longer fit for purpose. Our concern specifically to this topic is that the antiquated language talks about crew being on board. If they are not on board, do they still legally count as crew?”

Harris further questioned, “Under hull insurance, and provided that the ship owner has acted diligently, cover is extended to negligence of the master or crew. Does that still apply if the captain is not on board but sitting at a desk in an office?”

Andrew Kinsey, senior marine risk consultant, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Several sources noted that a few international organizations, notably the Comite Maritime International and the International Maritime Organization, “have been very active in asking the legal profession around the world about their thoughts. The interpretations vary greatly. The legal complications of crewless vessels are actually more complicated than the technology.”

For example, if the operational, insurance and regulatory entities in two countries agree on the voyage of a crewless vessel across the ocean, a mishap or storm could drive the vessel into port or on shore of a third country that does not recognize those agreements.

“What worries insurers is legal uncertainty,” said Harris.

“If an operator did everything fine but a system went down, then most likely the designer would be responsible. But even if a designer explicitly accepted responsibility, what matters would be the flag state’s law in international waters and the local state’s law in territorial waters.


“We see the way ahead for this technology as local and short-sea operations. The law has to catch up with the technology, and it is showing no signs of doing so.”

Thomas M. Boudreau, head of specialty insurance, The Hartford, suggested that remote ferry operations could be the most appropriate use: “They travel fixed routes, all within one country’s waters.”

There could also be environmental and operational benefits from using battery power rather than conventional fuels.

“In terms of underwriting, the burden would shift to the manufacturer and designer of the operating systems,” Boudreau added.

It may just be, he suggested, that crewless ships are merely replacing old risks with new ones. Crews can deal with small repairs, fires or leaks at sea, but small conditions such as those can go unchecked and endanger the whole ship and cargo.

“The cyber risk is also concerning. The vessel may be safe from physical piracy, but what about hacking?” &

Gregory DL Morris is an independent business journalist based in New York with 25 years’ experience in industry, energy, finance and transportation. He can be reached at [email protected]