2222222222

2017 Power Broker

Aviation

The ‘Go-To’ Broker

Michael Calhoun
Managing Director
Aon, Chicago

Michael Calhoun is my “go-to guy for aerospace-related business,” said the vice president of administration of an aircraft manufacturer. Calhoun’s work, he said, is “extraordinarily creative” and the broker is always available whenever “a peculiar or unusual” issue might arise.

Calhoun, who is also Midwest region manager, took a lead role in negotiating and placing an aviation firm’s comprehensive insurance program after an acquisition by private equity. He also worked closely with an aircraft manufacturer through the development, testing and certification of a new airplane. And he helped a start-up drone manufacturer with a program that satisfied the demands of the company’s key vendor.

Advertisement




“For me, it’s a one-man show,” said Tracy Seabaugh, director of insurance at StandardAero. “I rely on brokers a lot and he has exceeded my expectations. Our last renewal was rather complex and there were some decisions we had to make. There were some tough conversations Mike had to have with underwriters.”

“With Mike,” said Ken Ross, president of One Aviation, “you get much more personalized service than the cookie-cutter approach that many brokers take. He’s very good at creating solutions to save premium dollars and broadening the coverage we originally had.

“As a customer, I am fairly demanding,” Ross said.

“I won’t support somebody who doesn’t really deserve it. Mike really does care about his customers.”

Going Above and Beyond

Bradley Meinhardt
Area President
Arthur J. Gallagher, Las Vegas

“There’s an old saying: People can move mountains with their attitudes. Brad always has a tremendous attitude,” said Joseph Seitz, president of Chandelle Investment Corp., speaking about Bradley Meinhardt, who is also managing director of aviation.

Last year, Chandelle contracted to acquire a brand new aircraft, requiring a “substantial amount of coordination,” he said.

“There were so many parties involved. Brad did a yeoman’s job. Even at the last minute there were calls from attorneys associated with the lenders. He just handled it.”

Mike Quinn, CEO of Asia Pacific Airlines Inc. until his recent retirement, said that Meinhardt “has always been particularly attentive to our business even though I think we are probably on the smaller side of his clients. We’ve had any number of insurance issues over the years that he’s been deeply involved with to our benefit. We like him — a lot.”

When the airline recently added a 757 freighter, it required a substantial increase in coverage, and policy changes to comply with the requirements of various airports and agencies, Quinn said. Meinhardt handled the challenges with persistence and poise.

“He is always going above and beyond,” said John Buch, president, Maverick Aviation Group, “and that’s why we have stuck with him and not looked at anyone else.”

Whether it’s familiarizing underwriters with the company, finding gaps in coverage, simplifying the renewal process, attention to detail or being available for questions, Meinhardt “is always there,” Buch said.

Part of the Team

Nicholas Pooley, ACII (UK)
Senior Vice President
Marsh, New York

Whether it’s helping with contract negotiations or devising innovative solutions for cutting-edge aerospace applications, Nicholas Pooley gets the job done.

Clients applaud his talent for designing creative risk transfer solutions — even for risks that are still largely experimental.

Armed with considerable aerospace expertise, he works with forward-thinking underwriters that are open to the potential of the projects and agree to provide flexible and competitive coverage solutions.

“To me, the perfect broker is someone who takes time to know your company, to understand it and how we do business, has a great relationship with the markets and is responsive to our risks,” said the senior risk manager of a major technology company.

Advertisement




“As we explore new and innovative technology, it’s incredibly important to have a broker who is engaged and understanding of privacy concerns,” she said.

Karen Kraus, global risk manager of Moog Inc., said Pooley “has been a great support.” Pooley aided her team and the company’s legal department on “some very contentious contract negotiations” as the components company dealt with contract demands from its much-larger customers.

“I view Nick as an extension of our small risk management department. It’s as if he is an employee with us. He pays attention to our company news. Sometimes, he brings things to my attention before anyone else does,” Kraus said.

Taking the Lead

Richard Terlecki, CPCU, ARM, ARe
Area Senior Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher, Orlando, Fla.

Clients depend on Rich Terlecki to protect their interests.

“He never tries to sell insurance,” said Stephen Duarte, director of fiscal services for Kent County, Mich. “He lays out what the problems are and some things you want to consider. If issues come up, he’s there to give you an honest answer.”

In 2016, the Gerald R. Ford Aviation Authority split off from its prior owner, Kent County, Mich. In a win-win situation, Terlecki kept the authority and county on the same insurance program.

That allowed the authority to secure the coverage it needed, which would have been impossible on a stand-alone basis. In the same stroke, the county took advantage of a highly protected property rate, which it stood to lose if the authority was not part of the program.

For Harold Blattie, executive director of Montana Association of Counties, Terlecki ensured a large claim got paid even though the property schedule listed the wrong address.

“Rich was all over that before we even knew that had happened,” said Blattie.

Terlecki also figured out how to cost-effectively procure builder’s risk and owner’s professional indemnity coverage for two successive billion-dollar capital improvement plans for an aviation authority.

“These were very complicated procurements with lots of coverage issues,” said an authority official.

“Rich took the lead and simplified it from our end.”

A Valuable Colleague

Lou Timpanaro
Senior Managing Director
Crystal & Company, New York

“You don’t get a chance to brag about the good people that often,” said Jim Tolzien, CEO of Eastern Air Lines.

But for Lou Timpanaro, he was more than willing.

“Even though Eastern Air Lines is an old brand, it was only resurrected 18 months ago. As a startup, Lou Timpanaro and Crystal & Company got the insurance markets to embrace us almost from the beginning. He has proven to be as valuable to us as anyone I can think of,” Tolzien said.

More recently, Timpanaro broached the idea of doing an early cancellation and a longer policy term to get ahead of a market that was expected to tighten, he said.

Advertisement




“He was successful reducing premium almost 25 percent and renewing for an 18-month period of time,” Tolzien said. “I could not be happier.”

The CFO of a large private jet operator said Timpanaro “has earned his stripes with us,” noting that the company owns and operates 40-plus aircraft, has a fleet portfolio of nearly 1,000 aircraft and more than 5,000 clients.

Managing the insurance certifications and the required standards and qualifications is “very manually intensive,” he said.

“We are ultra-competitive,” the CFO said. “His peers are constantly trying to convince us to shift our business. The fact that he has retained us for 10 years or longer is a testament to his capabilities.”

Creative and Proactive

Ed Wagner
Senior Vice President
Marsh, Chicago

Ed Wagner “takes a super creative and proactive approach,” said the vice president of risk management at a national casino operation that operates multiple airplanes as well as drones.

“He took multiple policies, removed some gaps and condensed them into one aviation policy,” she said. “That improved coverage consistency, contract certainty and actually reduced cost in the process and increased my limits.”

“When I have an urgent request, like we have done twice this year, he’s left in the middle of his dinner to go back to his hotel room, pull up the policy and help us out,” she said.

Sally Buxman, senior manager, insurance, corporate, at AECOM, relies on Wagner’s guidance for her engineering company’s “weird aviation-related projects.”

“We use drones to go to remote places in Northwest Canada Territory and even subway tunnels in New York,” she said. “Ed knows the nuances of which carriers and markets and programs are best suited so we can get the broadest coverage at the best price.”

AECOM used to be challenged when allocating insurance premium costs for refurbishing or maintaining aircraft for federal projects, but Wagner created a spreadsheet that gave the company insight into the costs, Buxman said.

Wagner shines, she said, in getting the company the capacity and coverage AECOM needs. He was also able to put together a master program that put many of the company’s projects under one policy.

Finalist:

John Geisen
Senior Vice President, Aviation Practice Group
Aon Risk Solutions, Minneapolis

 

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

2018 Risk All Stars

Stop Mitigating Risk. Start Conquering It Like These 2018 Risk All Stars

The concept of risk mastery and ownership, as displayed by the 2018 Risk All Stars, includes not simply seeking to control outcomes but taking full responsibility for them.
By: | September 14, 2018 • 3 min read

People talk a lot about how risk managers can get a seat at the table. The discussion implies that the risk manager is an outsider, striving to get the ear or the attention of an insider, the CEO or CFO.

Advertisement




But there are risk managers who go about things in a different way. And the 2018 Risk All Stars are prime examples of that.

These risk managers put in gear their passion, creativity and perseverance to become masters of a situation, pushing aside any notion that they are anything other than key players.

Goodyear’s Craig Melnick had only been with the global tire maker a few months when Hurricane Harvey dumped a record amount of rainfall on Houston.

Brilliant communication between Melnick and his new teammates gave him timely and valuable updates on the condition of manufacturing locations. Melnick remained in Akron, mastering the situation by moving inventory out of the storm’s path and making sure remediation crews were lined up ahead of time to give Goodyear its best leg up once the storm passed and the flood waters receded.

Goodyear’s resiliency in the face of the storm gave it credibility when it went to the insurance markets later that year for renewals. And here is where we hear a key phrase, produced by Kevin Garvey, one of Goodyear’s brokers at Aon.

“The markets always appreciate a risk manager who demonstrates ownership,” Garvey said, in what may be something of an understatement.

These risk managers put in gear their passion, creativity and perseverance to become masters of a situation, pushing aside any notion that they are anything other than key players.

Dianne Howard, a 2018 Risk All Star and the director of benefits and risk management for the Palm Beach County School District, achieved ownership of $50 million in property storm exposures for the district.

With FEMA saying it wouldn’t pay again for district storm losses it had already paid for, Howard went to the London markets and was successful in getting coverage. She also hammered out a deal in London that would partially reimburse the district if it suffered a mass shooting and needed to demolish a building, like what happened at Sandy Hook in Connecticut.

2018 Risk All Star Jim Cunningham was well-versed enough to know what traditional risk management theories would say when hospitality workers were suffering too many kitchen cuts. “Put a cut-prevention plan in place,” is the traditional wisdom.

But Cunningham, the vice president of risk management for the gaming company Pinnacle Entertainment, wasn’t satisfied with what looked to him like a Band-Aid approach.

Advertisement




Instead, he used predictive analytics, depending on his own team to assemble company-specific data, to determine which safety measures should be used company wide. The result? Claims frequency at the company dropped 60 percent in the first year of his program.

Alumine Bellone, a 2018 Risk All Star and the vice president of risk management for Ardent Health Services, faced an overwhelming task: Create a uniform risk management program when her hospital group grew from 14 hospitals in three states to 31 hospitals in seven.

Bellone owned the situation by visiting each facility right before the acquisition and again right after, to make sure each caregiving population was ready to integrate into a standardized risk management system.

After consolidating insurance policies, Bellone achieved $893,000 in synergies.

In each of these cases, and in more on the following pages, we see examples of risk managers who weren’t just knocking on the door; they were owning the room. &

_________________________________________________________________

Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, clarity of vision and passion.

See the complete list of 2018 Risk All Stars.

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]