2017 Power Broker

Financial Services

No Jargon, Just Action

Edward Conlon
Senior Vice President
Aon, New York

Edward Conlon became the broker of a registered investment adviser and a related broker-dealer after a spinoff and merger at the holding company level.

Despite a difficult loss history on the broker-dealer side, Conlon saved the combined entity 55 percent on its premium by showing carriers how the client improved its controls, including terminating problematic employees.

He was also able to get a carrier to reverse a claim denial dating back to before Conlon had taken on the account. The carrier ultimately contributed a significant sum of the applicable limit toward settlement.

Advertisement




Ken Rizzuto, vice president, risk management, at iHeartMedia Inc., said that he oversees an “extremely complex” D&O program that services elements of a public and private company with two boards of directors and 23 layers of coverage.

“Each year, Ed has put together a very comprehensive program with all the coverage enhancements that the market has to offer,” Rizzuto said. “Ed’s keen familiarity and good relations with the markets allow him to assemble the best program at the best price for his clients.”

“He’s able to explain complicated issues, bringing it to the level of an average accountant,” said a director of accounting operations at a financial services software firm. “When I’m talking to him, I don’t feel like I’m talking to an insurance agent — no jargon.”

Enthusiastic and Determined

Craig Glendinning
Senior Vice President
Marsh, London

Craig Glendinning developed Marsh’s commodity document fraud (CDF) policy last year in response to client demand following the $1.4 billion Qingdao port fraud in China in 2014, which involved the use of metals for collateral. The new policy addresses the lack of coverage provided by traditional fraud policies, by insuring organizations against financial loss sustained when accepting fraudulent title documents and receipts from clients or third-party vendors.

The CDF policy was developed in close collaboration with a number of Marsh’s U.K. and U.S. commodities industry clients, and is now being purchased by organizations in the banking and trading sector. Clients seeking to expand into emerging markets are particularly interested in the new product.

Advertisement




“Craig helped us develop a bespoke insurance solution that was aligned precisely to the risk that we were trying to mitigate,” said Emily Jenner, head of insurable operational risk at Standard Chartered Bank. “He went over and above to ensure he understood the issue and worked hard to get the best possible solution from the insurance market. As a result of Craig’s enthusiasm and determination, the bank now benefits [from] an insurance policy that helps reduce what we consider to be one of our top five risks.”

“Craig is a tremendous partner,” said Kevin Nye, senior vice president at Royal Bank of Canada. “He is client-oriented, understands the industry and market, and is always focused on value-added solutions and approaches — I can’t say enough about him.”

Superior Service

Craig Goesel
Senior Vice President
Alliant/Mesirow Insurance, Chicago

One of Craig Goesel’s regional bank clients wanted to obtain full-limit coverage for the type of social engineering scams that involve executive impersonation, but carriers were reluctant to provide a substantial limit for the exposure.

Goesel convinced carriers to meet at the bank’s “wire room” to understand its loss prevention measures, enabling carriers to gain a high level of comfort with the bank’s controls. He also helped the bank strategize ways to improve its risk profile, which resulted in an offer of a full-limit program for crime insurance, including full limits for social engineering/executive impersonation theft.

The day after the renewal presentation, the bank announced it was to be acquired by a large international bank. Goesel leveraged his relationships with the carriers to ensure that the favorable renewal terms previously negotiated were not invalidated.

Advertisement




Michael Saturley, director of the treasurer’s office at the National Futures Association, said that Goesel was on hand at NFA’s underwriting renewal meeting, the same day that all of its carriers dropped their coverage after the “Wall Street Journal” published an unfavorable article on it.

“Craig was able to find in a timely manner new coverage for us, and each year since that event, he has worked to rebuild our professional liability program to a sound program,” Saturley said.

“He has been able to aggressively market the program and get competitive bids.”

Comfortable With Complexity

Alex Muralles
Senior Vice President, FINEX
Willis Towers Watson, Chicago

After analyzing the management liability program of Robert W. Baird, a wealth management and private equity firm based in Dana Point, Calif., Alex Muralles identified several program deficiencies including outdated exclusions, a tie-in of limits across all lines, and a narrow regulatory claims investigations trigger.

Muralles worked with a new carrier to manuscript a policy that incorporated the existing policy language of Baird’s incumbent carrier, with the addition of proposed enhancements and the broader terms of both carrier policies.

The customized policy removed tie-in limits, increased the aggregate from $10 million to $40 million, broadened notice provisions, and expanded regulatory investigations coverage.

Advertisement




Muralles saved Baird 20 percent in premiums and negotiated a two-year policy paid in annual installments with a refreshed aggregate — not typically offered for errors and omissions policies.

“We have very complex businesses and he’s been able to help us through the complexities of transferring risk and protecting the firm,” said Angela Johnson, Baird’s insurance risk manager.

“Alex provides unmatched, outstanding service on a regular basis,” said Heather Myerscough, corporate insurance director at Huntington Bank.

“We’re not just an account to him, he really cares about how the bank works and what the bank needs.”

Providing Fantastic Results

Phil Norton
Vice Chairman, Midwest Region
Arthur J. Gallagher, Chicago

One of Phil Norton’s clients, a global insurance company recovering from the fallout of the financial crisis, is striving to be leaner, smarter and more efficient.

Norton and his team were tasked with reducing the client’s premiums at the same time the company fully collected on significant outstanding claims.

The brokers demonstrated to the program’s carriers the operational improvements and reductions in risk achieved by the client. They then convinced the carriers to buy into multiple years of large premium decreases as part of a new level setting of the overall risk metric.

Norton was personally involved in working with one carrier that had not fully reserved a significant claim and was questioning the amount. Norton took the issue all the way up to the carrier’s chief executive, who then fast-tracked the claim payment.

Advertisement




“One of the values Phil brings is extensive benchmark analysis,” said the client. “He will factor in not only what peers are maintaining in limits and retentions, but he’ll also factor in our claims experience, as well as industry claims experience. Because of his Ph.D. and actuarial experience, he gives us a much more robust analysis than the average broker.”

“Phil went above and beyond for us when we had a disagreement over the value of a claim with an insurance carrier,” said a risk manager of an insurance company in the Midwest. “He was able to bring a creative approach that gave us a fantastic result and made our CEO happy.”

Fighting for His Clients

Eric Seyfried
Senior Vice President
Aon, New York

Last year, Eric Seyfried was presented with the most challenging renewal of his career as a professional liability broker. His client agreed to a nine-figure settlement with the California Public Employee Retirement System over allegedly inflated ratings on residential-mortgage bond deals.

By presenting detailed analyses of profitability, and pulling in other lines of coverage sold to the client by the carriers, Seyfried and his team convinced the markets to accept a longer “payback” horizon and crafted a complex multiyear deal that involved various “out” triggers for both parties. The client was able to obtain full continuity with all its incumbent carriers with no increase in premium.

Advertisement




“I’ve always had a very good team at Aon who have managed my risks very well,” said the risk manager for the client. “With the addition of Eric to the team, I now have the benefit of a new perspective — someone who has added value with his ability to think outside of the box to develop solutions to unique problems that arise.”

“Eric has incredible attention to detail and is very responsive,” said Maria Diaz, risk manager at Xerox. “He’s also extremely strategic. He’s my right-hand person when it comes to this line of coverage, which is currently a challenging line for us.”

“Eric provides good guidance and he puts our concerns in front of the carrier, and fights for us to get better coverage and lower premiums,” said Le Andra Holly, senior manager, risk management, at Staples.

Finalists:

Vincent Flood
Eastern Region Property Practice Leader
Aon, New York

Nick Kalist
Managing Director
Aon, St. Louis

Eileen Yuen
Managing Director, National Practice Leader, Financial Institutions
Arthur J. Gallagher, Whippany, N.J.

Matt Kupiec
Vice President, FINEX
Willis Towers Watson, New York

Philip Dunn
Vice President
Aon
Philadelphia

 

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Workers' Comp

Keeping Workers on Their Feet

Slip and fall prevention programs must interweave all of the factors contributing to the risk.
By: | July 6, 2017 • 11 min read

If you peruse the last decade’s worth of literature from the CDC, NIOSH, or numerous other agencies or organizations, you’re bound to come across the “good news” that slips, trips and falls are largely preventable.

Advertisement




So it’s frustrating, then, that slip, trip and fall injuries consistently account for more than a quarter of all nonfatal occupational injuries, and at least 65 percent of those injuries happen on same-level walking surfaces. And those figures just don’t budge all that much from year to year.

According to the “2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index,” falls on same level currently rank as the second highest cause of disabling injuries in the U.S., with direct costs of $10.17 billion, accounting for 16.4 percent of the total national injury burden.

“Not only are they still happening often, but they tend to be very significant injuries,” said Mike Lampl, director of research at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

“We’ve seen these trends grow over the years,” said Wayne Maynard, product director, risk control, with Liberty Mutual. “Bottom line is, it’s a real, real big problem.”

So why are preventable falls so hard to prevent? This stubborn status quo, say experts, is that the causes of slips and trips are typically far more complex than they seem. There are nearly always multiple factors in play, from footwear and flooring and the interplay of both, to cleaning procedures, lighting, housekeeping, weather, and workers’ mental or physical conditions as well as overall awareness.

And all of these factors are being exacerbated by the fact that incidents often go unreported.

“Slips, falls — people get up, move on, they don’t report it,” said Maynard.

“When somebody’s injured and files a claim — in the workers’ arena, how many are behind the scenes that may have happened that are not reportable? …. The unreported number is considerable in my opinion.”

The key to making any headway in reducing slips and falls on the same surface, say experts, is to have a comprehensive fall prevention plan that addresses all possible factors. No small task.

Engineering Solutions

Flooring conditions are often the most obvious starting point. Ideally, said Maynard, all the right choices are made at the planning and design stage. But sometimes mistakes are made, and in other cases, a business may be inheriting an older space with floor chosen for a different purpose.

Patricia Showerman, senior loss control consultant, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

So even flooring in good condition may be the wrong type of material and may not have the necessary coefficient of friction (slip resistance) needed for the work being done.

If companies want to drill down into all the details of the surfaces in their facilities, a friction coefficient study is always an option, said Patricia Showerman, senior loss control consultant at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

But if a company doesn’t want to take that step, she said, it may be a simpler matter of saying, “Let’s look at what you’ve got. Let’s look at your floor surfaces and how you’re maintaining them.”

A lot of people want that “shiny grocery store glam look,” she said. “And if you can do it properly, and maintain it properly and keep that coefficient of friction and have the shiny look, that’s great. That’s what everybody wants but how do they get there?”

Certain surfaces may start out with an adequate coefficient of friction when they’re clean and dry. But add even an invisible layer of dust or debris, “and it’s like microscopic little BBs that you slide across,” said Showerman. “So if you have dust on your floor, you are dramatically reducing your slip coefficient.”

For companies that do have flooring surfaces in need of improvement, ripping up the floor and replacing it isn’t typically a feasible option. Fortunately there are more budget-friendly ways to get the maximum slip resistance from existing flooring, such as coatings and etchings.

A coating adds a microscopic layer on top of the flooring that creates a grip surface while maintaining the shine. Showerman likened the effect to the way that Velcro fasteners work.

“You want that hook effect … sharp points are going to microscopically stick into the soles of your shoes, rather than rolling off the top.”

Etching can work in a similar way, chemically altering the existing surface to make it imperceptibly gritty. Etching can also be used to create pores in an existing surface, which is useful for areas such as machine shops, she said.

Be Smart With Surfactants

While keeping floor surfaces clean is one of the best ways to remove slip and fall hazards, cleaning them the wrong way can actually do more harm than good.

Failure to follow appropriate cleaning procedures can severely diminish a surface’s coefficient of friction.

Experts suggest that companies engage with their chemical suppliers, and discuss their flooring as well as the types of dirt or grease removal and disinfectant needs. Detergents – which can contain different types of surfactants — aren’t a one size fits all solution.

Advertisement




Sometimes purchasers might be inclined to try to cover all their bases by buying the strongest product on the market, but that might mean adding unnecessary surfactants that make surfaces less slip resistant.

“Clearly identify the types of surfaces you’re using it for, the type of oil or dirt or debris you have, and whether or not you need a sanitizing step,” said Showerman.

“You’ve got to find the right balance.”

But that’s only half the battle. A significant problem experts see time and time again is that companies don’t understand how their flooring is being maintained on a day-to-day basis by front-line employees. Failure to follow appropriate cleaning procedures can severely diminish a surface’s coefficient of friction.

“This is where you’re seeing someone with a mop and bucket and they are just re-smearing that grease from one place to another. They put the dirty mop in the dirty bucket, the mop gets full of that emulsified grease and you’re smearing it across the room. In high grease areas, you have to replace with clean water consistently.”

In other cases, a worker without the proper training may grab the first detergent he finds, even if it’s meant for the equipment rather than the floor. Or perhaps he mixes equal parts detergent and water when he was supposed to only use 8 oz. of detergent for every five gallons of water.
Sometimes people will even over-concentrate the detergent on purpose, she added.

Peter Koch, safety management specialist, The MEMIC Group

“I see that in the food industry frequently,” said Showerman. “They find that the more detergent they leave on the floor, the easier it is to clean up next time … but then everyone’s slipping and falling like in a cartoon.”

A company could invest a significant amount in flooring improvements, only to have the benefits undone by improper detergent use or failure to follow recommended rinsing procedures.

It’s incumbent upon safety managers to reinforce that maintaining floor surfaces isn’t just a matter of housekeeping, but a key part of the company’s workplace safety program.

The Human Factor

When you’ve done everything possible to address hazards in the physical work environment, workers themselves remain the wildcard. Most employers routinely include slip and fall hazards in their safety awareness training or toolbox talk programs. But that training should go well beyond a general “watch where you walk” message, say experts.

“One of the most overlooked parts for employee safety is actually employee training,” said Peter Koch, safety management specialist at  The MEMIC Group.

“How do you train an employee to not slip and fall? I think many times that is wrapped in a “you have to be more careful” message, which is valid but nebulous and not very helpful — it means something different to everyone based on your risk tolerance as an individual.”

Koch’s employee training regimen revolves around four elements: surfaces, awareness, footwear and environment (SAFE).

Advertisement




The first goal of the surface portion is just to get employees to start thinking about the different types of surfaces they walk on and how it can change throughout the work day. Koch said he likes to ask: “How many different types of surfaces did you have to walk on the get to this training room?”

The footwear piece of it is the most straightforward. Are your shoes designed for the work that you’re doing and the surfaces you’re walking on? Are they in good condition? Are the soles worn out?

There is no ASTM standard for measuring the performance of slip-resistant footwear, added Gallagher’s Showerman. So workers should be reminded that wearing the right shoe isn’t a guarantee — it’s just one piece of the solution.

Awareness, said Koch, may be the most challenging piece of the puzzle — helping people to think about their gait, what they’re carrying, what they’re doing, and simply where their heads are at any given moment.

“If you’re thinking about 15 things you have to get done by the end of the day, or you have a particularly challenging employee interaction coming up that day, or you had a fight with your girlfriend last night— or whatever it is — you’re not focused. Then you take that step through the icy patch, and now it relies completely on your athletic ability and luck to stay upright.”

Workers may not necessarily make the connection between personal factors and fall risk. Someone who has an ear infection or is taking certain medications, for example, may not even be aware that their balance might be compromised, putting them at higher risk for a fall.

Employees also should be reminded of how even normal daily stressors can contribute to risk. Everyone is under pressure to deliver more in less time. Everyone is rushing, everyone is stretched to their limits. Add the ever-present cellphone beeping and buzzing and demanding our attention and perhaps it’s a wonder slips and falls don’t happen even more often than they already do.

We’re so conditioned to react when the vibration goes off or the tone chimes in our pockets that we just grab it without thinking, Koch said.

“If you knowingly put yourself at risk by knowingly going quickly through an area with slip and fall exposures, it’s just Russian roulette – at some point you’re going to get broken.” — Peter Koch, safety management specialist, The MEMIC Group.

“Even that, in certain conditions, is going to be enough to put you on the ground.”

Awareness of environmental factors should also be part of the training, Koch said, especially in terms of what workers can’t control, like inclement weather.  He said the main thing he tries to impress upon people is to slow down in a high-risk environment.

“If you knowingly put yourself at risk by knowingly going quickly through an area with slip and fall exposures, it’s just Russian roulette – at some point you’re going to get broken.”

Koch says that getting people to put all of these facets of awareness together is where the training can really click.

The goal is that when they approach an area with a higher-risk surface, employees are thinking “for those few seconds or minutes that I’m going to be walking through it, I need to have a greater sense of awareness, I need to put away the mental [distractions] and focus on what I’m doing – don’t answer your phone, don’t answer your texts.”

Some employers are looking to address the human piece of the slip and fall puzzle by using training that goes far beyond hazard awareness. Active slip-prevention training focuses on body mechanics and teaches workers how to respond when they feel themselves begin to slip.

One such program revolves around the Slip Simulator, technology born of a research partnership between Virginia Tech researchers and UPS. The simulator that creates slippery and hazardous conditions in a controlled environment while participants walk in a harness so they can slip safely. An instructor offers real-time guidance on how to alter their movements to avoid falling.

Advertisement




After mastering the initial technique, trainees face additional challenges related to their specific work environments, such as walking up ramps or turning wheels. A New Mexico security team practiced drawing firearms while standing on the simulator, which led to a change in how they wear their weapons. Workers at an Ohio refinery practiced stepping over pipes and turning large valves.

Clients of the program are reporting 60 to 80 percent reductions in accident rates.

The Road Ahead

A comprehensive slip and fall prevention plan is a must for employers, experts agreed, with clear, consistent procedures that empower employees to be a part of the solution.

“Employees play a very critical role,” said Liberty Mutual’s Maynard. “If they see a slip risk or a slipperiness issue, they need to be able to report it and they need to be able to get that corrected immediately. They have an important role in maintaining a safe facility and reducing risk themselves — be proactive, don’t walk by, clean it up.

“Any time you can involve the employee in solutions …. the likelihood of success of that intervention is higher.”

Maynard added that the best prevention plans will also be forward-looking.

“Understand where current safety performance is. Then make a roadmap to get better,” he said. “Emphasize where you’re doing well,” then identify opportunities to effect improvement, now and over the next three, four or five years.

“Prevention is too often reactive,” Maynard said. “We’ve got an issue and now what do we do? The goal is for companies to be proactive.” &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]