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2018 Power Broker

Fine Arts

The Right Words

Kristina Marcigliano
Senior Account Executive
Risk Strategies/DeWitt Stern, New York

A great broker is not only well-versed in finding the right insurance but can also eloquently explain various coverages and solutions to clients outside the field — no easy task, to be sure.

Such is the case of Kristina Marcigliano.

“Kristina makes the complicated world of insurance easy to understand when she explains it to us lay people,” said Juan Angulo, controller, Bunny Williams Inc., an interior design company.

Earlier this year, Marcigliano sat down with Angulo to review the company’s insurance policies. She pointed out where they had gaps, where they could increase limits and answered questions as they arose.

Gerald Peters Gallery’s registrar Lindsey Lutz, who usually handles the gallery’s renewal process, was out of the office during renewal time this year. One of her colleagues stepped in — but she didn’t typically work with insurance and the jargon that comes with it.

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“Kristina walked my colleague through it and was extremely helpful and informative during the entire process,” Lutz said.

In another instance, another one of Marcigliano’s clients decided to begin a site renovation, turning its studio area into a place for art exhibitions.

“Kristina is there to see if there are any flags that come up that might impact our fine arts insurance,” said Susan Reynolds, director, The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation. Her guidance provides peace of mind in the high-value world of fine art.

A Good Teacher Keeps Learning

Mary Pontillo
Senior Vice President
Risk Strategies/DeWitt Stern, Charlottesville, Va.

Mary Pontillo, DeWitt Stern’s national fine art practice leader, places value in educating her clients on the different types of insurance coverages available to them.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation was debating whether it should change its collection’s storage to a different facility. Pontillo listed the pros and cons of the possible move and was “proactive around brainstorming,” said Christa Blatchford, the foundation’s CEO.

Pontillo also took the time to build a loan and insurance rubric for the foundation, keeping the registrar, executive director, board members and lawyers on the same page during the art lending process.

“It makes the insurance conversation front-end instead of after the fact,” said Blatchford.

And like all good teachers, Pontillo never stops learning: “I was with her at a registrars’ conference,” said Thomas Burns, chief operating officer, The Fortress, which provides storage and transportation for fine art in Boston, Miami and New York. “Mary went to every possible session she could to learn as much as she could.”

One artist who was a client of The Fortress passed away last year, and his children needed to store his work. Burns planned the entire move, but the day before, he found that the family didn’t have insurance for transportation. He called Pontillo.

“Mary didn’t worry about what they didn’t do or what they didn’t have; she focused on the positives,” got the right insurance and had the art transported as planned, he said.

A Passion for Art

Adrienne Reid, CIC
Vice President
Aon/Huntington T. Block, Houston

“Adrienne Reid has a genuine interest in the pieces we have,” said Anne Breckenridge Barrett, director of collections and exhibitions, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

It’s this dedication that convinced the museum to switch to Reid from their previous broker.

And this year, it proved to be the right choice. The museum held a 50-year anniversary celebration while also hosting a temporary Takashi Murakami exhibition at the same time. They had on display some of their most valuable pieces, including an original Andy Warhol.

To have both exhibitions under one roof, the museum needed to increase its policy limits and temporary policy limits. Reid got to work and kept the museum well under budget, negotiating lower premium rates with the underwriter.

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Ricardo Mazal, artist and owner of Ricardo Mazal Inc., had an exhibit in Mexico City. To cross the border, customs agents had to inspect the truck first, which meant they would need to handle the art and repackage it.

“Because of the logistics of the customs agents, it was a short time to work,” Mazal said.

Altogether, $1 million worth of paintings were handled and transported over the border. Few underwriters wanted to cover this high-risk load as it traveled through Mexico.

But Reid persevered.

“Adrienne [was] incredibly helpful; [she] was 24/7. At the end, she was able to have everything in place for us. I can count on her wherever I am with whatever we have.”

Queen of Conservation

Ever Song
Account Executive
Aon/Huntington T. Block, Washington, D.C

To prevent artwork from showing signs of the wear-and-tear of age, art conservationists take the lead in preserving and maintaining these valuable relics from the past.

And behind these conservators is Ever Song.

“I have been working with Ever for many years and couldn’t run my business without her,” said Leslie Gat, president and founder, the Art Conservation Group/Ransick Gat Fine Art Services Inc.

In 2016, she had several large projects moving in and out of the studio, which needed anywhere from $1 million to $3 million in waiver or policy coverage at different moments.

“Ever got me to bump up to half a million dollars in cost of coverage,” said Gat. “She lessened the stress and the cost didn’t go up as much as I thought it would.”

Deborah La Camera and Lorraine Bigrigg, both partners and senior conservators at Studio TKM Associates Inc., run a paper conservation studio where clients often need art procured and stored on the same day.

For instance, a collector of high-value drawings had a water issue in their storage facility and needed the art picked up and brought to the studio immediately. La Camera and Bigrigg called Song, who had to get the coverage in place while the art was transferred and stored at the studio.

“Ever streamlined the process and writes each contract to custom fit that art’s needs as well, showing clients their coverage is custom to their needs,” said La Camera.

Front and Center

Emily Weiss
Senior Account Executive
Risk Strategies/DeWitt Stern, New York

Emily Weiss likes the hands-on approach to insuring art.

When one of her clients needed to store artwork in its basement, Weiss visited with an underwriter to assess the area and any risks it posed to the safety of the pieces, and to come up with some risk mitigation strategies.

The policy in place had a basement flood exclusion, so Weiss suggested where to add water sensors and advised the client how to respond to a flood event. She also got them flood insurance, going above and beyond to secure them additional coverages for tidal waves or drain backups.

After Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, new insurance regulations regarding flood, wind and storm surge were implemented. Weiss’s client, Vito Schnabel Projects, wanted to review these regulations and work towards finding the best plan possible for their needs. Weiss took the reins.

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“Emily’s consultations have expanded my understanding of insurance procedures and requirements, which in turn has significantly improved our company’s coverage,” said Jenna Schneider, registrar.

She noted that, as she works with so many vendors daily, “Emily’s advice and prompt turnaround of information have allowed me to provide the best coverage to our vendors.”

“Everything she does is hands on,” said Edward Mishan, a private art dealer who sells around the world. “She’s efficient. She knows all the details.”

Problem Solver

Casey Wigglesworth
Account Executive
Aon/Huntington T. Block, Washington, D.C

The last call a museum registrar wants to receive is that a drunk driver ran into an outdoor sculpture.

Leah Reeder, registrar, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, unfortunately received that call, learning that a truck was wedged underneath an outdoor piece. Emergency officials were able to pull the truck out, but the sculpture collapsed.

Casey Wigglesworth was immediately brought on board.

“The sculpture was dismantled and sent to California for a little over a year for restoration,” said Reeder. “Casey took the time to work with me to get the piece back to us.”
Now the large sculpture sits in its Indiana home once again.

Another client, Michelle Moskal, assistant registrar, Museum of the American Revolution, detailed a recent move of facilities.

“We couldn’t transport everything all at once,” said Moskal. Their insurance covered up to a certain amount during transport, so Wigglesworth worked out what could be sent via truck together.

“We’re in the midst of an active construction site while remaining operational,” said Mark Ryan, assistant director for collections & exhibitions, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

He said Wigglesworth provided critical insight into how to store art and keep staff and visitors safe during construction, communicating with the university and museum partners and providing information to their underwriters while the museum remained in operation.

Finalist:

Blair Wunderlich
Account Executive
Aon/Huntington T. Block
Washington, D.C.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Management

The Profession

The risk manager for Boyd Gaming Corp. says curiosity keeps him engaged, and continual education will be the key to managing emerging risks.
By: | May 1, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

I was trained as an accountant, worked in public accounting and became a CPA. Being comfortable with numbers is helpful in my current role, and obviously, the language of business is financial statements, so it helps.

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

Working in finance in the corporate environment included the review of budgets and the analysis of business expenses. I quickly found the area of benefits and insurance — and how “accepting risk” impacted those expenses — to be fascinating. I asked a lot of questions. Be careful what you ask for — I soon found myself responsible for those insurance areas and haven’t looked back!

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

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I have found the risk management community to be a close-knit group, whether that’s industry professionals, risk managers with other companies or support organizations like RIMS and other regional groups. The expertise of the carriers and specialty vendors to develop new products and programs, along with the appropriate education, will continue to be of key importance to companies going forward.

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

As I’m sure many in the insurance field would agree, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 changed our world and our industry. It was a particularly intense time and certainly a baptism by fire for people like me who were relatively new to the industry. This event clearly accelerated the switch to the acceptance of more risk, which impacted mitigation strategies and programs.

Bob Berglund, vice president, benefits and insurance, Boyd Gaming Corp.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

The fast-paced threat that cyber security represents today. Our company, like so many companies, is reliant upon computers, software and IT expertise in our everyday existence. This new risk has forged an even stronger relationship between risk management and our IT department as we work together to address this growing threat.

Additionally, the shooting event in Las Vegas in 2017 will have an enduring impact on firms that host large gatherings and arena-style events all over the world, and our company is no exception.

R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?

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With the various types of insurance programs we employ, I have been fortunate to work with most of the large national and international carriers — all of whom employ talented people with a vast array of resources.

R&I:  How much business do you do direct versus going through a broker?

We use brokers for many of our professional coverages, such as property, casualty, D&O and cyber. We are self-insured under our health plans, with close to 25,000 members. We tend to manage those programs internally and utilize direct relationships with carriers and specialty vendors to tailor a plan that works best for team members.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

I have been fortunate to have worked alongside some smart and insightful people during my career. A key piece of advice, said in many different ways, has served me well. Simply stated: “Seek to understand before being understood.”

What this has meant to me is try everything you can to learn about something, new or old. After you have gained this knowledge, you can begin to access and maybe suggest changes or adjustments. Being curious has always been a personal enjoyment for me in business, and I have found people are more than willing to lend a hand, offer information and advice — you just need to ask. Building those alliances and foundations of knowledge on a subject matter makes tackling the future more exciting and fruitful.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

Our benefit health plan is much more than handing out an insurance card at the beginning of the year. We encourage our team members and their families to learn about their personal health, get engaged in a variety of health and wellness programs and try to live life in the healthiest possible way. The result of that is literally hundreds of testimonials from our members every year on how they have lost weight, changed their lifestyle and gotten off medications. It is extremely rewarding and is a testament to [our] close-knit corporate culture.

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

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Some will remember the volcano eruption in Iceland in spring of 2010. I was just finishing a week of meetings in London with Lloyd’s syndicates related to our property insurance placement when the airspace in England and most of northern Europe was shut down — no airplanes in or out! Flights were ultimately canceled for the following five days. Therefore, with a few other stranded visitors like myself, we experimented and tried out new restaurants every day until we could leave. It was a very interesting time!

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

I am originally from Canada, and I played ice hockey from the time I was four years old up until quite recently. Too many surgeries sadly forced my recent retirement.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

That’s a funny one … I am a CPA working in the casino industry, doing insurance and risk management, so neighbors and acquaintances think I either do tax returns or they think I’m a blackjack dealer at the casino!




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