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2016 Power Broker

Fine Arts

Expert Stamp of Approval

Sandra Berlin Senior Vice President Willis Towers Watson, Chicago

Sandra Berlin
Senior Vice President
Willis Towers Watson, Chicago

Sandra Berlin is known for her vast knowledge of fine arts insurance and her high energy.

In the past year alone Berlin helped negotiate insurance for about 45 different loans of artwork to museums so the individual collectors had the best coverage possible while the pieces were out of their control.

Analyzing individual museum policies is an important component of loaning and making sure a collector’s own carrier is aware that this change in exposure is prudent.

“In Chicago, Sandra has the reputation of being if not the most knowledgeable art broker, then one of the top two or three specializing in art insurance,” observed Scott Hodes, senior counsel at Bryan Cave law firm in Chicago and a fine art expert.

Chicago-based Lela Hersh, art adviser at her own Museum and Fine Arts Consulting LLC, observed that since forming her own company in 2003 she has referred many of her private and corporate clients to Berlin.

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“She is always available, friendly and makes difficult information crystal clear for clients,” said Hersh.

“She’s not pushy at all and has a nice way of working with her high-end clientele.”

Recently Hersh referred a private client to Berlin who is moving their home and artwork to Colorado.

“I can trust that she will take care of them,” Hersh said.

Building Credibility

Sarah Johnson Court, Cert CII Director Aon, Miami

Sarah Johnson Court, Cert CII
Director
Aon, Miami

Clients of Sarah Johnson Court invariably cite her trustworthiness as the cornerstone of a healthy relationship with her.

“She knows her product and she really tries to help her customers as opposed to selling insurance just to get a commission,” said Laurans A. Mendelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Hollywood, Fla.-based HEICO, an aerospace and electronics products manufacturer.

“I’ve had situations in which she’s told me her policy is really not as good as a competing policy, so she said she wouldn’t recommend that I take hers,” Mendelson added. “She builds up great credibility that way.”

Mendelson also noted that Johnson Court does an excellent job of fighting with the insurance company to get better rates.

Anthony Tamer, founder and co-CEO of Miami-based HIG Capital, a worldwide private equity firm, said of Johnson Court: “Sarah has helped me specifically in getting our art insured in Florida, which, because of the flood and tropical weather conditions, is an expensive place to insure art. She worked very hard to get quotes from several insurance companies and was creative in finding reliable coverage that ended up being close to 30 percent more extensive, yet at a lower cost than most other providers.

“Most importantly, Sarah inspires trust, which is critical in a broker-client relationship,” Tamer added.

The Team Leader

Diane Jackson COO/Director of Finance Aon, Washington, D.C.

Diane Jackson
COO/Director of Finance
Aon, Washington, D.C.

Whether you are a large or smaller client of Diane Jackson, you are going to get the keen, comprehensive attention for which she is widely known.

In the past year, Jackson put together a proposal to help the Detroit Institute of Art conduct an international exhibition of some of its most precious paintings, to appear on two continents.

“Diane put together an excellent proposal that allowed us to slightly increase in-transit limits for shipments, which allowed us to send fewer conveyances, saving our museum and the borrowers’ staff time and money,” said Kimberly Dziurman, director of registration at the museum.

On another call-to-action for Jackson, Erika Franek, registrar of exhibition and loans, art insurance and risk management,at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, suddenly found herself in a demanding position when her predecessor left with little notice.

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“Diane was immediately on the phone with me, walking me through the details of the policy and helping me understand the nuances,” said Franek.

“She set up weekly phone calls for me as well. Those phone calls were essential to my first year as a risk manager.”

In addition to handling 75 accounts on her own, Jackson has seven senior-level  brokers who report to her. These individuals handle the largest clients of Aon’s art division. When there are any issues on those accounts, Jackson is called upon to help resolve them.

Pacifying the Lenders

Lynn Marcin Senior Vice President Aon, Washington, D.C.

Lynn Marcin
Senior Vice President
Aon, Washington, D.C.

Lynn Marcin’s decades of experience in the fine arts insurance world came to bear in  helping the Denver Art Museum open a very large “Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio” exhibition last November with 40-plus vendors and complicated insurance arrangements incorporating federal indemnity coverage, special exhibition policies and the museum’s own blanket policy.

“One lender in particular had very specific and challenging insurance requirements outlined in their loan agreement,” said Sarah Cucinella-McDaniel, chief registrar at the museum. “Lynn spent nearly six months and dozens of emails working with us to understand the requests from this lender, negotiate terms and prepare the policy.”

Marcin smoothed over another testy loan negotiation for the Tacoma Art Museum involving insurance for a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition.

“The for-profit organizer insisted on using his legal language for the certificates of insurance and endorsements,” said Rock Huska, chief curator of the museum. “His involvement included convoluted and, oftentimes, contradictory instructions outside our existing coverage. Lynn worked closely with our underwriters to approve his archaic language.”

At New York-based American Federation of Arts, registrar Elizabeth Abbarno noted, “In early 2015, we had sort of a snafu and Lynn was in constant contact with me. She really saved my bacon. She is a lovely person to work with.”

Covering Picasso

Anne Rappa Senior Vice President Aon, New York

Anne Rappa
Senior Vice President
Aon, New York

Anne Rappa stands out as an exceptionally creative problem solver, her clients agree.

“Anne was extremely helpful as part of us putting together a major defining exhibition we had: a huge, huge Picasso show we had worked on for several years,” said Catherine Davis, director of arts administration at The Pace Gallery in New York.

“There was a billion dollars’ worth of art from around the world we had to provide insurance for.

“We were afraid there would not be enough capacity in the market, but Anne worked it out for us,” Davis added.

“We had some issues with the wording of specific exclusions in our fine arts policy which seemed contradictory to me,” noted K.C. Mauer, chief financial officer of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts in New York.

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“Anne spent a lot of time reviewing the policy language with me and she made sure that these language issues were addressed to my satisfaction so that I, as a non-insurance expert, understood them,” Mauer added.

She also doesn’t sugar-coat things, which Mauer appreciates.

“Anne helped us renegotiate the terms of our fine arts policy so that we were insured for all occurrences that we tell consignors we are liable for,” said  Christopher Reimann, director of finance at Chicago-based Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Riding to the Rescue

Emily Weiss Account Executive DeWitt Stern, New York

Emily Weiss
Account Executive
DeWitt Stern, New York

This past year was one in which Emily Weiss rode to the rescue on a number of major fronts.

In one case, Weiss took over the account of New York-based Di Donna Galleries LLC during a colleague’s maternity leave.

“She made a huge effort to update herself quickly on the many aspects of all of our different policies and she made the intricacies of our insurance policies easy to understand,” said business director Courtney Conway.

And when it came to renewing the galleries’ fine arts insurance policy in September, Weiss put together an insurance package with the galleries’ preferred underwriter that reduced the galleries’ premium by about 35 percent, said Conway.

In another important accomplishment, Weiss took over an artist’s studio account after it had been neglected for many years.  When she took over the account there were locations and buildings missing, incorrect limits and subjectivities that were not appropriate given the nature of the business. Weiss amended the definition of property covered and valuation clauses so that they were more in line with the nature of the artist’s work.

At New York’s New Museum, registrar Derya Kovey counts on Weiss for various skills.

“The broker needs to be strong in both hard skills such as insurance knowledge, as well as soft skills like emotional intelligence, understanding the museum’s values, and knowing what is needed  to keep the artists happy,” Kovey said.

BlackBar

Finalists:

Blythe Hogan Director Aon, New York

Blythe Hogan
Director
Aon, New York

Kristina Marcigliano Account Executive DeWitt Stern, New York

Kristina Marcigliano
Account Executive
DeWitt Stern, New York

Casey Wigglesworth Account Executive Aon, Washington, D.C.

Casey Wigglesworth
Account Executive
Aon, Washington, D.C.

More from Risk & Insurance

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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.

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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.

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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. &

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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]