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2018 Power Broker

Hospitality

Your First Call

Terence Bohan
Senior Broker
Aon, San Francisco

Carriers want to know that a company is mitigating its risk. Terence Bohan knows this, and he makes sure his clients do, too. Bohan uses his industry knowledge, including his perspective from his former role on the carrier side, to guide his clients through renewals, claims or just about anything they need.

Bohan and his Aon team devised a unique risk management solution for Boyd Gaming Corporation while trying to lower rates that had increased after Hurricane Katrina losses.

They split the Boyd portfolio into two separate programs: One program would encompass all the assets in Nevada, while the other program would cover the remainder of the Boyd assets throughout the Gulf Coast and central United States.

This strategy enabled the risk manager to maintain key relationships, especially in London, but introduced competition that helped drive savings to the tune of 25 percent.

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Bob Berglund, vice president, benefits and insurance, said, “The mitigation is attributable to Terence.”

Another client, Lauren Young, managing director, chief risk officer, and chief compliance officer, PCCP, LLC, gave Bohan the highest recommendation.

“When we suffered damage during Hurricane Harvey and had questions about our coverage, it was clear that the fastest way to get an answer was to call Terence,” Young said.

“He knew our policy in and out and was helpful in explaining everything clearly.”

The Strength of the Bulkhead

Ryan Davidge
Vice President
Aon, Pembroke, Bermuda

Aon’s VP of Property Ryan Davidge is like a bulkhead. The sailors among us know that the bulkhead strengthens the boat. Located below deck, it’s not visible to all, but those in the thick of things understand that this element of the ship helps keep them safe.

“Ryan always has his client’s best interests at heart, and he has a depth and breadth of industry knowledge that is well-respected in our circle,” said one client.

Davidge was tapped by the organizer and sponsor of the 35th America’s Cup to be its local broker in Bermuda.

The temporary “event village” had specific insurance requirements —property, marine D&O, P&I, WC, hull, cargo, AD&D and liability to name a few. But no one person was in charge of procuring all the insurance. For Davidge, this meant a lot of last-minute calls.

The sponsor struck up a sponsorship and coverage deal with a local insurer. But both the insurer and the race sponsor soon realized that they needed an intermediary.

Davidge stepped in and never looked back. He pulled together a number of insurance lines, including property, marine liability, D&O and workers’ comp. Transportation issues, for instance Bermuda’s location 640 miles off the coast of North Carolina, made logistics and coverage considerations complex and demanding.

So successful was Davidge’s handling of the Bermuda event’s insurance needs that his colleagues in New Zealand called him to advise on how to handle the next America’s Cup event.

Mr. Go-To

Gerald Levine, CPCU
Managing Director
Beecher Carlson, Waterford, Conn.

When asked about what he finds exceptional about Gerald Levine’s work, Andrew Lee, vice president, architecture and construction, The Lam Group, responded, “Do you have a day and a half for me to tell you?”

On the top of Lee’s list is the tremendous savings Levine helped him achieve with a recent package.

“Gerry was able to negotiate coverage for us and the contractor together, so we saved a lot of money and reduced our risk,” Lee said.

“He is our 100 percent, trusted go-to person. We don’t sign anything until it has gone by Gerry’s desk.”

Lee also described a property loss on a building that was just about to open. “Gerry put a package together quickly to get it resolved, and he even managed getting people in for some of the repairs, so we were not taken advantage of,” Lee said.

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Thayer Thompson, general counsel and VP-commercial, Virgin Hotels North America, said that when their partners meet Gerry and see what he does for Virgin, they sometimes switch to him for their brokerage needs.

“Gerry Levine is an absolutely amazing broker. We’ve worked with him for five or six years, and he is simply the best. Some of our partners have hired him as well.

“I can’t imagine a better advocate on insurance for our business than Gerry. He is incredibly responsive, 24/7, very knowledgeable and very proactive. He has a great team.” 

Risk Never Sleeps

Christian Ryan
Managing Director
Marsh, Dallas

Christian Ryan’s client philosophy is simple; colleagues and clients first — 24/7 — and never forget that clients’ risks can’t wait and don’t sleep. This philosophy has served him well, and more importantly, it’s served his clients best.

When a large gaming client merged with another large gaming company, Ryan and his team reviewed both risk programs and made recommendations for the structure of the merged programs.

Company size and different risk philosophies, including different retentions, limits and overall structures, made combining their coverage challenging, but Ryan’s team was able to recommend a program while also reducing millions of dollars of costs and volatility.

Another client, Sam Makani, director, portfolio strategy and reporting, Solid Rock Group, experienced Ryan’s expertise firsthand.

“Christian is very familiar and experienced with the various options for property insurance for hotels — both big and small. He has a breadth of knowledge with a depth of industry contacts to align clients’ interests with the proper carriers.

“He and his team have provided guidance on various property and supplemental policies for our portfolio, including earthquake, wind and cyber insurance,” Makani said.

Additionally, Ryan and his London team crafted Marsh’s exclusive PRIME Hospitality and Gaming property facility, including manuscript language around booking cancellations, broader loss of attraction language and other ancillary but important features. 

Over the Moon

Ronald Sung
Assistant Vice President
Aon, Chicago

Ronald Sung postponed his honeymoon so he could attend a strategic client meeting last year. Not a dentist appointment or a ballgame — his honeymoon. If that’s not dedication and exemplary customer service, we’ll never know what is.

“Ron acts with the customer in mind,” said hospitality risk manager Michael Dougherty.

“Ron provided several different solutions to restructure our professional/cyber liability product this past year and some of the options were drastically different than what was done in the past,” Dougherty said.

“Ron walked us through each of the solutions and explained the unique advantage of each option. He not only helps clients find the right product, but he further helps by working to adapt the product, so it can be a closer solution for his clients.”

And this was simply one example.

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“Ron has been excellent,” said another client. “I talk to him at least once a week and he goes above and beyond for us. He’s very collaborative. He’ll walk me through things and he’ll make presentations to our carriers,” she said.

Sung worked with that client on a confidential program that will help cell phone carriers place emergency 911 calls more accurately.

“We had a lot of details to think about and a lot of risk to identify,” said the client. “We couldn’t do this without Ron.”

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

The Profession

Curt Gross

This director of risk management sees cyber, IP and reputation risks as evolving threats, but more formal education may make emerging risk professionals better prepared.
By: | June 1, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

My first non-professional job was working at Burger King in high school. I learned some valuable life lessons there.

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

After taking some accounting classes in high school, I originally thought I wanted to be an accountant. After working on a few Widgets Inc. projects in college, I figured out that wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Risk management found me. The rest is history. Looking back, I am pleased with how things worked out.

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

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I think we do a nice job on post graduate education. I think the ARM and CPCU designations give credibility to the profession. Plus, formal college risk management degrees are becoming more popular these days. I know The University of Akron just launched a new risk management bachelor’s program in the fall of 2017 within the business school.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

I think we could do a better job with streamlining certificates of insurance or, better yet, evaluating if they are even necessary. It just seems to me that there is a significant amount of time and expense around generating certificates. There has to be a more efficient way.

R&I: What was the best location and year for the RIMS conference and why?

Selfishly, I prefer a destination with a direct flight when possible. RIMS does a nice job of selecting various locations throughout the country. It is a big job to successfully pull off a conference of that size.

Curt Gross, Director of Risk Management, Parker Hannifin Corp.

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

Definitely the change in nontraditional property & casualty exposures such as intellectual property and reputational risk. Those exposures existed way back when but in different ways. As computer networks become more and more connected and news travels at a more rapid pace, it just amplifies these types of exposures. Sometimes we have to think like the perpetrator, which can be difficult to do.

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

I hate to sound cliché — it’s quite the buzz these days — but I would have to say cyber. It’s such a complex risk involving nontraditional players and motives. Definitely a challenging exposure to get your arms around. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll really know the true exposure until there is more claim development.

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

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Our captive insurance company. I’ve been fortunate to work for several companies with a captive, each one with a different operating objective. I view a captive as an essential tool for a successful risk management program.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

I can’t point to just one. I have and continue to be lucky to work for really good managers throughout my career. Each one has taken the time and interest to develop me as a professional. I certainly haven’t arrived yet and welcome feedback to continue to try to be the best I can be every day.

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

I would like to think I have and continue to bring meaningful value to my company. However, I would have to say my family is my proudest accomplishment.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

Favorite movie is definitely “Good Will Hunting.”

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

Tough question to narrow down. If my wife ran a restaurant, it would be hers. We try to have dinner as a family as much as possible. If I had to pick one restaurant though, I would say Fire Food & Drink in Cleveland, Ohio. Chef Katz is a culinary genius.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

The Grand Canyon. It is just so vast. A close second is Stonehenge.

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

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A few, actually. Up until a few years ago, I owned a sport bike (motorcycle). Of course, I wore the proper gear, took a safety course and read a motorcycle safety book. Also, I have taken a few laps in a NASCAR [race car] around Daytona International Speedway at 180 mph. Most recently, trying to ride my daughter’s skateboard.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

The Dalai Lama. A world full of compassion, tolerance and patience and free of discrimination, racism and violence, while perhaps idealistic, sounds like a wonderful place to me.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

I really enjoy the company I work for and my role, because I get the opportunity to work with various functions. For example, while mostly finance, I get to interact with legal, human resources, employee health and safety, to name a few.

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

I asked my son. He said, “Risk management and insurance.” (He’s had the benefit of bring-your-kid-to-work day.)

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