Introducing the WSIA and its Annual Marketplace
August saw the merger of the American Association of Managing General Agents and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices. Together, AAMGA and NAPSLO create the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association. The new organization aims to showcase the best of both worlds.
“While we have a new name, a new brand and a renewed energy and purpose, our core mission and values have not changed. We remain focused on perpetuating the success of the legacy organizations,” said Brady Kelley, Executive Director of WSIA.
“The AAMGA and NAPSLO have always maintained open channels of communication,” he said. “Our advocacy and services support the same segment of the industry.”
Now, a little over a month later, members will start to see the benefits.
Joining forces enabled WSIA to give members a concise listing of programs and services, eliminating the need for members to choose between similar offerings from the two existing organizations. The organization also embraced the opportunity to broaden the education and professional development curriculum it offered.
In fact, WSIA rolled out its first education program in August.
Before the merger, leaders from both AAMGA and NAPSLO realized they were heavily intertwined: 76 percent of AAMGA members were also NAPSLO members, and 48 percent of NAPSLO members were also AAMGA members.
“We now represent the overwhelming majority of the U.S. wholesale, specialty and surplus lines marketplace,” Kelley said.
WSIA Annual Marketplace
Every year, NAPSLO hosts its Annual Convention, a gathering of surplus lines industry and wholesale insurance professionals. WSIA aims to bring the same dedication to these industries under a new name: the WSIA Annual Marketplace.
The conference is set to run Sept. 10 through Sept. 13 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego in San Diego, California.
“The Annual Marketplace will be our first large networking event as WSIA, replacing what was the NAPSLO Annual Convention,” said Kelley.
“Our general session on September 13 will celebrate the merger, our strong legacies, past leadership and our complete integration. There will be no mistaking it is the WSIA’s Annual Marketplace.”
WSIA says it has 4,300 attendees lined up for its Annual Marketplace.
“One of our U40-hosted sessions will focus on the value of wholesale distribution, including the findings of the 2016 Conning report that studied the cost of distributing commercial insurance policies through wholesale brokerage as compared to retail brokerage channels,” Kelley explained.
Dave Leonard and Hank Haldeman, two of NAPSLO’s past presidents and the leaders of the project, will be speaking during the session.
“They will focus on Conning’s findings that the wholesale distribution channel adds significant value to an insurance transaction but does not add cost,” Kelley said.
The keynote speaker this year, Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, will address the general session on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Zuckerberg Media is a boutique marketing firm and production company, which Zuckerberg founded. Before that, she worked at Facebook from 2005 till 2011, running the social media pioneer’s marketing programs.