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2018 Power Broker

Marine

His ‘Claim’ Is Advocacy

George Andersen
Assistant Vice President
Aon, New York

Most brokers list their job title as broker, of course. But George Andersen calls himself a client advocate/broker, and that small distinction is revealing.

Having “grown up” in the insurance world thanks to a mom in the biz, it feels like family to Andersen, so he treats his clients like family.

Andersen insists on being involved in the claims side of his clients’ needs because it allows him to better see where coverage holes exist, make improvements and offer solutions, he believes.

Richard Stanton, director of risk management, BAE Systems Ship Repair, said Andersen’s industry knowledge is tremendous, his customer service is exceptional, and he does a great job with complex, marine-related coverage issues.

Case in point: BAE Systems had a failure-to-launch claim that was complicated on the liability and inland marine side. A third-party barge had become suspended on their marine railway.

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“George helped get the resources we needed to salvage the vessel and get the railway repaired,” said Stanton. “He also took the lead in brokering an agreement between the two carriers on the coverage issues.”  Andersen led the negotiations between underwriters, salvors and surveyors and got it resolved.

Howard Charles, COO, Phoenix Marine Co., said its barge sank in Nome, Alaska, leaving valuable equipment submerged shortly before the harbor waters were expected to freeze — and stay frozen until spring.

With no time to lose, Andersen dealt with the Coast Guard and other officials and commissioned salvage divers to retrieve the sunken valuables.

A World of Knowledge

Herman Brito Jr.
Vice President
Marsh, New York

With his clients doing business in multiple countries, Herman Brito Jr. has developed a well-earned reputation as an international compliance expert, a skill that is becoming more and more valuable in the marine cargo insurance industry.

“We had a major situation where we weren’t compliant in Nigeria, a highly regulated country,” said Frank Santomauro, director, Corporate Insurance Group for Pfizer.

“Herman was a tremendous resource and helped us secure a local marine policy for our import shipments. He has excellent technical and negotiating skills, and he is a great advocate for Pfizer. He really understands our business, is reliable and he delivers,” Santomauro added.

Another client experienced losses on shipments prior to their 2018 renewal, which of course, caused concerns about premium increases.

Brito got out in front of it by creating a partnership between his client’s risk management team and the insurer’s loss control team to highlighting the client’s commitment to improving their risk. The result was more than $100K in savings.

He did something similar for another client: By highlighting the client’s commitment to work in conjunction with its carrier’s loss control team and leveraging its longstanding partnership with the insurer, Brito was able to reduce the client’s captive annual aggregate retention by $2 million without an increase in risk transfer premium.

Defining Moments

Scott Davis
Senior Vice President
Aon, Southfield, Mich.

When Scott Davis became the broker for a complex account, he started by reviewing everything from wording to data and learned that the coverage was so poorly defined that even the underwriters were unclear about what they were covering.

He felt this caused the underwriters to be conservative in their risk approach. Davis created a new workbook that compared critical items over time.

He reworded the submission document, too, to focus on critical items and more clearly define things for the underwriters.

He also worked with his client to rewrite the policy, so coverage was more clearly defined. The new and improved submission and policy wording resulted in a favorable result at renewal.

Bonus: The placement was finalized before expiration, something that had not been achieved in years.

“Scott is strategic,” said his client. “His customer service and communications are extremely good. He helped us restructure the wording and get broader coverage with a cost reduction.”

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Davis also clarified things for another client. “Scott met with me on the first day he worked with us and asked me what my expectations were. I told him, and he has delivered on all of them,” the client said.

Rosemarie Annese, director of risk management, Thermo Fisher Scientific, said Davis guided them as they told a key customer something wasn’t doable in the timeframe requested, ultimately helping them preserve the relationship and work toward accomplishing the request.

Getting It Done

Hardie Edgecombe
Area President
Gallagher, Metairie, La.

Mark Pisani, vice president of human resources and risk management, Associated Terminals, received a call on Thanksgiving morning: Could he place cargo coverage on a ship traveling to Louisiana from South America that would cover for discharge by his cranes?

Not only was it a holiday, but it was also something they wouldn’t normally do — the customer usually secures coverage. But unable to do so, the customer turned to Pisani, who then turned to Gallagher’s Hardie Edgecombe.

Hardie’s team worked with underwriters to get the coverage placed “in time for the ship to sail with favorable pricing. Our customers were happy and that resulted in continued business,” Pisani said.

More routinely, Edgecombe holds semiannual reviews to analyze the year’s performance and discuss renewals.

“These reviews have impacted the direction of our insurance program,” Pisani said.

“We’ve been able to properly assess taking on larger SIR’s, evaluate the diversity of our risk portfolio, gauge uninsured risk to our risk tolerance, review opportunity to set up our own captive, and move a split marine program to one where shared risk made more sense.

“Working with Hardie and his team at Gallagher has been a pleasurable and beneficial experience.”

Another customer, Steve Hale, CEO, Gulf Copper and Manufacturing, agreed.

Connected and Effective

William Penn
U.S. Marine Practice Leader
Aon, Southfield, Mich.

William Penn operates under the guiding principle that being a broker means being of service to your clients and treating them the way you’d like to be treated.

At the end of the day, he believes, clients buy insurance to get their claims paid, and it’s getting the difficult claims paid that differentiates the industry’s leading brokers.

So naturally, when a client had what he called “a tough year,” it was the expertise of Penn that quickly and satisfactorily resolved claims — and ultimately made that tough year a little more bearable.

One of the claims involved several shipments on the vessels of a shipping company that went bankrupt.

Penn worked with his client’s logistics team in the U.S. and Korea, as well as the underwriters, to ensure the containers made it to their destinations, so Penn’s client could keep its own clients happy. Then Penn handled the claims process to make certain it was properly adjusted to the satisfaction of the client.

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The key to the success of this claim was coordination with all parties and involving the right team of claims handlers and forensic accountants. They had weekly, sometimes daily, calls.

The client said, “Bill is a seasoned veteran in the marine market. But he has the drive and determination of a new broker trying to prove himself.

“He is one of the most connected brokers we have ever worked with in his respective field. Most lines of coverage are very relationship-driven, and I would say even more so in marine.”

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]