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Power Broker

Power Broker Overview

What is a Power Broker?
A Risk & Insurance® Power Broker® is an individual who stands out among their peers for the exceptional client work they delivered over the past year. While brokers play many key roles in the insurance industry and risk profession, a Power Broker® award recognizes problem solving, customer service and industry knowledge.

Our goal is to broadly recognize and promote outstanding risk management and customer service among the brokerage community. Therefore, we don’t select a single winner but instead recognize four to six winners in different industry categories.

Who selects the winners?
A Power Broker® is selected based upon the strength of client testimonials. Risk & Insurance® editors and writers collect and choose the most compelling testimonials based on the award criteria.

What criteria are used to select winners?
It is very important to note that Power Broker® is focused on recent accomplishments. Certainly the below criteria could be demonstrated through the arc of an entire career, but for this program we strive to highlight recent challenges and solutions. This approach is utilized for the benefit of our readers who most value learning about challenges and solutions to current problems. The criteria are:

  • Risk Solution (50%): What specific challenge did a client face and how did the applicant/nominee solve that problem?
  • Customer Service (25%): Does the applicant/nominee demonstrate a commitment to primarily serve the interests of their clients?
  • Industry Knowledge (25%): Is the applicant/nominee committed to mastering the industry category they work in?

The focus is on the individual broker
Creativity and problem solving are critical success factors independent of firm or account size. Therefore, neither the size of a broker’s firm nor the size of an account is an important criteria for the Power Broker® program. We strongly encourage all brokers to apply.

Nomination process
Applications/nominations (referred to below as simply “applications”) are accepted from any source including a client, insurer, brokerage firm, service provider or individual broker. In the interest of maintaining a level playing field, Risk & Insurance® will accept no more than 100 Power Broker® applications from any one firm or its subsidiaries. Since the client testimonial is most important for judging, the source of the application does not impact an applicant’s chance of winning.

We require an application form to be completed in order to capture profile information, an overview of the problem/solution and client contact information. Provide enough information to give our editors an overview of you and your accomplishment but don’t feel compelled to write overly long responses. Think concise and factual.

Important Note Regarding Confidentiality: We are very conscious of the sensitive nature of the information provided. Client references listed on applications and contacted by judges may choose to be on or off the record. This includes the client name, company name and additional identifying information. All other information on the application will be considered on-the-record unless specified otherwise.

Judging process
Judges consisting of Risk & Insurance® editors and/or writers are appointed for each industry category. All of the applications in a category are first reviewed by the judges to provide an overview of the field and to ensure that the applications are complete. Client references listed on the applications are then contacted and interviewed.

A summary of the interview along with an evaluation form is completed by the judge performing the interview. Once all interviews are complete, the judging team meets to review all the interviews and evaluations. The four to six brokers that received the strongest client referrals based on the award criteria are named a Power Broker®.

Rising Star Designation

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Power Broker® winners and finalists who are 40 years old or younger are highlighted in the annual “Rising Star” section. Designees are determined based on the DOB listed on the Power Broker® application. No additional application is needed to apply for this designation.

Publication
Winners are first announced in the February print issue of Risk & Insurance®. The information is also posted on the Risk & Insurance® website, eNewsletter, web digital edition and iPad/iPhone Apps. A profile highlighting each Power Broker’s accomplishments along with a head-shot is presented by industry category.

Award Boxes
A few weeks after the winners are announced, each Power Broker® receives a box with a copy of the print issue, an award plaque and additional information.

Download the 2018 Logo Usage Agreement and PR Statement.

2019 Application Deadline: October 19, 2018

Winner Announcement Date: February 2019 Issue

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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]