2017 Power Broker

Rising Stars Earn a Seat at The Table

The 2017 Power Broker® Rising Stars are already shaping the future of the insurance industry.
By: | March 3, 2017 • 7 min read

See the complete list of 2017 Power Broker® Rising Stars.

Marcus Henthorn became an insurance broker the way many have for generations. A successful family member sat him down while he was still in high school to encourage him to consider the opportunities.

Sponsored by




He took the advice and interned with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in his final two summers of college. Then, he joined the brokerage giant full time after graduation. He’s worked there ever since.

Today, at 32, he is area assistant vice president managing public sector accounts.

Henthorn’s steady dedication earned him a spot on our 2017 Power Broker® “Rising Stars” list along with 71 other insurance professionals. Rising Stars are Power Broker® winners or finalists who are under the age 40.

Since the launch of this category in 2009, more than 325 brokers under 40 received the Rising Star designation. The average age of the designees on this year’s list is 33.

This year’s list includes players in the industry who are reshaping the job and the future. Since the launch of this category in 2009, more than 325 brokers under 40 received the Rising Star designation. The average age of the designees on this year’s list is 33.

Rising Stars rely more on data to better understand the root cause of their clients’ problems — and to find the most creative solutions. They are available around the clock. They operate in terms of minutes, hours, days. Not weeks or months.

Today’s Rising Stars think on a global scale.

And they are part prognosticator, always anticipating a problem before it actually becomes a problem.

They share common traits: a love of solving problems and a willingness to take an unconventional path to secure a great solution for a client.

Overall, this is an exciting group of tech-savvy helpers who know innovation gives them an edge over the competition and they aren’t afraid to take chances.

However they came to their career — a suggestion from a family friend, a “happy accident,” seizing the opportunity to work alongside celebrities and movie-makers — they are the insurance executives of tomorrow. This group of leaders should dispel worries and whispers about a graying industry.

After years of focused recruiting efforts, brokerages are tilling a deep bench and they support these up-and-coming brokers however they can.

“There’s lots of opportunity to be very successful and spend your whole career in insurance,” said Kathleen Battle, vice president of talent acquisition at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. “If you have empathy, a competitive spirit, and have discipline and drive, you’ll find there’s unlimited income potential.”

Seth Cohen, vice president, HUB International

Seth Cohen is a 33-year-old Power Broker® in the entertainment sector. As a vice president at HUB International, he helps insure the cast, stunt people, filmmakers and business lines in Hollywood.

He thrives in the challenging fast-paced environment.

“I’m not front and center; I’m behind the scenes helping,” he said. “I get to work with a wide range of people. That to me is exciting.

“Everything is immediate,” he said. “With technology, there’s an expectation of constantly assessing the exposure to find a proper solution on a timely basis.

“It’s important to be flexible.” Cohen said. “As things evolve, we evolve with it.”

This generation thinks more broadly, too.

Duncan Milne, 34, a senior broker for the public sector, joined Aon nine years ago in his native United Kingdom.

Eventually, he took an opportunity at Aon to move to New York, where he is based today.

“Insurance in general is becoming more globalized,” Milne said. “We are seeing our clients seek more global solutions.

“I enjoy problem solving and take great pride in the results that we deliver,” Milne said.

Brokerages bring new talent on board and support their success with coaching, mentoring, learning and development programs.

“We create a community around our new producers to help retain them, especially if they come from out of industry, as they need time to learn the insurance side,” Battle said.

“The attraction and the retention has to be there in order for this to be successful.”

Henthorn learned about Gallagher through his summer internship and now he’s a mentor for college students. He can easily tick off the career benefits to being an insurance broker.

Sponsored by




“Many of my friends work in technology. It’s perceived to be a sexier industry and millennials think that’s where they need to be,” Henthorn said.

“What they are missing is the insurance industry is dominated by baby boomers on the tail end of their careers,” he said.

“There are large portfolios controlled by these individuals that will need to be filled by younger generations; that’s where we come in.”

As these opportunities open up, Henthorn uses big data and technology to maneuver past his competition and secure new client deals.

“Times are changing, data is driving the industry right now,” Henthorn said. “When leveraged effectively, data can provide an incredible competitive advantage that allows us to better serve our clients.”

Henthorn comes to negotiations armed with benchmarks he’s created using data compiled by tracking information provided by Gallagher clients.

“When you utilize data effectively, you can often anticipate issues before they arise. I try to look for new and innovative ways to take my clients to the next level and be ahead of these issues,” Henthorn said.

“If you’re ahead of the issues, you’re ahead of the competition. You’re doing something right.”

Kristina Marcigliano, senior account executive, DeWitt Stern

Data is an enormous benefit to the insurance industry, Milne said. Brokers and insurance companies need to keep up-to-date with technology and make investments to stay ahead, Milne said.

Kristina Marcigliano, 28, senior account executive at DeWitt Stern, “learned the business backwards in,” having started on the claims side.

“I think that helped me to be a better broker and learn how to build better coverage for my client, because I’m always thinking of the worst-case scenario,” Marcigliano said

She is grateful for the way she stumbled into her insurance broker career. Today she’s a fine arts broker.

“It was kind of a happy accident,” Marcigliano said. “I got started because of my love of history, working for a firm that insured historical stamps and collectible coins. I couldn’t be happier with the path I took. I love my job. The people I work with make it even better.”

Marcigliano said she gets great satisfaction when she sees the insurance product that she built and placed for her client “truly respond and make them whole again.”

Like Marcigliano, Laura Decker, 27, turned her passion into a brokerage career. She studied environmental science in college and then set her sights on finding a job in a similar field after college.

Associates in her business network recommended she pursue insurance.

Today, she’s an associate director at Aon Risk Solutions’s environmental services group.

“I think in general that there is a lot of opportunity in the field because risk continues to evolve,” Decker said. “As we try to keep up with the way risk is evolving and new liabilities, the opportunity continues to grow.

“When the general public thinks of insurance, they think of personal lines like auto and health insurance,” she said. “I don’t necessarily think people see it in the most positive way because it seems like an extra expense.”

Decker sees a lot of great things about working as a broker.

Her job, in particular, allows for companies to grow.  She gains great satisfaction from seeing a business complete a large acquisition or merger after they’ve been able to place insurance and gain lender approval to move forward with a deal.

Sponsored by




“Insurance leads to a lot of growth in business and in the construction industry overall,” Decker said. “It’s something people don’t necessarily think of when they see companies growing and they see new infrastructure projects across the nation.”

Decker thrives at Aon because every day brings something different her way. Her role is expanding too.

Increasingly, clients are relying on their broker for more than insurance solutions — they perceive them as an integral part of their organization’s risk management team.

“As brokers, we are becoming more and more like risk management advisers and consultants, and there is greater need to understand company changes and objectives.

“Every day is different, it’s not just a repetitive motion that you go through and you get the same result every time,” Decker said.

“The challenge of each risk being different and the market always changing in conjunction with that, it keeps things exciting.” &

Juliann Walsh is a staff writer at Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Management

The Profession

Verizon’s risk manager David Cammarata loves when his team can make a real impact on the bottom line.
By: | May 2, 2017 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

I was a financial analyst with the N.J. Casino Control Commission.

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

I was told at a Christmas luncheon in 2003 that I was being promoted into a new job.

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

Advertisement




I think the risk management community is getting a lot better at utilizing big data and analytics to manage risk. Significant improvements have been made, but there is still much more room for improvement.

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

I think that the insurance and brokerage communities need to really start thinking about what this industry is going to look like in 10 years. They need to start addressing how they are going to remain relevant. I think that major disruptions to existing business models will occur and that these disruptions combined with innovation and technological advances may catch many of today’s industry leaders by surprise.

David Cammarata, assistant treasurer, risk management and insurance, Verizon Communications Inc.

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

San Diego, any year.

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

I think the advent of cyber risk and cyber insurance. For several years it has been, and it continues to be, the main topic of discussion at industry meetings.

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

Advertisement




Advertisement




I think the most scary scenarios include a nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological event, a widespread global health epidemic and/or a widespread state sponsored cyber shutdown.

R&I: How much business do you do direct versus going through a broker?

We do almost all of our business through a broker.

R&I: Is the contingent commission controversy overblown?

No. It’s a conflict.

R&I: Are you optimistic about the U.S. economy or pessimistic and why?

Optimistic because hopefully President Trump’s policies (lower taxes and less regulation) will be pro-business and good for the economy.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

My dad, who passed away many years ago. He was very influential during the formative years of my career. He taught me how important integrity and reputation were to your brand and he had a very strong work ethic.

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

I would have to say raising two awesome kids. My daughter is graduating from James Madison University this year as co-valedictorian. My son is finishing his sophomore year at Rutgers and has near perfect grades. But more importantly, both of my kids have turned out to be really good people.

R&I: How many emails do you get in a day?

A lot.

“I love it when the risk management organization is able to contribute in a way that makes a real impact to the corporation’s overall objectives. On several occasions we have been able to make real contributions to the bottom line.”

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

“My Cousin Vinny.” That movie makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch it.

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

Advertisement




Advertisement




My dad used to take me to a place called Chick & Nello’s. It was an Italian place that did not have a menu. They came to your table and told you the two or three items they were making that day. The food was out of this world.

R&I: What is your favorite drink?

Iced tea. The non-alcoholic kind.

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

I can think of several places but for me it would be a tie between India and Italy. India just has such a different culture and way of life and Rome has breathtaking historical sites.

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

Well, one of the best thrill rides I’ve been on was Kingda Ka at Great Adventure. It feels risky but probably isn’t all that risky. I flew in a prop plane with my brother-in-law one time … that felt kind of risky. I have also parasailed, does that count? I think it definitely has to be driving on the N.J. Turnpike day in and day out.

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

Advertisement




What about the Fukushima 50? I don’t think I could have done what they did.

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

I love it when the risk management organization is able to contribute in a way that makes a real impact to the corporation’s overall objectives. On several occasions we have been able to make real contributions to the bottom line.

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

I don’t think they really know. My children see me as dad; others just see me as an executive with Verizon.




Katie Siegel is a staff writer at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]