Good One Day, Great the Next
One of James Kardaras’ life insurance clients was facing a potential price increase and coverage restrictions due to a hardening financial institutions bond market, but Kardaras was able to negotiate a 15 percent premium reduction by inserting a new non-incumbent insurer into the renewal competition. He also secured broader coverage enhancements, particularly in connection with the ever-growing exposure of electronic crime. Kardaras, FINPRO Crime Insurance product leader, then negotiated an agreement with the other excess insurers to follow suit with more competitive renewal terms. Kardaras did all this without having to replace a single insurer on the program, maintaining the ties and goodwill that had existed for the client. The next day, Kardaras negotiated an almost 10 percent premium reduction on a crime-related renewal with another insurer for the client, while also broadening coverage, despite the fact that the client’s exposure in a key area had increased considerably from last renewal.
“Kardaras is an excellent broker,” a client said. “He suggests ways to enhance coverage and he proactively identifies issues.”
“He’s very knowledgeable about the market, and he understands the complexities of the issues,” another client said. “He’s very effective at negotiating the right terms.”
“James Kardaras is very detail oriented and knowledgeable about his product line,” another client said. “He’s been in the business for many years and understands the complexities of financial institutions.”
Making Her Own Shoes
When there was turnover on the Marsh team handling his business, one current client of Lisa Loughlin’s said he had his share of concerns.
“Because the team I had worked with had been great, Lisa had big shoes to fill,” the client said.
“But she actually just threw those shoes out and created her own. She’s an advocate for us. She knows how to marshal Marsh resources to our benefit, and she was instrumental in quickly assembling additional capacity that was a financially sound insurer at a very competitive price,” the client said.
A mutual with more than $7 billion in 2013 revenue came to Loughlin and asked her to create a broad, blended E&O program for all of its different adviser subsidiaries.
In addition, one of the adviser subsidiaries sponsored various funds that were uninsured. Loughlin was able to structure a program that addressed the current insured and uninsured exposures, saving her client money in the bargain.
“Lisa Loughlin is absolutely spectacular in this space,” a client said.
“She is just very attuned to understanding our risk and counseling us about different ways to deal with that,” said another.
“She is very aggressive with the markets and is really good, analytically, in terms of producing peer comparisons,” that client said.
Loughlin prides herself with having focused on the financial space for more than 20 years and being a keen student who devours information that may help her clients.
A Winning Combination
James McCue’s client, Credit Suisse Group AG, was undergoing a corporate restructuring that included combining its private banking and asset management segments, as well as its separate professional liability policies. The private banking program, comprised of Swiss, U.K. and Bermuda insurers, consisted of E&O policies. The asset management program, comprised solely of U.S. insurers, was blended E&O and D&O policies and had a retention significantly lower than the private banking policy.
While the client wanted to place the latter with a Swiss carrier within the former program, McCue recommended having the private banking insurers use the asset management policy instead as the basis for combined coverage. The carriers preferred their European E&O language to the U.S. D&O/E&O language, but McCue was able to negotiate a strong combined policy led by a Swiss insurer, using the U.S. policy language. That saved the client more than 20 percent in combined premiums, doubled the asset management limits and inserted unique allocation language, allowing the asset management business to continue benefiting from the lower retention.
“We were able to combine two legacy complicated programs into a combined contract, which commenced coverage in conjunction with the launch of the division,” said Timothy McAlindin, Credit Suisse’s managing director and head of group insurance. “Credit Suisse also saved significant premium dollars.”
“He’s out in front of the trends and emerging coverages,” another client said, “so he keeps me up to date on the things I need to know to make smart business decisions.”
Getting the Structure Right
Wintrust Financial Corp. was facing the possibility of 20 percent price increases from its primary carrier at renewal, due to a harder market for D&O and E&O coverages. Moreover, the modest management liability program utilized only four carriers and had a lot of claims activity in its recent history.
Phil Norton, president of Gallagher’s Professional Liability Group, concluded that Wintrust had the right carriers but the wrong structure. Through optimizing the structure and applying personal clout, Norton and his team brought the renewal in for less than the expiring coverage and more than $500,000 less than initial pricing indications. Norton also negotiated a total of 30 significant new improvements to the D&O policy.
“Phil Norton is extraordinary when it comes to his expertise and attention to detail,” said Wintrust’s John S. Fleshood, executive vice president and chief risk officer. “He’s also very diligent and thorough in the way he approaches negotiations with carriers.”
“Phil’s genuine concern for Five Star Bank as a client was obvious in providing us advice and negotiating the professional liability lines’ policies,” said Sonia Dumbleton, the bank’s senior vice president, controller and corporate secretary.
“Getting competitive quotes for cyber liability and achieving expanded coverage at comparable premiums from the incumbent carrier was very important to us in this ever-increasing area of risk. Also, the management and professional liability policy language and coverage has been improved with Phil’s expertise and diligence,” she said.
Respect in the Market
One of Jamie Powell’s health insurance clients made a significant acquisition that called for an outside-the-box approach to the client’s risk transfer requirements. This particular transaction involved complex regulatory and legal considerations, all of which Powell had to clearly articulate to worldwide insurance markets — or else the client would have faced financial and coverage consequences.
Powell was able to engage directly with the carriers’ executive decision-makers, and secure enhanced policy protection that incorporated the acquisition, with the ultimate economics being far more advantageous to the insured than prevailing market conditions at that time.
“Jamie has the ability to work with our insurance carriers to see the right picture of risk — or lack thereof,” the client said. “Through this guidance we have been able to provide information that explains the business properly and drives a real cost savings in the programs.”
“Jamie Powell is easily one of the top three broker professionals I have had the pleasure of working with in my 25 years of insurance risk management,” said Timothy McAlindin, Credit Suisse’s managing director and head of group insurance. “In the past 24 months alone, Jamie played a pivotal role in helping Credit Suisse implement three important products … that not only contain unique elements of risk transfer but contain Basel capital relief as well.”
“Jamie has earned the market’s respect and due to his presence in the market,” another client said. “He has been able to negotiate very favorable terms for my firm on a multitude of programs.”
Banking on Good Relationships
When Superstorm Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey in 2012, an insurance company’s key facilities were impacted, resulting in significant property and time element losses. This led the company to rethink its insurance program.
Working within a tight time frame, Steve Quinterno worked directly with the client to quantify exposures and understand its risk philosophy. Recognizing that the client’s expiring program had an overly complex structure, Quinterno led a global re-marketing exercise, introducing new carriers to the placement and streamlining the program.
Quinterno worked closely with incumbent carriers to address their concerns, and demonstrate the steps taken by the client to help mitigate future losses. This differentiated the client in the market and contributed to securing a sizable increase in Cat limits, meaningful coverage improvements and substantial premium savings.
“Steve Quinterno of Willis has in-depth knowledge on property insurance with the ability to explain coverage in an easy-to-follow manner,” the client said. “He has good rapport with underwriters and the decision-makers at the insurance company, and the ability to negotiate favorable terms and pricing for clients.”
“One of the things I like about Steve is that he is very creative in his approach to problem-solving,” another client said. “I also like the fact that he has relationships with the underwriting community, which helps from both a pricing and coverage standpoint.”