2014 Power Broker

Real Estate

Going the Extra Mile, Every Time

Morgan Anderson, CPCU, ARM Area Vice President Arthur J. Gallagher, Irvine, Calif.

Morgan Anderson, CPCU, ARM
Area Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher, Irvine, Calif.

Insurance makes things happen, and those in the real estate business know that well. One of Morgan Anderson’s clients was taking an aggressive approach to growing its office portfolio. But it couldn’t be done without an insurance program in place that would allow it to be nimble.

The company needed to be able to add properties quickly at a predetermined rate, regardless of their location within the country. Adding a new policy for each acquisition was becoming cumbersome.

Anderson took the time to gain a full understanding of the company’s business goals, and was able to create a coverage program, inclusive of catastrophic property limits, that allowed the client to acquire properties quickly and efficiently, saving them significant amounts of both time and money.

Clients emphasized how Anderson has helped them avoid missteps.


“We have a lot of moving parts in terms of real estate and lending,” said one investment client. “He helped us realize we were grossly unprotected in many regards, and in other areas, we really didn’t need to think about it as much as we thought we had to, which relieved some of the pressure and also costs for us.”

Anderson wows clients with his willingness to go the extra mile and get things done.

“We’re always fire drill first and let’s solve it later,” said a client, “and he’s never missed a beat.”

Focusing on the Sweet Spots

Ryan Barber Managing Director Marsh, New York

Ryan Barber
Managing Director
Marsh, New York

An extremely large corporation had grown their real estate portfolio dramatically in Tier 1 wind areas, making their Cat risk profile a serious challenge for the marketplace to underwrite. As a result, the company’s premiums had increased by more than 30 percent.

When the organization put out an RFP, Ryan Barber, managing director at Marsh, got to work. Utilizing the resources of the natural catastrophe modeling team, Barber was able to determine that less than 2 percent of the portfolio locations were driving 80 percent of its loss expectancy. Barber developed a strategy to carve out just a sliver of the company’s locations and place them in a stand-alone program with a carrier that priced wind capacity based upon site-specific loss expectancies developed by their field engineers on the ground, rather than Cat models.

Using this approach, the master program’s wind loss expectancy plunged by 80 percent, and the client would be able to secure more competitive pricing for its master program while the stand-alone program could be placed with a single carrier.

Barber’s ingenuity and strategic thinking won him the business. The client executed Barber’s proposal, resulting in multimillion-dollar savings for the company.

One thing that fuels Barber’s success is his relationship with carriers around the world and his understanding of what makes them tick.

“Not only does he know the right placement people, but he knows all of their sweet spots,” said Sarah Shepard, risk management associate for Robert M. Currey & Associates Inc.

Expertise Across the Spectrum

Alexandra Glickman Area Vice Chairman Arthur J. Gallagher, Glendale, Calif.

Alexandra Glickman
Area Vice Chairman
Arthur J. Gallagher, Glendale, Calif.

A former client reached out to Alexandra Glickman to tell her about his new REIT venture: acquiring single family homes for renters.

Glickman, area vice chairman at Arthur J. Gallagher, started asking questions, and over the course of the conversation, she walked him through all of the property, liability, PLL and professional exposures he didn’t even realize he was facing.

His need for help was urgent — his program couldn’t respond to the assets he was about to close.

Glickman and her team didn’t waste a single moment. They created a complete property and casualty program in less than a week that responded to all of the company’s needs, including portfolios in wind-exposed and flood-exposed areas.


As a result of Glickman’s expertise and relationships, the client has been able to quintuple its portfolio in less than four months.

“What I really like about Alex is that she’s really conversant across the whole spectrum of insurance,” said the CFO of the REIT. He knows he can come to Glickman about anything, whether it’s D&O, E&O, cyber insurance or any other potential exposure, he said.

Another client with more than several billion dollars in assets was in the middle of structuring its IPO when a new lender gave it a rude surprise: The company had to bind a substantial amount of additional wind, flood and quake capacity — and it had four hours to do it. Relying on her reputation and her long-standing market relationships, Glickman got it done.

Summed up one client: “I know she’s got my back.”

Tenacity in Action

Tandis Hassid Nili, ARM Vice President Aon, New York

Tandis Hassid Nili, ARM
Vice President
Aon, New York

Tandis Hassid Nili is tenacious. “She does not give up or give in,” said one client, the vice president of risk management for a multifamily REIT. And that’s exactly why clients are thrilled to have Nili, a vice president at Aon, stepping up to the plate for them.

One client of Nili’s was interested in acquiring some foreign properties in order to expand its operations. The company had obtained a primary liability policy locally, but there were quite a few problems left to solve. For starters, the policy was in Spanish. On top of that, the local broker had never explained the terms and conditions of the policy. The client called Nili for help.

The broker quickly grabbed a Spanish-English dictionary and got on the phone with the local brokerage firm. With some persistence, she was able to translate the terms and conditions of the policy. Unfortunately those terms weren’t acceptable to the global umbrella underwriter, who refused to attach the umbrella policy over the local policy.

Nili gave herself a crash course on the local liability market. In doing so, she learned that locals perceived American companies as having deep pockets, and were eager to sue American companies and their contractors. Even if the company contracted its operations to third parties locally, the company would still not be able to fully avoid liability.

With a better grasp of the liability picture, Nili went back to the global umbrella underwriter to negotiate a solution. Thanks to Nili’s efforts, the company was able to secure the limits it needed to grow its operations.

Calm in the Eye of Any Storm

Robin Reyes, CIC Senior Vice President Marsh, Dallas

Robin Reyes, CIC
Senior Vice President
Marsh, Dallas

One of Robin Reyes’ many strengths is her ability to forge strong relationships.

When the real estate division of a large banking client was looking for a consulting partner to work with them on construction loans and refinancing of permanent buildings, they selected Reyes, senior vice president at Marsh, and her team on a trial basis.

Within months, the client was so pleased with what they saw that they engaged Reyes’ team to teach their younger risk analysts about insurance and the coverages the real estate division needed. The head of the real estate division soon extended those introductions to his clients for other services.


When another client decided to do an RFP for all lines of coverage, Reyes found herself competing against 11 other brokers to keep the business. Fortunately, Reyes had leverage — a strong relationship with the risk manager of the trust. In the end, not only was she able to keep the business, but the client gave her its property and pollution business as well.

A month later, Reyes proved the client had made the right choice by negotiating a 10 percent savings across all lines at renewal.

Reyes has tremendous industry knowledge, which clients find comforting. They also appreciate that she is completely unflappable. No matter what’s at stake or what the time frame, she responds with a confident, “It’s not a problem. We’ll get it done.”

“She has always excelled,” said an admiring client.

Foiling Sandy’s Savagery

Alexander Zavala Vice President Willis, New York

Alexander Zavala
Vice President
Willis, New York

Shortly after taking on the account of a large private real-estate developer, Alexander Zavala learned that one of the company’s managed properties — a large condo building in a high hazard flood zone — had no national flood coverage, a potentially devastating exposure.

Zavala, a vice president and client advocate at Willis, spent three weeks going back and forth with the relevant agencies, negotiating and trying to get proper mapping data. Zavala discovered that the client’s prior broker had submitted an application a year earlier, but never followed though in getting the coverage in place.

After weeks of being persistent, speaking to supervisors and driving the process forward, Zavala bound the policy during the first week of October. Three weeks later, Superstorm Sandy hit, and the condo suffered serious damage. Thanks to Zavala’s patience and persistence, the client saved more than $4.5 million.

Another client faced a difficult transition when key members of the risk management team left to pursue other opportunities. The department was left in a state of flux, but its insurance needs were still pressing. Zavala worked with the interim group to help shore things up and fill in the gaps; he also worked to onboard the new risk management team as seamlessly as possible.

“Without the help of Willis and Alex, we would not have achieved a smooth transition to our current risk management department,” said Celia Seigerman-Levit, director of risk management and insurance for The Related Cos. “We look at them as an extension of our department.”


Brian Eure Senior Vice President Willis

Bryan Eure
Senior Vice President

Alex Schafer Account Executive Aon

Alex Schafer
Account Executive

James Clark Vice President Harden & Assoc.

James Clark
Vice President
Harden & Assoc.

Kathleen Felderman Managing Principal EPIC

Kathleen Felderman
Managing Principal

Michael Feinberg Executive VP Willis

Michael Feinberg
Executive VP

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.


That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.


Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]