2015 Power Broker


Not a Know-It-All

Tom Draper Technology & Cyber Practice Leader Arthur J. Gallagher, London

Tom Draper
Technology & Cyber Practice Leader
Arthur J. Gallagher, London

Table stakes among Power Brokers is an authoritative, if not encyclopedic, knowledge of the industry.

How refreshing, then, to hear from clients that Tom Draper has no pretense to mastery in cyber risk.

In sharp contrast, they credit him with listening and learning, working collegially through his contacts, and putting his greatest efforts into keeping current in the fast-moving field.

“Tom really came to the fore for us this year,” said one risk manager. “We completely revamped our program, bought additional limits, and broadened our coverage. All of that was happening while the news was full of massive breaches at major retail operators and even government agencies.”

It would have been easy for Draper to encourage an already eager client to go as big as it could. Instead, Draper worked his industry sources and contacts, learned what was realistic and practical, and helped secure broader and deeper coverage, but not more than was necessary.

Draper placed a single policy with a $100 million limit, which is among the larger, if not the largest cyber limit placed to date. It was done on a manuscripted wording that created a global breach-response team, among other features.

Again under the aegis of learning and growing, Draper is credited with helping to craft an admitted policy through Lloyd’s syndicates that taps into broad support in the underwriter community but also risk-mitigation expertise that can flow back to the insured.

A Great Partner

Eric Long Founding Principal ABD, San Mateo, Calif.

Eric Long
Founding Principal
ABD, San Mateo, Calif.

Eric Long presented a broader business case for one of his clients to its incumbent carrier, enabling the client to realize over $100,000 in annual savings.

For another client that was effectively forced into moving its 1,000 employees under a co-employer arrangement,

Long advised the client on contract terms and pricing that resulted in more than $200,000 in annual savings — even though this meant a number of policies would be transitioned away from ABD Insurance & Financial Services.

“I work in a challenging industry, which is not always easy to understand,” said Chris Lowe, chief financial officer at Hansen Medical.

“Eric is an outstanding advocate to ensure underwriters are making an informed decision about our coverage. His ability to educate and facilitate the underwriting process has been by far my best experience in 20-plus years in the industry. Eric has successfully supported our risk management programs, ensuring adequate coverage from high quality underwriters, while also ensuring cost effectiveness as well.”

“We’ve worked with a number of brokers over the years and Eric Long is the best risk management partner we’ve ever had,” said Doug Farrell, senior vice president, investment relations, corporate communications and treasury at Affymetrix. “He’s helped us to strengthen our coverage every year and he has done this in a consistently cost-effective manner.”

“With the problems I try to solve, I don’t have time for insurance, so Eric looks out for me — like turning around a 500-page document,” said a client at a flash storage solutions company. “He also understands my risks.”

Just the Right Touch

Phil Norton National Managing Director Arthur J. Gallagher, Chicago

Phil Norton
National Managing Director
Arthur J. Gallagher, Chicago

Sometimes there is nothing fancy to being a Power Broker®. Nothing more than getting down and grappling with a complex claim.

“Phil has worked on several claims for us in the past,” said one corporate insurance manager of a major technology firm.

“It had been a while, but we recently had a claim that was going nowhere fast. And there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We asked Phil to step in, to see what he could do.”

Norton spent time with the people he determined could help resolve the stalemate.

“Among the people he met with were the person who was in charge of all claims, the team who was directly managing our claim, the person the team reported to, other senior claims professionals providing input, and finally the outside counsel to determine common legal ground where the two sides could meet.”

The client concluded, “When you have argued all of the valid legal aspects of the policy and there doesn’t seem to be a way out, a broker’s personal touch is and can be critical to ensure the best possible outcome.”

That’s power.

That said, Norton is not afraid to be gentle. Several clients are large consumer operations, but not technology driven.

As those firms expand their presence online, they encounter new exposures, and laud Norton for providing tech-savvy insight without being condescending to their legacy operations.

Quick and Effective

Jason Peery, CPCU Senior Vice President Aon, Newport Beach, Calif.

Jason Peery, CPCU
Senior Vice President
Aon, Newport Beach, Calif.

Many Power Brokers have handled a big acquisition or divestiture for a client. Often, large acquisitions involve expanding the acquirer’s program to accommodate new, larger exposures.

In contrast, Aon’s Jason Peery had to tackle the more ticklish task of integrating two programs, the extant one for an existing client, and one that came with a nearly half-billion-dollar acquisition.

The client said that the answer was a combined approach that integrated much of the existing two programs, supplemented by independent run-offs.

The plan saved the combined company a third of a million dollars over the pro-forma programs.

In another situation, a client’s perils extended beyond cyber threats to physical threats to employees in another country. The incident involved a complex claim, issues of physical security of people and property, and litigation in addition to the claims process for a loss that ran close to a million dollars.

“Jason is a true extension of our risk management department — which otherwise is just me,” said one client with a laugh.

That risk manager detailed how Peery won a large portion of the client’s business, but not casualty. The broker trying to place that business got two extensions, but could not find coverage that included electromagnetic frequency.

Peery’s team stepped in. Given just a month to place the casualty coverage, they did so, including the frequency cover on better terms than had originally been sought.

Wise Beyond His Years

Brent Rieth Assistant Vice President Aon, San Francisco

Brent Rieth
Assistant Vice President
Aon, San Francisco

Stepping in as a new broker on an existing account can be daunting, but Brent Rieth’s fresh eye yielded big benefits.

“It was my first time working with Brent this year as he took over for a colleague who left the firm,” said one risk manager.

“We were able to increase our limits significantly this year working with new markets in an accelerated timeline and staying within budget. Also being new on our account, Brent performed a detailed review of our policy wording in collaboration with coverage counsel and achieved various coverage enhancements.”

Rieth is credited with being “wise beyond his years,” by a client for whom he handled a simultaneous claim and renewal.

“He went over and beyond for us this year, placing an existing coverage with an incumbent while in the midst of a possible high-dollar claim. I placed this line of coverage with him for the first time this year, and he hit the ground running. This was one of the smoothest renewals with a nominal increase due to possible claims activity.”

Another client is a cloud-based firm that handles customers’ confidential information.

“E&O is an important coverage for us as it is our primary source of cyber risk coverage particularly as it relates to data breaches,” said the company’s director of enterprise risk management.

“We hear from Brent frequently outside the renewal cycle. Only a few weeks ago, Brent took the initiative to reach out with some industry cost and remediation data.”

Setting the Pace in Cyber

Robert Rosenzweig, RPLU Assistant Vice President DeWitt Stern, New York

Robert Rosenzweig, RPLU
Assistant Vice President
DeWitt Stern, New York

“Robert was instrumental in helping us assess the correct coverage for our growing technology firm which acts as a pass-through for client revenue,” said a vice president for business affairs.

“We needed a consultative approach, and he was able to give this to us, which prompted us to leave our prior broker. Robert is especially knowledgeable in the area of errors and omissions — a coverage area in which we had minimal understanding, especially given the recent data breaches in multiple industries.

“I am impressed that he understood our business without a lot of explanation. Our relationship is still new, and I expect that we will receive excellent direction from now on. I finally feel that we’re in good hands.”

Expanding on that theme, other clients recognized Rosenzweig for his ability to customize and manuscript coverage to keep pace with the rapidly changing exposures in the high-tech sector. Clients said that responses that they get from the market are often different from what they believe their risks to be, especially in E&O, cyber liability, and professional services.

“Up to this year,” said one client, “we relied upon our media clients to provide wrap insurance [for completion of a show or film].

“Clients would have to provide us with proof of that coverage, but we would have to pay for it, and we would have to take their word that it was sufficient. Sometimes it was, sometimes not. Robert was able to secure wrap insurance for us directly, increasing our security and cutting our costs.”

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