The 2019 At Large Power Brokers

Frank Albrecht, ARM, RM, CMIP
Area Vice President
Gallagher, Dallas

Frank Albrecht, Area Vice President, Gallagher

Diversity is Frank Albrecht’s key strength.

One day he can be dealing with complex international cross border matters and the next handling issues affecting local construction and haulage firms.

Albrecht helped one client, petroleum consultancy DeGolyer & MacNaughton, reduce its Russian Federation taxes by 25 percent after placing the account on admitted Russian paper with AIG.

He also presented possible gaps in the company’s insurance program and made sure it understood all the risks.

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Albrecht enabled another client, Pogue Construction, to establish a contractor-controlled insurance program to improve its coverage for all parties and help it increase profitability.

Pogue Construction’s chief financial officer Mark Wheelis said: “We view Frank as a partner who has brought cutting-edge ideas to our team as well as found us areas where we can save money. We did approximately $450 million in volume in 2018 and would not have been able to do that without the extremely competitive rates he has helped us to secure.”

Albrecht also helped removal firm All My Sons Moving & Storage to fill the gaps in its coverage after moving from a family-owned business to private equity ownership.

He plugged the holes in its representation and warranties, employment practices liability, sexual molestation and cyber programs, and other required coverges.

John Atkinson
Managing Partner, Senior Living Practice
Willis Towers Watson, Chicago

John Atkinson, Managing Partner, Senior Living Practice, Willis Towers Watson

When a multitude of its senior living communities were devastated by Hurricane Irma, owner/operator Vi was facing a large loss.

But thanks to the expertise of John Atkinson, it was able to successfully submit and progress its claim.

Diane Schrieber, assistant VP of risk management at Vi, said: “John has done a wonderful job for us, managing our risk. He has an in-depth knowledge and expertise in our industry, but his key strength is getting to know his clients’ insurance needs and helping them to plug any gaps they may have.”

Atkinson also helped Brookdale Senior Living to access a range of new markets to find affordable coverage despite several years of losses from natural catastrophes and bad weather.

George Hicks, executive VP of finance and treasurer at Brookdale Senior Living, said: “John is excellent at being proactive and anticipating major issues before they arise. He has built a very loyal and capable team around him that enables him to deliver on every count.”

Atkinson has also helped grow Willis Towers Watson’s portfolio of senior living industry clients to more than 200, with operations in more than 50 states, providing general insurance and clinical risk management services.

He has been instrumental in helping these companies to effectively plan for natural disasters and protect their residents. That includes developing tools such as Willis Towers Watson Disaster and Storm Track Alert.

Brian Baker, CPCU, ARM
Complex Casualty Broker
Willis Towers Watson, Atlanta

Brian Baker, Complex Casualty Broker, Willis Towers Watson

Auto liability is one of the toughest markets in insurance right now.

Escalating loss deterioration across the industry has resulted in consecutive years of rate increases.

However, Brian Baker has been at the forefront of helping his clients leverage their strong loss history to secure lower retentions at affordable premiums.

Using in-depth loss analysis and his market contacts, he enabled his client First Data, a financial services firm, to eliminate its $250,000 deductible in return for a nominal rate increase on its auto liability program.

Baker also helped another client, banking holding company SunTrust Banks, to lower the limit of its fronted primary policy by $1 million with no increase in premium, retaining its loss volatility, collateral requirement and exposure to major retained losses.

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Lisa Echols, first vice president, insurance risk management at SunTrust, said: “Brian is never satisfied with what could be the final response from the underwriters. He will always go back to ask one more time, even if we are pleased with the result.”

Another of his big wins was for cable company HSN, with Baker managing to secure the release of an additional $589,000 of its collateral.

He also helped it to reduce the premium in its umbrella program and used the saving to pay for the $1 million limit increase on its primary auto liability program.

Joyce Bednarek
Assistant Director
Aon, Chicago

Joyce Bednarek, Assistant Director, Aon

The customer service that Aon’s Joyce Bednarek provides one client is so good that he feels she is sitting in the cubicle next to him.

“Since I have been the risk manager, Joyce has been a huge advocate for our business,” the risk manager said. “We have worked closely over the years and she anticipates our questions and concerns before we bring them to her attention.”

Another of Bednarek’s clients was facing a challenging property renewal coming off of two eight-figure property losses in the past two years.

Bednarek used Aon’s proprietary benchmarking data to share with the client the average rate increases that insureds were seeing. Bednarek then pursued a single-carrier approach to try and hammer out the best deal for her client. The deal she put together combined engineering fees with international fronting fees, which produced a $1.1 million savings.

Another client, a food company, was facing “knee-jerk” reactions from the insurance markets after the painful hurricane season of 2017. They were also challenged by a diminished market appetite for food accounts.

Bednarek sold her client not as a “typical” food company but as a manufacturer.  Leveraging a clean loss sheet and longstanding relationships with the insurance carriers, Bednarek pulled off a minimum rate increase.

“Joyce fully embraces one of our cultural values of providing ‘WOW!” customer service,” a client said.

Michael Falvey
Executive Vice President
Willis Towers Watson, Norfolk, Va.

Michael Falvey, Executive Vice President, Willis Towers Watson

No challenge is too big for Michael Falvey.

When his client, a large publicly traded security contractor, came to him to try and reduce its mounting insurance costs, which were spinning out of control, he carried out an in-depth risk assessment and identified key areas of improvement.

They included converting its workers’ compensation program from an incurred loss deductible to a paid loss deductible, moving from a bundled claims handling platform to an unbundled platform and introducing medical cost containment into its claims handling process.

By implementing all of these changes, Falvey reduced the company’s annual insurance costs by 27 percent.

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The client said: “Michael Falvey has been a wonderful business partner for the last four years. He and his team have worked hard to not only ensure that we have the best coverage options available but also provide exceptional customer service all year long.”

Falvey also helped another client, construction firm Precon Marine, to save more than $250,000 in its first year by switching to a specialist marine carrier, as well as securing affordable coverage for a large inventory of survey equipment that it leases to a subsidiary.

Alan Gemmell, VP of development and resources at Precon Marine, said: “Mike and his team have bent over backwards to ensure they know the finer details of our account.”

Dave Harman
Area Vice President
Gallagher, Bellevue, Wash.

Dave Harman, Area Vice President, Gallagher

Dave Harman enabled one of his clients, West Coast carnival firm Funtastic Shows Inc., to save $30,000 on its annual premium by switching carriers. He also discovered the company was covered for exposures it didn’t have, including long-haul trucking.

Over the last 10 years, the company’s owner Ron Burback estimates Harman has saved his business “millions of dollars.”

“Put simply, Dave is the best insurance broker I have ever worked with,” he said. “He knows everybody and everything about the industry — no problem is too tricky for him to solve.”

Harman also helped waterslide manufacturer ProSlide Technology change its general liability rating basis from gross sales to the amount of water-ride flumes sold to give a more accurate reflection of the risk.

ProSlide’s SVP, Corporate Affairs Dave Alexander said: “Dave is heavily invested in the amusement industry and dedicates a lot of his time meeting with underwriters and doing his homework at trade shows. He has always gone the extra mile for us to find the best solution to our insurance needs.”

Harman also helped Central Amusement International receive payment for a multimillion dollar claim for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy on its amusement park in Coney Island within 60 days because of his strong relationship with the carrier and claims advocacy for the client. Central Amusement’s CFO Peter Pelle said: “I can call him any time of the day, and he will respond.”

Romonda Lee, ARM
Senior Claims Advisor
Marsh, Morristown, N.J.

Romonda Lee, Senior Claims Advisor, Marsh

Determining the cause of an insurance claim resulting from a natural disaster can be tricky at the best of times.

But thanks to Romonda Lee’s enquiring and analytical mind, she has helped her clients resolve issues that could have cost them thousands or even millions of dollars.

When one client suffered extensive flood and windstorm damage during Hurricane Harvey, she argued the majority of the damage was caused by flood, securing a larger settlement than if the higher deductible for windstorm had been applied.

The client said: “I have been a risk manager for more than 30 years and can say that Romonda is by far the best property claims consultant I have ever worked with. She is a true professional, knows and understands the business well, is dedicated to her clients and is an invaluable resource.”

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Lee also helped another client prove the windspeed from Hurricane Irma that caused damage to its property was below the 74 miles per hour limit at which the deductible kicks in, saving it $1 million.

The client said: “Romonda has the technical knowledge of how coverage applies to each situation but also how and when to use the coverage. She is always prepared for any eventuality and has the ability to navigate even the most complex claims worth millions of dollars.”

For another client with losses across 50 Florida locations after Hurricane Irma, Lee secured advance payments and tracked down the invoicing for each location.

Corey Lewis
Vice President
Aon, New York

Corey Lewis, Vice President, Aon

Investment tax credits have been vital for the recent development of the solar energy industry in the U.S., as they allow investors to reduce their tax bill by the equivalent of 30 percent of the investment made in solar projects.

But there is often a risk the incentive can be claimed back, totally or partially by the tax authorities in the future, and to mitigate this risk, the market has developed an insurance coverage that make investors more confident they will not lose the promised benefits.

Corey Lewis, a vice president at Aon in New York, excels in helping clients obtain ITC coverages.

“It is a very specialized product, quite niche, but Corey was able to get us the coverage and as a result, we were able to close our first deal with a bank last year,” said Patrick Schaufelberger, the director of project finance at Enerparc.

“It was a $36 million transaction, and it would not have been possible without Corey’s work.”

Another client trusted Lewis with the task of setting up an innovative program that would encompass current and future solar projects, a significant evolution as its previous policies were arranged on a single project basis. Lewis structured a program with a primary insurer and excess layers that included 11 other carriers. It was a daring approach that had to be sold out to underwriters, the company’s risk manager said.

“Corey developed the market very well,” they added.

R. Alfonso Lozada Jr., CIC
Executive Vice President
Marsh, Puerto Rico

R. Alfonso Lozada Jr., Executive Vice President, Marsh

It is when catastrophe hits that companies depend the most on their insurance partners. R. Alfonso Lozada Jr., an executive vice-president and managing director at Marsh Saldana, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, showed exactly what that means after hurricane Maria devastated the island in September, 2017.

A 40-year veteran in the insurance industry, Lozada deployed his knowledge of the market and network of connections to guarantee the payment of claims to his clients, even though the island’s insurance industry went into disarray after the catastrophe. “There are a lot of people who still haven’t been able to collect their claims in full,” said Alberto Torruella, the executive vice president at Destileria Serralles, a rum distillery and one of the clients who relied on Lozada to process their claims.

“We suffered some major damages, but we have managed to collect all the payments that we were due.”

Torruella stressed it was no mean-feat from the broker, as for a long time Puerto Rico went through power and communication cuts, making it very hard to even talk to carriers, and the insurance industry had to bring adjusters from Mexico and other countries in order to assess the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

Destileria Serralles suffered damages such as the collapse of the roof at its bottling plant and the consequent crashing of machinery. To compound the challenges, one of its two lead insurers went bust due to the accumulation of losses caused by the hurricane.

Tammy Mission, CLCS
Chief Executive Officer
BeemaBroker, Danville, Calif.

Tammy Mission, Chief Executive Officer, BeemaBroker

When should new businesses start working on their risk management and insurance programs? The answer: From the very beginning.

But for many startups, receiving proper attention from insurance partners can be a tough task, as brokers logically tend to prioritize the largest accounts.

Tammy Mission, the CEO and co-founder of BeemaBroker, itself a young company, earns praise for the support she has provided to new business owners who would otherwise struggle to maximize the benefits of risk management and insurance to their businesses.

“Tammy’s service is exceptional,” said Barbara Timm-Brock, the CEO of eTrack Tech, a tech startup.

“She made me aware that I did not have the right kinds of coverage for my business. She found me a general insurance policy and then, at a very low cost, a workers’ comp policy that was very well-suited to our needs.”

She continued: “I have a complicated business that is hard to insure, but Tammy went through my contract to figure out my needs. She found me an A+ rated carrier for my tech E&O insurance at a much more reasonable cost than I expected.”

Mission’s services also included helping eTrack with licensing issues and referring to other brokers when the company needs coverages that are out of BeemaBroker’s scope of expertise.

Peter Schimeck
Broker
Aon, Chicago

Peter Shimeck, Broker, Aon

Following a period of catastrophic losses, it is only natural the insurance market tries to impose rate hikes. In this situation, it is up to brokers to stand up for clients who have done their risk management job well.

Peter Schimeck, a broker at Aon in Chicago, was praised by his clients for his ability to advocate for them after the strenuous 2017 hurricane season.

“Peter and the Aon team did an amazing job in highlighting what we [needed to] do to prevent losses and to distinguish us from other insureds,” said Mark Baker, vice president of risk management at Hyatt Hotels. “He created a platform for the renewals that was very successful for us.”

Baker said that while the overall marketplace was up substantially after the Harvey, Irma and Maria hurricanes, his company achieved basically flat rates. For its part, another client, real estate developer Transwestern, faced significant increases of property damage rates in this year’s renewals but ended up with hikes that were 50 percent lower than originally proposed after Schimeck negotiated with carriers on its behalf.

Schimeck managed to limit the rate increase of the overall program by highlighting to the market the risk management improvements implemented by the owner and by negotiating higher deductibles for flood claims for that specific facility.

“Peter did a really good job when negotiating our renewal rates,” said the risk manager.

Matthew Wiener
Senior Vice President
Aon, Houston

Matthew Wiener, Senior Vice President, Aon

Aon’s Matthew Wiener went to bat for three sizable clients, enabling them to close deals that would not have happened except for his expertise in reps and warranties insurance.

Wiener’s client Huntsman was involved in a highly competitive process to acquire a target business. Huntsman was required to place reps and warranties coverage to insure against possible losses arising out of breaches of reps and warranties in the underlying purchase agreement.

The uniqueness of the transaction: Huntsman was required to fully underwrite the policy before being granted exclusivity. A typical transaction would take between 10 and 14 business days. Wiener and his teammates were able to place and bind the coverage in less than a week.

Without Wiener’s work on the insurance side, Huntsman would not have been selected as the buyer; it was that simple.

For Energy Capital Partners, Weiner needed to find coverage for the acquisition of an environmental/recycling business. This is the type of business insurers tend to display a modest appetite for. Given the size of the transaction, Wiener needed to place a large tower of insurance that required four layers of coverage.

Despite the difficulty of the placement, Wiener got commitments from three markets to fully underwrite the acquisition. One client offered effusive praise for Wiener’s gift for enabling deals by advising private equity clients. He said Wiener offers knowledge of the product, even when it is not about selling a particular coverage.

The complete list of Power Broker® winners can be found here.

Finalists:

Aashish Chauhan, CPCU, ARM
SVP, Casualty Advisory
Marsh, Chicago

William Jackson
Branch Manager
Gallagher, Monroe, La.

Tana Melville
Account Executive
Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., Chicago

Brian Pfund, RPLU
Vice President
Marsh, Portland, Ore.

Tom Rhatigan
Senior Vice President
Marsh, New York

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Exclusive | Hank Greenberg on China Trade, Starr’s Rapid Growth and 100th, Spitzer, Schneiderman and More

In a robust and frank conversation, the insurance legend provides unique insights into global trade, his past battles and what the future holds for the industry and his company.
By: | October 12, 2018 • 12 min read

In 1960, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was hired as a vice president of C.V. Starr & Co. At age 35, he had already accomplished a great deal.

He served his country as part of the Allied Forces that stormed the beaches at Normandy and liberated the Nazi death camps. He fought again during the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star. He held a law degree from New York Law School.

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Now he was ready to make his mark on the business world.

Even C.V. Starr himself — who hired Mr. Greenberg and later hand-picked him as the successor to the company he founded in Shanghai in 1919 — could not have imagined what a mark it would be.

Mr. Greenberg began to build AIG as a Starr subsidiary, then in 1969, he took it public. The company would, at its peak, achieve a market cap of some $180 billion and cement its place as the largest insurance and financial services company in history.

This month, Mr. Greenberg travels to China to celebrate the 100th anniversary of C.V. Starr & Co. That visit occurs at a prickly time in U.S.-Sino relations, as the Trump administration levies tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods and China retaliates.

In September, Risk & Insurance® sat down with Mr. Greenberg in his Park Avenue office to hear his thoughts on the centennial of C.V. Starr, the dynamics of U.S. trade relationships with China and the future of the U.S. insurance industry as it faces the challenges of technology development and talent recruitment and retention, among many others. What follows is an edited transcript of that discussion.


R&I: One hundred years is quite an impressive milestone for any company. Celebrating the anniversary in China signifies the importance and longevity of that relationship. Can you tell us more about C.V. Starr’s history with China?

Hank Greenberg: We have a long history in China. I first went there in 1975. There was little there, but I had business throughout Asia, and I stopped there all the time. I’d stop there a couple of times a year and build relationships.

When I first started visiting China, there was only one state-owned insurance company there, PICC (the People’s Insurance Company of China); it was tiny at the time. We helped them to grow.

I also received the first foreign life insurance license in China, for AIA (The American International Assurance Co.). To date, there has been no other foreign life insurance company in China. It took me 20 years of hard work to get that license.

We also introduced an agency system in China. They had none. Their life company employees would get a salary whether they sold something or not. With the agency system of course you get paid a commission if you sell something. Once that agency system was installed, it went on to create more than a million jobs.

R&I: So Starr’s success has meant success for the Chinese insurance industry as well.

Hank Greenberg: That’s partly why we’re going to be celebrating that anniversary there next month. That celebration will occur alongside that of IBLAC (International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council), an international business advisory group that was put together when Zhu Rongji was the mayor of Shanghai [Zhu is since retired from public life]. He asked me to start that to attract foreign companies to invest in Shanghai.

“It turns out that it is harder [for China] to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

Shanghai and China in general were just coming out of the doldrums then; there was a lack of foreign investment. Zhu asked me to chair IBLAC and to help get it started, which I did. I served as chairman of that group for a couple of terms. I am still a part of that board, and it will be celebrating its 30th anniversary along with our 100th anniversary.

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We have a good relationship with China, and we’re candid as you can tell from the op-ed I published in the Wall Street Journal. I’m told that my op-ed was received quite well in China, by both Chinese companies and foreign companies doing business there.

On August 29, Mr. Greenberg published an opinion piece in the WSJ reminding Chinese leaders of the productive history of U.S.-Sino relations and suggesting that Chinese leaders take pragmatic steps to ease trade tensions with the U.S.

R&I: What’s your outlook on current trade relations between the U.S. and China?

Hank Greenberg: As to the current environment, when you are in negotiations, every leader negotiates differently.

President Trump is negotiating based on his well-known approach. What’s different now is that President Xi (Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China) made himself the emperor. All the past presidents in China before the revolution had two terms. He’s there for life, which makes things much more difficult.

R&I: Sure does. You’ve got a one- or two-term president talking to somebody who can wait it out. It’s definitely unique.

Hank Greenberg: So, clearly a lot of change is going on in China. Some of it is good. But as I said in the op-ed, China needs to be treated like the second largest economy in the world, which it is. And it will be the number one economy in the world in not too many years. That means that you can’t use the same terms of trade that you did 25 or 30 years ago.

They want to have access to our market and other markets. Fine, but you have to have reciprocity, and they have not been very good at that.

R&I: What stands in the way of that happening?

Hank Greenberg: I think there are several substantial challenges. One, their structure makes it very difficult. They have a senior official, a regulator, who runs a division within the government for insurance. He keeps that job as long as he does what leadership wants him to do. He may not be sure what they want him to do.

For example, the president made a speech many months ago saying they are going to open up banking, insurance and a couple of additional sectors to foreign investment; nothing happened.

The reason was that the head of that division got changed. A new administrator came in who was not sure what the president wanted so he did nothing. Time went on and the international community said, “Wait a minute, you promised that you were going to do that and you didn’t do that.”

So the structure is such that it is very difficult. China can’t react as fast as it should. That will change, but it is going to take time.

R&I: That’s interesting, because during the financial crisis in 2008 there was talk that China, given their more centralized authority, could react more quickly, not less quickly.

Hank Greenberg: It turns out that it is harder to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.

R&I: Obviously, you have a very unique perspective and experience in China. For American companies coming to China, what are some of the current challenges?

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Hank Greenberg: Well, they very much want to do business in China. That’s due to the sheer size of the country, at 1.4 billion people. It’s a very big market and not just for insurance companies. It’s a whole range of companies that would like to have access to China as easily as Chinese companies have access to the United States. As I said previously, that has to be resolved.

It’s not going to be easy, because China has a history of not being treated well by other countries. The U.S. has been pretty good in that way. We haven’t taken advantage of China.

R&I: Your op-ed was very enlightening on that topic.

Hank Greenberg: President Xi wants to rebuild the “middle kingdom,” to what China was, a great country. Part of that was his takeover of the South China Sea rock islands during the Obama Administration; we did nothing. It’s a little late now to try and do something. They promised they would never militarize those islands. Then they did. That’s a real problem in Southern Asia. The other countries in that region are not happy about that.

R&I: One thing that has differentiated your company is that it is not a public company, and it is not a mutual company. We think you’re the only large insurance company with that structure at that scale. What advantages does that give you?

Hank Greenberg: Two things. First of all, we’re more than an insurance company. We have the traditional investment unit with the insurance company. Then we have a separate investment unit that we started, which is very successful. So we have a source of income that is diverse. We don’t have to underwrite business that is going to lose a lot of money. Not knowingly anyway.

R&I: And that’s because you are a private company?

Hank Greenberg: Yes. We attract a different type of person in a private company.

R&I: Do you think that enables you to react more quickly?

Hank Greenberg: Absolutely. When we left AIG there were three of us. Myself, Howie Smith and Ed Matthews. Howie used to run the internal financials and Ed Matthews was the investment guy coming out of Morgan Stanley when I was putting AIG together. We started with three people and now we have 3,500 and growing.

“I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

R&I:  You being forced to leave AIG in 2005 really was an injustice, by the way. AIG wouldn’t have been in the position it was in 2008 if you had still been there.

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Hank Greenberg: Absolutely not. We had all the right things in place. We met with the financial services division once a day every day to make sure they stuck to what they were supposed to do. Even Hank Paulson, the Secretary of Treasury, sat on the stand during my trial and said that if I’d been at the company, it would not have imploded the way it did.

R&I: And that fateful decision the AIG board made really affected the course of the country.

Hank Greenberg: So many people lost all of their net worth. The new management was taking on billions of dollars’ worth of risk with no collateral. They had decimated the internal risk management controls. And the government takeover of the company when the financial crisis blew up was grossly unfair.

From the time it went public, AIG’s value had increased from $300 million to $180 billion. Thanks to Eliot Spitzer, it’s now worth a fraction of that. His was a gross misuse of the Martin Act. It gives the Attorney General the power to investigate without probable cause and bring fraud charges without having to prove intent. Only in New York does the law grant the AG that much power.

R&I: It’s especially frustrating when you consider the quality of his own character, and the scandal he was involved in.

In early 2008, Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap arranging a meeting with a prostitute at a Washington Hotel and resigned shortly thereafter.

Hank Greenberg: Yes. And it’s been successive. Look at Eric Schneiderman. He resigned earlier this year when it came out that he had abused several women. And this was after he came out so strongly against other men accused of the same thing. To me it demonstrates hypocrisy and abuse of power.

Schneiderman followed in Spitzer’s footsteps in leveraging the Martin Act against numerous corporations to generate multi-billion dollar settlements.

R&I: Starr, however, continues to thrive. You said you’re at 3,500 people and still growing. As you continue to expand, how do you deal with the challenge of attracting talent?

Hank Greenberg: We did something last week.

On September 16th, St. John’s University announced the largest gift in its 148-year history. The Starr Foundation donated $15 million to the school, establishing the Maurice R. Greenberg Leadership Initiative at St. John’s School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science.

Hank Greenberg: We have recruited from St. John’s for many, many years. These are young people who want to be in the insurance industry. They don’t get into it by accident. They study to become proficient in this and we have recruited some very qualified individuals from that school. But we also recruit from many other universities. On the investment side, outside of the insurance industry, we also recruit from Wall Street.

R&I: We’re very interested in how you and other leaders in this industry view technology and how they’re going to use it.

Hank Greenberg: I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.

R&I: So as the pre-eminent leader of the insurance industry, what do you see in terms of where insurance is now and where it’s going?

Hank Greenberg: The country and the world will always need insurance. That doesn’t mean that what we have today is what we’re going to have 25 years from now.

How quickly the change comes and how far it will go will depend on individual companies and individual countries. Some will be more brave than others. But change will take place, there is no doubt about it.

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More will go on in space, there is no question about that. We’re involved in it right now as an insurance company, and it will get broader.

One of the things you have to worry about is it’s now a nuclear world. It’s a more dangerous world. And again, we have to find some way to deal with that.

So, change is inevitable. You need people who can deal with change.

R&I:  Is there anything else, Mr. Greenberg, you want to comment on?

Hank Greenberg: I think I’ve covered it. &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]