2018 Power Broker

Automotive

Call Her Maestro

Jenny Charles
Senior Broker
Aon, St. Louis

Jenny Charles is a master at getting the right people together in a room and orchestrating business relationships and deals that wouldn’t happen if each party was singing their own tune.

Says one source, “Jenny orchestrated a meeting between one of her clients and a major firm. It was a win-win for everyone involved.

“The client got an introduction to a company that could write maybe nine lines for them. The credit people in the room got to know her client and become more comfortable with them and left with a better understanding of their needs.”

The result: Charles’ client received preferential consideration and ultimately better credit terms, and the company got to write a whole lot of coverage.

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Another client said, “Jenny is extremely knowledgeable, which I feel is built by her experience and dedication. She’s also very customer focused. She makes herself available at a moment’s notice. Even though she is [an] Aon employee, she acts like an ‘arm’ for us and projects our high values.”

“We have tremendous confidence in Jenny, which is key,” said one managing director who sang Charles’ praises.

He added, “Jenny managed the placement of our 2017 umbrella program where she brought a new and creative structure with individual company primary umbrellas and a shared excess, which resulted in tremendous balance sheet protection in addition to year-over-year savings.”

In the Driver’s Seat

Greg Myers
Executive Managing Director
Beecher Carlson, New York

“If you are in the auto insurance industry, you know Greg Myers,” said one client, a director of risk management. “And if you don’t know him, you should.

“Greg has tremendous knowledge, and he works closely with those of us in the risk area of the auto business. He thinks out-of-the-box and has alternative solutions” she added.

One of Myers’ ideas was designed to help manufacturers. “Greg came up with the idea to have a group of manufacturers come together and pool resources across the industry. And he got us

all talking about risk management and sharing information.”

A recent risk solution involved a German original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

The goal was to convert its private label customer insurance program to a self-insured program, which meant leaping over hurdles such as controlling risks, meeting sales goals and developing a product that satisfied the vehicle purchaser and dealers.

Greg got in the driver’s seat and took off! He became part of the client’s risk management team and performed a consulting study. Then he led his client through the program design, program structure, the development of a national sales team and the formation of the captive insurance company and obligor company.

Additionally, Greg led the expansion of cyber and media liability coverage for one OEM and the marketing of cyber liability coverage for yet another OEM.

Look for Myers at RIMS where he’ll once again lead industry discussions.

Manufacturing Cyber Coverage

Carrie Yang, ARM
Assistant Vice President
Aon, Chicago

Bringing property and casualty components into cyber coverage for the manufacturing industry — who knew? Carrie Yang, of course.

“Carrie’s industry knowledge is impressive,” said Lynn Haigler, director, insurance and risk financing, BJC Healthcare.

“We didn’t know a lot about cyber risk and liability, and Carrie has been instrumental in educating us.”

For traditional manufacturing companies, cyber data breach exposure is not where the big risk lives. Instead, property damage, general liability and products liability resulting from cyber incidents are what keeps these risk managers up at night.

But typical cyber policies on the market explicitly exclude property damage and bodily injury, which makes cyber policies less attractive to manufacturers. Yang knew they needed it, and  her team set out to make sure they got it.

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Aon’s team developed a new program — entirely manuscript — to address uncovered exposures. Yang and a specially formed Aon team spent a year developing the form, which incorporates property and casualty components into cyber. Yang played a key role in drafting the policy and broking the placement, making Aon a leader in this coverage.

Craig Coluzza, insurance risk manager, AIG, said, “Carrie and I worked on manuscript policy language for weeks. It was difficult enough to create this language, but then she had to negotiate the acceptance of this broad policy language with several insurance carriers.

“I was pleasantly surprised that Carrie was able to maintain the majority of our original policy language after intense negotiations with carriers.”

Guiding His Team and Clients

Bruce Ludwig
Managing Director
Marsh, Chicago

Following a successful outcome of a defensive and offensive RFP, Bruce Ludwig aligned his team to deconstruct a fragmented global liability program and aggressively market to new global carriers. They delivered better coverage at pricing nearly 75 percent below the incumbent terms.

Utilizing Ludwig’s highly consultative approach to client service, the team worked to align the program with other global coverages, ensuring consistency and streamlined administration.

“Bruce is very responsive,” said Marc Brinkschulte, director, corporate risk and insurance management, Robert Bosch, LLC. “You can always reach out to him and get a quick response. He is very familiar with and very interested in a broad spectrum of issues across the automotive and technology industries.”

Ludwig blends a technical knowledge of complex global insurance programs with an intense focus on aligning the client and Marsh service teams to achieve and deliver stretch objectives. Understanding what good and great results look like leads to a thoughtful discussion of what a stretch outcome could possibly be.

Ludwig has 35 years’ experience in the industry and has been an underwriter, product line broker and client executive for the last 22 years. Most of his clients utilize captives as a foundational core of their risk financing strategy and as such, Ludwig helps align clients’ captives into the program efficiently.

Plan More, Worry Less

Kathy Weaver, CIC, CRM
Managing Director
Aon, Southfield, Mich.

Hope for the best and plan for the worst. It is good advice in any industry, but Kathy Weaver is helping clients apply it in the automotive space.

One such example: Weaver was asked by client Delphi to provide an in-depth review of their Mexico facilities from an asset valuation and business interruption perspective.

They found that a critical component of Delphi manufacturers was made at only one location, which meant that a loss or business interruption at that one location could potentially be detrimental to the company as a whole.

“Kathy’s best strength is her customer service. She listens to what I’m looking for and provides well thought out solutions on how to address the particular issue at hand,” said Brian Eichenlaub, Delphi’s treasurer, America, and director of risk management finance.

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Weaver and her team also guided another client, a global automotive supplier, through a move abroad.

They helped the client address named insured wording in their policies as well as manage their insurance once the leadership team relocated.

More recently, Weaver and her team assisted the same client with a business interruption analysis post fire loss at one of their Mexico locations.

They procured a $1 million advance, and at press time, they were working to finalize the remaining payment with the adjustor.

The complete list of 2018 Power Broker® winners can be found here.

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 an 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]