These Are the Best 190 Commercial Insurance Brokers and Why We Call Them Power Brokers

Creativity, deep industry knowledge and delivering superior customer service are the hallmarks of these award-winning brokers.
By: | February 25, 2019

It’s gratifying to see someone like Bob Parisi, a managing director with Marsh, win a Power Broker® award in the cyber category. Parisi has served as an expert on cyber risk for this magazine and in many other forums for quite some time.

A client who served as a reference for Bob Parisi’s 2019 Power Broker® application described Parisi as “so passionate about what he does that it’s almost painful — he is beyond passionate.”

Parisi is not alone. Many of the 190 commercial insurance brokers we recognize as Power Brokers in this February issue are passionate. They have to be. They must also be driven to deliver the results their clients need.

Remember that the three main qualifiers for someone to distinguish themselves from the field and win a Power Broker® award are creativity/resourcefulness, customer service and industry knowledge. What I’m trying to drive home here is that those traits must be deployed even more intensely given the pace of change in our world and our economy.

Bob Parisi
Managing Director

Consider Payal Chahal, a vice president with Aon in San Francisco. Chahal works with an autonomous vehicle startup that has the goal of creating an autonomous vehicle ride-hailing service by 2020. It all sounds exciting, but the insurance markets have no idea what to do with such a thing, given there is no loss data to go on.

But Chahal, who has won a Power Broker® award in the technology category, was able to put together an insurance program with a standard carrier. She is in the process of creating a new product liability coverage for the startup addressing both cyber security and product liability. Without this coverage, the startup would have no road in front of it.

Cyber risks and the pace of technology growth are one stand-out area in Power Broker®, which is in its 14th year. Another area of intense focus and innovation is in the category of mergers and acquisitions, particularly within the emergence of tax insurance.

Aon’s Jessica Harger did not enter in the mergers and acquisitions category, but it’s where she was named a winner for the brilliance she displayed in procuring a tax insurance solution for a major private equity company. The seller in the deal was unwilling to indemnify two major tax liabilities identified by the buyer. No insurance solution; no deal.

Harger stepped in and was able to put together $600 million in coverage from 13 carriers. She stipulates this is one of the largest tax insurance programs ever placed.

“A lot of brokers are guilty of using too much jargon, which often confuses the client, but Jessica cuts through all that and gets to the heart of the matter,” said her client.

Each year since 2005,  Risk & Insurance® has received hundreds of applications for Power Broker®. Not all of them are as stunning as Harger’s was. But a fair number of them are.

Mark your calendars for mid-October. That’s when the next round of Power Broker® applications are due. Much will have changed by then. And commercial insurance brokers will have a lot to talk about. Not in the area of boasting, but in proof they are extremely high-performing professionals, without whom the machinations of industry would grind to a metal-splintering halt.

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

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].