The 2019 Cyber Power Brokers
Justin Corrado, Vice President, Marsh
Marsh’s Justin Corrado recently helped a global shipping and logistics company place its first — and incredibly complex — cyber program.
“No standard canned off-the-shelf policy would fit our needs,” said the company’s global risk and insurance manager. Together with Corrado, they built a robust and groundbreaking program.
Corrado helped leaders from throughout the organization to understand the program within the context of their own worlds, said the risk manager.
“He helped me explain the insurance markets and what underwriters are looking for, and what we could do to best present the risk. [Justin] went above and beyond from start to finish,” he said. “We do things differently here, and he’s able to adapt without missing a beat.”
Once the final approvals had come through, “I called him at 5:00 on a Friday and gave him the bind order. He had just stepped out onto the sidewalk, but he turned right around and went right back to work communicating with the markets.”
Another client was nearing renewal when revelations about the financial impact of the NotPetya attack hit home for the company. The disclosure “freaked me out,” said the company’s corporate director of risk management.
“With Justin we were able to work through it,” he said. “For a guy that’s as young as he is to have that depth of knowledge is impressive. Justin is rare… he lives and breathes the guts of the insurance contract.”
Souwei Ford, Atlantic/SE Cyber Team Leader, Willis Towers Watson
A popular restaurant franchisor understood all too well the potential impact to the entire brand if even a single franchisee were to suffer the impact of a significant cyber event.
“If one franchisor has a cyber incident, the [public] perception is that it happened to the brand,” explained the director of risk management.
The company enlisted Willis Towers Watson’s Souwei Ford to build a cyber insurance program that would meet the needs of both the franchisor and the entire franchisee community. It had to provide appropriate limits and retentions for individual franchisees while recognizing the disparity between franchisee sizes and resources.
“How do we scale things down for the mom and pop [operators] and scale up for the big guys?” said the director.
The policy also had to provide the franchisor with much larger program limits should an incident cause losses to the franchise system — regardless of the number of franchisees involved. The program needed to function much like an accordion, said the risk manager, expanding and contracting smoothly as needed.
Designing the heavily manuscripted policy took a combination of creativity, technical expertise and a keen understanding of the franchise’s business, said the risk manager.
“While mostly it’s carriers designing the products and insureds accepting it, this is the insured saying, ‘This is what we want,’ and Sou had to figure out how to translate that to underwriters. She literally and figuratively was right in the middle of all that.”
Darin McMullen, Senior Vice President, Aon
A client approached Aon’s Darin McMullen about building a cyber program that would include property damage and custom-tailored business interruption and extra expense losses. It wouldn’t be easy with a recent claim on the books.
McMullen was undaunted, successfully engaging underwriters to hash it out, drafting a program that would respond to physical damage, first-party income loss, third-party liability and first-party event management costs. McMullen’s team also engaged in discussions with potential excess carriers to follow form on the policy while seeking several hundred million dollars in capacity.
“Having been a lawyer and litigated cyber cases, [Darin] knows his stuff,” said Jay Perry, director of risk management for ARRIS International. “This guy is so sharp and I’m happy he’s on our account.”
McMullen recently helped Perry implement several dozen critical adjustments to the language of its cyber policy. “Having dealt with our insurance carrier and knowing how they would respond to a loss, he was able to come up with language that the carrier would accept and help us avoid having to litigate,” said Perry.
Another client “required a solution that was not off the shelf but built from the ground up,” said a director of insurance and risk management. “Darin put a lot of effort into listening to us, [paying] attention to detail and thinking through consequences. He helped us put together a very innovative and forward-thinking cyber insurance program.”
Alex Moen, Vice President, Aon
A retail client that suffered a high-profile breach was still faced with painful premiums years after the event, despite its cyber risk control investments. Aon’s Alex Moen set out to change carriers’ perception of the company’s risk, working with internal stakeholders to develop a strategic plan to get things back on track.
Efforts included annual underwriting days to build insurers’ understanding of and comfort with the company’s risk level, communicating renewal goals far in advance and seeking additional primary options which included larger limit deployment.
At renewal time, Moen and the team leveraged limit options by the primary insurer to force excess insurers to correct their pricing. The result: Premium was reduced by more than 20 percent while maintaining insurer partnerships and expanding coverage to include broad business interruption coverage.
“Alex demonstrates not only an ability to go above and beyond, but he looks for opportunities to do it,” said the vice president of risk management for a gaming and hospitality client. “And he does it with a higher degree of accuracy because he listens and pays attention.
“Our IT and digital security team love Alex and what he brings to the table. When we were going through renewal, he heard a digital security team member say, ‘I wish we had a better way to quantify our risk exposure.’ He found a partner for us and got our program to pay for it. Alex has the ability to establish himself as one of the greats in this industry.”
Robert Parisi, Managing Director, Marsh
What makes a broker truly outstanding? The vice president of corporate risk management for a pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant places the bar exceptionally high, and makes no apologies for it: Honesty and integrity, respect for the company’s philosophy and long-term strategy, the highest level of technical expertise, and unrivalled passion all top his list.
And “Bob [Parisi] hits every single one out of the park,” he said. “Bob has earned the respect of myself and my peers, and the respect and admiration of the insurers we work with. There’s probably no one on the planet with more technical expertise than Bob. He’s so passionate about what he does that it’s almost painful — he is beyond passionate.”
The risk manager’s company kept a watchful eye on the cyber market for several years, but didn’t take the plunge until the marketplace could offer the coverage and capacity that would make sense for a complex global corporation. He credits Parisi with “negotiating truly innovative coverage for us.
… There were areas of the coverage I was particularly focused on,” he explained, including systems failure affecting one of the company’s suppliers. With thousands of suppliers in the mix, the language had to be carefully crafted.
“It wasn’t easy,” said the risk manager. “The insurer was, at the beginning, vehemently opposed to what we wanted to do.” Parisi won them over, of course.
“Bob was an underwriter. He understands how the insurers operate. He’s armed with a sound level of technical expertise, and [a keen understanding of] where to push the insurers.”
Susan Young, Senior Vice President, Marsh
The best brokers don’t sweat curveballs. They know how to pivot and turn a curve into an advantage. That’s the kind of fast footwork clients have come to admire from Marsh’s Susan Young.
“We were looking at a major acquisition,” explained Bill Richardson, vice president of risk management for Albertsons Companies. “Right before shareholder vote, the deal got canceled.” Fortunately, the work Young had put into the deal wasn’t for naught.
“Susan had put together a great cyber program. When the deal fell apart, we were able to leverage what she had done [at] our renewal.” That included moving the bottom four layers of the tower around, resulting in 20 percent savings year over year and significant coverage enhancements, some of which were the first to be seen in the market for retailers.
“[She] had done this the year before, and we thought we had achieved all that we could on the program, but she did it again,” Richardson said.
What distinguishes Young is her ability to immerse herself in the client’s industry and get a thorough grasp of how the evolving challenges will affect clients’ cyber coverage.
“Cyber threat changes from one week to the next,” said Dan Sandru, chief risk officer for Broadcom Inc. But Young “doesn’t miss a beat,” he said. “I have yet to meet a person as quick, as sharp, as thorough and as knowledgeable technically as Susan. She’s gone far beyond [the traditional] broker role. Usually you need to hire consultants and experts to do something that Susan has done single-handedly.”