The 2019 Finance Power Brokers
Shane Hogan, Senior Vice President, Aon
When you win an RFP to handle the insurance work for one of the largest insurance companies in the world, you know you’re doing something right.
Aon’s Shane Hogan is doing more than a few things right.
For the major insurer, he was able to lower its Total Cost of Risk (TCOR) while maintaining its breadth of coverage. He and his team pulled this off in a period of transition, as the company’s primary underwriter was undergoing an important staffing change.
“Shane Hogan is a Power Broker!” said an executive with the commercial carrier client.
“He keeps a line of communication open which is not limited to the insurance placement window; follows up in a timely manner on all communications, asks for feedback on himself, the team, and the brokerage house and then makes adjustments,” the client said.
For a personal lines insurer, Hogan navigated the handling of a very large claim, garnering advanced payments for the carrier while working hand in hand with his client to finalize the rest of the claims.
“Shane understands our business and our priorities – in our experience, far better than other insurance agents/brokers with whom we’ve dealt with,” said another client.
“Shane has consistently been able to provide insurance solutions that fit our business needs. Year over year we’ve been able to maintain our coverage and retention levels with acceptable premium increases,” the client said.
Jennifer Hustwitt, Vice President, Marsh
One of Jennifer Hustwitt’s clients, KNØX Industries Inc., is an institutional-grade security platform for the storage of digital assets, which has developed proprietary hardware and software to establish new standards of security for cryptocurrency holdings.
Throughout much of last year, the specie insurance market at Lloyd’s has started to underwrite and retain the “offline” and “physical” aspects of the storage of digital assets, but they have not been as willing to address the network security components of digital asset storage systems.
Hustwitt identified and sourced a third-party security firm to support the Lloyd’s underwriting. In addition, she facilitated a process to write new, custom insurance policy language and also secured agreement and support from management at Lloyd’s to improve the overall process underwriting of digital assets.
“Jennifer Hustwitt is an amazing broker and thought leader within the cryptocurrency insurance marketplace,” said Jerry Chien, KNØX’s managing director, head of risk. Before KNØX started working with Hustwitt, the maximum amount of insurance coverage the company was able to access was $60 million, Chien said. But with Hustwitt, KNØX has identified a pathway to as much as $1 billion in possible coverage.
“This has provided us with an incredible competitive advantage, allowing us to offer our customers the most comprehensive and cost-efficient insurance coverage in the cryptocurrency marketplace,” he said.
Kevin Kirby, Associate Director, Willis Towers Watson
Kevin Kirby has a broad portfolio of clients including asset managers, banks, insurance companies and broker/dealers.
Having worked as a financial institutions underwriter at AIG for several years prior to becoming a broker, Kirby understands and appreciates the different sides of the brokerage business.
His expertise has served his clients well: Kirby has standardized Willis Towers Watson’s suite of client documents including renewal strategy templates, quote proposals and evidence of coverage letters tailored to the needs and expectations of financial institution clients.
Moreover, he constantly builds out the brokerage firm’s proprietary benchmarking databases across all financial institution industry subsets, which now include purchasing information on more than 400 peers.
He has been proactive at establishing internal policies and programs to ensure that all of the firm’s brokers have access to the best possible resources, including proprietary benchmarking tools covering each of the financial institution’s industry subsets.
Kirby serves as the financial institutions liaison with Willis Towers Watson’s internal risk and analytics group to fine-tune its modeling tools. He also provides training on presentation skills and best practices, alongside standardized templates to ensure consistency across the global team.
“Kevin Kirby is a superior broker,” said the head of product management at one client investment company.
John McCall, Senior Vice President, Aon
John McCall often goes above and beyond for his clients.
“John makes extra efforts to arrange face-to-face meetings with the insurance underwriters so they can better understand our risks and how we manage the risks,” said Rahul Agarwal, CIFC Asset Management’s CFO. “This has been very helpful in getting the underwriters comfortable with the risk, enabling us to reduce insurance costs.”
A private equity firm client said McCall has led the effort on the professional liability insurance lines for a number of its businesses in the specialty finance, trust and custody, and wealth management sectors.
“John and his team have done a fantastic job delivering cost-effective structures while at the same time providing higher limits, competitive retentions and broader coverage than were previously in place,” the client said.
McCall “always does a good job,” said Susan Stuhr, managing director of corporate insurance at Charles Schwab.
“Our board hired a law firm to review the policies, and John was able to get what the attorney needed — but he was also able to push back on things that totally did not make sense, because [he] knows those coverage grants inside and out.
“It was all handled very well in a non-contentious manner, as he is the consummate professional while remaining personable and approachable,” Stuhr said.
Thomas Shashaty, Account Executive, Alliant
A financial services company approached Thomas Shashaty to determine if he could help them place the right insurance programs for all of its moving parts; the firm was in the midst of acquiring a number of different types of companies — all with different risk profiles and insurance policies up for renewal.
In just two days, Shashaty presented an insurance solution that addressed coverage gaps, provided ideas on manuscripted policy language, listed the possible insurance carriers and provided ballpark pricing indications.
Alliant affiliate Crystal & Co. was designated the company’s new broker of record, and the following week, Shashaty was successful in securing the proposed insurance program for the entire organization — hitting all coverage and pricing targets.
Furthermore, Shashaty used data analytics to demonstrate potential areas of risk that needed to be addressed.
“Tom’s extensive industry knowledge, level of services, professionalism and genuine care he provides to his clients should be epitomized,” said the controller of an alternative investment management firm.
“I appreciate Tom’s depth of knowledge and how he is able to explain things in an understandable way and how it relates to my business,” said the director of facilities management at a quantitative investment firm. “
He gives me examples of how the coverage would kick in in a situation like X. I’ve been using Tom for 16 years, and I have the option to change brokers at my discretion, but I’ve never had a reason to look anywhere else.”
Ben Zviti, Senior Vice President, Marsh
Ben Zviti this year delivered a result for client Aegon “that will be hard to beat,” said Barry White, the company’s global insurance manager.
In what is a “very nascent market” for global cyber liability insurance programs, White set Zviti and his team some very significant targets: Not only to manage pricing but to also convert to a new primary policy wording that was easier to understand and broader in nature than what the company had in place.
“Ben managed the Marsh team and the relationship with the primary carrier in a fantastic fashion, providing great support to us as the client while also moving the market along with us to attain our goals,” White said.
Zviti, Marsh’s financial institutions cyber crime leader, arranged face-to-face market meetings in London, providing the Aegon team with “laser-like advice” on what types of information the underwriters needed to accept and price the risk.
“The policy wording process was exhaustive, with multiple iterations managed in an organized fashion by Ben and the Marsh team,” White said. “This was a tall challenge but Ben rose to the occasion and delivered a great result for us.”
Zviti gives “beyond superior service,” said another client, Trish Comiskey, vice president, risk management corporate insurance at Hancock Whitney Bank. “He has saved Hancock a significant amount of money, and he’s been able to enhance the terms and conditions in our cyber liability policy that we could never get before,” Comiskey said.