Program Business

Here’s What’s in Store at the 2018 Target Markets Summit

Program sector professionals will exchange ideas about the growing sector at the annual TMPAA Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. in late October.
By: | October 15, 2018

The program sector has seen a lot of growth in the last few years; one study, “The TMPAA State of Program Business 2017,” saw programs with $36.1 billion in premiums in 2016 — an estimated 11.7 percent increase from 2014’s $32.3 billion.


These numbers indicate the program business now makes up “over 10 percent of the entire P&C marketplace,” said Ray Scotto, executive director, Target Markets Program Administrators Association (TMPAA). “It is the fastest growing segment of the P&C industry, and it’s a business that is expected to grow.”

This is good news for program administrators as they continue to find new ways to improve and achieve desired outcomes. And this year, these administrators, their carriers and other service providers can meet and share ideas at the annual TMPAA Summit, held in Scottsdale, Ariz., from Oct. 22 through Oct. 24.

“The most important element of our annual meetings has always been connecting both program administrators and program carriers with their most likely program partners,” said Scotto.

The Evolution of Program Distribution

“One very interesting presentation during the Summit will deal with the question of how technology will impact program business, most specifically in the area of distribution,” explained Scotto.

This presentation, “The Evolution of Program Distribution,” will review research from Conning Inc. on the ways program administrators can evolve alongside the pressures influencing traditional insurance distribution models.

Kathleen Zortman, president — property & casualty, QBE North America, and one of the presentation’s panelists, said QBE is looking at the program business as a growing opportunity in the current P&C landscape: “As we see it, programs may be a major way forward for the P&C industry, where you gain some deep expertise in a particular line of business, then work with MGAs and partners who live and breathe that business and have credibility in that space.”

Grace Meek, senior vice president, U.S. programs division, Allied World

During the presentation, Zortman will dive into how technology will play a larger role in making program business possible and profitable.

“Those that don’t invest in technology may be left behind,” said Grace Meek, senior vice president, U.S. programs division, Allied World.

“Insurtech, technology and IT are now more affordable and available, and programs are making those investments,” Meek said. “[These investments] make programs more affordable and efficient. With this advanced technology, you will get closer to the insured.”

One major takeaway from the panel, Zortman added, will be for attendees to better understand how to expand existing markets and create new marketplaces by leveraging innovative approaches to process and technology.

“Program business is an ideal collaboration between people who know the business and people who understand the complexities of risk management, claims and mitigation,” she said. “If you combine all that expertise with innovative technology and processes, you end up with new or enhanced solutions that increase the size and profitability of the program business.”

“The Evolution of Program Distribution” will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Key Speakers and Other Opportunities

In addition to the presentations, the TMPAA team has two prominent speakers lined up: Jack Nicklaus, the legendary golfer, and Patrick Ryan, CEO and president of Ryan Specialty Group.


“Every year we look for interesting speakers,” Scotto said. “These are two engaging speakers who members will want to hear. Jack may not be directly related to the [insurance] industry, but he has some good insights into running a business.”

Nicklaus, now-retired, won a record-winning 18 major championships, with 19 second-place and 9 third-place finishes during his 25-year career. He will be speaking on Tuesday, Oct. 23, as the keynote. Ryan, founder of both his current enterprise and Aon Corporation, where he served as chairman and CEO for 41 years, will speak on Monday, Oct. 22, as the Summit’s industry speaker.

“Target Markets … has relevant topics that deal with how to be the best, speakers who have useful insights, and as a working conference, there’s a lot of value to be gained.” — Grace Meek, senior vice president, U.S. programs division, Allied World

Scotto added that the other program professionals speaking at workshops and presentations address critical issues and challenges in program administration.

“We choose workshops very precisely,” he said. The goal: Foster meetings between administrators and partners while promoting best practices in the industry.

“As the industry changes, so do best practice expectations,” Scotto added. “It will be very interesting to see the evolution of program business over the coming years. It will be our job as an association to evolve as well to provide the resources, education and leadership that our membership will require.”

Meek credits the TMPAA Summit as a good source for program improvement: “Companies talk at the Summit,” she said. “Target Markets is great for both existing and new programs administrators. It has relevant topics that deal with how to be the best, speakers who have useful insights and, as a working conference, there is a lot of value to be gained.” &

Autumn Heisler is the digital producer at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]

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