The 2019 Marine Power Brokers

Wesley Bryan
Senior Vice President
Marsh, Houston

Wesley Bryan, Senior Vice President, Marsh

Marsh Wortham’s Wesley Bryan doesn’t just know the insurance business, he knows the insured’s businesses.

“Wesley knows our business, our philosophy and our needs intimately,” said one client. “This level of understanding and commitment to our account ensures that we get the right solution first time and in no time.”

Another client said Bryan is “so in tune” with their business, “he is able to think like a customer, while having the expertise of an insurance professional.”

And that expertise is impressive. “He knows the players, knows alternatives, knows who to reach out to when there’s issues to be dealt with,” the client said. “And it’s not just people, it’s the forms and how the coverage works. … But knowing who to talk to and communicate with is very, very important.”


But all that knowledge wouldn’t count for much if it wasn’t put to good use: “He is pretty aggressive at looking for solutions and trying to work through things, as opposed to accepting the way it is.”

Bryan’s solutions get results. He managed to get one client’s terrorism placement limit increased from $10 million expiring to $100 million and added a section for political risk perils with a 5 percent reduction from expiring rates. Another customer saw an increased limit from $75 million to $150 million per conveyance, also with a 5 percent rate reduction.

Scott Davis
Senior Vice President
Aon, Southfield, Mich.

Scott Davis, Senior Vice President, Aon

After a long string of loss-free years, a global manufacturer was blindsided when the London markets hit its excess cargo program with a 25 percent premium increase just 30 days before renewal. Scott Davis knew it was time for the client to make a move, but he also knew time was tight.

Although the U.S. cargo markets tended to shy away from such coverage, he persuaded seven of them to provide 80 percent capacity at the expiring premium levels.

Simultaneously, he worked with the client to approach the Chinese markets, which took on a portion of what remained. With time running out, Davis returned to the London market, and based on the 90-plus percent of the risk he had covered, he found a home for the remaining capacity — and all of it at the expiring premiums.

“His level of industry knowledge is superior,” said one client. “He brings knowledge, experience and solutions to any given situation.”

Another client said, “He’s good with analytics and uses data and information, which is important to us.

“But at the same time, he understands the markets and can bridge the analytics and our expectations and requirements so we can optimize coverage terms and conditions. … The traditional market swings have been mitigated or eliminated by the capacity that is available. …

Underwriting risks has become harder, because you can’t just follow the market. The underwriters have to really understand the risk. To have a broker who can understand the data and can share that information is crucial.”

Martin McCluney
Managing Director
Marsh, New York

Martin McCluney, Managing Director, Marsh

Martin McCluney knows the sea. He grew up in a family engaged in various shipping activities and trained for and considered a career at sea. He also knows insurance, and in the maritime category, that’s a powerful combination.

“He knows how to get things done,” said one satisfied client. “He knows who to work with to get things done. He’s been really one of the best of the best. He’s very good.”

Another client, who has a fleet of over 100 vessels of various types owned by three affiliated companies of vastly different sizes and niches, said, “We have worked with Martin for more than 20 years. … There are a lot of exposures and types of liability, and he has been able to leverage all the premium power of the three companies and put together a program that addresses all of our issues we think bring a lot of financial benefit to us.”


He brings that same level of service to new clients as well, including one who called him “nothing short of heroic” after he rebuilt their machinery program with additional coverage enhancements while saving them substantial money on premiums.

McCluney’s philosophy of customer service includes sharing knowledge with clients, keeping them informed about market, regulatory and exposure changes to minimize unpleasant surprises. It also includes being highly responsive whenever he is needed.

As one client puts it, “When you are trained and licensed to work on a ship, you are on 24/7. That’s how the business is. Martin carries that over to how he does business.”

Whitney Nelson, ARM, AMIM
Vice President
Marsh, San Francisco

Whitney Nelson, Vice President, Marsh

Whitney Nelson knows marine insurance. But it is what she does with that knowledge that makes her a Power Broker®.

“Marsh and Whitney came to the table and said, ‘Let’s take your raw products and finished goods out of your property program, which has a higher rate, and put that into a stock throughput program, and we’ll put your cargo in there as well,’ ” said one happy client.

“It was new to me, I had never heard of it before. You are taking close to a billion of your property exposure and moving it to a different type of program. We saved a considerable amount of money, and Whitney was the one who led the effort.”

Another multinational client saw five separate existing programs, plus two local programs in other countries, combined into one seamless program that encompasses all the conglomerate’s entities.

Nelson, U.S. Cargo Leader for Marsh’s corporate segment of business, who touches approximately 800 accounts annually, not only thinks outside the box — she creates new boxes for new thinking and saves her clients money and headaches in the process.

“Whitney has worked diligently with us to break down the barriers of ‘traditional insurance’ practices and procedures,” explained another client.

“We were able to consolidate programs, extend policy terms, expand our customer base and optimize day-to-day activities. … Without her knowledge of the industry and enthusiasm to provide creative and effective risk solutions, these changes/upgrades would not be implemented today.”

The complete list of 2019 Power Brokers® can be found here.


Inga Bancroft
Vice President
Marsh, San Francisco

Sydney Turk
Lead Broker-Private Yachts
Aon, New York

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.


That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.


Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]