The 2019 Pharmaceutical Power Brokers
Paula Bennett, Managing Director, Marsh
Paula Bennett’s approach to client service is to partner with the client, conduct the necessary research to fully understand their business, and then become an extension of their team, acting with a sense of urgency to get to optimal outcome.
“Paula quickly pulled a strong syndicate of insurance carriers to bid on the D&O policy that increased demand and ensured the most competitive pricing,” said Jim Engelhart, chief financial officer at Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company LTD.
“As a result, we ended up with an outstanding syndicate of carriers at a very competitive price. Paula helped secure our second year of coverage with no premium increase.”
Paula “has just been incredibly effective and responsive,” said the director, corporate insurance group at a pharmaceutical company.
“She is that person when on the beach in Hawaii, on vacation, she’s going to take my call,” the client said. “She is a cancer survivor and was still doing her duties while under treatment — that’s how dedicated she is.”
Bennett has more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/life sciences space. She stays current on industry and market developments by reading relevant articles and attending seminars and training relevant to the industry. Bennett represents some of the largest companies within the pharmaceutical/life sciences space and acts as a resource for colleagues in the U.S. and around the world.
Stephen Busch, Broker, Aon
Stephen Busch was able to achieve a great renewal result for a fast-growing maker of more than 400 health and wellness products.
The client has experienced strong revenue growth over the past several years and forecasted further growth for the upcoming year. Busch recommended remarketing the program based on an expanding availability of excess casualty insurers, thus allowing a favorable market environment to drive the best terms, conditions and pricing.
In addition, Busch and his team were able to mitigate the premium impact of increasing total exposures by providing a breakout of international vs. U.S. revenues, as the company’s revenue growth was more international — which carried lower overall rates.
While pricing was a primary concern, Busch and his team endeavored to broaden the scope of coverage for certain professional liability exposures not previously covered and to also look at different retention options to present to the client to manage the company’s total cost of risk.
The client maintained a captive insurance program for its primary layer of coverage, which allowed the flexibility to craft coverage, retentions and favorable policy wording that were both favorable to the client but acceptable and followed by the risk transfer carriers on the excess program.
“Stephen Busch’s understanding of our business and our exposures helped get us an almost 30 percent reduction on our product liability premiums,” the client said.
Natalie Marquess, Assistant Vice President, Aon
Natalie Marquess has gone well above and beyond for her life sciences clients.
“Natalie has done a great job for us, including lowering our costs for product liability insurance quite dramatically,” said Mark Ostler, chief financial officer at 4Life Research. “When I say dramatically, I mean that Natalie was able to cut our product liability cost in half the first year and by another 10 percent in the second year. She is awesome!”
Yundi Chiu, associate director, risk management at Exelixis Inc., began working with Marquess in the summer of 2017, when Chiu took over the company’s risk management program.
While Chiu’s personal expertise involves Sarbanes-Oxley financial compliance, Exelixis’s continued evolution necessitated a full-time insurance professional to work between the operation and the broker.
“Natalie immediately offered her assistance and expertise in the field and did not hesitate to bring me up to speed with the process though clear and concise communication,” Chiu said.
“Her ability to translate needs, prioritize requests and attention to detail has proved herself to be irreplaceable with the trust that she has gained while working with us. If there’s a question, not only will she provide her knowledge, she will exhaust her network as well to share and confirm broader guidance in the industry.
“Natalie has been instrumental in the success of our program through her dedication and continuous proactiveness,” she added.
Alyssa Montgomery, Broker, Aon
In 2018, one of Alyssa Montgomery’s pharmaceutical clients officially transitioned from the research and development stage to receiving FDA approval for a revolutionary treatment. However, the client’s policy at the time did not contemplate any sold-product exposures, only clinical participants.
Montgomery and her team arranged client meetings with underwriters to educate insurers about the management of the company, as well as the product itself, and also conducted peer benchmarking and policy language negotiations.
Montgomery implemented a full marketing effort, approaching eight different markets for competition on both primary and excess layers while honoring the client’s long-term relationship with their incumbent carrier.
She also presented the client with options for extending the current program, placing a new annual program and placing a long-term policy.
Two carriers, including the incumbent, provided extremely competitive primary options with the same policy limit/deductible structure on the expiring program.
This forced the incumbent carrier into an even more competitive position, decreasing their rate on all three program options and allowing the client to save roughly $15,000 in annual premium spend based on return premium.
The annual approach sets everything in place for a year with a consistent retroactive date in the excess and allows more flexibility in negotiating future audit provision. The broad marketing effort also forced excess carriers to quote below minimum premiums.
Warren Printz, Senior Vice President, Marsh
Warren Printz’s client service philosophy has always been to listen well and to marry client needs with market capability — something particularly critical for life sciences clients.
The sector presents unique challenges to both brokers and their clients, so it’s paramount for Printz and his team to understand client needs and stay on top of current market conditions in order to obtain successful outcomes for clients.
“Warren is a very dedicated broker,” said a risk consultant who works with Printz.
“He helped us design a program that was very different because of the client’s product mix. In doing so, Warren helped us navigate uncharted waters to serve the company for the next decade.”
“Warren has continued to demonstrate a high level of capability, especially when he helped to onboard our new risk manager, bringing her up to speed in her role,” said the treasurer for a global company that sells nutritional supplements.
Printz has worked in the life sciences sector for more than three years and within the insurance industry for nearly two decades. Half of his tenure within the insurance industry has been managing client placements on behalf of Fortune 100 clients, and the other half has be
Niki Tsalikis, Senior Vice President, Marsh
Given the recent media coverage of the opioid crisis, the CFO of a pharmaceutical company with a sizeable opioid portfolio was concerned about the firm’s 2018 product liability insurance renewal. He was expecting a significant premium increase, as well as coverage limitation.
As part of the regular process, Niki Tsalikis and her team had a pre-renewal strategy meeting with the client a few months in advance of the renewal deadline.
As part of the discussion, the client explained how the company’s portfolio was different in terms of dosage form and its purpose — the opioids were being used as medication-assisted treatment in addiction clinics. Moreover, the client had a clean claim history.
Tsalikis suggested informing carriers of this differentiation would be valuable in the renewal discussions. The client prepared and gave a great presentation to potential carriers during the marketing of the program.
The result was outstanding: Not only did the client have multiple carriers to choose from, they but also achieved a 42 percent reduction compared to existing premium — significant for a company of its size — as well as improved coverage.
“We’ve had an excellent partnership with Niki,” said the client.
Tsalikis has been handling life science accounts — pharmaceuticals, biotechnology firms and medical device manufacturers — for nearly three decades. She learns by immersing herself in each company’s business — including reading the client’s 10K or 20F.