The 2019 Pharmaceutical Power Brokers

Paula Bennett
Managing Director
Marsh, New York

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, Life Sciences
Aon, Chicago

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, ARM, CIC, CRm
Assistant Vice President
Aon, Denver

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
Aon, Philadelphia

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, Cleveland

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, ARM
Senior Vice President
Marsh, Morristown, N.J.

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.

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


Antonino Gentile
Property Broker
Aon, London

Walker Taylor
Area President, Senior Managing Director
Gallagher, Wilmington, N.C.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Exclusive | Hank Greenberg on China Trade, Starr’s Rapid Growth and 100th, Spitzer, Schneiderman and More

In a robust and frank conversation, the insurance legend provides unique insights into global trade, his past battles and what the future holds for the industry and his company.
By: | October 12, 2018 • 12 min read

In 1960, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was hired as a vice president of C.V. Starr & Co. At age 35, he had already accomplished a great deal.

He served his country as part of the Allied Forces that stormed the beaches at Normandy and liberated the Nazi death camps. He fought again during the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star. He held a law degree from New York Law School.


Now he was ready to make his mark on the business world.

Even C.V. Starr himself — who hired Mr. Greenberg and later hand-picked him as the successor to the company he founded in Shanghai in 1919 — could not have imagined what a mark it would be.

Mr. Greenberg began to build AIG as a Starr subsidiary, then in 1969, he took it public. The company would, at its peak, achieve a market cap of some $180 billion and cement its place as the largest insurance and financial services company in history.

This month, Mr. Greenberg travels to China to celebrate the 100th anniversary of C.V. Starr & Co. That visit occurs at a prickly time in U.S.-Sino relations, as the Trump administration levies tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods and China retaliates.

In September, Risk & Insurance® sat down with Mr. Greenberg in his Park Avenue office to hear his thoughts on the centennial of C.V. Starr, the dynamics of U.S. trade relationships with China and the future of the U.S. insurance industry as it faces the challenges of technology development and talent recruitment and retention, among many others. What follows is an edited transcript of that discussion.

R&I: One hundred years is quite an impressive milestone for any company. Celebrating the anniversary in China signifies the importance and longevity of that relationship. Can you tell us more about C.V. Starr’s history with China?

Hank Greenberg: We have a long history in China. I first went there in 1975. There was little there, but I had business throughout Asia, and I stopped there all the time. I’d stop there a couple of times a year and build relationships.

When I first started visiting China, there was only one state-owned insurance company there, PICC (the People’s Insurance Company of China); it was tiny at the time. We helped them to grow.

I also received the first foreign life insurance license in China, for AIA (The American International Assurance Co.). To date, there has been no other foreign life insurance company in China. It took me 20 years of hard work to get that license.

We also introduced an agency system in China. They had none. Their life company employees would get a salary whether they sold something or not. With the agency system of course you get paid a commission if you sell something. Once that agency system was installed, it went on to create more than a million jobs.

R&I: So Starr’s success has meant success for the Chinese insurance industry as well.

Hank Greenberg: That’s partly why we’re going to be celebrating that anniversary there next month. That celebration will occur alongside that of IBLAC (International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council), an international business advisory group that was put together when Zhu Rongji was the mayor of Shanghai [Zhu is since retired from public life]. He asked me to start that to attract foreign companies to invest in Shanghai.

“It turns out that it is harder [for China] to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

Shanghai and China in general were just coming out of the doldrums then; there was a lack of foreign investment. Zhu asked me to chair IBLAC and to help get it started, which I did. I served as chairman of that group for a couple of terms. I am still a part of that board, and it will be celebrating its 30th anniversary along with our 100th anniversary.


We have a good relationship with China, and we’re candid as you can tell from the op-ed I published in the Wall Street Journal. I’m told that my op-ed was received quite well in China, by both Chinese companies and foreign companies doing business there.

On August 29, Mr. Greenberg published an opinion piece in the WSJ reminding Chinese leaders of the productive history of U.S.-Sino relations and suggesting that Chinese leaders take pragmatic steps to ease trade tensions with the U.S.

R&I: What’s your outlook on current trade relations between the U.S. and China?

Hank Greenberg: As to the current environment, when you are in negotiations, every leader negotiates differently.

President Trump is negotiating based on his well-known approach. What’s different now is that President Xi (Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China) made himself the emperor. All the past presidents in China before the revolution had two terms. He’s there for life, which makes things much more difficult.

R&I: Sure does. You’ve got a one- or two-term president talking to somebody who can wait it out. It’s definitely unique.

Hank Greenberg: So, clearly a lot of change is going on in China. Some of it is good. But as I said in the op-ed, China needs to be treated like the second largest economy in the world, which it is. And it will be the number one economy in the world in not too many years. That means that you can’t use the same terms of trade that you did 25 or 30 years ago.

They want to have access to our market and other markets. Fine, but you have to have reciprocity, and they have not been very good at that.

R&I: What stands in the way of that happening?

Hank Greenberg: I think there are several substantial challenges. One, their structure makes it very difficult. They have a senior official, a regulator, who runs a division within the government for insurance. He keeps that job as long as he does what leadership wants him to do. He may not be sure what they want him to do.

For example, the president made a speech many months ago saying they are going to open up banking, insurance and a couple of additional sectors to foreign investment; nothing happened.

The reason was that the head of that division got changed. A new administrator came in who was not sure what the president wanted so he did nothing. Time went on and the international community said, “Wait a minute, you promised that you were going to do that and you didn’t do that.”

So the structure is such that it is very difficult. China can’t react as fast as it should. That will change, but it is going to take time.

R&I: That’s interesting, because during the financial crisis in 2008 there was talk that China, given their more centralized authority, could react more quickly, not less quickly.

Hank Greenberg: It turns out that it is harder to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.

R&I: Obviously, you have a very unique perspective and experience in China. For American companies coming to China, what are some of the current challenges?


Hank Greenberg: Well, they very much want to do business in China. That’s due to the sheer size of the country, at 1.4 billion people. It’s a very big market and not just for insurance companies. It’s a whole range of companies that would like to have access to China as easily as Chinese companies have access to the United States. As I said previously, that has to be resolved.

It’s not going to be easy, because China has a history of not being treated well by other countries. The U.S. has been pretty good in that way. We haven’t taken advantage of China.

R&I: Your op-ed was very enlightening on that topic.

Hank Greenberg: President Xi wants to rebuild the “middle kingdom,” to what China was, a great country. Part of that was his takeover of the South China Sea rock islands during the Obama Administration; we did nothing. It’s a little late now to try and do something. They promised they would never militarize those islands. Then they did. That’s a real problem in Southern Asia. The other countries in that region are not happy about that.

R&I: One thing that has differentiated your company is that it is not a public company, and it is not a mutual company. We think you’re the only large insurance company with that structure at that scale. What advantages does that give you?

Hank Greenberg: Two things. First of all, we’re more than an insurance company. We have the traditional investment unit with the insurance company. Then we have a separate investment unit that we started, which is very successful. So we have a source of income that is diverse. We don’t have to underwrite business that is going to lose a lot of money. Not knowingly anyway.

R&I: And that’s because you are a private company?

Hank Greenberg: Yes. We attract a different type of person in a private company.

R&I: Do you think that enables you to react more quickly?

Hank Greenberg: Absolutely. When we left AIG there were three of us. Myself, Howie Smith and Ed Matthews. Howie used to run the internal financials and Ed Matthews was the investment guy coming out of Morgan Stanley when I was putting AIG together. We started with three people and now we have 3,500 and growing.

“I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

R&I:  You being forced to leave AIG in 2005 really was an injustice, by the way. AIG wouldn’t have been in the position it was in 2008 if you had still been there.


Hank Greenberg: Absolutely not. We had all the right things in place. We met with the financial services division once a day every day to make sure they stuck to what they were supposed to do. Even Hank Paulson, the Secretary of Treasury, sat on the stand during my trial and said that if I’d been at the company, it would not have imploded the way it did.

R&I: And that fateful decision the AIG board made really affected the course of the country.

Hank Greenberg: So many people lost all of their net worth. The new management was taking on billions of dollars’ worth of risk with no collateral. They had decimated the internal risk management controls. And the government takeover of the company when the financial crisis blew up was grossly unfair.

From the time it went public, AIG’s value had increased from $300 million to $180 billion. Thanks to Eliot Spitzer, it’s now worth a fraction of that. His was a gross misuse of the Martin Act. It gives the Attorney General the power to investigate without probable cause and bring fraud charges without having to prove intent. Only in New York does the law grant the AG that much power.

R&I: It’s especially frustrating when you consider the quality of his own character, and the scandal he was involved in.

In early 2008, Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap arranging a meeting with a prostitute at a Washington Hotel and resigned shortly thereafter.

Hank Greenberg: Yes. And it’s been successive. Look at Eric Schneiderman. He resigned earlier this year when it came out that he had abused several women. And this was after he came out so strongly against other men accused of the same thing. To me it demonstrates hypocrisy and abuse of power.

Schneiderman followed in Spitzer’s footsteps in leveraging the Martin Act against numerous corporations to generate multi-billion dollar settlements.

R&I: Starr, however, continues to thrive. You said you’re at 3,500 people and still growing. As you continue to expand, how do you deal with the challenge of attracting talent?

Hank Greenberg: We did something last week.

On September 16th, St. John’s University announced the largest gift in its 148-year history. The Starr Foundation donated $15 million to the school, establishing the Maurice R. Greenberg Leadership Initiative at St. John’s School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science.

Hank Greenberg: We have recruited from St. John’s for many, many years. These are young people who want to be in the insurance industry. They don’t get into it by accident. They study to become proficient in this and we have recruited some very qualified individuals from that school. But we also recruit from many other universities. On the investment side, outside of the insurance industry, we also recruit from Wall Street.

R&I: We’re very interested in how you and other leaders in this industry view technology and how they’re going to use it.

Hank Greenberg: I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.

R&I: So as the pre-eminent leader of the insurance industry, what do you see in terms of where insurance is now and where it’s going?

Hank Greenberg: The country and the world will always need insurance. That doesn’t mean that what we have today is what we’re going to have 25 years from now.

How quickly the change comes and how far it will go will depend on individual companies and individual countries. Some will be more brave than others. But change will take place, there is no doubt about it.


More will go on in space, there is no question about that. We’re involved in it right now as an insurance company, and it will get broader.

One of the things you have to worry about is it’s now a nuclear world. It’s a more dangerous world. And again, we have to find some way to deal with that.

So, change is inevitable. You need people who can deal with change.

R&I:  Is there anything else, Mr. Greenberg, you want to comment on?

Hank Greenberg: I think I’ve covered it. &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]