A Stalwart Adviser
One of Frank Godfrey’s clients endured the unthinkable. Acting under what she thought were the emailed instructions of her high net worth client’s wife, she wired a large sum of money to an Asian country.
She’d been had. The fraudsters duped her by mimicking, to the letter, the way her client’s wife wrote her emails.
“They had it down to the three exclamation points behind every sentence,” Godfrey’s client recalled. “I thought I was going to lose my job,” she said.
Frank Godfrey was the one who came to her aid. Acting quickly, he provided her with risk management expertise from his teammates at Arthur J. Gallagher. He also informed her how much of the loss was covered so she could start to rebuild things with her client.
“I don’t know what I would have done without him,” she recalled.
For another client, the head of a family office service team, Godfrey and the carrier delivered stellar results on a claim.
A client lost a watch they bought for $9,500. The client provided a link to the carrier that said the watch was worth $6,500 used. Godfrey and the carrier got the client a check for $22,000 plus tax, the value of a new watch, which is what they confirmed the policy covered.
“I would say he is highly impressive on the claims front,” the client said. “The process has been very, very good and in some instances exceeding expectations,” this client said.
The client credited the respect the carriers have for Godfrey in getting those kinds of results.
Hands Across the Water
A yacht owner sailing the Pacific was heading into Japanese waters when they discovered that Japanese authorities were requesting advance notice of insurance coverage on the boat.
But the carriers on the yacht owner’s programs were not admitted in Japan. A broker in Florida had tried for six weeks to make the problem go away and couldn’t get it done.
What to do?
Call Mary Gust, a senior managing director with Crystal & Company.
With 72 hours to craft a solution, Gust used her London contacts to change the syndicates on the policy and got a stamped hard copy of the coverage mailed to Japanese authorities in time to allow the yacht into Japanese territorial waters without delay. Bam!
For another client, a family foundation taking on the public exhibition of a sculpture collection, Gust placed the necesary coverage but only after checking with the exhibiting artists to see if their existing connections might provide the better fit.
“Mary actively supported us when we thought we might be able to get better cover through another source,” said the client’s CFO, Edward Baker.
“Mary is incredibly responsive. She keeps on top of everything about the family, the foundation and the business and is very proactive,” Baker added.
“She is very creative and she stays calm,” is how another client, Beverly J. Butler Symonik, describes how Gust manages increasing demands from her clients and helps shepherd them through times of crisis.
The Real Deal
It wasn’t until a high net worth client worked with Laura Sherman that he realized what he’d been missing.
She unearthed that he’d been paying for unnecessary coverage for his condominium in a coastal location for years.
The coverage was redundant because it echoed what the condo association already covered. Sherman was able to return five or six years’ worth of premium to the client.
“It was astonishing,” he said.
For another client, Sherman battled with some big name carriers to get him D&O coverage when his hedge fund was just a one-man shop.
Now he manages assets of more than a billion, and Sherman manages personal lines risk for his entire family; a family with international properties and complex coverage needs he admits is challenging to work with.
“I grew up with these people, they have houses all over the place, they have cars, they make bigger messes than I do,” the client said.
The client, who describes himself as something of an insurance junkie, was also thrilled when Sherman stuck her neck out to introduce him to some high level Chubb executives in Florida.
“She took that risk and she looked better for it but she didn’t have to,” he said. “She is just a very warm, caring human being.”
For another client, Sherman worked tirelessly to strengthen the engineering of a home being built on a barrier island so that the carrier would accept the risk. In the end the owner got the home they wanted, and peace of mind knowing that they were covered.
Knows Her Business
A very high profile, high net worth client got some nasty news from a carrier when it informed the client that it wasn’t going to pay a million-dollar claim for an extensive plumbing repair on their Manhattan residence.
The client turned to her broker, Tonya Stone with USI Kibble & Prentice. Stone got the claim paid.
“I would tell you that she is fairly extraordinary,” the client said. For this client, who describes herself as “not easy,” Stone is once again engaged in battle on her behalf with a carrier.
This time it’s over storm window renovations to a home in the Hamptons, and the carriers’ refusal to honor a storm window installation credit due to a couple of skylights it wants removed.
“I tell you I will freak out if she moves or leaves and I have to go to somebody else,” the client said.
In the wealth management business, who you connect your clients to is paramount. Introduce them to the wrong advisor and it’s your own reputation that suffers.
“The thing that I like best about her is that you never feel like you are sitting in a sales meeting,” said Kim Hansen, a partner with Freestone Capital Management.
“We are very comfortable handing her over to clients because of our history with her,” Hansen said.
A First Responder
When her clients run into trouble, Krista Tankersley moves quickly — very quickly.
One of her clients, Brian Teichman, recalls coming back from a trip to Europe to see signs of water damage in his home.
He called Tankersley at 5 p.m. on a Sunday. She happened to be in the grocery store at the time, but the client said she “walked away from her buggy” as soon as he described his problem.
Within 30 minutes there were remediation contractors in his driveway. Tankersley also took immediate action to secure the couples’ wardrobe, and some of their most cherished holdings.
“She went above and beyond anything I have experienced,” Teichman said. Krista is the most knowledgeable broker that I have worked with.”
Teichman praised not only Tankersley but her teammates at Crystal & Company.
“They have the pulse of the market,” he said.
Yet another Sunday night call, yet another client. This time it was a stricken family in Maine whose boat sunk in a marina.
Forget the fact that it was Fourth of July weekend. Again, Tankersley went right to work. She got the boat retrieved from the water, determined that it was unsalvageable and got the claim paid promptly.
She couldn’t give the family their boat back, but she could restore their peace of mind, which is what this business is supposed to be all about.
Kurt Thoennessen, a vice president with Ericson Insurance Advisors, is so good at what he does, he leaves his clients just scratching their heads, and singing his praises.
One client, an artist and illustrator, suffered a sizable loss when some audio-visual equipment was stolen from one of her properties.
The state police recovered the goods, so the insurance carrier adjustor said the company didn’t need to pay, right?
Wrong, said Theonnessen. He went to work on the carrier and produced a check for $23,000 for his client.
This from a carrier the client was leaving for another relationship and — may we add — two years after the theft event.
“That was very nice, especially when you are leaving the provider,” a nephew of the artist who assists her with financial matters said.
For the same client, Thoennessen shifted coverage on the artist’s creative space and where she stores her archives from a commercial policy to a personal policy. The better aligned and more appropriate coverage was more expansive and at a premium that was thousands less per year.
For another client, Byron Tucker, Thoennessen was able to create smooth sailing with the insurance carriers on some rental properties that Tucker owns. The carriers didn’t like the risk until Thoennessen talked some sense into them.
“I don’t know what-all he did behind the scenes,” said Tucker. “His responsiveness is quite extraordinary,” he added.