Rising Star Nicholas Licursi Follows in His Grandfather’s Footsteps and Takes a Thoughtful Risk Management Approach
Come see the Stars! As part of our ongoing coverage of the best brokers in the commercial insurance space, Risk & Insurance®, with the sponsorship of Philadelphia Insurance, is expanding its coverage of the Rising Stars, those brokers who represent the next wave of insurance brokering talent.
Look for these expanded profiles on the Risk & Insurance website and in your social media feeds now and continuing into 2023.
Here’s our conversation with Nicholas Licursi, family office practice leader, Risk Strategies, and a 2022 Private Client Power Broker finalist.
Risk & Insurance: What led you to pursue a career in brokerage, and then from there, how did you get into your current focus on private wealth?
Nicholas Licursi: My grandfather had a local insurance/real estate agency when I was growing up. I always found it interesting listening to his conversations with both his clients and prospective clients. I was fortunate enough in high school to intern at his agency to get a better understanding of the business.
After graduating, I started working at a local Allstate agency doing the basics, such as cold calling and policy servicing.
After a few years there, I opted to expand my career and utilize my service and negotiation skills geared toward the high net worth individuals who recognize the value of a thoughtful risk management approach.
I was successful in securing a job at DeWitt Stern (now Risk Strategies) as an assistant account executive helping with the day-to-day support of the company’s largest clients.
R&I: What do you think the most pressing issue will be for the remainder of 2023 and moving into 2024?
NL: As the overall cost of living is increasing, so are insurance costs. Clients have really begun evaluating their insurance programs and exploring alternate carriers, as well as mechanisms for reducing costs while retaining more risk, i.e. higher retention levels and self-insurance.
R&I: How can you help your clients cope with economic uncertainties such as the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse?
NL: The uncertainty in banking also applies to other industries, including insurance. It is important that we provide our clients with insurance carriers that are financially stable particularly in this volatile market.
R&I: What is your approach to protecting clients from catastrophic weather events?
Our task is to properly protect their assets. As construction costs increase, there is a rise in liability lawsuits, and yet catastrophic events continue.
Amidst the turmoil in the industry, their coverage and insurance team should remain as a constant.
R&I: Who has been a mentor to you in your career?
NL: I have been fortunate enough in my career to have multiple mentors.
Tim Devin, private client services leader and senior vice president for the New York metropolitan area at Risk Strategies, has been a major influence in the growth of my career. He has allowed me the opportunity to listen and learn, while also not preventing me from using my ideas to better the firm, the private clients services division and to develop a family office practice at Risk Strategies.
With Tim’s mentoring, I have grown from my beginnings in supporting the team to managing clients, overseeing a team, as well as administrating the family office practice for our region.
R&I: What advice did they give you that stuck with you?
NL: While technical skills are crucial to be successful, being a curious listener is equally important. Listening to our clients, addressing their concerns and demonstrating value fosters loyalty and drives our success.
R&I: What was your biggest win as a broker in the past year?
NL: Given the tough market conditions, the ability to place coverage in high CAT zones has been an achievement in itself.
Also, within my company, working with my colleagues and leadership to build out the family office platform to better service the ultra high net worth and family offices [has been an win].
R&I: What advice do you have for young people entering the industry?
NL: I think there is a huge misconception that our industry is boring and the need for brokers may be eradicated due to technology.
While technology is playing a huge part in our business and will continue to do so moving forward, innovative professionals who can use technology effectively are hugely beneficial to clients. As my mentor told me, in this business, listen as much as possible as this is the best way to learn and grow in our business. &