2017 Power Broker


Superior on Every Level

Karen Cangemi CPCU
Vice President
San Francisco


Senior Broker Karen Cangemi wants her customers to think of her as a colleague. But in their eyes she’s much more than that.

“I tell her all the time, I’d be lost without her,” said Rose Annese, director of risk management at Thermo Fisher Scientific. The company recently completed a placement for a builder’s risk project involving pre-existing construction and a carrier for the construction company that struggled with the complexity of requirements for the deal.

“Karen has been instrumental in helping us identify weaknesses in their program over our program and all the technical aspects. When you merge finance with insurance, the language gets very confusing. … She pretty much held our hand throughout the process.”

“She has very deep industry knowledge; she’s well-respected with the underwriters and insurers. She is a trusted adviser,” said one risk manager at a Fortune 500 manufacturer. And as for her customer service, “ ‘No’ is a word she seldom uses.”

“Her knowledge is incredible, superior in the industry,” said a risk manager at a multinational financial services company. “She understands the markets extremely well. … She is definitely a visionary on how she reviews programs.”

Cangemi also “truly thinks outside-the-box on how to structure programs,” the risk manager added. “She can take very complicated information and make it very straightforward so it is clear to the layperson. … She is a very tough negotiator [but] a very pleasant person to work with. She’s very impressive … a star, in my opinion.”

Putting the Client’s Best Foot Forward

Brent Rieth,Senior Vice President
San Francisco

Brent Rieth has a passion for tech. He’s the kind of broker whose vast knowledge of the insurance industry — and his clients’ industries — helps him find or create innovative solutions to cyber risk challenges. He also knows how to share his knowledge with risk managers so they can inform their stakeholders, and with underwriters so they can understand the businesses they’re insuring.

“Brent dove in right away to get to the heart of Avaya, to really understand our product offerings and business processes, and then helped us communicate the information to underwriters in an intelligent way that allowed them to … better price the risk,” said Lora Figgat, risk manager at Avaya.

“Not only is he passionate about this particular industry, but he clearly is really sharp,” said Anna Ziegler, corporate insurance manager at Rackspace. “He’s taken the time to understand our business, but … he just kind of got it from the get-go, and was able to translate our needs into insurance language and identify creative solutions off the bat.”

That level of understanding translates into results. “We had a fabulous renewal in the midst of a big claim that had just been paid out, and it was far below what we had originally anticipated in terms of the premium amount,” said Ziegler.

“That’s why you hire a broker, so that they have the relationships in place and can translate the client’s story in a way that puts underwriters at ease and can make our risk more attractive to take on.”

Tailor-Made Solutions

Galo Santana
New York

Every business and every situation is different. But some are more so than others. For them, finding the right insurance — and the right insurance broker — can be a particular challenge.

“We’re probably about as unique as anybody out in the health care field at this point. We’re doing something very different,” said Robert Cardone, VP and controller for Remedy Partners, a company that handles value-based payments for Medicare. “Galo was able to tailor something just for us … using his industry knowledge to zero in … to leverage his relationships and get us great rates and a different, unique set of insurance.”

Mergers and acquisitions can also present unique challenges — especially when private equity is involved. “We just acquired this company out in California and there were some interesting things that they were able to do, combining coverage for the two businesses, to combine that liability coverage and have surprising cost savings,” said Dominic Bongo, CFO for Emergency Communications Network. “We were very pleased with what happened.”

Throughout it all, Santana maintains a level of customer service that is not just responsive, but substantive, as well. “It’s easy to get back to somebody, but can you come back to somebody with a thoughtful idea?” asked Cardone.

Another risk manager, whose switch to Aon in the middle of an acquisition was surprisingly “seamless,” said the best solutions in the world won’t be much help if the price isn’t in line. Santana, he noted dryly, is “aware that insurance costs us money.”

Helping Clients Succeed on Their Own Terms

Stephen Schluter, ARM
Executive Vice President
New York

Stephen Schluter’s client Arrow Electronics was considering Employment Practices Liability coverage, but the underwriter required a review of past EPL claims, something Arrow’s legal team did not want to release in writing.

“Steve was able to convince underwriters to meet in person with our legal team to discuss our losses excess of a certain attachment point,” said Debbie Gramer, Arrow’s director of global risk management. The face-to-face helped underwriters get comfortable with the risk.

Another client had a variety of management liability programs with different carriers, different renewal dates, and — as a diagnostic revealed — numerous coverage deficiencies.

“The Aon team, under Steve’s guidance … obtained 100 percent of all the coverage improvements with a common renewal date, allowing for an ease of administrative duties for us [and] significant premium savings,” said the company’s risk manager.

Panasonic North America wanted to place an accordion concept policy allowing Panasonic entities in the U.S. to join or leave the program as needed.

“[Steve] understood what we wanted to accomplish and got the Aon team on the same page,” said Miki Yamanoi, Panasonic North America’s risk management group manager. “He reached out to his contacts at various markets. As a result, we were able to get the accordion policy in place and achieved the best terms and conditions for our company.”

The Go-To Resource for Cyber and More

Robert Rosenzweig, RPLU
Vice President
Risk Strategies
New York

Marisa Combs is corporate counsel and director of risk management for MyBenefitsChannel, a client of Robert Rosenzweig. The company recently added a “Do It For Me” option to go along with its benefits software. “It added a layer of complexity at the cyber renewal that I knew was going to be a challenge,” said Combs. “Our biggest concern was that we could have a gap in coverage with the Do It For Me piece.”

Robert Rosenzweig, national cyber risk practice leader at Risk Strategies Co., studied the situation and then shopped it accurately. “We ended up staying with the carrier we had before, but we clearly have defined within the terms of the policy that the Do It For Me part is covered and it’s not an exclusion,” said Combs.

Combs said Rosenzweig also made sure she had all the resources she needed to help her bosses understand the situation. “He made it very easy for me to do my job well … It made my life easier and gave my company coverage I’m more confident in.”

Rosenzweig’s expertise and service builds client loyalty.

“Rob is extraordinarily dedicated, committed to customer service, and very knowledgeable,” said Roger Clark, CFO of Unified Enterprises Corp. “That’s why he’s been my go-to resource on behalf of two different companies during the past seven years, for E&O, cyber, D&O, and other insurance coverages.”

“His expertise is unparalleled,” said Jennifer Rose Reid, account manager at BankTEL.

Enabling Innovation and Growth

Sherril Kist
Managing Director


When a major tech company saw that the limitations of their current liability coverage had become an impediment to increased sales, they needed a broker who would partner with them to come up with innovative solutions.

“We were looking for a way to utilize our captive insurance companies differently and more effectively with the lines of coverage that we have, whether it be something that we currently self-insure, something that we currently commercially insure, or a combination of these,” said a risk manager for a leading global technology company. “Sherril Kist was instrumental in making sure that we were educated with the solutions that were out on the market as well as things that weren’t out on the market.”

Kist made Aon’s deep bench of experts available to the client, allowing for questions, conversations, and ultimately solutions that otherwise might not have been considered.

“Sherril has been instrumental in pitching our experimental insurance programs to our insurance partners or helping us to decide whether to go it alone,” said another risk manager with the same company.

“We would not be able to do some of the new, innovative and highly specialized risk financing programs that we do without Sherril’s knowledge, contacts and reputation in the industry. I cannot imagine working with anyone that has been as good a business partner that Sherril and her team have been.”


Jessica Fields
Senior Vice President
Aon, San Francisco

Ed Flanagan
Area Executive Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher

Elisabeth Case
E&O Product Leader




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