Venbrook Serves a Niche

Brokerage finds growth in the middle markets.
By: | June 1, 2017

Jason Turner started working in insurance right out of college when, at 23, he took a job at a Farmers Insurance agency run by an acquaintance. As he learned the industry, he saw an untapped market — right in the middle.

Turner convinced his dad, who ran a small surety bond business, to partner with him and open a brokerage in Los Angeles focused on serving middle market businesses that were “buying insurance off the shelf.”

Jason Turner, CEO, Venbrook Group

“Those were interesting days because really neither one of us knew exactly what we were doing,” Turner said. “Failure was not an option, so it was keep going … keep going.”

Several years and a few acquisitions later, Turner formed Venbrook Group, LLC. Today it is one of the largest independent P&C brokerages in the U.S., with more than 150 employees working on 10,000-plus accounts.

Turner remains at the helm as Venbrook’s CEO. With seven offices around the country, Venbrook offers advice, risk management, risk transfer, risk control, and risk mitigation solutions to companies with revenue between $10 million and $1 billion.

“Our sweet spot is $10 million to $100 million in revenue,” Turner said.

Venbrook offers middle market buyers the same level of insurance and risk management services along with all the resources a publicly-traded Fortune 5000 client might get from a leading brokerage house, Turner said.

The company services a select group of industries, mainly real estate, transportation, financial services, construction and development.

Recently, Venbrook added a food manufacturer with an 18-month old claim denial. Venbrook gathered the account’s lead managing director on the P&C side, a loss control person, the claims manager and then brought in an attorney to review the claim.

“Our team came together and said this loss should have been paid, we think it’s worth challenging,” Turner said. They prepared a strong response to the carrier who then agreed to pay the $1 million claim.

Turner believes Venbrook’s role is to act as a consultant, helping clients’ businesses prosper, helping navigate through contracts or releases, and even assisting with human resource issues or ERM issues.

“We don’t look at insurance as a transaction,” Turner said. “We look at it as a strategy that every client needs to incorporate into their business.”

In October, Venbrook raised $42 million from Madison Capital Funding, a subsidiary of New York Life. A portion of that funding was then used to acquire a New Jersey-based wholesaler, Brooks Insurance Group.

“I’m proud of our company and the people we have working with us,” Turner said. “I’m proud we are still an independently owned organization, that somewhat separates us from a lot of others.” &

Juliann Walsh is a former staff writer at Risk & Insurance. Comments or questions about this article can be addressed to [email protected].

More from Risk & Insurance