RISK & INSURANCE®
POWER BROKER®: ENTERTAINMENT/MEDIA
Seth Cohen, CPCU, ARM
Diana Jin, ARM
Account Manager Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Glendale, Calif. Broker Displays the Common Touch Seth Cohen, account manager with Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services Inc., in Glendale, Calif., is known for elentless client service combined with extensive knowledge of the ntertainment and media fields. “In my business, I bombard the poor guy, but he’s always able to
Brian M. Kingman
put something together to make sure we’re covered 100 percent,” said Amy Griggs, executive
in charge of production at 495 Productions, which produces reality television shows, including
the high-profile “Jersey Shore.”
“Over the years, reality television has changed but, with Seth’s help, we’ve come up with
some different insurance packages that aren’t of the everyday norm,” Griggs said. “We have to
be covered with many layers, and Seth is always willing to hear us out and then get back to us
as soon as possible.”
Griggs noted that Cohen is invariably one step ahead of her on insurance matters. “It’s
especially good that they’ve got our back because we’re moving so fast.”
“Seth was instrumental in helping us put together a program to cover all of the shows that
we produce for our media network channels,” said the director of risk management at a large,
global media company said. “To date we have hundreds of productions in this program.”
A key to Cohen’s success in bringing this insurance program to fruition was that he relates
to all types of people, said the risk management director. “Not only does Seth talk with the
production people but he deals with the people in the networks and then with us,” he said.
Assistant Vice President Marsh, New York A Clutch Performer Diana Jin, assistant vice president for Marsh Inc. in New York, is a clutch performer who is an expert on an array of subjects. “We were acquired in the middle of last summer and that required that Diana structure both a go-forward program for the new owners as well as structuring the role forward for the old
owners,” said Chris Papandrew, vice president and assistant treasurer at Warner Music
That meant “a lot of back and forth” for Jin as she was forced to deal with multiple
markets on short notice.
“Diana is always responsive,” he said. “She does quality analysis and presentations, and if
you have any changes her updates are immediate.”
At AOL Inc., Nancy Perkins, director of insurance and risk management, said “We work
with Diana a great deal on our directors’ and officers’ coverage, and she’s involved in our
crime insurance and employment practice policies as well.”
“Diana is a great communicator,” Perkins said. “We have a prerenewal strategy
meeting in late summer in advance of our December renewal. In this prerenewal strategy
meeting she lays out where the market is at and what we can expect from a pricing
“We came up with some really good strategies for our last renewal and we actually saved
4. 8 percent in a market that is definitely starting to harden,” Perkins also said.
Managing Director Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Glendale, Calif. Broker Delivers a Better Script Last June, under the leadership of Managing Director Brian M. Kingman, Gallagher Entertainment purchased the majority of the assets of Aon/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services in England, acquiring eight of the top entertainment and media brokers in that country.
This deal linked the European media tent pole of Gallagher Entertainment with Gallagher
Los Angeles to make it the largest entertainment broker in the world by premium under
management. Future plans for Gallagher Entertainment include a major team addition in New
York and growing the global entertainment practice in Asia and Europe.
“He’s so knowledgeable compared to the other insurance brokers I’ve dealt with in the
past,” said a vice president at a film company. “He is exceptionally thorough and goes above
and beyond for us. He’s not afraid, if the situation requires it, to get tough with people and he
is very effective at it.”
This executive cited a case in which she was having difficulty with a broker on a show
which had a significant claim attached to it. “We were using a broker we were not comfortable
with, but for a while we had to use this broker because he was the broker for our partner in the
production,” said the executive. Kingman was eventually asked to step in, which he did. “No
one was really advocating for us, but Brian took it upon himself to resolve the matter.”
“Brian really understands production,” added another film industry executive. “He knows
the jargon. He can advise us on the specifics of any movie.”
Client Executive & Senior Vice President Marsh, Los Angeles The Pain Reliever Maureen McDonald, client executive and senior vice president for Marsh Inc. in Los Angeles, maintains a reputation of being highly knowledgeable and a hard-driving deal maker. “Recently Maureen helped us resolve a complex claim,” said the vice president of risk management at a major entertainment
company. “It was a copyright infringement claim that was in litigation and Maureen helped me
work with the carrier to settle it out of court, saving money, frustration and time.”
“Maureen is reliable and has a great sense of urgency,” this risk manager also said. “She’s
thorough and detail oriented, but she can see the big picture at the same time. She has a great
Steve Condiotti, vice president of finance and chief accounting officer at Lucasfilm Ltd., said
that his company had a recent incident in which he had to reach McDonald at night and she
was back to him the next day to begin working on the solution.
“When you’re dealing with a crisis, you get off the phone with Maureen and you say, ‘You
know that’s not really that bad,’ ” he said.
In one case, McDonald was able to bring the insurance group of a large media company
together with the employee benefits division of a sister company.
“Maureen was able to make sure the benefits side got the same level of service that the
media company was getting from the Marsh side,” said the media company’s director of risk
Managing Director Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Van Nuys, Calif. Broker Star of the Insurance Program Christie Mattull is a skilled relationship manager who is also adept at ironing out major wrinkles in contract negotiations. For example, Mattull had a client last year who was making a documentary on a well-known entertainment figure. Mattull and her team bound the policy at standard minimum limits of $1 million
to $3 million. But when a big studio got involved and wanted to distribute it, the celebrity’s
estate initially tried to prevent the client from making use of the film footage.
When the estate finally agreed it then mandated a $10 million errors and omissions policy,
but the insurance company refused to handle the higher limits, putting the project in jeopardy.
Mattull’s solution was to get all the parties into a viewing room to watch the film. Based
upon that meeting, all parties felt comfortable with the project and agreed to a primary layer
with a $5 million limit. Mattull was then able to secure an excess placement of $5 million.
“Christie is very good at guiding her clients,” said Matthew Leonetti Jr., executive
vice president of physical production at Mandate Pictures. “She’s very accessible, very
knowledgeable, and her service is outstanding.”
Carolyn Napp, director of risk management at Dream Works Studios, said Mattull “helped
achieve excellent renewals for us, giving us enhancements at a good premium.”
Napp said Mattull was “always forthcoming with information.” “She has the highest degree
of honesty and integrity, and she is always thinking of the best solutions for me,” Napp said.
“She is always on top of things.”
Aon, New York
Skinning the Cat George Walden’s extensive experience and generosity in sharing his knowledge often leads to new business for the managing director of Aon/Albert G. Ruben. “When you have a conversation with George you know that he’s not trying to sell you insurance,” said Kenneth J. Karole, president
of Eagle Risk Management Services Inc., a Denville, N.J.-based risk management insurance
consultancy. “He’s looking to share his knowledge with you without any ulterior motive.”
In the past year, a start-up client of Walden’s needed to construct a guarantee to support a
multimillion-dollar sports and entertainment financing deal. The guarantee could not be in the
traditional form of a surety bond, but only as an insurance cover.
Walden’s team built financial assessments underwriting guidelines and protocols,
manuscripted an insurance policy, and found the supporting insurance and reinsurance to
hedge against a shortfall in revenue. The solution resulted in a billion-dollar alternative financing
facility for the insured. “What I like best about George is his willingness and his ability to think
outside of the box, to try to consider new and better ways to skin the cat,” said Greg Goetz,
director of risk management at Scripps Networks Interactive. “In terms of knowledge of
entertainment and media insurance coverage, I would say George is as good as they get.”