RISK & INSURANCE®
POWER BROKER®: TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Richard Miller, ARM
Managing Director Aon, New York Broker Takes on the Role of an Adjunct Melissa Carmichael, who started 2011 with Marsh and joined Aon Risk Solutions last September, is seen as an especially valuable partner by a number of leading telecommunications corporations. For one, Vonage Holdings Corp.’s Henry Pickens, vice president of law, sings Carmichael’s praises as a trusted business adjunct.
“Melissa has worked with us through some very difficult times,” Pickens said. “One particularly
dark hour was after our initial public offering when we had some significant class-action
securities litigation from patent infringement suits which resulted in our directors’ and officers’
insurance premiums going through the roof. In fact, it was difficult for us to even identify carriers
that were willing to cover us at that point.”
Pickens said Carmichael has taken Vonage from that very grim period when it was paying
millions of dollars for directors’ and officers’ coverage “to last year when we were able to get our
coverage to around the level of premiums that our peers are paying.”
“She’s been incredible in maneuvering the different carriers and keeping them interested and
making sure they’re always willing to participate in the process,” Pickens said.
“One of the things that makes Melissa exceptional is that she listens carefully and then she
uses her extensive knowledge base to try to work on solutions,” said another client, a director
of global risk management at a major company. “And over and above that she reaches out to
resources that are available to provide even more solutions. She always does a lot of background
research on every project apart from what she already knows.”
Tracy Tenorio, CIC
Managing Director Aon, Boston Broker is a Sincere Advocate Richard “Rick” Miller, managing director with Aon Risk Solutions in Boston, has a reputation for creative leadership. “Rick has made a huge difference in the way we look at our program,” said Allison Cosway, director of risk management at Charter Communications, one of the top five cable companies in the country.
The result is that policy terms and conditions have changed, and so have premiums, all
for the better, she said.
Miller led a property program diagnostic of Charter for its property insurance request for
proposal and included in the diagnostic was natural catastrophe modeling for Charter’s wind
and earthquake exposures throughout the United States.
“We provided occupancy protection information in a spreadsheet and they actually took
that a step further and had people go out to our properties and do an in-depth analysis of
the occupancy protection information and our business interruption data and again it was
taking a much better, deeper, fresher look at our property holdings,” said Cosway.
Due to the success of this first effort, the program will be on-going, Cosway said.
Joshua Harwood, director, risk management at Telephone & Data Systems, cited Miller
for his knowledge and expertise, and for his “sincere advocacy” in serving his clients. “Rick
really puts himself in the shoes of a risk manager,” Harwood said. “He has the technical
knowledge, but he also understands our practical business issues.”
Senior Vice President Wells Fargo, San Francisco A Broker for All Seasons Tracy Tenorio, senior vice president with Wells Fargo Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, is regarded as a broker for all seasons in the telecommunications and technology brokerage fields. She has developed into one of the most technical broker consultants in the areas of cyberliability and international insurance issues through her
work leading the client service teams for many multinational clients.
She has also been in the forefront of providing creative solutions to software, social media,
telecom and other technology companies which have growing Internet and online network
security and privacy exposures. “She is a master of understanding the importance of customer
follow-through and communication,” said Celine Hannon, director, global risk and insurance
at Symantec. “She is extremely responsive and has a real appreciation for what’s urgent and
In the past year, Hannon said, Tenorio was instrumental in spearheading Symantec’s launch
of local placements on its directors’ and officers’ program. “We had a global program, but we
felt a need for some local programs, in China and India for instance,” Hannon said.
“It was a very slow-moving process, but without Tracy driving the effort it probably would
have taken a lot longer,” Hannon said. “In the end, we created six global placements. Tracy
was critical for us in this new area.”
One risk manager at a telecom company said of Tenorio: “She has strong technical
knowledge. She has a very strong customer focus. She really takes things that extra yard.”
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Managing Principal Aon, New York Broker Connects with Risk Managers Alfred “Al” Tobin is known as the architect of the formidable telecommunications team at Aon Risk Solutions, at the same time that he keeps his hand in actively managing individual accounts. “We wouldn’t be in an 11-year relationship with Aon if it weren’t for Al,” said Josh Harwood, director, risk management at Telephone
& Data Systems. “His expertise and his involvement in telecom accounts from Verizon to AT&T
and us, and everything in between provides us with a great deal of comfort. I know we’re
getting the same program as Verizon and we’re one fraction the size.”
Catastrophic property insurance is more technical than ever and Tobin, managing principal
and national property leader, is leading his clients to be out in front of it every day.
In the past year, Tobin aided two companies in resolving renewal outcomes even though the
companies had not yet completed their debt restructuring. He also assisted several insureds
in attaining foreign subsidiary coverage with no additional premium through a London markets
“He exudes a lot of power,” said Sheila Small, assistant treasurer, risk management at
Verizon. “He has established a very good network of insurance carriers. He has a great
memory for people, which amazes me. And he’s tireless. How he manages to keep the candle
burning on both ends is remarkable. I go out with him early in the morning and he’s still going
long after I’m back in bed sleeping.”
“I think he is well loved,” Small said. “Forget about liked. He’s beloved.”
Sealing a Reputation for Making Things Happen Mark Ware, vice president and director of IMA Inc. in Denver, has a reputation for making things happen on many fronts of the insurance brokerage business. “Mark understands everything from marketing, to the coverage placements, as well as the claims side,” said Steve Frenette,
manager of risk management at Time Warner Telecom. “There’s not a part of the equation he
leaves you short on.”
“He has the technical issues covered, as well as having the contacts to get the answers
you need and he really understands his clients’ businesses,” Frenette said. “He also presents
material in a way that various audiences at companies need to hear it.”
In 2011, a major data client that develops, owns and manages data centers across the
country was ready to go public with a $270 million offering and needed a broker to meet its
unique insurance and risk management needs. A few months before the initial public offering,
the client contacted IMA to see if it could handle everything from the directors’ and officers’
coverage to large values in catastrophe zones, as well as the demands that its lenders and
investors would have on the placement of the insurance portfolio. Ware was able to deliver, in
the face of a tight deadline, a program that exceeded the expectations of the client.
Vice President and Director
IMA Inc., Denver