POWER BROKER: TECHNOLOGY
Large multinationals with complex risks know Carol Beeley has
the experience and savvy to handle their considerable needs, and
the ingenuity to craft innovative solutions.
For a top global tech company, Beeley helped craft a solution
to address the rapidly shifting exposures related to the company’s
cloud-based and mobile offerings. One key concern was
temporary disruption of services — a loss scenario commonly excluded by standard policy
language and triggers. Beeley created a first-of-its-kind hybrid coverage trigger that gave
the company far better protection. A company executive credits Beeley’s strong relationship
with the lead market as a key factor in her ability to secure buy-in for the unique coverage.
For a global manufacturing client, Beeley put fresh eyes on its existing programs and
formulated a plan to help achieve the company’s goal of streamlining its political risk and
terrorism programs. The streamlined combined policy initially provided practically the
same coverage while eliminating excess premium. Subsequent negotiations allowed the
company to re-gain coverage enhancements formerly contained in its standalone terrorism
policy, allowing for cancellation of the separate terrorism cover completely.
After achieving similar gains for a multinational agribusiness client, Beeley incorporated
currency-related losses into the program for no additional premium.
Beeley is a master at “piecing together the puzzle and making it work,” said the head of
the company’s global insurance program.
Providing What Clients Need to Succeed
A multinational software corporation was facing a potentially
difficult renewal due to recent losses. To get ahead of it, Megan
Bell and her team at Aon helped create a sophisticated forward-looking analysis mapping out dozens of potential scenarios.
“It allowed us to forecast the renewal over time,” explained a
company executive. “It was quite creative … it allowed us to play
with various scenarios and put us in a position to better negotiate.”
Thanks to this advanced analysis, Bell and her client convinced the lead insurer to maintain
the company’s expiring retention as opposed to the 150 percent increase it initially offered.
For global manufacturer Royal Adhesives & Sealants, Bell brought much-needed
cohesion to a fragmented global program. Improvements in carrier relationships, terms
and protocols have allowed the company to realize a more than 25 percent reduction in
global insurance costs. Recently, the company turned to Bell to help pave the way for a
large investor to acquire the company.
“I said, ‘I need you to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer,’ ” explained Wayne Byrne, the
company’s EVP and CFO. In a matter of days, Bell and her team collected everything the investor
would need to complete the due diligence process and enabled the sale to proceed smoothly.
“Megan and her team did a phenomenal job,” said Byrne.
Bell is a true rising star, added the software executive. “She’s a great sparring partner,
and she always comes up with great ideas.”
Clarity and Confidence in Cyber
Jesus Gonzalez’s long history in the technology space has given
him critical insights into the full scope of cyber liability exposures.
For St. Louis-based Charter Communications, Gonzalez
undertook an in-depth analysis of Charter’s cyber program and its
exposures. From it, he distilled a presentation that would help the
board wrap their heads around the company’s risks.
“He really hit the nail on the head in terms of what we need and what we should think
about,” said Allison Cosway, the company’s senior director of risk management. “I refer back
to it a lot. He was able to take a complex subject and make it easy to understand.”
For a multi-industrial conglomerate undergoing a large-scale merger, Gonzalez was
instrumental in helping the company align terms and conditions and optimize the cyber
programs of the two organizations.
“He was able to roll them into our existing program until our natural renewal date,”
which bought the company enough time to prepare for its first renewal as a combined
entity, said the company’s head of risk management. “The renewal went extremely well.”
The risk executive most values the way Gonzalez lays everything out on the table clearly.
“Yes, we had cost savings. But that was secondary to making sure that we fully understood
our exposures and our coverage.”
“It’s nice to have conversations with people who really get how this affects me and my
business,” added Cosway, a former broker herself.
A Hands-On Innovation Leader
A global technology leader had been involved in legal battles over
patent infringement and needed a better way to get ahead of the
potentially severe intellectual property exposure. A structured
finance solution wasn’t going far enough to mitigate the losses.
Aon’s Samantha Levine helped the company transition to a
carefully tailored program that allowed the company to invest
annually in a modelled loss captive for its IP risks.
The captive solution put the company in a position to secure reinsurance for the
exposure, but the markets were initially hesitant. Levine and the client built detailed data
about both the company’s historic losses and potential future losses, and the company took
on risk on both a per claim retention and an aggregate loss basis through the captive.
Ultimately, the captive program gave the markets confidence in their ability to
accurately price and model the exposure, and the company was able to secure an
appropriate amount of reinsurance.
“Sam was very hands-on,” said a key executive. “It was a very innovative solution. Being
able to get that off our balance sheet is huge. Just huge. And Sam was instrumental in
making it happen … I can’t say enough good things about her,” he added.
“She works harder than just about anybody I’ve seen in the business,” said another risk
executive from the same company, who noted that he makes a point of singing Levine’s
praises to the company’s top brass.
Aon, San Francisco
Solutions to Meet New Frontiers
How do you insure something that’s never even existed before?
That’s a challenge that could tax the resources of any broker.
Good thing Aon’s Jillian Slyfield isn’t just any broker.
Tech start-up Clutch is a subscription vehicle platform that
coordinates on-demand personal vehicles with subscribers who
use those vehicles as their primary personal auto. Their model,
“You couldn’t model it,” said John Phelps, Clutch’s VP, strategy & business development.
Clutch was paying far too much for a fleet solution that fit poorly. The carrier “was
trying to fit us into their world rather than ask what we need,” Phelps said.
“We knew we needed to do it differently. We just wanted somebody to sit shoulder to
shoulder with us and design [a new program],” he said. “Jillian went above and beyond,
[working with] Yrisk to design a program from the ground up.”
Armed with an insurance solution that fits, the company has grown at rate unexpected
“I really don’ t think there’s anyone better than Jillian,” said Phelps.
“We’ve left other brokers because of their inability to move at our speed,” said another
global technology client. “But she’s built this empowered network of people that can move
with us. She doesn’t limit herself to being a broker … she jumps in, whatever we need.”
Marsh, Washington, D.C.
Marsh’s John Warren faced a unique challenge with technology
provider Vistronix Intelligence and Technology Solutions, which
was shifting from the government contracting realm into the
commercial realm, dramatically increasing the company’s risks.
Its existing program couldn’t respond to the company’s new D&O,
E&O, cyber and general liability exposures.
“As a government contractor, your client doesn’t usually sue you, they just terminate your
contract,” explained Ted Timberlake, formerly SVP and general counsel for Vistronix.
Vistronix explored various applications for its analytical intelligence platform and
began to get traction from hospitals. The tool could help vet and further the accreditation of
doctors — typically a costly process for hospitals. But the company needed to overhaul its
program in order to proceed.
“We had a new business area, no experience [in the health care field], the technology
was untested … I was afraid that no one was going to touch us,” he said.
Warren arranged conference calls with a plethora of carriers, said Timberlake. He made
sure that the technology leads had direct access to the carriers. Because of the structured
and interactive way that Warren approached it, “every carrier but one quoted.”
The company was sold not long after, said Timberlake.
“I had to go back to John and say we’re getting sold,” he said. “But rather than drop me
like a hot potato, he stayed with us and got us through the process.”