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A Real Leader Speaks His Mind

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“In thinking about the insurance industry and what’s occurred over the past 100 years, the biggest change in my opinion has been in the attitude shift towards the intermediary. In the 1980s and 1990s, conventional wisdom was that the insurance agent and broker was going to be a disintermediated, that with technology innovation, carriers were going to go direct to insureds bypassing the agent and broker. There was a lack of investment in the brokerages during this time. All of this flipped with the .com bust in 2000. Technology was not the answer, but the value add that an agent and broker brings to a client with their advice and advocacy was really important. With this shift and realization, the advent of the global broker came to be. In the 1980s and 1990s, there were really only two large brokers and no real global broker. Since 2000, there are now numerous global brokers, and investment money is flowing into this sector. This attitude shift is what I believe has been the major change in the industry over the past 100 years. In my opinion, the US agent and broker is the most valuable asset in the insurance industry.” ~ Patrick G. Ryan, Ryan Specialty Founder, Chairman & CEO and my former boss.

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Posted by Alex Hodges
Alex has 40+ years of experience in the industry with a specific interest in the international P&C business. Alex began his career with Rollins Burdick Hunter Co in Chicago; moved to New York with the firm; then back to Chicago HQ after the acquisition of RBH by Aon. As part of Aon’s global acquisition team, he moved to The Netherlands to help with the integration of Hudig-Langeveldt and Frank B. Hall in Europe, Scandinavia, United Kingdom and the Middle East. Alex has expertise managing large multinational insurance programs. His last position with Aon was managing the Aon-owned Strategic Underwriters International MGA for Kidnap, Ransom & Extortion, Workplace Violence and Political Risk. Alex is the founder of Insurance Services Network Corporation and Editor-in-Chief of the IRL – Insurance Research Letter.

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