Welcome to "@AAMGA"
A Newsletter Exclusively for AAMGA Members
IN THIS ISSUE
R. C. Chaffin, CIW
The summer of 2012 has given me the opportunity to visit with many of you since my travels as AAMGA President started in early July. I had the pleasure of speaking at the Texas Surplus Lines Association Mid-Year Meeting in Santa Barbara, California, attending the Florida Surplus Lines Association Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg and traveling with Florida Governor Rick Scott and Commissioner Kevin McCarty to London for meetings with Members of the Corporation of Lloyd's, Lloyd's underwriters, managing agents and brokers. I just returned from University West in Scottsdale, Arizona. Your feedback is very important to the success of our Association. The AAMGA Board of Directors and I want to hear from you as we plan for the future.
Kudos to the AAMGA University for another successful University West held August 16-17 in Scottsdale, AZ. We had a record number of 253 participants this year. Included were many new faces, taking the "Intro to the E&S Industry" and other new courses that were offered this year. We could not have done this without the support of our Companies, the great volunteer instructors and the AAMGA Chair of Risk Management and Insurance classes that were offered, and taught by Georgia State University professors.
One of the highlights of this year's session was the Executive Panel, moderated by RoseMarie Marshall of AmWINS Brokerage of Texas. This year's panelists were Arthur Davis, Senior Vice President of Underwriting for Colony Specialty
, Tom Kuzma, President and CEO, Nautilus Insurance Group
, Jodi Mann, Vice President, C.J. Sullivan Reinsurance
, Mike Miller, President and COO, Scottsdale Insurance Group
, Laughton Sherman, Managing Director and CEO, Sherman & Company
, and Tom Stamm, President, Binding Authority Agreements, Markel Wholesale
Thanks to each of our panelists for sharing their time and expertise with our Association! Please mark your calendars for University East, March 14-15, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia and on the campus of Georgia State University.
The Fall Board and Strategic Planning Meetings will be held in New Orleans, site of our 2013 Annual Meeting on November 8-9, 2012. We are in the process of finalizing all the details and will be making several noticeable changes and enhancements to next year's Annual Meeting, based on your suggestions and comments from the 2012 Annual Meeting surveys. Stay tuned for all the exciting details.
Record Attendance at University West Classes & Panels
University West Panel Forum
"I was extremely impressed and will be promoting this internally!" was the reaction of Jessica Brown, AmWINS Group, Inc., a first time attendee of the 25th Anniversary AAMGA University West. The August event in Scottsdale reached its highest attendance in five years, with 253 wholesale insurance professionals attending. 99 % of survey responders rated the event as good or excellent, and we're working hard to make that 100%.
A variety of educational tracks were offered, each geared to a different segment of the wholesale insurance marketplace, and included a:
- Introductory Track
- Global Marketplace Track
- Advanced Topics Track and a
- Leadership Track
New courses included the updated "Beginner's" series of courses for less-tenured attendees and those newer employees to the industry. Additional courses were also offered on Catastrophe Risk Modeling, Managing Foreign Risk, Reinsurance and an overview of the Lloyd's Market. Also new for this event was a sales course, "Prospecting for Results," which took participants through some real-world scenarios and role-plays designed to assist them back on the job.
The Executive Panel was the most highly-attended session, and included a new format this year. Hosted by Rosemarie Marshall of AmWINS Brokerage of Texas, each panelist took the "lead" on a different topic which included reinsurance, mergers and acquisitions, the economy, underwriting changes, our unique distribution channel as well as threats and opportunities now and for the next five years.
Developing each University Event requires the effort of many people and the success of each depends on the support of our membership. Our many thanks to everyone involved in making University West 2012 a success, including Nautilus Insurance Company for sponsoring the networking cocktail party, and Markel West Insurance Company and Scottsdale Insurance Company for the receptions and dinner.
We hope you will consider attending University East, March 14-15 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you have any suggestions for the University, please do not hesitate to email Jeff Henry, Director of Education, at email@example.com.
Please Help AAMGA Thank the Troops
In keeping with the 87th Annual Meeting theme of "A Commitment to Service," and last years' effort of sending letters of thanks to troops serving overseas during the Thanksgiving Holiday, the AAMGA is asking for your help once again this year.
Each letter of thanks should be heartfelt, handwritten, original, and free of any political statements. The purpose of the letter is to express thanks to the military personnel currently deployed outside the United States. All letters must be on 8.5" x 11" paper. Do not use glue, tape, staples, cardboard, glitter or otherwise attach anything to the paper. Decorate using crayons, pencil, etc. Use both sides if you like, but use one page per letter only. Do not send cards or photographs. Feel free to include your mailing and email address, and you may get a response. Individual letters should not be sealed in envelopes.
In 2011 over 500 letters were sent to servicemen and women overseas from AAMGA members. In 2012, we are looking to double that effort and send over 1,000 letters of thanks. Deadline for submission of letters is October 12, 2012. Please send all letters from your friends, colleagues, office and branch office employees, retail agents and companies to:
610 Freedom Business Center
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Thanks to Dianne Shelton, Corporate Trainer for Risk Placement Services/Corporate IT, in Atlanta, GA, for coordinating this effort once again. Please contact Dianne with any specific questions or requests for additional details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011-2012 Annual Report Now Available Online
Since 1926, the AAMGA has proudly served the premier members of the wholesale insurance distribution network. The objectives of providing members with opportunities in networking, education and advocacy have remained the primary drivers. These primary objectives have been complemented by the ongoing efforts of the Board of Directors, Committees, and staff back at Headquarters.
A summary of the achievements and activities that took place during the last fiscal year can be seen in the AAMGA's 2011-2012 Annual Report, which can be downloaded from the AAMGA website or by Clicking here.
The standing committees of the Association have always been the incubators of future leaders, and where the day to day activities of the AAMGA take place. Working in conjunction with the Headquarters staff, committee volunteers from around the country are sustaining the energy and moving the Association forward. Information on each of the standing committees can be found by clicking on the links below:
becoming engaged with your colleagues and helping to chart the course of the AAMGA is easy. Click here
to participate on any one of the AAMGA's Committees
In each issue of the @AAMGA newsletter, we will highlight the activities of several committees. This issue will focus on the Automation, Governmental Affairs and Education Committees.
Automation Committee Prepares for Annual Conference
Gary Peterson, CIW
Senior Vice President, Western Region
By Gary Peterson, AAMGA Western Region Senior Vice President and Board Liaison to the Automation Committee; President, Chris-Leef Agency, CMGA, Shawnee Mission, KS
The Automation Committee has been busy working on the lineup of speakers and panels for the 2013 Automation Conference to be held March 2nd - 5th, 2013 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Committee has also found a location and has begun planning for the 2014 Annual Automation Conference. We have secured Hilton Lake Buena Vista Resort in Orlando, Florida from March 1-4, 2014.
Please read your monthly tech tips. Each of them focus on a unique opportunity or particular issue and are quite helpful. Click here
to view Automation Tech Tips that have been archived for your convenience.
Our schedule for the remainder of the fiscal year will include working on AAMGA's website making it easier to navigate for one and all. We are also continuing to work with the E & S Joint Working Group, NAPSLO, ACT, and Acord. As you can see, the committee is very busy, but we have great volunteers helping us to accomplish our goals.
Governmental Affairs Committee Advancing Legislative and Regulatory Issues
Senior Vice President,
By: Matt Letson, AAMGA Eastern Region Senior Vice President and Board Liaison to the Governmental Affairs Committee; Vice President of Hanover Excess & Surplus, Inc., CMGA, Wilmington, North Carolina
Committee Chair, Josh Korver and the AAMGA's Governmental Affairs Committee had a very productive and successful Committee Day in June and have been active in several areas - even in an election year, when there typically is little action taken.
The National Association of Registered Agents & Brokers (NARAB II) legislation is advancing forward in the United States Senate as S. 2342, which currently has 68 cosponsors. The same wording of the Senate bill will be introduced into the House as HR 1112. In collaboration with other insurance industry trade associations, the AAMGA has actively advanced the benefits of NARAB II in both houses of Congress, and has signed on to a joint letter urging passage of the Bill circulated among Senators and Congressmen alike.
The creation of a national agent/broker licensing entity that strengthens the competitive insurance market and allows agents and brokers operating on a multi-state level to avoid duplicative licensing requirements (while maintaining important consumer protections), will help to further streamline the compliance activities now being required - and costs being incurred - by wholesale insurance professionals. In various visits with Senators and their staff members on Capitol Hill, we have advised that the legislation now has the full support of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Click here
for a full text of the legislation.
Regarding Non-Admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA), the Committee and AAMGA have taken a position to await issuance of the report from the Federal Insurance Office on insurance modernization, to which the Association provided substantive documentation and remarks in the Fall of 2011. While most states have implemented the approach of retaining 100% of the surplus lines premium tax where they are the Home State of the insured, a handful of states have adopted the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Allocation and Clearinghouse model under the Nonadmitted Insurance Multistate Agreement. The AAMGA continues to advocate a uniform and consistent means by which multistate surplus line premium taxes can be collected so as to fully implement the intent of Congress as set forth in the NRRA.
The Governmental Affairs committee has also aided in working towards corrective legislation as part of the Omnibus Insurance Bill in Florida in the wake of the Brown v. Brown case involving the exemption of non-renewals for surplus lines policies. We are also working with other trade associations and the NAIC to achieve uniform surplus line insurer eligibility standards. We have attended, testified and represented AAMGA members, and advanced our positions, at the NAIC and NCOIL meetings, the Big I and CIAB Legislative Days in Washington, DC, the Surplus Line Law Group Meetings and PCI's Surplus Lines Committee Meetings.
The AAMGA continues to monitor all regulatory and legislative developments in the states and on Capitol Hill in order to provide members with the most current information. For questions, kindly contact Bernie Heinze at 610-992-0001 or email@example.com
Education Committee & AAMGA Celebrate Success of White Paper Winner
By Russell J. Duffy, Area Vice President, RPS Continental
Each spring, the AAMGA Education Foundation issues the call to Risk Management and Insurance programs around the country for individuals to submit White Papers on issues impacting the industry. Of the entries received, two are selected as winners based on soundness of knowledge, usefulness to the Wholesale Industry, innovation and creativity. Winners receive a monetary award as well as an invitation to the AAMGA Annual Convention.
One of this year's winners, Kyle Guestin from Utica College, attended the AAMGA Annual meeting in San Antonio with Professor Dr. Pamela Hurley, his college advisor. Kyle was allowed to shadow Rosemarie Marshall from AmWINS Brokerage of TX, as she conducted her scheduled company meetings. During a meeting with the Burlington Insurance Group, a connection was made resulting in Kyle earning a job interview and, subsequently, receiving an offer of employment from the Guilford Group, a sister company of the Burlington Insurance Group.
This is a success story which we felt needed more of a spotlight! We spoke recently with Kyle on subjects ranging from his background, how he chose Risk Management as a major, and how his research work "Risk Transfer Techniques for the American Wheat Farmer" ultimately led to his employment in the Wholesale Insurance industry. Here's Kyle's story:
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where were you born? What are you hobbies? Where did you go to high school?
Kyle: I was born and raised in Kingsburg, CA, which is about 20 miles outside of Fresno, CA. Kingsburg is a small farming community, with a population around 10,000. I graduated from Kingsburg High School, which is the only high school in our small town. I enjoy fishing and playing ice hockey. I started playing ice hockey when I was eight years old, and have been playing ever since.
Why did you decide to attend Utica College? It's a long way from Kingsburg, CA.
Kyle: After I graduated high school, it was a dream of mine to play Division I college hockey. Ice hockey is not a real popular sport in California, and there are no NCAA teams. I decided my best chance to play at the NCAA level was to put college on hold, and play junior hockey in Canada. Junior hockey is a developmental league for hockey players under 21. I ended up playing in Arborfield, Saskatchewan. I decided on Utica College because my brother and a friend from Fresno were already playing there, and Utica gave me the opportunity to pursue my interest in Risk Management & Insurance.
Why did you select Risk Management as a major?
Kyle: I selected Risk Management & Insurance because it seemed very interesting. The purpose of this major is to understand how the industry helps protect the financial wellbeing of individuals and businesses. Amid all the economic turmoil in 2008 it seemed like a good field in which to get involved. In addition, my father is employed in the crop insurance industry by NAU Country Insurance Company, which drove me to gain more knowledge of the industry.
Now that you've finished the journey on your Risk Management & Insurance major, in retrospect what do you value the most about this major?
Kyle: What I value most about the major is the opportunities it has presented me for building new relationships and networking in the industry. This past year, I attended the AAMGA Annual Meeting and the RIMS Annual Conference. I will also attend my first CPCU Annual Convention this October in Washington, DC. These conferences have given me the opportunity to connect with a variety of professionals in different segments of the industry.
How did you decide upon the White Paper topic of "Risk Transfer Techniques for the American Wheat Farmer"? Do you have a particular background with agriculture and farming which lead to this interest?
Kyle: I grew up on a 20 acre farm, where my father used to grow raisin grapes, and peaches and nectarines. The inspiration for the White Paper came from my time in Saskatchewan, which is a large producer of cereal crops like wheat. When I was in Saskatchewan, I talked with many of the local farmers, and heard about the risks they faced from adverse weather and fluctuating prices. When I made my decision to explore risk management, I always knew I wanted to conduct research on this topic.
Can you describe the role of your college advisor, Dr. Pamela Hurley, and how she contributed to the success of the White Paper? What was the single most important lesson you learned from Prof. Hurley?
Kyle: Dr. Hurley played an enormous role in the success of the White Paper. She was employed by a hedge fund before joining Utica College as a professor, and has an impressive understanding of the derivative markets. Dr. Hurley guided my research to make sure all of the derivative information was technically sound and accurate, and helped me understand how the derivative markets operate. The most important lesson I learned from Dr. Hurley is to think "outside the box." She has taught me to look for ways to discover innovative solutions for all kinds of risk.
Had you ever heard of the AAMGA or the E&S Marketplace before your participation in the White Paper competition?
Kyle: I had never heard of AAMGA before. I had only heard of the E&S market briefly in our property casualty class.
What were your expectations for the 2012 AAMGA Annual Meeting, and how did the actual convention match up against those expectations? What was the biggest surprise?
Kyle: I didn't know what to expect. I had no clear idea what the E&S market entailed. I figured I would go and learn a few things, accept my award, and return home a little better educated about one aspect of the insurance industry. The Annual Meeting was a lot more in depth than I anticipated. I learned more about the E&S market in three fast-moving days than I ever expected. The biggest surprise was how nice and helpful everyone was. Brand new acquaintances would patiently answer any question I had, and made sure I had a proper understanding of what was being discussed. I was impressed with the professionalism of the folks I met, and how the participants treated each other with such respect - whether they were old friends, competitors, or new faces on the scene like me.
What was it like to "shadow" Rosemarie Marshall, AmWINS Brokerage of TX at the Annual Meeting? What was your most memorable "moment" while shadowing Rosemarie?
Kyle: I really enjoyed shadowing Rosemarie Marshall. She was extremely knowledgeable across a range of different issues. She made sure to inform me what each meeting was going to entail, and answered any question I had. I could tell she is well respected among the members of AAMGA. My most memorable "moment" while shadowing Rosemarie was when she got a unique application from one of her producer's. It seemed like a very unusual business, and that it would be a challenge to underwrite. It was after this experience that I decided the E&S industry would be a very appealing career choice.
What was the job searching climate like before the AAMGA Annual Meeting - any prospects?
Kyle: Before the AAMGA Annual Meeting, I was having a difficult time finding a career opportunity. I remember getting frustrated with the number of resumes I had sent. I had talked with a few companies, but most of the companies wanted years of experience. I had a few possibilities back in California, but nothing I was really eager to pursue.
Please explain how you made the connection with Burlington Insurance Company, and describe what the interview process was like.
Kyle: I made the connection with BIG when I was shadowing Rosemarie Marshall. Rosemarie had a meeting with Dan Dorfman, of BIG. During the meeting, Dan mentioned the University of IFG Companies, and said if I was interested he would forward my resume. The University of IFG Companies was exactly the opportunity for which I was searching. The interview process was an enjoyable, educational experience. I interviewed with the President, the Chief Underwriting Officer, a Regional Director, and one of Human Resources managers. The interviews were thorough and fair. I managed to field some tough questions, but mostly the mood was professional and reasonably relaxed. After the interviews, I accompanied the current University students to a Toastmasters class. After the class, we went to lunch and discussed how much they enjoyed the University experience.
If you had one piece of advice to offer to a college senior with a major in Risk Management & Insurance, in regard to navigating the job search process, what would it be?
Kyle: The one piece of advice I would offer would be to take advantage of every opportunity you can. I believe networking is very important, and you need to try and meet as many people as possible. You never know what opportunity will arise out of it. I was lucky enough to attend a number of different conferences, and just about everyone in the insurance industry was more than willing to help you. Many recalled being in the exact same spot I was in at the beginning of their career, and shared how someone came along and made them feel welcome, too.
Finally, can you sum up how your involvement with the AAMGA has affected your personal growth and career development?
Kyle: AAMGA has given me the opportunity to communicate with individuals in the profession to gain an understanding of the industry. I was able to meet Mr. Dorfman, and get my foot in the door with the IFG Companies. As a result of the connections I made, and the attractiveness of the E&S industry, I took the opportunity as far as I could. I am certainly very pleased with the career opportunity which was born out of the AAMGA experience. I hope to make the most of it at the IFG Companies.
Membership Dues are Due
Annual membership dues for 2012-2013 have been sent to all member principals. If you have already renewed your membership, thank you for your continuing support. If you have not yet had the chance to do so, please send your dues in to AAMGA Headquarters today. Need another copy of the Invoice? Please contact Donna Oxford at Headquarters: 610-992-0022, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member principals have also been sent a free copy of the AAMGA's "Proud History - Bright Future: 1996- 2012" history book.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Association's Operations Committee, Tom Stamm of Markel-West/Scottsdale, AAMGA Past President Tom Rogan, and numerous other authors, the second volume of the Association's documented history has been printed in collaboration with the Insurance Journal. The book chronicles, in numerous chapters and hundreds of photographs, the people, progress, performance, perpetuation and promise of the country's oldest professional trade Association dedicated to the wholesale insurance distribution network.
UFO Annual Meeting Combines Education & Networking: Members to Vote on New Leaders and Bylaw Changes
Please click here
for the form to order additional copies.
TC Anderson, IV, CIW
AAMGA Under Forty Organization (UFO) president, T.C. Anderson, RPS Scottsdale and the UFO Board are looking forward to welcoming 133 of the next generation of wholesale insurance industry leaders. All will be gathering for the 21st Annual Meeting of the AAMGA's Under Forty Organization ("UFO"). The event will take place on September 20-22, 2012 at the Château at Silver Lake in Park City, Utah.
The UFO Annual Meeting always attracts members from the US and UK and allows participants the opportunity to network among themselves, develop new and foster existing relationships and continue preparing themselves for career and leadership development. Registration materials, as well as the full meeting agenda and a list of attendees can be found on the AAMGA website by clicking here
Membership in the AAMGA's Under Forty Organization is free to all member employees under the age of 40.
to Join the AAMGA's Under Forty Organization.Click here
in order to see a list of the over 350 current members of the UFO.
The election for the 2013-2014 UFO Board of Directors will be held at the 21st Annual UFO Meeting's Business Meeting being held in Park City, Utah on September 21st.
UFO President Candidates
Andy Roe, AU, ASLI
UFO Vice President Candidates
Kristin Jones, CPCU, ASLI
Matt Lynch, CIC
Robert H. Sanders, Jr., CPCU, ASLI
Danielle S. Wade, CPCU, CIC
Associate Chair Candidates
J. Nicholas Abraham, CPCU, ASLI
Karen J. Alford, MBA, SCLA
Nicole Ricigliano, CPCU
to read the full bio for each candidate.
UFO Members will also be voting on amendments to their bylaws. The revised bylaws strive to clean up the language and remove some redundancy and incorrect statements that exist in the current bylaws but that do not materially change the intent of the bylaws. The proposed changes in the bylaws will be discussed in detail during the UFO Annual Meeting Roundtable discussion. A vote on the proposal will be held on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at the Annual UFO Meeting, where each MGA member company in attendance will receive one (1) vote.
For questions or additional information, please contact Caitlin Skelton at 610-992-0006,
or at email@example.com
The AAMGA Wants to Hear From You!
You've heard from us - now it's your turn. We love feedback, so please let us know your thoughts on this issue of @AAMGA. Did you like it? Were the articles of interest and value to you? Is the newsletter too long, too short, or just about right? Do you have any suggestions on articles or issues you'd like to hear more about? We're already planning the next issues, so please let us incorporate your ideas. Just like the AAMGA and its members, @AAMGA is getting better all the time. Direct your comments or questions to Bernie Heinze, AAMGA Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org