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USI in the News

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USI in the News

USI SVP & CIO, Stew Gibson, Converses about Cognitive Computing with Leader's Edge

Stew discusses how Omni uses machine learning to help configure risk transfer solutions covering customer risks

Insurance brokerage recognize the value of cognitive computer, but they're taking a gradual approach to its use as Stew Gibson, USI senior vice president and chief information officer, pointed out during his interview with Leader's Edge reporter, Russ Banham, for the October issue. Stew said: "The toughest part in deploying new technologies is making the business case for them. Early adopters bear the bulk of the cost of a new technology's implementation." This article includes a look at some of the new technologies being deployed at a few large brokerage firms, including USI. Read Stew's interview and find out what the most prevalent cognitive tool is according to Stew and what USI recently deployed from Cisco to perceive threats within our network infrastructure. He also discusses Omni and how it has evolved from a spreadsheet six years ago to a web application that is a machine-learning solution. Access the entire issue here with Stew's interview on page 86 of the magazine.

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USI SVP Paul King Interviewed for Leader's Edge Internet Story

National cyber practice leader, Paul King, discusses the impact of an interruption in Internet service on the insurance industry for the October issue of Leader's Edge

Paul King, USI senior vice president, MPS and national cyber practice leader, discusses the impact of an interruption in Internet service on the insurance industry for the October issue of Leader's Edge. Paul explains that no two cyber polices are alike, and the terms and conditions in the marketplace are not standard, thereby creating differences in policy loss triggers. He points out that many triggers are set at six hours, however the recent AWS failure was 15 minutes shy of six hours, so those affected that had insurance were unable to collect for the loss caused by the business interruption. The insurance industry is working hard to clarify the language in the future, however, brokers can do their part now by working with clients to make sure they have comprehensive coverage against cyber exposure that is specific to their business needs and challenges. Read Paul's interview here. Access the entire issue here that includes Paul's interview in the article, "What If"? on page 78 of Leader's Edge magazine.

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USI Paul King Featured Speaker at Prestigious New York Metro Joint Cyber Security Conference

First time any insurance brokerage firm has been invited to speak in front of this distinguished group on the topic of cyber and privacy liability insurance

Paul King, USI senior vice president and MPS Practice leader, is a featured speaker on October 5 at the New York Metro Joint Cyber Security Conference, a collaboration of leading information security industry organizations and chapters within the New York City region. This is the first time any insurance brokerage firm has been invited to speak in front of this distinguished group on the topic of cyber and privacy liability insurance. Paul's "all-star" panel is made up of USI PrivaSafe carriers and panel providers – and all the events can be live streamed for those not joining in person. The NYMJCSC annual conference delivers education and best practice solutions offered by internationally recognized subject matter experts on all that is cybersecurity in support of the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber-Security Awareness Month. The event will be held at Microsoft in Times Square, New York City, October 4-5.

Link: Learn more about the NYMJCSC and live stream here.

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Capex Article by USI VP, Blue Bell, Geoff Pope, Published in National Underwriter Property Casualty 360°

Geoff's article originally appeared in National Underwriter's sister publication, GlobeSt.com Commercial Real Estate News

The Federal Reserve's plan to raise interest rates could have the unintended effect of driving up property and casualty claims and insurance costs for middle market commercial real estate investors and owners. Critically needed capital expenditures, such as upgrades to heating and air conditioning systems, roofing, flooring, electrical and plumbing work, could be tabled as real estate companies seek to save money in an environment that makes borrowing more expensive. Overtime, the pressure for these firms to meet cash flow projections will result in further capital expenditure reductions and increased insurance premiums, eventually impacting net incomes and long term valuations. Geoffrey Pope, vice president for the Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, office, outlines a few potential areas of vulnerabilities as well as solutions for property owners to resist the temptation to reduce capex reserves when rates increase. He also authored a whitepaper titled, "Interest Rates, Capex, and the Inevitable Real Estate Conundrum" that takes a deeper dive into how deferring capital expenditures and maintenance could impact insurance claims. Read Geoff's byline here. For a copy of Geoff's white paper by "Interest Rates, Capex, and the Inevitable Real Estate Conundrum," email him at Geoff.Pope@usi.com. (Geoff's article originally appeared in National Underwriter's sister publication, GlobeSt.com Commercial Real Estate News).

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USI Acquires David M. Banet & Associates, Inc.

Acquisition Further Strengthens Emerson Reid's Position as Largest Wholesale Employee Benefits General Agent in Northeast

USI announced the closing of David M. Banet & Associates, Inc., a leader in benefits consulting and administration, human capital management, and insurance brokerage and consulting services. Banet will combine with Emerson Reid, USI's employee benefits wholesale brokerage division. This acquisition further strengthens Emerson Reid's position as the largest wholesale employee benefits General Agent in the northeast region. Employees will continue to work out of Banet's Exton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, office locations. Read press release here.

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USI Nominated in Three Categories for Inaugural Insurance Business Awards America!

Readers of Insurance Business magazine have nominated USI Insurance Services a finalist in three categories


After months of nominations and research, the readers of Insurance Business magazine have nominated USI Insurance Services a finalist in three categories!

• Insurance Industry Employer of Choice – 100 Employees or More – click here to access USI's Finalist Badge
• Retailer Agency of the Year - $75M in Revenue or More – click here for USI's Finalist Badge
• Corporate Social Responsibility for USI Gives Back – click here to access USI's Finalist Badge

Feel free to use the Finalist Badges when reaching out to prospects and clients. The winners will be announced at a black-tie gala ceremony on October 26, 2017, at Chicago's Navy Pier. See the list of all the 2017 finalists here. Learn more about the Insurance Business Awards America here. Congratulations to everyone at USI for this tremendous honor!

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Russell Palmer, USI Director of Applications, Featured Speaker at Q&A Panel Session during Microsoft Ignite Conference

To discuss Microsoft FastTrack for Dynamics 365

Russell Palmer will be part of a Q&A panel session on Tuesday, September 26, 4pm-5:15pm, during the Microsoft Ignite Conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The session, "Microsoft FastTrack for Dynamics 365: Speed up time to value and successful adoption," discusses how to move to Dynamics 365 smoothly, and drive predictable and repeatable deployments. Learn more about this event here and Russell's session here.

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Sandra Usleman's Byline on Exp Mod Featured in September Issue of Construction Business Owner

4 questions to help reduce workers' compensation premiums

USI chief sales officer, Sandra Usleman, wrote a byline titled, "How to Lower Your Experience Modification Rate" that is featured in the both the print and digital September issue of Construction Business Owner. Sandra writes that despite its importance to insurance costs, the experience modifier calculation often lacks transparency. This is partly because many companies do not actively participate in the process, choosing instead to rely on behind-the-curtain calculations conducted by their broker, the National Council on Compensation Insurance or state rating bureaus. She explains that businesses also need to make sure the data used to calculate the experience modifier is accurate. Sandra's article contains four, important questions that every construction company should be able to answer in order to complete a comprehensive evaluation of exposures before submitting the information to underwriters. Read her byline here.

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USI's Brian Dove Interviewed by National Real Estate Investor on Hurricane Harvey Damage

What Can Texas Commercial Real Estate Owners Expect as the Insurance Claims Process Gets Underway?

Brian Dove, USI real estate practice leader who is based in the Dallas, Texas, office, was interviewed by National Real Estate Investor on what Texas commercial real estate owners can expect as the insurance claims process gets underway following Hurricane Harvey. Given the strength of the storm, one surprise commercial property owners may face is that they have a higher deductible. Typically, in Houston there is a one to two percent deductible for named storms. Brian also said that business owners may not realize that policies often provide coverage for mandatory evacuations ordered by civil authorities, forcing a business to close, which could help industrial and retail sectors. Another area of relief for business owners may be from an inability to physically access operations because of floodwater, which will affect primarily industrial, retail and hospitality properties. He said: "Those are a couple of the areas where you might find some additional coverage from a business-interruption perspective." Read Brian's interview here.

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USI VP, Blue Bell, Geoffrey Pope, Writes Byline on Contractual Risks for Facility Executive

Without a properly structured program, owners may unnecessarily assume financial responsibility for losses caused by a third party on their properties

Geoffrey Pope, USI vice president for the Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, office, wrote a byline titled, “Ignoring Contractual Risks Can Cause Real Estate Firms Huge Losses” that appeared in Facility Executive. This article discusses how disputes or accidents caused by third parties, tenants or subcontractors often lead to claims against real estate property owners and managers. These contractual liabilities can create significant financial loss especially when there are no appropriate contractual risk- transfer mechanisms in place. Geoff explains that without a properly structured risk transfer program or an appropriately worded contract, an owner or property manager could unnecessarily assume financial responsibility for losses caused by a third party who is contractually obligated to control or prevent those losses. He provides examples and solutions of contractual issues that real estate companies need to be aware of when entering into contracts and strategies for mitigating risk. Read Geoff’s article here.

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USI ONE Advantage® Video Wins Bronze Award in 9th Annual 2017 Golden Bridge Awards®

Coveted award recognizes world’s best in every major industry

The USI ONE Advantage® video has earned bronze status in the Golden Bridge Awards®. The annual Golden Bridge Awards program encompasses the world’s best in organizational performance, innovations, products and services, executives and management teams, women in business and the professions, innovations, best deployments, product management, public relations, marketing, corporate communications, international business, and customer satisfaction programs from every major industry in the world. Organizations from all over the world are eligible to submit nominations including public and private, for-profit and non-profit, largest to smallest and new start-ups. Winners will be honored in San Francisco on Monday, September 18, 2017 during the annual Red Carpet Golden Bridge Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to the team for all their efforts on creating an award-winning video! Learn more about Golden Bridge Awards here.

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USI's Geoff Pope Writes Byline "Resisting the Urge to Cut Capex" for GlobeSt.com

Pope advises property owners to resist the temptation to reduce Capex reserves when rates increase

The Federal Reserve’s plan to slowly raise interest rates—at least twice before the year ends—could have the unintended effect of driving up property and casualty claims and insurance costs for middle market commercial real estate investors and owners. So says Geoffrey Pope, vice president, at USI Insurance Services. Although the Fed’s decision on rates reflects a positive view that the US economy is recovering and no longer needs to be supported by artificially low rates, there’s another side to this issue for the real estate industry. Specifically, critically needed capital expenditures such as upgrades to heating and air conditioning systems, roofing, flooring, as well as major electrical and plumbing work could be tabled as real estate companies seek to trim costs and save money in an environment that makes borrowing more expensive. Bottom line: Whether you’re a property manager, investor or insurer, the potential impact of rising interest rates on capex, insurance costs and valuations are too significant to ignore. Read Geoff's byline here and order his free white paper by “Interest Rates, Capex, and the Inevitable Real Estate Conundrum” by emailing Geoff.Pope@usi.com.

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USI Regional ERISA Counsel, Manuel Mendoza, Keynote Speaker at Workplace Benefits Mania Conference

Mendoza Discusses What Latest Health Reform Efforts by Government Mean for Employers

Manuel Mendoza, who served as an investigator with the Department of Labor from 2010 to 2013 and is a USI regional ERISA and employee benefits counsel, was a keynote speaker at Employee Benefits Advisor’s Workplace Benefits Mania conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. During his keynote address titled, “ACA…Repeal? Repair? Replace? OMG, What’s Next?,” Manuel explained that any change in new health reform will take time. “Slow is deliberate. The founding fathers want things to move slowly,” he said. “When government … moves quickly, things get overlooked. Nothing has gone away and [if] things do change, they will not change immediately,” Mendoza said. Workplace Benefits Mania, which is attended by more than 600 brokers, agents and adviser every year, discusses the latest strategic approaches, tools and technologies in employee benefits. Read Manuel’s Employer Benefits Advisor’s interview here. For information on this event, click here.

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USI Chicago EVP, Ralph M. Wilson, Featured Speaker at Airports Council International Workshop

Wilson Discusses Risk Management Aspects of Airport Safety Management Systems

USI Chicago executive vice president, Ralph M. Wilson, will be a speaker at the Airports Council International North America / American Association of Airport Executives (ACI-NA / AAAE) Airport Safety Management Systems (SMS) Workshop on August 8 – 9, at the Hyatt Regency Bloomington in Minneapolis, Minnesota. SMS for airports are proactive, risk-based, and data driven approaches to airport safety that have been adopted by airports around the world as a better way of approaching airport safety. This one and a half day workshop explains how to get started with an SMS program, obtain information from early SMS adopters and learn about the latest updates from the Federal Aviation Administration on SMS programs and regulations. Ralph’s session is called, “Living in the Real World – The Legal and Insurance Aspects of SMS; (Bridging Across Elements in your Enterprise-How you Collaborate with Legal, Risk Management and Planning).” View the agenda here and learn more about this event here.

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USI Affinity SVP, Mike Mooney Discusses Cyber Liabilities for New Jersey Law Journal

How to Keep Your Law Firm Safe from Cyber Attacks

With cyber-attacks making headlines and a recently created New Jersey State Bar Association task force examining cyber security issues in the profession, the issue of protecting client data and law firm assets is more important today than ever. Mike Mooney, senior vice president and professional liability practice leader of USI Affinity, recently discussed with New Jersey Law Journal the cyber liabilities that firms are facing. Mike explained that law firms have a rich collection of confidential information, and there are numerous ways for hackers to access valuable information. In fact, last year, over 2 million records were exposed in the legal community, according to a NetDiligence cyber claims study. Read Mike’s interview here and find out some of the ways in which law firms can protect themselves and their clients.

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USI’s National RE Practice Leader, Brian Dove, Author of Catastrophe Insurance Article in Facility Executive

Dire Hurricane Season Forecast Could Mean Costly Property Losses for Midsize Businesses

Given that experts are forecasting five to nine Atlantic hurricanes this year, companies with wind and flood exposures are advised to consult experts who can help them strengthen their catastrophe insurance programs. Written by Brian Dove, USI’s national real estate practice leader, the following is a short checklist to help minimize personal property losses and storm-related fatalities and injuries. This includes: using modeling tools to reduce exposures; updating secondary property characteristics; reviewing hurricane deductible wording; and paying attention to flood zone changes. The bottom line is since each firm’s risk profile and needs are different, understanding your unique circumstances are crucial to identifying the right mix of solutions. Read Brian’s article here.

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USI Moves Up to 10th Place in Best’s Review’s 2017 Top Global Insurance Brokers Ranking Report

USI jumps from 12th to 10th place in Best’s Review’s annual ranking, based on 2016 total revenue

USI moved up from 12th to 10th place in Best’s Review’s annual ranking of Top Global Insurance Brokers Ranking report. The rankings are based on 2016 total revenues and appear on page 68 of The Leaders Issue of Best’s Review, a monthly insurance magazine published by A. M. Best. In addition to the global broker rankings, the list includes a short profile of USI on page 70. Each year, a compendium of A.M. Best rankings and listings feature top performers in the insurance industry. Other rankings include the Top 200 U.S. Property/Casualty Writers, Top 200 U.S. Life/Health Insurers and Top 75 North American Public Insurers. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that focuses on the insurance industry. Click here to view the rankings and here to read the whole issue.

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USI SVP, Personal Risk Services, Jim Kane, Interviewed by National Underwriter Property Casualty 360

Potential auto insurance issues consumers face when engaging in DIY moving with rental trucks

Jim Kane, USI senior vice president, personal risk services, was recently interviewed about potential auto insurance issues consumers face when they use U-Haul trucks and engage in do-it-yourself (DIY) moving. In the article, “The Top10 Cities People Are Moving Into,” Kane explains there are risks with DIY moving, for example, damage to the vehicle as well as the contents inside. Kane said to consider the impact of operating a vehicle the driver doesn’t own. It’s important to find out from your auto insurance what kind of coverage you need to drive a rental truck and whether the size of the truck makes the difference. Read Jim’s interview here which also includes a top 10 list of cities for relocation released by U-Haul International that is based on the total number of arriving one-way U-Haul truck rentals over the past calendar year.

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USI Chief Sales Officer, Sandra Usleman, Pens “Finding the Right Prospect” for July Issue of National Underwriter P&C

Prospecting 101: Empowering new producers for success

Multiple studies have shown that it typically takes three seconds for a prospective client to decide whether to open a marketing email in their inbox. “Those three seconds are pretty important,” says Sandra Usleman, senior vice president and chief sales officer at USI Insurance Services. “If you don’t have a deep relationship or a strong referral with the prospect, you’ve got to put something compelling in the subject line that causes them to want to open the email.” In a Q&A interview with managing editor, Rosalie Donlon, Usleman opens up about tried-and-tested methods that sales professionals and consultants at USI are mastering to help them get in front of prospects. Click here to read this story.

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USI SVP & General Counsel, Ernest Newborn, Interviewed by The American Lawyer on Diversity

Newborn discusses how diversity and inclusion impact organizational performance

Ernest Newborn, USI senior vice president and general counsel, based in Valhalla, New York, was recently interviewed by The American Lawyer on how diversity and inclusion impact organizational performance and how a law firm’s track record in this regard is relevant to him as a buyer of legal services. The conversation is important, but so is the action. Getting beyond the buzzwords means recognizing that change needs to happen. Being a diverse and inclusive firm requires work across the spectrum – from hiring practices to cultural shifts to the ways in which success is measured. Ernest said: “If an organization doesn’t make it a priority, that raises questions in my mind as to whether they’re doing what they need to do internally.” Click here to read Ernest’s interview.

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Business Insurance 2017 Rankings: USI Moves to 10th World’s Largest Broker

Blockbuster deals, reputation and processes enhance USI’s position in the global insurance marketplace

For the first time, USI moved into 10th place in Business Insurance’s ranking of the world’s largest brokers based on 2016 brokerage revenue. The company was previously ranked 11th. USI reported brokerage revenue of $1.03 billion in 2016, up from 2015. According to the article, USI is set to be transformed after two blockbuster deals in 2017. “I believe this is a uniquely good fit,” said Mr. Wepler of Marsh Berry. “USI has the vast majority of its business in the middle market, and for Wells Fargo the acquisition that gave them much of their present scale was that of Acordia, a middle-market broker. The segments of the business align very well.” Timothy J. Cunningham, managing director of Optis Partners L.L.C., in Chicago, said: “USI has a good reputation and a good process in place for integration. It’s going to take a lot of work and they are probably the best ones to make it happen. Read USI’s full profile here.

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USI Acquires Wells Fargo Commercial Insurance Business

USI Insurance Services Announces Agreement to Purchase Wells Fargo Commercial Insurance Business

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) has entered into an agreement with Wells Fargo & Company (“Wells Fargo”) (NYSC:WFC), to purchase Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA (WFIS), which includes its Insurance Brokerage and Consulting, Employee Benefits and Property & Casualty national practices, along with Safehold Special Risk, Small Business Insurance, Student Insurance, Individual Health and Private Risk Management Insurance business lines. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close fourth quarter 2017, subject to, among other customary conditions, expiration or termination of the waiting period (and any extension thereof) under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976, as amended.

Michael J. Sicard, chairman and CEO, USI Insurance Services, said: “This is a transformational transaction for both USI and Wells Fargo Insurance. Together, we create a premier industry leader with an un-matched team of exceptional sales consultants, account executives, technical resources and team members. We share a common culture and values, including a focus on delivering a truly different and better set of solutions with bottom line impact. We call it the USI ONE Advantage®, a disruptive combination of expertise and innovation. Together, we bring a full suite of distinctive property & casualty, employee benefit, personal risk and retirement solutions, to middle market, large corporate, small business and individuals. We are excited to join together with our new partners, and create an exciting, new home for our existing and future team members who want to be a part of a fast growing, innovating industry leader.”

Jones Day and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are serving as legal advisors to USI. PSP Investments and CDPQ, through its opportunistic credit activities, provided a portion of the committed financing for the transaction.

About USI Insurance Services

USI is a leading local and national insurance brokerage and consulting firm, delivering property and casualty, employee benefits, personal risk and retirement solutions throughout the United States. Headquartered in Valhalla, New York, USI has over $1.0 billion in revenue, employs more than 4,400 professionals and operates out of 140 local offices serving every state. USI has become a premier insurance brokerage and consulting firm by leveraging the USI ONE Advantage®, an interactive platform that integrates proprietary and innovative client solutions, networked local resources and enterprise-wide collaboration to deliver customized results with positive, bottom line impact. USI attracts best-in-class industry talent with a long history of deep and continuing investment in our local communities. For more information, visit usi.com.

About Wells Fargo & Company

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,500 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 273,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

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USI Cincinnati EVP, Todd Chapman, Writes Byline for Cincinnati Business Courier

Article, “The Ins and Outs of Contractual Risk Transfer,” discusses how business can protect themselves from risk exposures in vendor contracts

USI Cincinnati executive vice president, Todd Chapman, recently wrote a byline that was sponsored by the Goering Center For Family & Private Business and appeared in the Cincinnati Business Courier. The Goering Center is the nation’s largest university-based educational resource for family and private businesses. Todd’s article addresses how small to middle market businesses are increasingly reliant upon vendors to provide critical business functions. While this can save time and money, too often companies unnecessarily assume the financial liability originates from those third party contractors. Not only do owners neglect to shift the risk properly to those entities that hold primary responsibility, but many sign contracts without understanding the potential consequences of certain provisions. Todd’s story, “The Ins and Outs of Contractual Risk Transfer,” outlines what business owners can do to transfer their contractual risk to ensure underinsured or uninsured losses are prevented and to make certain the policy and indemnification provisions are structured properly. Read Todd’s article here.

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USI Fort Lauderdale VP, Matt Berman, Interviewed by BenefitsPRO on Three Steps to Becoming an Enrollment Champion

Benefits executive helps businesses understand the strategic components necessary to create strong benefit enrollment

If you ask any experienced advisor, broker or HR professional, they will tell you open enrollment is more than just an event that happens once a year. Matt Berman, USI Fort Lauderdale senior vice president and employee benefits advisor, explained recently in an interview with BenefitsPRO that open enrollment is the culmination of months and months of strategic and collaborative planning by employers and advisors. In “Three Steps to Becoming an Open Enrollment Champion,” he explains it’s important to, first, think about your benefit goals and strategies for next year almost immediately after the current enrollment window ends. Second, Matt cites encouraging active employee engagement and coaching employees on their options for ensuring a successful and transparent enrollment. Third, with so many changes going on in healthcare, it’s more important than ever for employers to work proactively with brokers to understand the latest so they can communicate what those changes mean to their employees. Read Matt’s article here.

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USI Toledo VP, Paul Johnson, Interviewed by WTOL Following Apartment Fire

Johnson highlights the importance of renter’s insurance with many affordable options available

USI vice president for the Toledo, Ohio, office, Paul Johnson, was interviewed by CBS affiliate, WTOL, following a 16 unit apartment fire that ripped through uptown Toledo. Nearly two dozen people are now without homes, but thankfully all inhabitants have been accounted for by officials. One victim said she lost nearly everything, estimating her losses to $10,000. In the midst of devastating loss, a simple tenant policy could have made all the difference, but not everyone takes advantage of them. Experts say the cost of a renter's insurance policy is minimal, and can pay off in times of overwhelming destruction. Prices can be as low at $150 a year and range upwards. "There certainly are a lot of options,” said Paul. “One would be to have a tenant's policy and those are available through a number of different carriers, usually fairly inexpensive and really provide three very critical pieces of coverage." Read the full interview here.

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USI SVP, Personal Risk, Jim Kane, Authors Liability Coverage Byline for Wealth Management

USI’s personal risk practice leader discusses major causes of liability lawsuits against individuals and how to help protect against such risks which can cause personal bankruptcy

According to the Insurance Information Institute in 2013 and 2014, 18 percent of all personal injury awards exceeded $1 million. During the same period, about 11 percent of premises and personal negligence liability-related cases resulted in verdicts of a million-dollars or more. Determining exactly how much liability coverage one needs depends on many different factors. For instance, an individual’s liability exposures can be assessed based on their physical assets, such as homes, autos, boats, art, wine, jewelry, earnings, investments, and inheritance, as well as lifestyle, activities and future earnings. Jim Kane, senior vice president, personal risk, provides a brief overview on some of the major causes of lawsuits against individuals and a few of the specialty coverages available to protect against such risks. Click here to read Jim’s byline which appears in Wealth Management.

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USI Consulting Group Featured in “Focus On…Hot Topic” of Employee Benefit Review Plan

USI associates explain the importance of outsourcing benefits administration to third-party providers in article featured of Employee Benefit Review Plan

As more small to mid-size businesses struggle to keep up with transformational changes in human resources technology, outsourcing such functions, as benefit administration to specialty third-party providers, has become not only financially beneficial but critical for some employers. Written by Mark Sarlo, USI Consulting Group senior vice president and national sales director, and Jennifer A. Cerrito, senior vice president and practice leader, this byline explains how properly selecting a third-party benefit platform and/or service provider can save time and money, enabling businesses to focus on other less-burdensome employee engagement functions. Mark and Jennifer’s article appeared in the June issue of Employee Benefit Review Plan, a monthly journal designed to alert employee benefits professionals to important developments and timely trends in the field.

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USI West Orange VP, Joseph Snable, Hosts Webinar on Health Plan Renewal

Joseph Snable to host webinar on health plan renewals

On July 21, 1:00-2:00pm EDT, USI West Orange vice president, Joe Snable, will be hosting a webinar on the math and formulas used to produce health plan renewals and how to identify some of the most common mistakes employers make analyzing a renewal. This webinar explores a comprehensive range of topical issues including: current and future market conditions; the impact of the 2016 election on the health insurance market; best practices to drive cost efficiencies; key concepts associated with prescription benefit management; and alternative funding solutions. Attendees may also earn HRCI credits. Click here for a complete agenda and to register.

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Paul King, USI National Cyber Practice Leader, Pens Ransomware Article for Insurance Journal

USI cyber expert highlights ransomware risk and four questions to ask to optimize cyber insurance policies

Following the “WannaCry” ransomware cyberattack, insurance experts are working with businesses to report claims, improve and expand existing cyber insurance coverages, and implement cybersecurity best practices. The actual ransom cost is minimal compared to the costs associated with retaining forensic expertise to identify the scope of the attack and provide remediation services, the business interruption losses and the cost to repair and restore a network. In his byline for the June 6 issue of Insurance Journal, Paul King, USI senior vice president and national cyber practice leader, presents four key questions businesses should be asking to help ensure their insurance policies are optimized and handle ransomware effectively. Paul says it is incumbent on organizations to make sure they have purchased the right kind of cyber coverage since all cyber policies are not created equal. Read Paul’s article here.

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USI VP Corporate Development, Jay Brown, Writes Byline for Insurance Business America

Jay Brown, discusses the importance of integrating cultures following acquisitions in his byline for Insurance Business America

The impact of organizational changes on corporate culture has become more pronounced in the current merger and acquisition frenzy of insurance agencies. For agency owners who have built their businesses and brands on a solid reputation for customer and employee loyalty, unexpected cultural shifts are a major concern. Jay Brown, USI vice president of corporate development, explains in his byline that it’s important to remember that, as brokers, this is first and foremost, a people business. And, following any acquisition – both large and small – being able to integrate cultures successfully requires management from both sides to communicate their vision for success up front, identify any cultural differences immediately and then work together in a collaborative, transparent and caring manner to bridge any gaps that may exist. Doing so will result in a staff that will be more motivated, productive and innovative. Read Jay's article here on page 23 of the June issue of Insurance Business America.

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USI CFO, Ed Bowler, Honored at 2017 CFO Innovation Conference & Awards Ceremony

USI CFO receives honor at 2017 CFO Innovation Conference & Awards ceremony

Last week, Ed Bowler, USI chief financial officer, was honored at the 2017 CFO Innovation Conference & Awards ceremony at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. Ed was one of three finalists for the category, CFO Success Award: Strategy. This award is for leading strategic initiatives that have resulted in significant enhancement of value, operations, realignment and financial performance. More than 500 CFOs and senior finance executives from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, attended this event, which included a day of panel and leadership discussions and a special honoring of Prudential CFO, Rob Falzon, before the awards dinner. Entering its third year, the CFO Innovation Awards celebrate highly accomplished CFOs who contribute to their organizations’ economic growth, stability and success.

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Anne Burkett, USI National Practice Leader for HR Technology, Interviewed in Leader's Edge Magazine

USI national practice leader discusses human capital management in interview with Leader’s Edge Magazine

USI national practice leader for HR technology, Anne Burkett, was featured in the Leader’s Edge June issue of an ADP-sponsored interview on human capital management (HCM), and how it can free up time for HR staff to work more strategically. Anne points out many clients that she encounters are struggling with manual entry of data into multiple systems and need help in improving efficiencies and reducing redundancies. More firms are beginning to leverage HCM systems, not only for streamlining traditional tasks, but also for workforce planning and strategy, recruitment/onboarding, employee training, reporting and analytics. The integration of talent-management practices do more than basic HR management systems. They enable the company to look beyond recruiting and onboarding, and learn the best way to manage and retain is to treat employees like a true investment.

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USI Portland's Joe Benz and Chuck Hersh Present at Association of M&A Alliance

USI associates present at Association of M&A Alliance

USI Portland's vice president, Joe Benz, and executive vice president, Chuck Hersh, recently presented at a meeting of the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Alliance of M&A Advisors (The Alliance). Their presentation, "Using Transactional Risk Solutions to Close the Deal" covered important insurance decisions and products that should be contemplated when making or entering into mergers or acquisitions. Attendees included investment bankers, M&A attorneys, wealth and trust advisors, and CPAs. The Alliance is the premiere international organization serving the educational and transactional support needs of middle market M&A professionals worldwide. Alliance members represent corporate and institutional sellers and buyers of businesses ranging broadly from $5 to $500 million in transaction value. Learn more here.

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USI Woburn Vice President, Robert Gaudette, Writes Fuel Oil Dealer Byline for Rigzone

USI Woburn Vice President, Robert Gaudette, writes a Fuel Oil Dealer Byline for Rigzone

The business of transporting gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and other flammable materials through American cities and highways exposes people, the environment and property to significant risks. In fact, insurance carriers are reluctant to insure any one of these exposures due to the high liability cost associated with a potential claim. Without adequate environmental and pollution insurance coverage, fuel oil dealers can find themselves stuck with all or a significant portion of the cost to address the actual environmental damage as well as defend any related lawsuit. USI vice president of P&C for Woburn, Massachusetts, Robert Gaudette, addresses pollution-related claims against fuel dealers and potential risks associated with using subcontractors, making several recommendations for fuel oil dealers to better manage large exposures. Read Robert’s article here.

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USI West Orange VP, Joseph Snable, Continues Webinars Series on High Deductible Health Plans

USI Vice President, Joe Snable, to continue his webinars on High Deductible Health Plans

USI West Orange vice president, Joe Snable, continues his series of webinars on High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP’s) with a one hour 15 minute session on May 23, 2017, at 1:00pm EDT. Joe’s webinar, “How to Make the Most of Your Firm’s Qualified High Deductible Health Plan,” will identify the right strategy to implement and integrate a HDHP into an organization’s benefit plan lineup. Attendees will learn the latest rules and regulations pertaining to HDHPs along with incorporating flexible spending accounts and wellness incentives into a program, understanding private insurance exchanges and consumer-driven healthcare, and much, much more. Receive a 35 percent discount with promo code: SPKR35. Click here to register.

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USI Affinity SVP, Mike Mooney, Addresses Legal Malpractice Landscape at NJSBA Annual Meeting

Mike Mooney, USI Affinity SVP, to address legal malpractices at New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting

USI Affinity senior vice president, Mike Mooney, will be part of a panel discussing legal malpractice at the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) 2017 Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 17-19. Mike joins David L. Wikstrom of Javerbaum Wurgaft, John L. Slimm of Marshall Dennehey, and Mike Mitrovic of Ironshore, to discuss: common pitfalls that lead to malpractice claims and how to avoid them; evolving issues in legal malpractice jurisprudence; and insurance considerations both before and after a claim is made. Their session will be held Wednesday, May 17, 10:00am-11:40am. To learn more, including registration and hotel information, seminar tracks and how to earn 16 CLE credits in three days, click here.

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USI Mountain SVP, Monica Minkel, Hosts a Balanced Cyber Security Lunch & Learn

Monica Minkel, USI Mountain SVP, to host cyber security lunch & learn

The USI Mountain region, Optimum Networking and the law firm of Armstrong Teasdale (AT) will be hosting a lunch and learn event titled, “Balanced Cyber Security,” Thursday, May 18, at the ViewHouse in Centennial, Colorado. Monica Minkel, USI Mountain senior vice president, regional director, MPS, will join her Optimum and AT co-hosts to discuss the importance of balancing technology, education, training and financial risk to create a formidable and sustainable technology platform.

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USI Insurance Services Honors 479 Summit Winners During 6th Annual Event

Summit 2016 Honoree Class Includes a Record 39 Five-Time Winners

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) honored 479 Summit winners across the country during its 6th annual celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017. The Summit Awards are a recognition and celebration of USI’s top performing service associates who are located in more than 140 locations across the United States. The winners, who range from one year with USI to 45 years of distinguished service, were lauded for their performance in 2016 with 60 percent celebrating a multi-year win. In addition to paying tribute to multiple year winners, this was the first time the Company honored a record 39 five-time Summit winners.

Michael J. Sicard, USI chairman & CEO, said: “The annual USI Summit Awards program recognizes and rewards our great, client service associates – both external and internal – across our firm who make USI a special place to work. All of our winners in the 2016 class go above and beyond every day to build our brand, in their daily interactions with clients, prospects, carriers and other USI associates. From many great individuals working together to deliver the USI ONE Advantage®, we have created a world-class team that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the industry. And, we continue and accelerate the path we have set for ourselves to becoming the pre-eminent insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the nation that makes a positive difference with our clients, colleagues and communities.”

The USI Summit Awards was created in 2011 as a reward and recognition program for associates nationwide who serve both internal and external clients. It was the first of its kind at USI and is a unique program in the industry that was honored in 2016 during the Insurance Marketing Communication Association Showcase Awards. The Summit program continues to innovate and expand and, for the first time since its inception, winners will choose their own ideal experience through an individualized, curated program that they personally schedule with a concierge. In addition to the new, Summit Experiential Award, winners also enjoy: company-wide recognition; local office celebrations; and a custom-designed trophy.

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Todd Johnson Featured in Insurance Business America’s Career Path

Insurance Business America features USI senior vice president

Todd Johnson, senior vice president and property-casualty practice leader, of the USI Massachusetts offices located in Woburn, Needham, and West Springfield, was recently featured in Insurance Business America’s Career Path column. Earlier this year, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker appointed Todd to a two year term as chairman of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC). Todd has been with USI for more than six years and has been a member of the Massachusetts WCAC for over four years, holding the council’s insurance and self-insurer representative positions. In addition, he serves as an elected municipal selectman for the town of Tewksbury, overseeing a municipal budget of approximately $110 million dollars. During his tenure, the town emerged from a severe fiscal picture to earn an AA+ bond rating. Read Todd’s article here to learn how his career has been a steady mix of professional growth and unwavering public service.

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Erik Teegerstrom Writes Byline for SHRM on Medical Assistance & Coverage for Short-term Traveling Employees

USI vice president and property-casualty practice leader, Erik Teegerstrom, pens byline for Society of Human Resource Management

An HR department may not realize that their company's existing health insurance may already cover medical treatment outside the country. At the same time, executives who oversee risk management may unknowingly purchase duplicative insurance. Written for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), USI Houston senior vice president and property-casualty practice leader, Erik Teegerstrom, explains in his byline, “It’s Time to Coordinate Efforts on Travel Medical Assistance,” why coordination of efforts between risk management and human resources can deliver better protection for employees and their employer. His byline addresses: the importance of reviewing current medical treatment and emergency policies; creating a travel emergency plan that is comprehensive, efficient and does not duplicate efforts; and using communication to ensure employees know how to access assistance before traveling. Read Erik’s article here.

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USI Acquires Cameron M. Harris & Company, A 2016 Inc. 5000 Honoree and One of North Carolina’s Fastest Growing Companies

Renowned Insurance Brokerage Firm Boosts USI’s Presence as Top Shop in North Carolina

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced it acquired Cameron M. Harris & Company, an insurance brokerage firm with an illustrious history and one of the fastest growing agencies in North Carolina. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, this prestigious partnering reinforces USI’s commitment to becoming the number one middle market insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the Carolinas. Cameron M. Harris & Company and its employees will remain at the current Charlotte location. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1979, Cameron M. Harris & Company provides personal and commercial coverage, business services, surety bonding, employee benefits and group products. It was the 58th largest broker of U.S. business in Business Insurance’s rankings before being acquired in 2002. In 2009, Cameron M. Harris resurrected his namesake insurance brokerage firm and by 2016, the Company was listed on the Inc. 5000, and the Charlotte Business Journal named the firm as the ninth fastest growing company.

James W. Dunn, USI Southeast regional chief executive officer, said: “For nearly 40 years, Cameron M. Harris & Company has been the preeminent insurance agency in the Carolinas, guiding its clients with a steady hand and sound insurance advice. Cammie and his team’s core values align perfectly with the USI ONE Advantage®, a game-changing process that delivers to clients a robust set of risk management and benefit solutions with bottom line financial impact. This acquisition reinforces our continued investment in the Southeast and our pledge to helping local clients grow their businesses. I am thrilled to have such a respected pool of professionals join our growing family and I welcome Cammie and his team to USI.”

Cameron M. Harris, president and founder, Cameron M. Harris & Company, said: “We have always believed that a policy is a promise, that each client deserves superior coverage and service, and that insurance is more than just a transaction. Through our partnership with USI, we will continue to deliver on these founding principles, but now our clients will have access to an extended suite of property & casualty, employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions afforded by a nationally recognized company. Additionally, our clients, colleagues and communities will enjoy best-in-class solutions that are customized through proprietary analytics, local and national resources and team-based planning. This is an exciting and new, chapter for us, and we look forward to collaborating with Jim and his team on growing this strategic marketplace.”

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USI CFO, Ed Bowler, Named Finalist in CFO Innovation Awards

Senior USI Executive named finalist for CFO Innovation Awards

We are excited to announce that USI CFO, Ed Bowler, has been named a finalist in the 2017 CFO Innovation Awards. Award recipients will be announced on May 24, at an awards ceremony and dinner at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. Entering its third year, the CFO Innovation Awards celebrate highly accomplished CFOs who contribute to their organizations’ economic growth, stability and success. Hosted by CFO Studio, a digital and print publisher, nominations are evaluated by CFO Studio’s audit partner, with finalists and award recipients selected by an independent panel of judges. Congratulations, Ed! View the finalists here which include executives from such companies as York Risk Services Group, Novartis and First Data Corporate. Learn more about the conference here.

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Food Manufacturing Publishes Sandra Usleman’s Byline on Food Industry’s Globalized Supply Chain

USI chief sales officer, Sandra Usleman, writes byline for Food Manufacturing discussing the Food Industry’s Globalized Supply Chain

Food Manufacturing features USI chief sales officer, Sandra Usleman’s byline in their “Industry Insider” column of the March/April issue. Today’s increasing globalized supply chain environment means even the toughest quality control measures may not be enough to protect a food manufacturer or supplier from risks that could cause millions of dollars in lost product, additional expenses and significant reputational damage. Sandra’s article outlines which questions decision makers should ask and what to look for in a risk management program to ensure broad protection against first-party physical loss of goods in the supply chain, from ingredient origination through a post-customer delivery recall event. Additionally, food companies need to be aware of the upcoming enforcement of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011. Purchasing the right coverage not only can save a company from a potentially devastating loss but it can increase profitability and create long term growth. Read Sandra’s article here.

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Joe Snable to Speak at Certified 401(k) Plan Fiduciary National Training Program

Joe Snable, USI West Orange vice president, to cover trends in the benefits space at Certified 401(k) Plan Fiduciary National Training Program

USI West Orange vice president, Joe Snable, will be speaking at a certified 401(k) plan fiduciary national training program to be held at New York University’s Kimmel Center on Wednesday, April 5, 9:00am – 3:00pm. This one day event is designed to cover the most essential topics of importance to improve retirement plan stewardship for employers and plan sponsors. Joe will be part of a panel discussion with other industry professionals that outlines trends in the benefits space with a focus on healthcare. Click here to register for this free event.

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The Standard New England’s Insurance Weekly Spotlights USI Gives Back

Ann Moore, USI New England’s RCHRO, discusses how a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program can make a positive difference to your insurance business

Written by Ann Moore, USI New England, RCHRO, she discusses how a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program can make a positive difference and add value to your insurance business in many ways. For example, a CSR platform can significantly increase brand awareness without spending thousands of dollars on advertising or expensive marketing campaigns. It also can help cultivate comradery and attract new talent, especially millennials, a group that is very concerned about their local communities. Most importantly, Ann said, a good CSR program, should be focused on helping others; it should be an insurance agency’s way of saying “thank you” to the communities where their employees work and live. The article was featured in the March 17 issue of The Standard New England’s Insurance Weekly and highlighted local volunteerism by USI’s New England offices during last year’s USI Gives Back campaign. Read her article here on pages 18 through 20.

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KKR Acquires USI for $4.3B in Joint Acquisition with CDPQ & USI Employees

USI Announces New Equity Partnership

KKR and CDPQ, along with USI employees, announced today their joint acquisition of USI Insurance Services (USI), a leading U.S. insurance brokerage and consulting firm. As partners with equal ownership, KKR and CDPQ will acquire USI from Onex Corporation and its affiliates in a transaction that values USI at US$4.3 billion.

To read the full article click here.

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Paul King to Co Host Webinar: Avoiding Exposure to Workplace Discrimination Claims

Paul King, USI senior vice president, MPS national director and national cyber practice leader, to co-host webinar

Organizations face enormous risks from allegations of unlawful discrimination in the workplace. USI senior vice president, MPS national director and national cyber practice leader, Paul King, will join Scott Garney, chief underwriting officer, of The Hanover Insurance Group, for a free webinar on how to avoid exposure to discrimination claims. This one-hour webcast will take place on March 28, 12:30pm to 1:30pm and will be led by executives from Jackson Lewis P.C., a management-side employment law firm with more than 800 attorneys serving clients nationwide. HR Certification Institute Recertification Credit Hour Program ID Number to be provided during event. Click here for more information and to register.

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Jim Kane to Speak at IBA Flood Risk Conference March 23

USI senior vice president, personal risk, Jim Kane, to be featured speaker at IBA Flood Conference

USI senior vice president, personal risk, Jim Kane, is a featured speaker at the upcoming Flood Risk 2017 at the Citrus Club in Orlando, Florida, on March 23. The one-day masterclass unites national experts for a discussion of critical updates to the NFIP, insight into the expanding private flood market and best-practices for placing insureds ahead of costly flood losses. Jim’s session “On the rise: Flooding and New Exposures,” outlines critical new flood exposures facing clients and how agents can help them with more comprehensive flood coverage. This course has been approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services for insurance continuing education credit. For more information on this event, click here.

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USI Summit Awards Video Receives Honorable Mention in PR Daily’s Annual Video Awards

USI Summit Awards video recognized by Ragan’s PR Daily Video Awards with honorable mention

The USI Summit Awards video received honorable mention in the 2016 Ragan’s PR Daily Video Awards. Nearly 200 entries were submitted and our video was honored in the “Recruitment Video” category along with Panda Restaurant Group, Nestle Purina, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the winner, Sandia National Laboratories. For over 30 years, Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc., has been publishing a multitude of corporate communication, public relations and leadership development newsletters, as well as hosting nationwide conferences, workshops and senior-level forums. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the video! Click here to see a full list of finalists and winners in all categories.

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Pascal Ray Contributes to ProFood World Article on Terrorism

USI Senior Vice President, Pascal Ray, contributes to article discussing the potential for a terrorist attack on the nation’s food systems

Among the many “what ifs” experts on terrorism worry about is an attack on the nation’s food systems. Most feared, because it would be the hardest to prevent, is a lone wolf attack, something that has become more common over the past few years. According to the FBI, such a threat is more likely to come from an insider, a disgruntled or radicalized worker. This should raise eyebrows, considering the number of employees, contractors and vendors with access to one of the hundreds of thousands of facilities nationwide that make or distribute food. “We see many companies situated in environments where it is impossible to reach required damage levels or other trigger criteria for TRIPRA, and yet they pay their premium believing they are covered against terrorism,” said Pascal Ray, USI senior vice president. “The reality is in the event of an attack they would likely be left uncovered for a minimum of $5 million, a significant amount which few mid-market businesses can afford to lose.” Read full article here.

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USI Insurance Services Acquires Carolina First Associates, LLC

USI Strengthens Footprint in Carolinas with Prominent Employee Benefits Insurance Advisor

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced today that it acquired Carolina First Associates, LLC, a prominent employee benefits insurance advisor located in Hickory, North Carolina. This acquisition extends USI’s presence as the premier middle market insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the Southeast region. Carolina First Associates and its employees will remain at the current Hickory location. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

James W. Dunn, USI Southeast regional chief executive officer, said: “Since 1980, Carolina First Associates has built its reputation on helping businesses navigate the intricacies of evaluating and purchasing employee benefit plans, wellness programs and employee education and communication strategies. Their consultative approach to cultivating long-term relationships aligns perfectly with the USI ONE Advantage® and we are thrilled to welcome Sam and his team to USI. We look forward to continuing to invest in the Carolinas and to bringing our game changing approach for delivering solutions to clients, associates and local communities.”Samuel E. Rhodes, principal and owner, Carolina First Associates, said: “Our depth of experience in the ever-changing era of healthcare reform has helped us to understand and overcome the high costs and limited options faced by most businesses. With this acquisition, our clients will continue to enjoy this high touch, specialized customer care, but now they can tap into USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company and to playing an important role in growing USI’s footprint in this strategic growth marketplace.”

Samuel E. Rhodes, principal and owner, Carolina First Associates, said: “Our depth of experience in the ever-changing era of healthcare reform has helped us to understand and overcome the high costs and limited options faced by most businesses. With this acquisition, our clients will continue to enjoy this high touch, specialized customer care, but now they can tap into USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company and to playing an important role in growing USI’s footprint in this strategic growth marketplace.”

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Pascal Ray to Speak at IRMI Energy Risk and Insurance Conference in Dallas, Texas, March 6-8

USI senior vice president and marine and energy practice leader, Pascal Ray, to discuss risk management issues surrounding the oil and gas industry at IRMI Energy Risk and Insurance Conference

USI senior vice president and marine and energy practice leader, Pascal Ray, has been tapped once again to speak about critical risk management issues surrounding the oil and gas industry at the 2017 IRMI Energy Risk & Insurance Conference, March 6-8, 2017, at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel, in Dallas, Texas. Pascal kicks off the three day event on Monday at 8am with a session called, “Energy 101 Primer Session,” and then wraps up the day at 3:30pm with a session called, “Understanding Maritime Exposures and How to Insure Them.” Industry experts from around the country will be joining Pascal to provide risk management advice, case studies and best practices on such topics as emerging risks and claims trends, energy infrastructure issues and how to prepare for the upcoming challenges in the energy industry. ToVisit IRMI’s website click here.

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USI Expands Ohio Operation with Acquisition of Accelerated Benefits

Number One Agency in Central Ohio Joins Number One Employees Benefits Broker in Ohio

USI Insurance Services (“USI”), the number one employee benefits broker in Ohio, announced today that Accelerated Benefits, the largest insurance agency in central Ohio, has joined the firm. Founded in 1986 by Thomas P. Wagoner and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Accelerated Benefits and its employees will remain at the current Dublin location. Wagoner has been named president of USI Columbus Employee Benefit Division. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Thomas D. Cassady, USI Midwest regional chief executive officer, said: “For almost 30 years, Accelerated Benefits’ growth has been driven by what is known as the company’s ‘Five-C Employee Benefit Program’ – Cost, Compliance, Communication, Coordination and Consultation. Their uncompromising commitment to delivering superior service and ability to offer customizable solutions that fit the unique needs of their clients perfectly complement the USI ONE Advantage®, a customer-centric approach to delivering solutions that is enhancing the insurance brokerage and consulting experience. We are pleased to have Tom and his team join us, and I look forward to combining our strengths to further extend USI’s presence as one of the top insurance brokerage firms in the Midwest region.”

Thomas P. Wagoner, president, Accelerated Benefits, said: “We are in the ‘business of insurance,’ not the ‘insurance business,’ and we have been searching for a partner who focuses on problem solving and generating positive economic results for its clients instead of simply pushing out quotes. The USI ONE™ platform embodies these values, and through this partnership, customers will continue to enjoy their benefits programs and have access to USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company that is setting a new standard for risk management and benefit programs, and to growing our footprint in this strategic growth marketplace.”

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USI CSO, Sandra Usleman, Interview on Contact Marketing Radio

Sandra Usleman, USI’s chief sales officer, interviewed on Contact Marketing Radio about how USI is helping its sales consultants engage middle market business leaders

USI chief sales officer, Sandra Usleman, was interviewed by Stu Heinecke, Wall Street Journal cartoonist and host of Contact Marketing Radio. During the podcast, Sandra discussed how USI is helping its sales consultants to engage middle market business leaders thoughtfully through the use of USI tools, coaching sessions, technical assets, content marketing and other resources that go beyond traditional selling. Sandra says it’s critical to qualify your prospect first – don’t waste their time – and to communicate a meaningful message that will solve a challenging business issue, resulting in a positive impact on their business. Click here to listen to Sandra’s interview.

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USI Toledo’s Benjamin Brown Interviewed by The Blade on Auto Insurance Study

Benjamin Brown, vice president of USI’s Toledo office, talks with The Blade about Auto Insurance Study

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office released its first Study on the Affordability of Personal Automobile Insurance to provide a perspective on underserved communities of low and moderate income. Using zip codes, the study found six zip codes in Toledo, Ohio, where the average annual car insurance premiums were above two percent of the median household income. Ben Brown, vice president of USI’s Toledo office, was interviewed by The Blade about the results. He said the varying regulations of each state make generalizing about premium costs difficult and “in cities where there’s more congestion, there’s a higher probability of having an accident or a break-in,” necessitating the need for high premiums. Ben added that some insurers are using credit scores as a predictor for probability of having an accident and filing an insurance claim. Read the full article here.

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Paul King Has Exclusive Interview Published in January Issue of Insurance Journal

USI senior vice president of USI’s MPS group and national cyber leader, Paul King, discusses criminal insurance in his interview with Insurance Journal

Paul King, USI senior vice president of USI’s MPS group and national cyber leader, was recently interviewed for an exclusive Insurance Journal story on the recent regulation issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services prohibiting insurance companies from denying commercial crime insurance coverage to New York businesses employing people with criminal convictions. Paul said New York, like California, Illinois, Delaware and a few other states, often sets the tone for development of regulation and law. There is no reason other states won’t follow suit, especially in light of New York’s decision. The regulation, called Insurance Regulation 209, serves as the first of its kind in the U.S. and is set to take effect on July 1, 2017, with respect to all insurance policies issued, renewed or delivered in New York State on or after that date. Read the full article here.

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USI Continues Midwest Expansion with Diversified Insurance Service

USI Continues Midwest Expansion with Acquisition of Diversified Insurance Service, Further Accelerates Position as Top Insurance Brokerage Firm in Region

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced today it has acquired Diversified Insurance Service, a risk management and employee benefits firm headquartered in Elmore, Ohio. Originally founded in 1948, Diversified Insurance Service provides personal risk, commercial and employee benefits products for clients throughout Ohio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Thomas D. Cassady, USI Midwest regional chief executive officer, said: “Ohio is a strategic area where we are looking to invest, expand and grow, and this acquisition with Diversified Insurance Service further extends our presence as one of the top insurance brokerage firms in this market. Furthermore, their solid client base and deep ties with the local community perfectly complement the USI ONE Advantage® value proposition. I look forward to combining our strengths to cultivate new and current relationships throughout the region and welcome them to USI.”

Mark T. Reilly, principal, Diversified Insurance Service, said: “Our customers will continue to benefit from our innovative products and services, but now they can tap into USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions which generate positive economic results. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company that is transforming the customer experience through customized risk management and benefit programs, and I look forward to working with Tom and his team.”

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USI’s Paul King Interviewed for Insurance Journal Story on Commercial Criminal Insurance

USI senior vice president and national cyber leader, Paul King, discusses Insurance Regulation 209 and how it may affect national legislation in his Interview with Insurance Journal

Paul King, USI senior vice president of USI’s MPS group and national cyber leader, was recently interviewed for an exclusive Insurance Journal story on the recent regulation issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services prohibiting insurance companies from denying commercial crime insurance coverage to New York businesses employing people with criminal convictions. Paul said New York, like California, Illinois, Delaware and a few other states, often sets the tone for development of regulation and law. There is no reason other states won’t follow suit, especially in light of New York’s decision. The regulation, called Insurance Regulation 209, serves as the first of its kind in the U.S. and is set to take effect on July 1, 2017, with respect to all insurance policies issued, renewed or delivered in New York State on or after that date. Read the full article here.

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Press Release: MA Governor Names USI’s Todd Johnson Chairman of Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Appoints USI Massachusetts Senior Vice President, Todd Johnson, Chairman of Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, has appointed Todd R. Johnson, senior vice president and property-casualty practice leader of the USI Massachusetts offices located in Woburn, Needham, and West Springfield, to a two year term as chairman of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC).

Joseph Fico, USI New England regional chief executive officer, said: “Todd is a trusted professional with extensive knowledge and more than 25 years of experience in the workers’ compensation industry. I have seen his talent, drive and work ethic first hand, and I know he will play an integral role in advancing the founding principles of the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. I congratulate Todd on this well-deserved and prestigious appointment, and I am proud to have him as a member of the USI family.”

Johnson has been with USI for more than six years and has been a member of the Massachusetts WCAC for over four years, holding the council’s insurance and self-insurer representative positions. As senior vice president and property-casualty leader for the USI Massachusetts offices, Johnson is responsible for driving revenue growth for a wide range of industries throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, he serves as an elected municipal selectman for the town of Tewksbury, overseeing a municipal budget of approximately $110 million dollars. During his tenure, the town has emerged from a severe fiscal picture to earn an AA+ bond rating. Johnson graduated from Merrimack College with a B.A. in political science and has a J.D. from the Suffolk University Law School. He also holds professional insurance certifications in risk management and claims management.

The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, which consists of 10 voting and 6 non-voting members, was established during a series of workers’ compensation reforms that were signed into law in 1985. Its purpose is to monitor, recommend action, give testimony and report on the State’s workers’ compensation system. The council’s advisory responsibilities involve budget oversight, judicial appointments, legislative initiatives pertaining to workers’ compensation, and issuance of an annual report evaluating the operations of the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). As chairman, Johnson is responsible for running the monthly council meetings and helping to establish its agenda. These meetings are open to the general public pursuant to the Commonwealth’s open meeting laws.

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