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USI in the News

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.

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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 USO’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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