you give in terms of successfully developing
a multinational footprint?
COLLINS: We have clients doing business
in every region of North America and on
six continents today. It starts with having
somebody in your office who has some
experience in international business. It
isn’t overly complex, and there are a
number of carriers doing an outstanding
job in being able to help you place international business.
But after that, then you need to work
to develop correspondent relationships on
other continents with other countries. If
you have a client that goes to India, then
you need to have the correspondent relationship to do the admitted business there.
You need a contact in India—another broker you can trust and have confidence in.
Organizations like the CIAB [the Council
of Insurance Agents & Brokers] can be
helpful in identifying [partners].
DIETZEL: Often people are surprised that
this little firm in Pennsylvania has what we
believe is a very good model for handling
international business. But you have to be
able to do it in today’s world. Every client is
international, especially with the use of the
Internet. We have customers with manufacturing operations in mainland China, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, the U.K.
The art of international insurance is
making use of good, strong correspondent
brokers in the field who can educate you
on the types of coverages that may not be
available in the United States. We’ve been
successful by partnering with correspondent
E RECRUITING & RETAINING THE BEST:
Robert Dietzel reveals his approach to securing
new talent—and how he structures his firm’s
compensation packages and allows his team to
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brokers overseas. They want to do a good
job. They want additional accounts to be
referred to them.
Having that strong relationship over-
seas simplifies the communication process.
The insurance terms are different, and
being patient and simplistic in your com-
munications overseas is important. Ask
questions when they use terms that you
don’t understand: “What do you mean by
that, ‘pure financial loss?’”
But the first thing I would tell people is
don’t overcomplicate it. It is a small world.
Microsoft is everywhere.
E ROUSSEAU: As our award winners, other
agencies and brokers will be looking to you for
advice and leadership. How would you sum
up the essence of what makes your firms so
successful? What would be the best advice you
could give to other brokers?
DIETZEL: Give great people better tools. And
what I mean by that is those tools have to
make them efficient and more productive
so they can have the time to do what they
want to do, what they like to do—like tackling a disaster-recovery plan for a client.
COLLINS: Hopefully, a lot of businesses will
trend more back toward value creation as
opposed to wealth creation. This focus on
wealth creation is part of the reason we are
in the situation we are—because people got
away from making products and providing
services to generating wealth.
The other thing is what we always talk
about: Find out what your culture is, who
you are, then run your business to manage that—to work with that culture such
that you never put your employees in a
position of having to act in conflict with
your culture. NU
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