Mergers and acquisitions are a priority, the president said
Mergers and Acquisitions
By means of
As Monarch maneuvers through a particularly patchy insurance market in 2023, one business plan comes to mind – mergers and acquisitions.
“We want to continue geographic expansion,” said Yiana Stavrakis (pictured), company president. “We partner with businesses and expand into geographies where we don’t have a presence, filling gaps to create a national platform.”
During a conversation with Insurance Business, Stavrakis expanded on the strategic impetus for this growth period, how Monarch is reacting to the breakdown of personal lines and how coaching a team is more important. than ever before in the face of a tough market and a retiring workforce.
Focus on leveraging retail broker customers and carrier partners
Monarch recently announced an asset acquisition of Commonwealth Underwriters, Ltd., a specialty lines managing general agent (MGA) and wholesale broker with a strong foundation in key markets. throughout the United States.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, the company is a natural fit for Monarch’s geographic expansion efforts while also offering a strong presence in the surplus and surplus lines space.
In a statement responding to the acquisition, Derek Borisoff, CEO of Monarch E&S, said how the Commonwealth’s reputation among retail broker customers and its binding markets is a perfect match for the business philosophy. of the company.
However, there is also another strategic element to the addition of Monarch, focusing on “how we can benefit and help our customers with strategic retail broker and carrier partners,” Stavrakis said.
To aid these efforts, the company is focusing on developing stronger technological capabilities. “We want to give our customers a variety of ways to access us and our products,” Stavrakis said.
“We’ve created ways to transfer data between ourselves and our carriers to add more profitable books guided by thoughtful leadership. Improving our relationship with our carrier partners has enabled us to expand distribute and really create a sophisticated presence.”
An additional element of the acquisition process is to establish a natural presence in new business regions. “We’re open to hiring teams and building organically in states, which we’ve done in the past in Colorado,” Stavrakis said.
“The disaster exposed in the market of homeowners is completely destroyed”
The increasing frequency and severity of environmental disasters due to climate change is having a seismic effect on the insurance industry.
“The disaster that the homeowners’ market is exposed to is absolutely devastating,” Stavrakis said.
Homeowners in these areas are struggling to find coverage without significant rate increases and restrictive terms that include higher deductibles and reduced coverage.
To respond to a more challenging market, Monarch therefore needs to be more deliberate in how it continues to offer products to its customer base.
“We’re in the process right now of building our own umbrella product, as well as a homeowner’s product,” Stavrakis said.
“To do this, we use data and technology to analyze these markets and create effective solutions for our clients, which is a bit of a new endeavor for us.”
“We are recruiting heavily because of a retiring workforce”
In addition to tightening markets and inflationary increases, a common concern throughout the insurance industry is an aging generation of employees reaching retirement age without a wealth of young talent. ready to fill the resulting excess of vacancies.
“We’re recruiting heavily because of a retiring workforce, and always thinking about bank support,” Stavrakis said. “We are also looking for ways to educate and train this bank before the older generation retires to ensure a smooth transition.”
Part of this training is a direct result of today’s difficult market, capacity restrictions, premium increases and unpredictable rate changes.
“We also need to be creative in teaching a team, especially newcomers, to deliver difficult messages to clients in a more isolated environment that is not typical of the insurance industry so far,” he said.
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