Big I Confab Targets Five Key 'Takeaways' for New York Agents: Big I New York brought together the independent agency community at GO BIG 2019. This sold out event featured sessions on agency valuation and cybersecurity, a panel of carrier leaders, and an industry marketplace. Five key takeaways were pulled to share from this insightful day.

  1. The Agents Leading Big I NY Believe Independent Insurance Agents ARE Relevant and That They Serve Customers Best.

    As John Cofini, principal of BNC Insurance Agency, Inc., was sworn in as Big I NY's Chair of the Board, he shared, "Independent insurance agents and brokers are relevant. The change that's surfacing is in the tools." He emphasized the need to shift to a growth mindset where leaders understand the value of their businesses, embrace technology and automation, and engage with carriers to enhance what they deliver to customers.

    This belief ran deep throughout the event. Lou Atti kicked off the day by stating, "We believe independent agents serve customers best, with trusted advice and the right coverage options to protect what matters most." He challenged the room, asking if there was anyone who disagreed. While surely rhetorical, we feel confident no one in attendance disagrees that this channel and its agents DO serve customers best.

    Cofini said, "Big I NY has your back because we know what you are dealing with. There is an entire board of agents working on issues th at you face in your agency today. You need help with technology, with talent development and recruitment, with advocacy. And that's what we are doing."

    Newly elected/re-elected individuals joining him on the Board of Directors:

    * David MacLachlan, CPCU of Dominick Falcone Agency and Falcone Associates in Syracuse, New York

    * Ronald Brunell, CIC of Acrisure, LLC doing business as The Signature B&B Companies in Gard en City, New York

    * David Bodenstein of Mike Preis, Inc. in Callicoon, New York

    * Marianne B. McCormick, CPCU, AAI, AIS, AAI-M of Insurance Office of America in Binghamton, New York

    * Victor Rutecki of Rutecki Agency in West Seneca, New York

    * Nicholas C. Masterpole, Jr. of Masterpole Murphy Agency in Syracuse

    * See the full list of Big I NY board members at

  2. Talent Recruitment and Development are Key to Agency Value and Growth

    Bobby Reagan uses a combination of experience and hard data to make informed recommendations on how to increase agency value when working with clients through Reagan Consulting. In the Go Big & Grow Your Agency Value session, he shared some eye-opening stats that lead back to two important facts: first, the industry is aging; and second, recruiting drives growth, sustainability, and value.

    Here are some key agency numbers:

    * Weighted average shareholder age up from 51.1 to 53.7 over 10 years

    * Weighted average producer age lip from 46.6 to 49.7 over 10 years

    * 41% of producers are over age 55, and there are fewer leaders under 46.

    Why These Stats Matter

    Organic growth and profitability are the two drivers of value. Organic growth of firms with an older average age hovers around 1 % to 2%. In contrast, agencies with a more balanced age distribution see organic growth of 8% to 9%. Firms that invest more in hiring new producers grow...

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