Saturday, June 15, 2024

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US commercial brokers keen on captive education, no longer “pushing back”

American commercial brokers are increasingly looking for captive education to avoid losing clients as more businesses demand information and advice on captive utilisation.

Heather McClure, a former captive owner, joined new captive manager and consultant Helio Risk as general counsel and chief risk officer in April 2023.

Speaking on episode 100 of the Global Captive Podcast, she said a lot of the focus has been on building relationships and providing education to brokers who have not previously worked with captives.

“We’ve been doing a lot of education with commercial brokerages and really educating them about captives because their concern is losing their commissions,” McClure said.

McClure said the time has come when commercial brokers “can no longer push back”.

“Years ago, they were only familiar with the commercial market solutions and captives were competitors to them,” she said.

“We’re not beating down their doors,” McClure stressed. “They are coming to us, saying, ‘okay, give us a captive 101, empower us with information and data to present before our clients so that it becomes our idea’.”

She said that if brokers are not able or willing to answer a client’s captive questions, then clients will find their way to Helio or to another captive expert.

“We’ve seen that happen quite a bit, where a client will come to us directly and say, ‘I have been asking my trusted broker that I’ve had for 15 years about captives for the last two years.’”

She said if prospective captive owners do not get the information or answers on captives, they can become irritated and look for alternative broking and captive partners.

“We try to reach out, if we can repair that relationship, fine, but if not, there are many brokers that are willing to shepherd their clients through the captive process.”

McClure said the last few months have been some of the most intense in terms of clients coming to Helio for advice.

“Sometimes directly or sometimes through referrals, when they are having difficulty with the property markets, and we are partnering with brokerages in a way that I could not have really foreseen.”