Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

Spring Connect Summit Recap: Embracing Change

Focusing on the changes firms face, MarshBerry’s Spring Connect Summit offered member agencies and brokerages dedicated time to discuss growth initiatives, review key benchmarks, and network with executive peers.

Change is inevitable. The economy, culture, best business practices – they all are constantly adapting. In order for a firm to thrive, they must adapt to the changing environment. It is not enough to simply remain, or survive through change, you must embrace it head on with confidence to reap the benefits.

Over 350 insurance distribution executives from across the country convened in Denver, Colorado, for MarshBerry’s semi-annual Connect Summit to discuss strategy, benchmarks, and best practices. For over 25 years, MarshBerry’s Connect executive peer exchange membership has been bringing some of the most aggressively growing agencies and brokerages together to challenge members to not just survive – but thrive by welcoming change and focusing on key strategic areas.

The world is changing – so must you.

The keynote address, given by Robert Stevenson, an expert on peak performance and business innovation, discussed how firms must prepare for change in the 21st century. In the highly competitive business environment, he implores firms to stop being afraid of change and instead embrace it.

He challenged firms, stating “If you hate change, you are going to hate extinction.” To grow your business, he pushed firms to think about five key things:

  • You cannot become what you need to be by remaining the same.
  • How do you modify your thought process around “change”? Making “tweaks” or “adjustments” is mentally easier to embrace, but actual “change” can have a greater, longer impact.
  • Change your approach. Look through the eyes of your clients to find what they need.
  • Changing your perspective is difficult. Commonalities of thought are dangerous in clouding your vision. Listen to new perspectives and instead of stating what is wrong with it, consider what is right.
  • Learn from your mistakes, share knowledge, and move on. Do not harp on the negative. Or even better, learn from other peoples’ mistakes.  

Culture is changing. Take advantage to gain a competitive edge.

Cultural change is occurring at every level of business and as a result many things are changing – recruiting, retaining, and training just to name a few. How firms face these changes can define their success in the near and long term.

Firms were challenged to dig deep and ask difficult questions in their peer groups. Without vulnerability, change will not occur to the benefit of your firm. As you continue to build your cultural foundation, are you considering the following:

  • Would you want to work for your firm?
  • Do you have a culture that embraces change and growth? Do your employees and leadership team have a growth mindset?
  • How have your recruitment and training practices changed to attract younger talent? Have they experienced meaningful change?
  • How have you embraced change as a leader? Are you open minded?
  • What will you take away from this summit to create change within your firm?

The economy and industry are changing- You must tackle the change to make it beneficial.

MarshBerry’s Chairman and CEO John Wepler delivered his highly coveted State of the Industry where he implored firms to understand and face change head on to create a competitive advantage for themselves.

Wepler focused on the rapid changes that are occurring in the outside environment and our industry, and the need for firms to tackle those changes to gain a competitive advantage – before it is too late and they are forced into change. Some of his key points include:

  • The hardening market is in full swing with rates increasing rapidly and capacity shrinking as carriers have limited ability to spread and retain risk.
  • While organic growth rates are up, they are deceiving. Outside forces, such as increased rates, are elevating them. Firms must adapt to control their growth through things like increased sales velocity and retention, and not rely solely on outside forces to amplify organic growth targets.
  • Trends in value chain compression and industry vertical specialization, both supported by data analytics, are increasing as investors and leadership look for ways to maintain value through economic hardships.
  • Merger & acquisition activity has not followed the rest of the economy, remaining strong despite headwinds. Valuations continue to remain elevated with multiples remaining above pre- pandemic levels.
  • Creative compensation models can attract and retain new talent while being beneficial to the firm and mentors by increasing sales culture and velocity.
  • If you are willing to tackle change to adapt to the current market and culture your firm can thrive.

Want to continue the conversation, or learn more about MarshBerry’s executive peer exchange membership where top performing firms thrive? Email or call Brooke Lugonjic, Senior Vice President, at 616.828.0741.

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Contact Brooke Lugonjic Liu
If you have questions about Today's ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about how MarshBerry can help your firm determine its path forward, please email or call Brooke Lugonjic Liu, Senior Vice President, at 616.828.0741.

MarshBerry continues to be the #1 sell side advisor in the industry (as ranked by S&P Global). If you’re considering selling your firm, we are the best choice to help you through the complicated process. If you don’t hire MarshBerry, hire a reputable advisor that can help you navigate one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. You will be much better off having an advisor in your corner that knows the industry than trying to do this on your own.