WIN Magazine - Fall 2013 - (Page 39)
An Interview with Tom Stamm, President of Binding
Authority Agreements for the Wholesale Division of Markel
FTER A DISTINGUISHED fortyfour year career
in the insurance industry, a
good friend to all
wholesale insurance professionals
and one of the greatest mentors in
the marketplace, Tom Stamm, has
announced that he will be retiring at the end of October 2013. He
currently serves as President of
Binding Authority Agreements for
the Wholesale Division of Markel.
A graduate of Northern Arizona
University in 1969, Mr. Stamm
began his insurance career with
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company
in Phoenix. One year later, he entered
the excess and surplus lines industry
with Great Southwest Fire Insurance
Company in Mesa, AZ. He, along with
a small group of visionaries, founded
the Scottsdale Insurance Company
in 1982. Eleven years later he helped
form Acceptance West in 1993,
which was subsequently acquired
by Markel in 2000.
Mr. Stamm served an extended
term on the AAMGA University
Administrative Council as Chairman
of its Internship / Scholarship
Committee. In recognition of his
contributions to the Association,
Tom was presented with the AAMGA
75th Anniversary Diamond Award
at the Annual Meeting in May of
2001 and the President’s Award in
1993 and 2012. The latter award
was presented to Tom for organizing, editing, and writing a book on
the history of AAMGA titled, “Proud
History – Bright Future: Volume II
Mr. Stamm has also served on
the NAPSLO board as Chairman of
the Internship Committee and is the
only board member to ever receive the
President’s Award for outstanding service on two separate occasions. He has
volunteered to teach multiple classes
for the NAPSLO Excess and Surplus
Lines School and is currently the
Vice President of the Derek Hughes/
NAPSLO Educational Foundation and
also serves as the Chairman of the
WIN Magazine had the opportunity of talking with Mr. Stamm
recently about his career and the
state of the marketplace today.
WIN: You have been a leader in
the wholesale insurance industry
for many years. Over the course of
that period you have seen numerous market cycles and changes in
the manner in which business is
conducted. What have been the biggest challenges and changes you
Stamm: As in all phases of our life
and business, the biggest change has
been the integration of technology.
In the dinosaur years of the 1960’s
and 1970’s, we communicated via
personal contact, snail mail, phone
and the telex machine. Even faxes
weren’t used until the 1980’s.
Fortunately, what “was” is no longer and was “is” will change again!
The biggest challenge for me today is
what I just mentioned – technology,
many aspects of which remain well
over my head. Other challenges we
face are keeping up with the refinement of specialty coverages, a good
thing; and the ongoing threat of
• It’s all about energy and attitude.
• Never allow yourself to get
glued to a chair.
• Be active; strive to know what
• See people, ask why, and listen
• Be the first to try something new.
• Don’t let someone talk you out of
what you think is a good idea.
• Don’t accept change – cause it!
• Feel the fear and do it anyway.
• If something works – work it!
• Concentrate on the inevitable,
there are excuses and results,
only one counts!
• Apply altruistic attitudes
• Quick is never quick enough.
• Trust your gut.
Federal regulation, a not so good
thing. But we need to bear in mind
that challenges are what entices
growth and prosperity. It’s why
the Excess and Surplus Lines segment exists.
I also worry that with the continuing spread of social media and
technology, the prototypical personal
relationships we share today will
not be as prevalent in the success
WIN: Based on your years of
experience on the insurance company side, what advice would you
have for wholesalers who want to
best position themselves and take
advantage of these cycles?
W I N | F a l l 2 0 13 | 3 9
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Fall 2013
Mind the “Talent” Gap: Attracting Students and Young Professionals to the Wholesale Insurance Industry
How We are Educating the Wholesale Insurance Industry Leaders of Tomorrow
Writing Commercial Property Insurance Profitably
When is an “Unoccupied” Home Really “Vacant?”
Successful Negotiating Skills for Wholesale Insurance Professionals
Writing the General Liability Line of Business
5 Metrics to Manage Underwriting Operations
ORSA: The Clock is Ticking
In the WIN-ner’s Circle
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ ADVERTISERS.COM
WIN Magazine - Fall 2013