WIN Magazine - Summer 2012 - (Page 52)
WINWIN -ner’s Circle
An Interview with Wayne Forest Sr. President, Forest Insurance Facilities, Metairie, La.; and President of the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA)
AYNE FOREST SR., has been president of the AAMGA since May 2011 and has served the association in many capacities, including being on its board of directors since 2007. He has also been part of the insurance market since 1972. Running a managing general agency in Metairie, La. with his sons Wayne Jr. and Matthew, he has seen the dynamic changes of the marketplace through cycles and cyclones. WIN Magazine spoke with Forest recently about his career and personal views of advancing the wholesale insurance agency distribution network. WIN: You have developed an outstanding wholesale operation in Metairie, La. over the last 30 years. What has been the most significant change you have seen in the wholesale insurance market in the last ten (10) years? How did it affect your business? Forest: There are two major changes that have affected the way we do business today. The first is that there are no more dependable hard and soft market cycles. You used to be able to make plans and set your budgets out several years depending on the rhythmic cycle you were in. Those days are long gone. The second, and I think the greatest change, has been in the advancements in automation and technology. I can remember sending telexes with the yellow paper tapes to submit a risk to an underwriter. Then I didn’t want to buy a fax machine because there had to be someone on the other end that had a fax machine to receive what you were trying to send them. Now, we communicate by email, instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, wireless connections, and connecting 5 2 | v i e w t h i s i s s u e a t | www.aamgawin.org
to company web sites to rate, quote, bind and issue policies. You can do everything much faster and more accurately today than ever before. WIN: What caused you to enter the wholesale insurance arena? Forest: Money. No, seriously, money. Back in 1972 I started working at Fireman’s Fund just out of college. I didn’t want to go to work in the insurance business, but my wife told me that since it was two weeks since I graduated that I needed to accept the job I was offered at Fireman’s Fund. In 1975, I was married with a child and not making a lot of money. I was approached to help open a branch office of Swett and Crawford in New Orleans. I didn’t know very much about the Excess & Surplus lines business, but when I told my wife that they offered me a $5,000 raise, a company car and an expense account, well you can guess what she told me. So, that was my introduction into the E&S marketplace. I fell in love with it and I am still here. WIN: What would you say are the strategic pitfalls wholesalers need to keep their eye on as they grow their business? Forest: First, you need to have a strategic and tactical plan. Even, if it is only for 2 - 3 years out. We always need to be looking forward. Second, don’t try to cut corners with the cost of doing business. Budget your money to keep pace and stay ahead of your competitors with computerization and employees. Third, don’t take on too many different lines of insurance. This weakens your knowledge of what you do and the ability to help those retailers who are looking to you for knowledge.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Summer 2012
Another Liability Catastrophe in the Making?
The Economy and the Insurance Pricing Cycle 2012: When Good News is Bad News
Capitalizing on Supplementary Coverages: MPL & Excess/Umbrella Policies
Are Your Technology Solutions Enabling Your Business?
NRRA Implementation: What Lies Ahead for Wholesalers and Producers
State Taxation of Non-U.S. Risk Premium
Rick Transfer Techniques for the American Wheat Farmer
Cyber & Reputational Risk Insurance: Past, Present, & Future
In the WIN-ner’s Circle
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ ADVERTISERS.COM
WIN Magazine - Summer 2012