Power brokers: computer software: the effects of convergence, outsourcing, information security, patent infringement and just keeping pace with rapidly developing risk profiles means plenty of homework for brokers--if they want to be the best.
Brenda Shelly, executive vice president at Willis Group, has been dedicated to serving the needs of technology clients since the early 1990s. In director's and officer's, Shelly is well-respected for her knowledge. "She knows the industry very well," says a tech risk manager.
That expertise has led a number of the leading names in Silicon Valley to rely on her to manage their complex executive liability programs and to steer them through the evolving risk management landscape brought about by the increasingly rapid convergence within the sector. "She's very good, very talented," says another technology risk manager.
Shelly moved to Willis more than two years ago from Marsh. Previously, she was vice president at Johnson & Higgins before it merged with Marsh in 1997, and underwriting manager for Cigna.
Brenda A. Shelly Executive Vice President Willis Group San Francisco
"THE CONVERGENCE OF TECHNOLOGIES AND THE EXPANSION OF THEIR PRODUCTS REQUIRE THESE COMPANIES TO DEAL WITH NEW EXPOSRUES ALL THE TIME."
Christine M. D'Ambra, CPCU
Christine D'Ambra, managing director at Marsh, has made a name for herself as a broker who not only knows the industry, but also delivers top-notch client service. "Delivering premier service and risk solutions to clients is my mission," D'Ambra says.
D'Ambra works with large corporate clients on primary and excess liability and workers' comp. D'Ambra brings a deep understanding of the industry, a wealth of experience as an insurance broker and a network of long-standing relationships in the insurance community.
The key to her success is in understanding her clients' needs in the high-pressure tech world. She works to craft risk management solutions that fit the particular needs of her clients, from integrated programs to captives. Over the years, she has worked with clients that have included many Fortune 100 companies.
Christine M. D'Ambra Managing Director Marsh Risk & Insurance Services San Francisco
"INFORMATION SECURITY IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE TOUGHEST RISKS ... IN 2006 AS MORE PEOPLE, BUSINESSES AND COUNTRIES UTILIZE TECHNOLOGY TO LIVE, COMMUNICATION AND OPERATE."
Thomas J. Fitzgerald Jr., CPCU, ARM
Thomas J. Fitzgerald Jr., managing director for Aon's Technology Group as well as Strategic Account Management, has won high marks for his knowledge of the risk management issues facing software and new media companies in these very dynamic areas of technology.
"He has his finger on the pulse of what's going on and what's happening in the industry," says one technology risk manager.
Fitzgerald leads a group of 50 risk management professionals and spearheads Aon's efforts to develop and maintain relationships in the rapidly growing technology and telecommunications industries. In his work, Fitzgerald deals with some of the largest and most complex insurance transactions in the technology sector, involving areas such as global trade, intellectual property, initial public offerings and alternative risk financing strategies.
Thomas J. Fitzgerald Jr. Managing Director Aon Technology Grout Aon Chicago
"MORE TECH COMPANIES ARE OUTSOURCING PRODUCTION ... ANY SUPPLY-CHAIN DISRUPTION HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC LOSS."
Joshua Z. Jiang, CPA, CPCU, ARM
Joshua Z. Jiang, managing director at Marsh, is known in the technology sector as an innovative, highly knowledgeable broker with a deep understanding of each client's business.
"He's proactive, and tries to understand your individual issues," says one technology risk manager.
Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Jiang is practice leader for Marsh's West Zone Tech & Telecom practice. Since joining the San Jose office six years ago, Jiang has used innovative D&O programs, helped develop a technology E&O policy in the hard market, and worked to educate insurers about the business-interruption exposures faced by software companies.
"He's not just a renewal broker," says one technology risk manager. "He's trying to work throughout the year with you."
Joshua Z. Jiang Managing Director Marsh San Jose, Calif.
"I'M SEEING A CONVERGENCE OF DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES--MEDIA AND TELECOM FOR EXAMPLE, THAT BRINGS BIGGER CHALLENGES AND NEW RISKS."
Michael Lamprecht, ARM
Lamprecht, along with Michael Flanagan, heads up Arthur J. Gallagher's Cyber & Technology Risk practice. Lamprecht, fondly called the "geek" by his partner Flanagan, started out at as a telemarketer for Gallagher in 1996. When he was promoted to sales, he began by selling cyber-risk policies in the financial services marketplace, and within a few years, he became the cyber-risk practice leader.
Both Lamprecht and Flanagan believe in working with technology clients through a comprehensive process of identifying, quantifying and figuring out the best ways to transfer the clients' technology risks.
The tech market is currently experiencing some major disruptions, and the lack of availability for certain coverages, especially in liability, makes the job even more challenging.
Michael Lamprecht National Practice Leader Cyber & Technology Risk Arthur J. Gallagher Chicago
"THE ISSUE FOR 2006 FOR TECHNOLOGY COMMIES IS PATENT INFRINGEMENT. THERE HAS BEEN AN EXPLOSION IN LITIGATION, AND IT WILL GET WORSE."
Patrick Donnelly has gained a reputation for his knowledge of issues facing technology companies. One technology risk manager calls Donnelly "the sharpest guy I work with."
Based in Chicago, Donnelly co-founded and developed Aon's national resource group, responsible for devising solutions for professional liability, E&O, network risk, intellectual property and media liability for technology, telecommunications and new media companies. Donnelly has been successful in influencing underwriters in providing new insurance and noninsurance risk management strategies for the technology sector.
Donnelly's group also publishes the AonNetNews electronic newsletter that discusses risk issues--from topics such as information security to open-source software licensing and contract manufacturing--as well as insurance solutions for the technology industry.
Patrick Donnelly Co-National Managing Director Technology & Professional Risks Aon Risk Services Chicago
"THE GREATEST RISK ISSUE IS TO ENSURE THAT RISK CONTROL AND RISK FINANCING STRATEGIES ARE KEEPING PACE WITH THEIR RAPIDLY EVOLVING RISK PROFILES."