The American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd. (NAPSLO) have announced they are considering joining forces to forge a larger organization.
In a joint statement, the two industry groups noted that their primary focus is “to add value in today’s environment by serving the AAMGA and NAPSLO membership as efficiently and as economically as possible. A thoughtful consolidation can do exactly that, without diminishing the strengths of our relationships and membership resources. The synergy of the AAMGA and NAPSLO, together serving the entirety of the wholesale insurance marketplace, is a common sense opportunity neither organization can afford to ignore.”
While a merger of these two noted organizations would certainly serve as an effective means to achieve greater scale, it is not altogether surprising that such a union is being considered: NAPSLO and AAMGA have a long history of coordinating programs and services offered to each others’ memberships, regularly communicate on regulatory and legislative advocacy efforts, and collaborate on committee structures and educational programs.
"This is a very exciting opportunity,” NAPSLO Executive Director Brady Kelley tells PC360. “We see many benefits of a single, unified and rebranded organization representing the overwhelming majority of the U.S. wholesale surplus lines marketplace.”
The organizations outlined the benefits for AAMGA and NAPSLO members as a result of a possible merger, which include:
- A simplified menu of programs and services, eliminating pressure for members to choose between similar offerings from the two existing organizations;
- Refinement of the three existing networking events offered by the AAMGA and NAPSLO to two annual events that will more effectively meet the needs of members. This will generate significant indirect cost savings (time and travel) while providing attendees effective forums focused on both delegated underwriting and transactional brokerage;
- A larger, unified voice in the organizations’ legislative and regulatory advocacy;
- Improved synergy in committee and volunteer work;
- Showcasing the best of both organizations through a broadened curriculum of education and professional development;
- Maximizing college outreach and talent recruiting initiatives for members;
- A single, rebranded organization representing the entirety of the current wholesale insurance market, which will be highly effective in promoting the value of wholesale distribution with a stronger, unified voice; and
- A new sense of energy and purpose, which will revitalize our joint membership as we come together to represent the overwhelming majority of the U.S. wholesale surplus lines marketplace.
To further evaluate the opportunity to combine the organizations and develop a proposal, the AAMGA and NAPSLO Boards have formed a joint merger committee, which is composed of four members from each board and an AAMGA Associate/NAPSLO Company member. NAPSLO’s Kelley will also participate and support the committee. Members include:
- Hank Haldeman, Chairman – The Sullivan Group
- Bobby Owens, Co-Chair – RPS Lexington
- Harry Johnson – Johnson & Johnson, Inc.
- Corinne Jones – AmWINS Access
- Mark Maucere – Arlington/Roe
- Dave Obenauer – CRC Wholesale Group
- Jacque Schaendorf – Insurance House
- Kathy Schroeder – Sierra Specialty Insurance Services
- Gary Tiepelman – Western World
“The committee will examine whether greater efficiencies can be achieved with a single, combined entity,” said Bernd G. Heinze, Esq., AAMGA’s executive director. “The committee’s focus will be to examine organizational dynamics, foundational functions and explore areas of opportunity to ascertain whether members are receiving the greatest value.”
After the committee has completed its work, any recommendations made will go before the memberships of both organizations. In the event a merger is recommended, Heinze added, AAMGA’s bylaws require the approval of 75 percent of AAMGA members voting on the issue.
“The committee formed to explore these benefits will evaluate what a new organization should look like, how it should be governed and how it should function, not only drawing from the best of each organization but also defining what will create the greatest value for each constituency within our memberships,” Kelley added.