It’s an accepted fact that the most successful business dealsare based on relationships between the parties, and it’s especiallytrue in the insurance industry. But often, coverholders and risktakers don’t have the opportunity to be in the same location tobuild those relationships, creating challenges to finding newbusiness.

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To meet some of these challenges, Glenn W. Clark, CPCU, ownerand president of Rockwood Programs, has started an organizationcalled CHART-Exchange ("CHART" stands for Cover Holders and RiskTakers). Its main purpose is to create new business opportunitiesbetween the U.S. and London market by facilitating contacts withproducers and offering a forum for the exchange of ideas.

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The inaugural CHART-ExchangeSummit, titled the “Declaration of Interdependence,” will takeplace Oct. 12–14 in Philadelphia, at which Clark hopes to bringtogether 500 attendees including 250 current coverholders, 100potential coverholders, 100 risk takers from London syndicates and50 vendor representatives.

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More than 1,000 U.S. coverholders “hold the pen” with Londonsyndicates, Clark notes. He’s been doing business in London since2003 and has only met seven of the 93 syndicates; he believesthere’s room for improvement in making connections, which was thegenesis of the CHART-Exchange. He notes that 40% of Lloyd’sbusiness is in the U.S. with 55% of Lloyd’s global cover holderbusiness written here, and he believes that CHART-Exchange canimprove those percentages.

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“There are huge cultural differences between the way business isdone in the U.S. and the way it’s conducted in London,” Clarkpoints out. “The inaugural CHART-Exchange summit is intended tohelp both sides understand each other a bit better.”

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Business-meeting-diverse-shutterstock_167545019-g-stockstudio

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(Photo: Shutterstock/stockstudio)

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Face-to-face meetings still best

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London has been doing business in many of the same ways for morethan 300 years, says Clark. Brokers are the intermediaries who havebrought business to the syndicates, and “that works fine but wethink we can add a few concepts that can add value and even enhancetoday’s process.” Now, Clark wants to bring a different skill setto both sides of new business acquisition by adding anelement of “hunting” into the mix and creating a forumin which producers who hunt for business will meet face-to-facewith risk takers who “hunt” for new producers to work with. “U.S.agents employ many different mechanisms to distribute theirproducts," he says. "We are hoping the risk takers will bereceptive to adding a new weapon to their arsenals to ‘hunt’for new distribution as well."

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Clark believes that personal meetings are the best way to buildrelationships for the long term. “The CHART-Exchange summit isintended to facilitate meetings among groups that might otherwisenever get together,” he says, adding that he maintainsrelationships in 2015 that were started in 2003.

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The summit agenda includes two keynote speakers, 40 workshops,panel discussions, an incubator and testing lab for new ideas andproducts, networking events and venues for private appointments.“We’re also hosting a 'Shark Tank' (or "Dragon’s Den," as it'sknown in London) competition for the best new product or marketingidea,” Clark says. For more information about the summit, visitCHART-Exchange’s website or contactClark directly at [email protected] or[email protected].

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Rosalie Donlon

Rosalie Donlon is the editor in chief of ALM's insurance and tax publications, including NU Property & Casualty magazine and NU PropertyCasualty360.com. You can contact her at [email protected].