Agencies of all shapes and sizes.
Who is an Iroquois Member?
Iroquois works best for independent agencies that aren’t satisfied with ‘average’ results.
The Egis Group, Rhode Island
Roy Finkelman, President of The Egis Group in Warwick, RI, consistently endorses Iroquois because the financial upside has exceeded his expectations. “Joining Iroquois in 2009 is the best decision we made for the agency since our founding in 1975. Of course, Iroquois provides new markets when needed at manageable production thresholds. More importantly though, Iroquois’ bonus programs have helped the agency outperform in the contingency area resulting in bonus checks that are consistently 50% or greater than what the agency could earn standalone. In some years, when new business incentives are included, we have earned triple the bonus revenue with some of our partner carriers.”
The Egis Group researched and evaluated the Iroquois contract and the Market Alliance program in great depth before becoming a member. Now ten years into the relationship, the agency has partnered with Iroquois with the majority of their carriers. Between Market Alliance carriers, direct appointments, and Specialty Access carriers, the agency boasts 15 growing and profitable shared carrier relationships with Iroquois, all contributing to the agency’s organic growth strategy.
According to Kathy Patenaude, the agency’s Regional Manager, “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this multi-generation agency. Roy and his two sons are focused on sales, maximizing revenue and increasing their bottom line. The agency has taken full advantage of many Iroquois programs, such as book consolidations, carrier incentives, and participating in the Iroquois Exchange which has led to purchasing members that were looking to sell. It is exciting to partner with the next generation as we move into the future together.”
Jonathan Nelson of ISA, Asheville, N.C.
Insurance Service of Asheville, or ISA, was founded in 1958 by James Stickney in Asheville, NC. Today, Jim’s son Jimbo and daughter Mary Alice are the primary owners of this agency with approximately $17 million in P&C premium. The agency is a key player in the Western North Carolina market and has a very noteworthy and longstanding client in the Biltmore estate.
“We joined Iroquois for three primary reasons,” said Jonathan Nelson, part owner and manager of their commercial lines division. “First was the opportunity for increased revenue, primarily through greater profit sharing. We created a Market Alliance with several of our core carriers and in the first year of our Travelers market alliance, Iroquois increased our revenue by almost $40,000!”
“The second reason we joined was for access to new markets, which included Berkley and CNA. And lastly, Iroquois gave us these benefits without taking away our independence. We still run our agency. Iroquois gives us ideas and incentives but we make all of the decisions.”
“One benefit we didn’t anticipate when joining Iroquois,” said Jonathan “was the opportunity to grow through the acquisition of two smaller Iroquois members.”
When asked what he would tell an agent considering joining Iroquois or another network, Jonathan said “I would tell them Iroquois has good people, they will help you with carriers and increased revenue, and you will keep your independence. There are no negatives.”
Keller Stonebraker Insurance Inc., Maryland
There aren’t many agencies that can claim more than 100 years of service, but the roots of Maryland agency Keller Stonebraker go back to 1901. Started in Hagerstown, Maryland, Keller Stonebraker now has four locations throughout Maryland and one in West Virginia.
“Our growth accelerated in the 1980’s and 1990’s through both organic growth and acquisitions,” said agency CEO, Kent Reynolds, “and then we took a big step forward when we merged with HTG in 2009. We have more than doubled in size since then and we have aggressive growth goals for the next five years as well.”
With total agency premium approaching $100 million, Keller Stonebraker’s goal is to become one of the largest independent agencies in Maryland. The relationship with Iroquois, though unusual for an agency of this size, will help them achieve their goal. Kent Reynolds sees his relationship with Iroquois as that of a mutually beneficial partnership. “Developing a relationship with Iroquois can be as important to an agency as their relationship with their lead carriers,” said Kent. Over the past few years he has consolidated more business to Iroquois for the greater financial rewards that Iroquois provides.
“Keller Stonebraker is a perfect example of what the Iroquois Preferred Member Agreement can do for a very large agency,” said Iroquois Regional Manager Lindy Bane. “The agency has the potential to earn more than 100% of their share of profit sharing from Iroquois carriers and, because of our size and historic profitability, Iroquois can reach profit sharing levels that even $100 million agencies have difficulty reaching.”
Lindy noted that the agency has taken advantage of Carrier Business Building dollars and free Commercial Leads, and has benefited from Iroquois’ preferred commission schedules with two carriers that they would not have qualified for on their own.
Kent thinks his Iroquois connection also brings an added measure of support in his relationship with his carriers. “No matter how much you grow with a carrier, they always want more. Iroquois’ National Account status with its core carriers adds a greater dimension to our relationship with our carriers, and that can be very beneficial.”
The Lunar Agency, Pennsylvania
At $5M+ in written premium, the Lunar Agency, located in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, increased their contingency revenue by an additional 30% in each of the last 3 years. The agency enjoys the additional revenue, their continued independence and the autonomy to choose how they best partner with Iroquois.
Rick and Angela Franchi, President and Executive Vice-President of The Lunar Agency, Inc. in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, definitely did their due diligence before selecting Iroquois as a partner. After exploring various network/aggregator options, they contracted with Iroquois in 2013 and haven’t looked back.
The principals were attracted to Iroquois for three distinct reasons. First and foremost, they saw the opportunity to maximize the agency’s contingency revenue. Second, they gravitated toward the flexibility the Iroquois contract provided versus a one size fits all approach. Lastly, both Rick and Angela could see that the partnership extended far beyond the financial components of the relationship as Iroquois offered various programs that would support the agency’s growth initiatives.
According to Angela, “The additional 30% in contingency we are consistently earning supports our agency’s commitment to staff education and allows us to expand our marketing efforts.” Rick also weighed in on the relationship, “This is really a true partnership with Iroquois. We have the autonomy to choose how to best align our carriers together and the opportunity to draw on Iroquois resources and established carrier relationships. The access to the programs and contacts are not typically available to a $5M+ agency and both have been invaluable to the agency the last few years.”
From Kurt Keller’s perspective, the agency’s Iroquois Regional Manager, The Lunar Agency is an incredible partner. “I am thrilled that Iroquois has been able to step up and help the agency negotiate the best deal out there for one of their niche programs. Their commitment to growth and profitability have created an ideal partnership with Iroquois.”
Paul Megginson of Risk Management Partners
Located in Flowood, Miss., Risk Management Partners is a $15 million agency anchored by multiple niche industry programs. In April of 2011, the agency connected with Perry Grant of Iroquois South and conducted a deep dive into how an Iroquois partnership could benefit the agency through enhancing revenue and agency value.
The principals of the agency, Paul Megginson, Guy Warren and Bob Ganz, did their due diligence and reached out to existing Iroquois members to vet the opportunity. What they found was that Grant and Iroquois South were indeed delivering on their value proposition to members. It didn’t take long for the agency to move forward with Iroquois, and today they are one of Iroquois South’s largest partnerships.
RMP has taken advantage of Iroquois’ Market Alliance program with 12 of their carrier relationships, and generated significant revenue gains in doing so. Grant still remembers profit sharing season in 2015 when he delivered his largest check ever to the agency. Per Perry, “It was wonderful to deliver a check that was more than 50 percent greater than the agency would have earned with the carrier on their own. When our teams synch up like we have with RMP, the potential is really unlimited.”
Since joining Iroquois, the agency has enhanced its revenue. Yet, the partnership with Iroquois extends beyond the financial components. According to Megginson, “We don’t hesitate to call Perry and the Iroquois team to draw on their deep carrier relationships, resources and market knowledge. On more than one occasion, the Iroquois team advocated with carriers for our agency and we benefited with favorable resolutions to issues. The Iroquois team is always ready to help whenever they can and we gain the advantage of their strength in the market.”
The Andrew Agency in Richmond
The Andrew Agency started from scratch in Richmond, Va., and joined The Iroquois Group in 2014. “We are a fast-growing agency writing profitable business. Our partnership with Iroquois allows us to qualify for profit-sharing and gain access to markets giving us a competitive advantage,” said the agency president, Ryan M. Andrew.
In 2014 the agency created a Market Alliance with several carriers, and in the spring of 2016, it received the highest profit-sharing bonus since inception. “Iroquois has allowed our agency to reach new levels and we greatly value our partnership,” said Mr. Andrew.
Peter E. Frank Agency, North Carolina
In 2010, Peter Frank of the Peter Frank Agency joined Iroquois group South. Since that time, Peter has taken advantage of all that the Iroquois Group has to offer. Peter has worked with his Regional Manager and Managing Partner to take a deep dive approach to uncover multiple partnership opportunities.
Peter values all that Iroquois has to offer. He shared that, “Iroquois Group has been a great fit for the agency. Not only is it a user-friendly organization, the Iroquois team has worked with our team to capitalize on market alliances which have increased insurance agency revenue; to identify new carrier relationships that support our growth; to participate in producer hiring and financing; and stepped up to assist with carrier and account guidance. Our Iroquois Regional Manager has been a real asset to our partnership.”
The insurance agency has grown organically and through acquisition over the last few years with a combined total written premium of $6 million. As the insurance agency grows, they continue to work with Iroquois to find additional partnership opportunities. With 8 shared carriers generating enhanced revenue, the Iroquois Group relationship is thriving as the agency continues to graduate up the Partner Plan.
The agency’s Regional Manager states, “Peter is highly energetic with a solid business plan. He understands the Iroquois value proposition and has taken advantage of the benefits of an Iroquois member. Peter has enhanced his insurance agency value through market optimization and increased revenue opportunities. I look forward to working with Peter and his team to grow the agency to the next level.”
David Miller and Gene Siracusa of Insurance Agencies, Inc
Insurance Agencies, Inc. of Northfield, NJ is a combination of five independent agencies that date back as far as 1879. The agencies combined over the years to build scale, efficiency and profitability; and Insurance Agencies now has total premium in excess of $50 million.
“We first spoke with Ken Bull at Iroquois back in 2007 but the timing wasn’t right for us to join”, says agency principal, David Miller. Then in 2010 the agency bought Iroquois member Frank J. Siracusa & Son agency and from their experience with Iroquois saw how beneficial membership could be. Beginning with a few Market Alliances to increase revenue, the newly combined agency added new markets over the next few years and created more Market Alliances. They are currently considering an additional Market Alliance in 2015. Insurance Agencies, Inc is now a Pinnacle Plan, Level 1 member under Iroquois’ Preferred Member Agreement.
“Iroquois fits in well with our agency,” says agency principal, Gene Siracusa. “Their strong national relationships with several of our core carriers have further enhanced our relationships with them. We benefit from Iroquois’ national clout.”
“We like that Iroquois is supportive and yet transparent,” says Kim Bassford, Commercial Lines Manager. “You facilitate our carrier relationships but don’t interfere with them. We like working directly with our carriers while having Iroquois in the background.”
Bruce Swayze of Weymouth, Swayze, and Corroon Insurance Inc.
Bruce Swayze became involved with Iroquois 5 years ago when he and Dick Corroon, owner of Iroquois member agency Corroon & Associates, decided to merge their agencies to form Weymouth, Swayze, and Corroon Insurance of Centerville, DE. This mid-sized agency has a fairly equal mix of personal and commercial lines.
“I knew of Iroquois by reputation and thought I understood the concept, but some things don’t always turn out as good as they appear on paper,” said Swayze. “I found out that Iroquois was every bit as good as it appeared on paper.”
Through Iroquois, the agency was able to access and support more carriers than they could have on their own. “Over the years we had also generated excellent loss ratios with several carriers but at premium levels below their profit sharing thresholds. We were able to tap into Iroquois’ very significant profit sharing with these companies to substantially increase our total agency revenue.”
Bruce points to producer training opportunities as another benefit of their Iroquois membership. “And (Regional Manager) Lindy Bane has been a tremendous resource for us,” said Bruce. “His knowledge of overall market conditions and the carrier’s appetites and capabilities are very helpful.”
When asked how he would advise another agent considering joining a network, Bruce said “I would definitely put Iroquois on the top of the list.”
Assured Risk Advisors, Pennsylvania
According to Nick Tropiano of Assured Risk Advisors of Irwin, PA, “Taking Kurt Keller’s call two years into starting the insurance agency, was the best thing I ever did! Unlimited access to Kurt and his industry knowledge, technical expertise, market savvy and strategic approach to our insurance agency and the insurance business has helped us tackle challenges head on and helped propel us forward as an agency.”
The insurance agency has grown to more than $4 million in written premium since they opened their doors in late 2010. Nick and Kurt have worked closely to ensure that the agency takes advantage of all Iroquois has to offer. According to Kurt, “Assured Risk Advisors has leveraged key tools available through Iroquois insurance to improve revenue and grow their business, including Market Alliance, Direct Access codes, producer training and producer financing. It has been an honor to help the insurance agency achieve their goals. Nick and his staff’s commitment to excellence and professionalism has allowed them to create a very successful agency in a short period of time.”
With 8 shared carrier relationships, the insurance agency has also experienced the revenue gains associated with a growing Iroquois insurance partnership. Nick is very proud to share that he has exercised Market Alliances with multiple carriers and seen the exponential gains on those books first hand. Most recently, he earned a $12,000 check on a $300,000 book of business where the insurance agency would not have qualified for profit sharing directly. The potential to earn bonus was just the incentive needed for his team to refocus production efforts with the carrier to generate the growth that maximized their Iroquois pay-out.
Nick stated that, “Our Iroquois relationship, captained by Kurt Keller, is the singular most important success factor in our agency. Kurt has been a key contributor to our strategy and consistently helps fuel our insurance agency’s success. We look forward to working with Kurt for years to come.”