Insurance Business spoke with Mina to learn more about the direction of his company, and how his love for conservation informs his work as a broker.
How did you become a broker? What do you particularly enjoy about insurance broking?
I first began my brokerage career in 1986 working at Corroon & Black in New York, then worked with Marsh and then spent over two decades with Willis Towers Watson. I was the head of corporate risk & broking, Atlantic Region, prior to joining Risk Strategies in 2017.
What I love about our industry is that it is dynamic and ever-changing. The world is not becoming a less risky place. Risks evolve, and I particularly enjoy our opportunity as a broker to solve client problems and help them protect what matters to them.
Can you tell me about your role – and its key responsibilities?
I joined Risk Strategies as President in April of 2017 and became chief executive officer in 2019. I’m responsible for setting the strategic direction of the company and working as a senior advisor to the leadership team while managing the day-to-day operations.
My focus is to build an independent, specialty focused organization that will perpetuate itself for years to come. We’re very fortunate to have the ability to make acquisitions as a lever to build out the organization and take advantage of a period of consolidation in the industry. While making the company bigger is nice, our acquisition activity is intended to help us build a greater portfolio of services and products for our clients and to serve them more effectively.
At our core we’re an insurance brokerage firm, and staying focused on our clients, our associates, and the markets is our “north star”. We’ve experienced tremendous growth, more than doubling in size over the past 2 years. We’ve completed 140 acquisitions. We’ve added over 1,000 new employees to the Risk Strategies family in the last year alone. This year, we celebrated our 25th business anniversary. I am humbled and excited to be in such an instrumental role of leading the company and supporting our associates and a collaborative culture.
What challenges and opportunities do you see for the insurance market in your region in 2022?
Extraordinary events have transformed and continue to affect the global business landscape. Businesses from every sector were impacted by the global pandemic. Natural catastrophes have risen in frequency and severity, challenging long-held underwriting models, methodology, pricing, and insurance capacity.
Ransomware attacks, cyber claims and litigation continue to increase. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are increasing as evidenced by consumer and shareholder class actions, nuclear verdicts, and the growth of societal and global supply chain issues.
All of these represent opportunities to help clients. We view our deep specialty expertise as the key to helping clients navigate the new realities, improve their quality of risk, and communicate those improvements to present a differentiated risk to carriers and improve the likelihood of obtaining favorable terms and pricing.
What are some of the key ways that you are able to support your clients right now?
With the growth of uncertainty and risks overall, it is more important than ever before for clients to be prepared to show risk mitigation efforts and their unique stories. Risk Strategies is unique in our specialist approach to risk. We began life 25 years ago as a business consultancy, later adding insurance brokerage capabilities to provide clients with tailored coverages.
Today, to effectively mitigate risk and protect their business success, clients need an advisor with a deep holistic understanding of the unique risk factors in play, and help them to protect their bottom line and meet business goals. Our specialty expertise and collaborative culture means we can bring to bear the exact specialty resources needed to meet each client’s unique challenge.
Can you tell me about your board position with Conservation Nation? How does your passion for conservation tie into your ethos as a broker?
Conservation is a cause I am most passionate about. When I discovered Conservation Nation (formerly Friends of the National Zoo), I was energized by their mission “to accelerate conservation progress by fueling a self-sustaining movement that brings a more representative and inclusive community of conservationists to the fight, today and in the future”.
My hope is that my efforts will encourage other business leaders to find meaningful ways to support the causes that they’re passionate about. I do believe we have a responsibility to integrate philanthropy and sustainability into our respective leadership philosophies and corporate policies.
Businesses and their leaders can leverage their position to make a powerful impact. We should not hesitate to make our care for others known. Philanthropy can even lead to enhanced revenue and retention. Employees and customers are increasingly investing in companies that incorporate charitable giving in their mission.
As part of my commitment to social responsibility and community involvement, I’m proud to be on the boards of the Risk Strategies Foundation, Conservation Nation, and the Maguire Academy of Risk & Insurance Management at Gallaudet University.