Articles by Catherine Oak and Bill Schoeffler

Oak is the founder of the consulting firm, Oak & Associates, based in Northern California and Central Oregon. Oak & Associates. Phone: 707-935-6565. Email: catoak@gmail.com.

The Basics of a Letter of Intent

When an agency owner decides to sell, there are a plethora of buyers to choose from. A seller should narrow down the options to two or three before serious discussions take place. The next step is to obtain from the …

How to Lower Agency Value

As the M&A frenzy continues, buyers keep pushing the envelope when it comes to agency value. The private equity firms were initially paying top dollar to their first acquisition of a large, well-run firm platform acquisition. But now, many follow-up …

The Evolution of Insurance Agencies

To paraphrase Mark Twain — reports of the demise of insurance agencies have been greatly exaggerated. The local agency has been the backbone of the industry and the target of outside forces that have been trying to eliminate or usurp …

Industry Trends to Exploit for 2022

It is imperative for agency owners to watch and learn about major trends when they start. Following are the eight key trends that insurance agencies should be tracking for 2022. 1. Insurtech Technology Insurance and technology are like oil and …

Compensating Personal Lines Producers & Account Managers

Personal lines production seems to be a larger focus now for property/casualty agencies today. A question that our clients often ask us is regarding how to compensate personal lines staff for production. The short answer is it depends on the …

Due Diligence Pitfalls and Solutions

Mergers and acquisitions continue to occur at a very fast pace, despite COVID-19, election results, unemployment, natural disasters, etc. After price and terms are negotiated, and a letter of intent is executed, then it is time for buyers and their …

To Improve Profitability and Sales, ‘Fire’ Your Small Commercial Accounts

We all know about the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule. It also applies when analyzing the profitability and the work required for an agency’s book of business. Roughly 20% of the accounts generate 80% of the revenue, and 20% of …

Motivating Employees During the COVID Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has led to various versions of lockdowns and quarantine orders, which are now being revised during the summer due to a resurgence of cases. Many businesses still have workers who are now required to work remotely. With …

What’s New Today in Producer Compensation?

What makes a good and motivating producer compensation model does not need to be rocket science. The key is to pay what the agency can afford to pay and for what the firm is providing the producers. Lastly, the plan …

Coronavirus Effect on Agency Value

Life has changed for everyone since the lockdown of US citizens and businesses a few weeks ago by our local and federal governments. No one can really believe that in such a short time, beginning mid-March, that our lives could …