Wholesale Associations NAPSLO, AAMGA Merging to Form WSIA

By | May 15, 2017

Things are moving forward for a new insurance industry trade association for the wholesale, specialty and surplus lines insurance industry.

The new Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) is being formed by the proposed merger of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Officers (NAPSLO) and the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA).

In April, both boards of directors for the AAMGA and NAPSLO approved the merger proposal, an agreement and plan of merger, and a board resolution to merge.

The merger proposal outlines the material terms in connection with the merger of the AAMGA and NAPSLO; (2) outlines the process and timing by which the merger will be considered, approved and effectuated; and (3) documents the terms and conditions applying to the merger.

The full memberships of both associations must still vote on the merger in June but signs point to a successful passage of the merger and the new WSIA will be fully operational shortly thereafter, said Brady R. Kelley, executive director of NAPSLO who is expected to serve as the executive director of the WSIA once operational.

Both associations have rich histories with highly congruent memberships, and a merger of the two just “makes sense,” Kelley said.

Currently, 77 percent of AAMGA members also belong to NAPSLO and 48 percent of NAPSLO voting members also belong to the AAMGA.

The AAMGA’s voting membership is comprised of 253 (68 percent) wholesale insurance members; and 119 (32 percent) associate members (insurance companies and other risk bearing entities).

NAPSLO’s voting membership is comprised of 370 (77 percent) wholesale broker/agent members; and 108 (23 percent) company/underwriting manager members (insurance companies and other risk bearing entities).

“Our programs are similar. Our positions in the market are similar. Legislation we support is similar. Most the time we are coordinating with regulators and lawmakers on the same issues,” Kelley said. Even efforts to educate and developing new professionals in the industry are the same. “It’s our mission and vision that through this merger we will become an even stronger organization,” he said.

Hank Haldeman, NAPSLO past president, who has served as chairman of the merger, said there has been consensus at every step. “What’s been especially rewarding is that we’ve reached all our conclusions and recommendations, without exception, through consensus,” he said. “We are confident that this consolidation has been approached in a thorough, thoughtful manner and will leverage the synergy of the AAMGA and NAPSLO,” he said in a letter to members.”

“The board of directors of the AAMGA is very excited about the merger and its opportunity for members and our industry in the formation of WSIA,” said Ed Levy, AAMGA president. “The board is excited about the future potential of the new organization with an affirmative vote by the membership.”

“I’m certain that WSIA members of all shapes and sizes, from the localized delegated authority and brokerage operation to the global wholesale broker, along with the insurers serving the wholesale channel will all gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace through active participation in this, the only association dedicated specifically to the wholesale, specialty and surplus lines insurance industry,” said Bobby Owens, vice chairman of the merger committee and AAMGA secretary-treasurer.

WSIA is calling itself “an association of insurance professionals working to build profitable business relationships in the wholesale, specialty and surplus lines insurance industry.” WSIA is promising to provide members with networking, education, talent recruitment, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and promotion of wholesale value.

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