Big “I” Sees International Success with New Associate Member Status

November 4, 2003

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America announced that two Japanese brokers are the first international insurance professionals to join IIABA by taking advantage of its new “associate membership” category.

“The associate membership category for foreign agents and brokers is a brand new area of opportunity for brokers in countries around the world,” said the bulletin. “IIABA’s Board of State National Directors approved the development of the associate membership category late last year. The framework for the membership was recently completed and rolled out to brokers in Japan. Through international membership, foreign brokers gain access to IIABA’s many valuable products and services that provide them with the information, education, training and research. These resources will give them a competitive edge in the marketplace, whether the marketplace is Japan or the United States.”

CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt commented: “The business of insurance is global; this has never been more evident than since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Commerce and the flow of capital do not recognize boundaries. The simple fact is that insurance companies as well as agents and brokers want to write good business, both in Tokyo and in New York City. The distribution of insurance products and financial services through agents and brokers will continue to grow in the future, whether in Japan, the U.S., the Caribbean, South America or other parts of the world.” He extended a “warm welcome” to the new associate members on behalf of the IIABA.

IIABA President Louise “BeBe” Canter, CPCU, ARM, observed: “It is clear that consumers want to do business with agents and brokers, and the trend is toward the independent agency model. We believe agents and brokers are the true advocates for business and personal lines consumers. As I am sure is the case with international brokerages, my agency always is seeking an edge over the competitors. IIABA membership has provided me that edge.”

The bulletin noted that “Akio Takahashi of the World Insurance Group in Tokyo was the first foreign broker to join IIABA as an international associate member. He cited two reasons for joining: ‘One is to acquire knowledge about risk management services, various insurance products, and agency management. Another is to acquire information about the U.S. insurance market. Our Japanese corporate clients have operations in the U.S. They are manufacturers and wholesalers of industrial products such as car parts and machinery. We like to provide the Japanese headquarters of those manufacturers with U.S. insurance information.'”

Another new international member, Takesi Motohashi of TKA Insurance Agency in Tokyo, indicated that he joined IIABA “in order to associate with successful agencies and brokerages in the United States. One of the best tactics is to listen to successful agencies in order to be successful.”

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