IIABA Launches New Initiative Focusing on Large Agents, Brokers

October 2, 2002

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) launched a new initiative focusing on large agents and brokers during a special reception and dinner held recently in conjunction with the New Orleans InfoXchange.

At the dinner, IIABA unveiled its Large Agent & Broker Roundtable. The new group will focus attention on issues unique or inherent to large agents and brokers, including multistate licensing, human resources, technology, new producer training and more.

Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La.) addressed the group, with more than 20 insurance company CEOs, large agents and brokers, and IIABA executives.

“This initiative will allow us to work for our larger members to achieve the best business environment for everybody,” IIABA CEO Robert Rusbuldt told the 150 attendees. Rusbuldt added that IIABA sought the expertise and participation of large agents and brokers to benefit all association members. “We recognize the need for resources to facilitate efficiency in operations and a focus on growth, and we are well positioned to bring those resources to bear on the issues, from a regulatory, advocacy and business perspective,” he added.

The members of the Roundtable include:

*Don Lewis, chairman, Hastings-Tapley Insurance Co.
*Ken Kirk, Brown & Brown
*Gaines Lanier, J. Smith Lanier & Co.
*Don Brain, Lockton Benefits Companies
*Roy Taylor, Talbot Insurance & Financial Services
*Craig Smith, Fred A. Morton & Co.
*Louise “Bebe” Canter, IIABA president-elect, Patterson & Smith

Baker, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee and is chairman of its Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee, discussed numerous financial services and insurance issues, as well as homeland defense and international issues, with the agents and brokers and company CEOs. His subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes insurance oversight.

Baker believes a compromise bill for a federal terrorism backstop is near, but said tort reform issues remain the primary obstacle. He also said asbestos liability and regulation of insurance are priorities that must be addressed.

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