CRC Insurance Services Inc. (CRC) – the largest wholesale insurance broker in the United States – released a memo to its customers stating that a number of CRC employees in Illinois, California and Pennsylvania resigned on May 4.
CRC’s CEO and Founder Tom Curtin said in the memo that: “CRC regrets these employees’ decision and is committed to immediately reorganizing and appropriately restaffing to ensure that the business with which it has been entrusted continues to be handled in the highest quality, most professional manner.”
CRC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BB&T, operates 29 offices across the United States and has more than 1,052 employees, according to its Web site. The wholesale insurance brokerage firm wrote more than $2.4 billion in combined written property/casualty and professional premiums during 2009.
At press time, it was not clear what agency, or agencies, the former CRC employees fled to. However, CRC said that approximately 100 employees, including brokers and staff, resigned on May 4.
“We will not be closing any offices or exiting any markets,” Curtin said in a statement to Insurance Journal. “While we regret these employees’ decision, our focus continues to be on our clients and ensuring that any transition is seamless.”
Curtin said he believes many of the former CRC employees intend to work for a competitor but added that they have continuing obligations to CRC. “While CRC focuses on its clients, CRC’s counsel is closely monitoring and evaluating the situation to ensure that CRC and its clients are protected,” Curtin said in the statement to IJ.
One former high-ranking executive to leave CRC in February 2010 is Timothy W. Turner. Turner is now a managing director with Ryan Specialty Group, a new specialty services insurance organization founded this year by Patrick Ryan, founder and retired chairman and CEO of the world’s largest insurance broker, Aon. RSG will develop managing general underwriters and managing general agents, wholesale brokers and a service platform for agents and brokers. Prior to RSG’s formation, Turner served as CRC’s president of CRC Insurance Services Inc. and formerly ran CRC’s Chicago office and Midwest and Western regions.
Ryan Specialty Group’s Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer Diane Aigotti would not confirm that RSG hired any of the CRC employees, but said: “I’m afraid it’s our policy not to comment on any matter that is pending legally. We don’t have any comment.”
Despite the resignations of some 100 CRC employees in one day, Curtin says he is “confident that CRC remains the best broker in the wholesale market and will conntinue to raise the bar.” In his memo addressed to CRC’s “Valued Business Partners,” Curtin appealed to CRC clients saying, “CRC appreciates the loyalty and dedication of its clients and employees during this transition.”
Alleged plots to steal high-quality, experienced insurance professionals are nothing new.
One recent case involved insurance giant Liberty Mutual Insurance losing nine former employees during a one-week period to Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings. Liberty Mutual filed a lawsuit against Aspen in early February alleging that Aspen plotted to steal professional liability insurance business from its Liberty International Underwriters unit by stealing employees. Liberty says all of the nine individuals quit between Jan. 14 and Jan. 20.
The Liberty Mutual suit, filed Feb. 1 in New York County Supreme Court, said the workers and Aspen “unlawfully conspired (and continue to conspire) to breach duties of loyalty to Liberty, raid Liberty’s business operations, and misappropriate Liberty’s trade secrets and goodwill.”
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