San Diego, Calif.-based Barney and Barney LLC, ranked No. 33 on Insurance Journal’s Top 100 list, has grown year-over-year throughout the past 10 years. This privately held independent agency generated revenues of $36.61 million in 2009, including property/casualty written premiums of $277 million and other than P/C premiums of some $1.10 billion. Despite its large size, this organization maintains a positive corporate culture that encourages a work-life balance for all of its employees, says Paul Hering, CEO of Barney and Barney since 2004. That’s a main reason this agency beat out all others to rank as the 2010 Best Agency to Work For across all regions of the country.
“Barney & Barney has done a remarkable job in hiring people that have a passion for what they do. …It is an uplifting place to go every day. They care about me as a person. They encourage time off and vacations to be with your family. There is a true work-life balance here. It’s not said — it is actually practiced,” summarizes one employee.
Hering, who meets with every new associate — about 355 employees and counting during his tenure — says the reason his organization is a best agency to work for starts with the ownership’s strong belief in a healthy work-life balance.
“It’s easy these days with the pressures in the working world and with the economic challenges that we face in our own industry to let work become all consuming,” Hering says. But by maintaining a healthy work-life balance, the workforce at Barney and Barney stays happier, and in turn so do its clients.
“I think the clients get a sense when they are interacting with our people that our people like what they are doing; they like being here,” Hering says. That positive energy is contagious, he adds.
Employees also value this 100-year-old agency’s commitment to giving back to the communities it serves.
“The establishment and the endowment of the Barney & Barney Foundation epitomizes who Barney & Barney is,” wrote one employee. “As the company has grown, it has continued to focus outwardly, looking for ways to give back to the community, rather than focus only inwardly to try to maximize profit.”
Hering says that while the agency has always remained committed to its community over the years, for its 100th anniversary in 2009 leadership founded its own charitable foundation to further that commitment. Through the foundation’s efforts, Barney and Barney contributed $180,000 last year to charitable causes that the agency’s employees support.
Most of all, the employees at Barney and Barney say they feel valued and supported at every level.
One industry veteran summed up why he came to Barney and Barney after 30 years working elsewhere in the industry: “Excellence is supported and rewarded; nothing less than the highest of ethical standards are demonstrated and demanded. People are treated with dignity and respect. Our reputation is stellar and I can be very proud of the company I work for and the people I work with.”
East: KMRD Partners, Warrington, Pennsylvania
South Central: Bryan Insurance Agency, Graham, Texas
Southeast: Seitlin Group, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Midwest: Wine Sergi & Co., St. Charles, Illinois
West: Chapman & Associates, Pasadena, California
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