CONGRATULATIONS to Derek Parsons, Sama Hershey Davis, Shawn Blofsky and Taryn Bacon for winning The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers’ (CIAB) first Benefit Broker Smackdown held in Denver, Colorado. They competed against 4 other teams and defeated Arthur J. Gallagher in the final round for the win.

The objective of the 2.5 day workshop was to run a simulated employee benefit brokerage, competing in a virtual marketplace. In teams of four, they experienced a unique level of decision-making, with a bird’s eye view of the brokerage value chain – from customer segmentation analysis and lead source management to financial management and service platform excellence.  Their learning objectives included:

  • A “total agency” perspective to Lead vs. Manage the business
  • How to apply proven business and management topics to agency operations
  • How to think strategically and analyze complex business issues
  • How to analyze key financial statements including balance sheet and income & cash flow statements
  • How to measure success using financial ratios and key performance indicators (KPI) including production, expense and Trust ratios, segment profitability, and EBITDA
  • How decisions in one function impact the entire agency (integrated decision making)
  • How to establish effective group decision-making roles and processes
  • The importance of the customer and their “lifetime value”
  • How to make better decisions and drive improved business performance

The next competition depends on the number of future regional smackdowns. If there is a national competition, it will be held in May, 2018 and InterWest will be there to win!

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