The insurance industry remains a hot target for growth and consolidation. Last year, we saw a spike in mergers and acquisitions among insurance brokers with 537 total deals, according to Deloitte.
What does that mean for a business that thrives on trusted, established relationships with clients? Unfortunately, consolidation often leads to significant employee and managerial turnover, which can jeopardize client relationships and satisfaction as new teams and processes are put into place.
That’s why we decided to pursue business growth by turning down acquisition offers and converting to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) model last year. We’re now 100 percent employee owned, a move that embodies the commitment to our people – our employees and clients – that is The Graham Way.
Here’s what that means for our clients:
The Graham culture is stronger than ever. Our employees have always been talented, dedicated professionals, but we now feel an increased responsibility to make this business the best it can be. We’re even more committed to providing outstanding service and operating as your true risk management partner.
Research studies confirm that ESOPs typically promote a strong culture and company identity, leading to more productive employees. Employee-owned businesses can expect to be four percent more profitable as a result.
Service is high, turnover is low. It’s no secret that the job market is incredibly competitive these days – but we have found that top-tier professionals view Graham as the place to build a career because of our culture and ownership. New employees love the security that our company won’t be bought out next year, and existing employees love the environment and the ESOP benefits that essentially provide an additional retirement account.
As a client, you can have confidence in building long-term relationships with your Service Team Members, as the team you work with in the beginning is likely to still be serving you 10 years later. This creates not only a strong relationship, but consistent service, deep knowledge of your organization and a personal investment in your business.
An ESOP is not just another way to run a business. It’s our way to actively invest in our people, helping them become the best possible professionals to deliver the best possible service. And, it’s our deliberate move to ensure the Graham Company stays private – so we can always live up to our high standards for client service.