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October 4, 2016

New Strategic Alliance with JLT Expands WG’s Worldwide Insurance Offerings

Western Growers Insurance Services is expanding its global reach through a new strategic alliance with JLT Specialty USA, one of the world’s leading insurance brokerages.

The alliance provides Western Growers the ability to now offer agribusiness and food clients direct access to global insurance carriers.  This relationship also provides the opportunity to tap into offices around the world and the ability to meet specific company needs with the help of subject matter experts.  “By developing a strategic global alliance with JLT, we’ve advanced Western Growers’ insurance brokerage by 10 years.  Now with access to nearly 140 offices around the world, the food and agribusiness industry can utilize JLT’s broad spectrum of international insurance resources,” said Jeff Gullickson, senior vice president of WG Insurance Services.

Additionally, Western Growers and JLT also collaborated to create an industry-leading cargo insurance coverage solution and administration platform exclusively available to WG members.  This platform also enables members to effectively manage their cargo programs at the lowest possible premium costs.  The partnership will also offer Western Growers Shield™, a coverage solution where members will receive an insurance program, as well as continuous and unbroken transit coverage for all product shipments to and from all points on the globe.

We had the opportunity to chat with Mike Rastigue, executive vice president and West Coast sales leader at JLT Specialty USA, to learn more about this powerful brand.


Western Growers: Tell me a bit more about JLT.

Mike Rastigue: JLT has had 184 years of success and expansion.  Today, JLT Specialty USA is the U.S. platform of JLT Group, one of the world’s five largest global insurance brokers, and the largest specialty-focused broker worldwide.  We offer insurance, reinsurance, and wholesale insurance brokerage services, as well as claims advocacy, particularly in the area of management liability.  In addition, JLT Specialty USA has access to the second largest international network in the world, so our clients can reach any market they need for their overseas operations.  Globally, we are more than 10,600 people operating in 135 countries and have placed over $15 billion in premium for our clients.


WG: What makes JLT unique?

MR: We believe there is a better way to serve clients.  Our value proposition is aligned with our clients’ best interests.  Our approach, with our understanding of complex risk, allows us to provide tailored solutions that mitigate and transfer risk utilizing the gamut of capital sources.

We are specialty focused and are not all things to all people.  We focus on offering deep expertise in a number of core industries, and on key products that cross all industries.  We’re specialists, not generalists.  Complex risks drives this focus.  We understand the strategic, operational, human and financial aspects of risk, and we tailor solutions from the capital markets driven by facts, data and analytics.  We help clients find solutions to their most complex areas of risk, where innovation, optimization and depth of expertise are required.

We believe only the best and brightest can tackle complex risks.  To have a true specialty focus, you need deep talent and expertise.  We built JLT Specialty USA around our talent, which enables decisive insights that come from asking the question “How can data and analytics help my client make a better decision?”

We aren’t about aggregating premium to create better yields.  That’s a flawed model all too common in today’s larger broker community.  We’re looking for the best solutions in the marketplace that will help our clients succeed.  Their success metrics are ours.


WG: What about your company are you most proud?

MR: Our culture.  Our culture enables success.  We value people, teamwork and collaboration over margins and share price.  We work together to create value for our clients and enable a rewarding and challenging environment that attracts and develops the best talent in the industry.

Allowing our colleagues to have creative freedom enables solutions.  We believe that just because something’s been done a certain way in the past, doesn’t mean that that’s the right way to do it moving forward.  We actively encourage our people to challenge the status quo, looking at a complex problem in entirely new ways, if it serves the client’s best interests.


WG: Why did you decide to partner with Western Growers?

MR: Food/agriculture is one of our specialty areas.  We wanted to export that expertise into our U.S. operations; but do so with the proper partner/solution.  Western Growers is a premier agriculture association in the United States that shares many of the same values and culture of our own organization.  We wanted to build upon WG Insurance Services’ relationship with their members and together develop industry-leading solutions.


WG: What do you hope to achieve from the Western Growers/JLT alliance?

MR:  Our client’s success is our success.  We’re looking for the best solutions in the marketplace that will help our clients succeed.  Their success metrics are ours.  As a result of this partnership, new insurance-related products/solutions within the food/ag space have originated and will service the risk-related needs of the WG members.