You can’t be the same broker today that you were two years ago
Adam Geiss on how he will help expand XS Brokers’ footprint in the Carolinas
Having been named the vice president of XS Brokers to help lead the wholesaler’s expansion in the Carolinas, Adam Geiss (pictured) believes this opportunity will afford him professional growth to service a diverse roster of clientele.
“I’m always looking to revamp myself, and, in this industry, basically every few years, you can’t be the same broker today that you were two years ago as both the market changes and appetite changes,” he said.
“You’re constantly growing and developing what you can do and figuring out how to capitalize on that.”
By working with a smaller organization, Geiss believes that he is given better opportunities to work with his business partners to have his needs and concerns addressed more speedily.
“When I’m looking for accessibility, what I’m looking for and being able to share and collaborate on is ideas,” he said.
“Also, working with a smaller organization gives me the ability to voice what I need and to be able to get it done without having to go through a more corporate structure. I don’t feel like I have to jump through hoops in order to get things accomplished.”
Geiss also noted how delivering real-time results and solutions for insureds, especially in a challenging marketplace, is the surefire way to experience continued progress as a broker.
“Being agile and moving quickly leads to success in today’s marketplace, as opposed to some of the older corporate structures that are in place,” the VP said.
“If you, as a broker, take two to three weeks to get a quote back to an agent, you’re not going to earn that business, and you probably shouldn’t,” added Brian Dunn, XS Brokers’ senior vice president for the southeast.
In an interview with Insurance Business, Geiss and Dunn spoke about how they intend to build out a business presence in the Carolinas and what market challenges they expect to encounter in 2024.
“Having the ability to pivot presents tremendous opportunities”
Having fallen into a career in the insurance industry in 2009 by starting with a holding company, Geiss took on the role of VP at XS Brokers because of the ability to start up the Charlotte, NC office and capitalize on the various agency and carrier partnerships he has nurtured throughout the years.
“When I started, I was predominantly binding authority, a small in-house transactional type business,” he said.
“Over the years, certain market segments I’ve developed in contractors and coastal property led me to start being placed within brokerage facilities and create a rapport with players in those markets.”
Never wanting to feel pigeonholed into a particular niche, Geiss sought out any chance to refine and expand his knowledge on various types of coverages and products that were on the market.
“Earlier on in my career, instead of being siloed, I started to develop relationships with agents on all aspects. I was able to able to do ocean marine, docks, and contractor coverage in the Carolinas and Florida,” he said.
“Having the ability to pivot presents tremendous opportunities.”
Providing coverage for a variety of professional industries, Dunn and his team at XS wanted to tap into Geiss’s experience in the Carolinas handling different product lines as a launching pad for its Charlotte office.
“The Southeast is still untapped market for XS,” Dunn said.
To be successful in this role and provide Carolinians the professional insurance products they need, Geiss is more focused on what areas of opportunity he can succeed in.
“I’m very geared to figuring out what is working in the marketplace, and then I go after that,” he said.
“I won’t sit back and complain that the rates are high or that I don’t have the market capacity. I’m going to figure out where I can go and where I can win.”
However, even Geiss admits that certain client needs may fall outside of a broker’s wheelhouse, but it is how you tap into your network and resources that will ensure future success.
“If you tell an insured no too many times, odds are their going to find business elsewhere,” he said.
“Instead, it is important to continue to partner up with casualty and property brokers in your region and funneling them business to help grow relationships. There’s probably some lines or classes that I couldn’t get accomplished previously, but now I can capitalize on those partnerships to find solutions in the present.”
“It’s up to us to figure out what we can do”
As XS looks to ramp up its present in the Carolinas, Geiss suspects that there will be issues with capacity and aggregate issues that will have to be worked out to become successful in the region.
Elsewhere, Geiss expects that hardened market conditions due to existential threats like climate change and cyber vulnerability will continue to provide struggles throughout 2024.
“There’s definitely carrier restriction on a multitude of things and it doesn’t even have to be property based. It could be general liability, you name it. Right now, there’s probably a carrier that’s having substantial losses that is causing a change in their business appetite,” he said.
“It’s up to us to figure out what we can do and take feedback from the retail agents and gauge what it is that we can offer insureds going forward.”
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