Latest News

Cooperating with the Other Portfolio Companies in Fosun Family Offers Great Opportunity

Resource:

In 1955, Meadowbrook was founded in southeastern Michigan. Meadowbrook remained true to its agency roots. Today, Meadowbrook operates a number of retail and wholesale

insurance agencies which provide a strong source of commission and fee-based

revenues.

 

Meadowbrook has evolved into a national organization offering a broad range of insurance solutions. The corporate headquarters is located in Southfield, Michigan with regional offices located throughout the United States. Meadowbrook employs nearly 900 people and currently generates approximately $750 million in gross written premium

annually.

 

We had an exclusive interview with Robert S. Cubbin, President and Chief Executive Officer of MIG. He also mentioned his takeaways of being a Fosun Family member while building up synergies with other portfolio companies.

Following is the dialogue.

1.Would you please introduce your plan for your business development in China?

There is no immediate plan for us to expand our business into China. However there’s a good opportunity for us to serve Chinese people in US, who either live there or run businesses there.

 

We are looking at ways to access the Chinese community with our existing products

and services. We specialize in insurance for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneur-owned businesses and many of the Chinese people in US start their own business. So it’s a good target for us.

 

For longer term, we have discussed internally with other Fosun family members about how we can bring some of the more sophisticated risk management services to China. We specialize in self-insurance, where groups of people get-together and share the risk of each other.

 

Form an alliance or a cooperative, where they can help each other, do a better job of avoiding loss. That’s one of the things we’ve discussed. The evolution of workers’ compensation is a strong specialty for us. We are looking to the future to bring innovation and technology we use in US for loss prevention to the Chinese market.

 

  1. Do you have plan for synergy between your company and other Fosun portfolio companies?

 

During the second GICC meeting, there was some good sharing of information. We’ve been with the Fosun family for only 6 months. We are still learning a lot about the other members.

 

We do think there’s going to be tremendous synergy on a go forward basis and it’s the goal of global insurance CEO committee to continue to explore and expand those

opportunities within the Fosun family.

 

  1. Would you please talk a little about your business in 2015? The highlight of 2015 was the merger with Fosun. The transaction was concluded in July . With most mergers, there comes a great deal of expense and one-time accounting adjustments, so it is difficult to compare to the past. But I would say that our core business is running very well.

 

We are very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the last three years. Because of the strong capital position that we achieved by being part of the Fosun family, we see tremendous opportunities to grow organically and by acquisition, utilizing the US platform in order to do that.

 

  4. What measures will you take to expand your business and gain more profit in 2016?

  1) We will actively fill our new program opportunity pipeline with a goal of implementing 3 active programs.

  2)Maintain existing strong program relationships and seek out portfolio opportunities to build additional new programs with existing partners.

  3)Review of existing programs for account rounding or cross-selling by seeking out additional lines of business for premium growth and to further strengthen agency partnerships.

4)Acquisition of fee based business opportunities for new program growth into our insurance companies.

 

With the platform created by

Fosun insurance portfolio companies, we are exploring opportunities to

cross-sell our programs and products, as well as, offer affiliated carriers

products through our broad based, United States distribution network.

 

  1. Do you have any challenges you are facing and any solutions?

For the insurance business in general, the biggest challenge is the cyclical nature of it. Prices for insurance products go up and down. The prices are driven by market forces,

political issues, interest rates and new competitors coming in the market

places. As an insurance organization, we are always challenged by new

competitors and new pricing.

 

Our solution is to create our long-term relationships with our customers. One of the hallmarks of our company is that we don’t lose a lot of customers. We maintain a very high retention with our client base. The beauty of that is they are much more predictable in terms of their loss experience. We’ve created loyalty that gives us a little bit of insulation from pricing competition. So it’s significantly important thing to maintain loyalty in customer relationships.

 

The other aspect of our business we think is tremendously complementary for Fosun values is that we are an entrepreneurial organization. We started with almost nothing and we grew the business from basically scratch. We did it through organic, growth, but we also did it through acquisitions.

 

We’ve been tremendously successful over the years at integrating new acquisitions to the organization.

 

They bring us new young talent and new ideas, they brings us growth into new states and new geography and new products. So it’s important that we not only have organic growth but also by acquisitions. By acquiring businesses, you get more scale, and also help you in the competitive environment. Service is everything.

 

Responsibility is everything. Customers need you when they need you. They don’t need you when you are not able to respond. So you have to have capabilities, you have to train your people so that they can solve the problem immediately.

They don’t have to go to somebody else for permission. They need to be empowered to

make the decisions and to help the customers in the way they need to be helped.

  1. Due to the difference background, what do you think of the differences and synergy between Fosun Group and MIG?

 

We were a public company when Fosun acquired us and I am frequently asked by friends and associates in the insurance business how it is to be owned by a Chinese company. And the first thing that I tell them is that the long term thinking and long term commitment

to growing business in the right way is much more possible with Fosun than it is

with public shareholders.

 

Public shareholders think quarter to quarter and don’t think long term. Fosun does not do that. They understand that it takes time to build business, and so patient capital is the way I would describe it.

But also challenging, they want us to grow and to grow our profits, and they like us to do it quickly. But that’s not the most immediate thing: they want us to do the right way.

 

  1. Do you have any difficulties when communicating with Fosun?

 

We have language barriers that are lessened by the tremendous number of English-speaking classmates in Fosun. They are very adept and very knowledgeable and articulate in the English language. So that helps a lot.

 

As to the time difference between 12-13 hours can be a challenge, but both sides find a compromise. We look for the overlap and the way to get it done. We look for opportunities to help each other at the time when we need help and a conference call has to be set up. Fosunlink also is a big help to communicate.

 

The talent exchange helps both ways: we have had people from Fosun in our organization almost since the start, helping in the things like investment and financial reporting and accounting. So that we can work with Fosun team in the way that they understand and they expect.

 

We sent a number of people over to China to the talent exchange program Fosun

Ambassador and Silver Hawk. We had HR people coming over, we have financing and

actuary classmates go to China to share ideas and train. The talent exchange is

tremendously important to us because you get to know people and you can put a face to the name so that we can have more trusted friends within the organization we can look to for advice.