Stephen Beene is Engle Martin’s President and has overall responsibility for company culture, financial performance and business strategy. In today’s discussion, Stephen reflects on the highlights from 2022 and looks ahead at what will make 2023 a successful year for Engle Martin and its customers.
Q: 2022 has been a big year for Engle Martin – the company’s 25th anniversary. When you look back at the last 12 months, what stands out from this year?
A: The momentum we had in many areas of our business in our 25th year was very exciting for me.
One of the things that really stood out this year is our maturity as a company. It shines through in the way we think about developing and deploying strategy, the initiatives we are putting into place, how we’re tying all these efforts to our strengths as an organization and opportunities in the marketplace. This work is making us stronger than ever and it all starts with our talented people. We are in a great position for success as a result.
Engle Martin added over 130 talented new members to the team this year bringing our total to close to 700 members of the family. 2022 also brought focus on the continued development of our existing team members in terms of training, promotions and career development. I take great pride personally in that we’ve been able to consistently grow our business year after year and are able to create great opportunities for people to grow in their own careers and meet their own goals.
Another exciting focus for us over the past year is our new College Cohort program. We welcomed 20 recent college graduates to Engle Martin over the past year, in both property and casualty field and desk adjusting roles. These team members were brought in through the efforts of our People and Culture team who recruited them from various universities around the country. They come in to our company from diverse backgrounds, majors and universities. When we’re able to tell our story around our team approach and how we affect the communities we serve, people gravitate to this rewarding profession and Engle Martin specifically. We’re investing in the future and building the next generation of talent in our industry!
We have invested in the business this year, both in terms of technology and talent. In late 2021, we finalized the acquisition of Synergy Adjusting Corporation which is our Third-Party Administrator (TPA) and our focus in 2022 has been to assimilate our new Synergy team members in the Engle Martin family. Combined with our market leading field operation and advancing technology, this partnership allows us to offer a complete solution for the London market as well as domestic clients.
Additionally, we rebranded in conjunction with our 25th year anniversary. It created a lot of excitement around our marketing efforts and highlighted our position in the market and how we are perceived. We made significant strides in telling our story in 2022 and we’re going to double down on that in 2023. We look forward to increasing brand awareness as well as telling our “value proposition” story to clients. We will look to continue to communicate what we want to stand for as an organization, which is taking care of the communities we serve for our clients and creating a great environment for our team to maximize their career opportunities.
Finally, I am proud of what we have done to give back and the dedication of our team in supporting important local organizations and events by dedicating their time and resources along with support from Engle Martin. We supported 16 different organizations and organized events which included an Earth Day park clean-up in 10 parks across the country, support of The Trevor Project during Pride Month, fundraised for the USO for Military Appreciation month, supported Meals on Wheels, partnered with The Salvation Army Angel Tree program, and volunteered time with the Atlanta Food Bank, among others.
Q: You had a vision for 2022, a path that you thought would lead to growth and advancement for Engle Martin. Did it turn out that way?
A: While many things did play out as expected, as you know, not everything happens exactly as you expect it will all the time.
I am proud we were able to grow our non-CAT business nearly 20% in a surprisingly light catastrophe year in 2022. The ability to grow in a year when there’s not significant extreme weather throughout the year are signs of a healthy adjusting firm. We were able to take a breath and re-focus on our business, enhance relationships with clients, invest in our team’s development as well as technology, and double down on key strategies designed to accelerate our growth.
Q: You just mentioned you were able to grow the non-catastrophic claims business. So that’s a really big deal, isn’t it, when you can grow the business without the revenue that comes from major disaster claims.
A: It is a big deal. Engle Martin is not traditionally a “CAT company”. We are a trusted partner for our clients’ daily claims needs and strive to take care of our clients during a CAT event. Policyholders look to carriers to step up and take care of them at a time of need. Our clients turn to us and partners who can do that for them.
That being said, unlike the past four or five years, where we did see pretty extreme weather activity, for us to be able to continue to grow our daily work is a testament to the consistently great work that our team does as well as the fact that while commercial property claims are a large portion of our business, we are also focused on our casualty practice. Our client base is very loyal to Engle Martin and proves to us year after year that our partnership with them is based on our ability to respond effectively on all claims, whether it’s a CAT event or not. It’s been a success story for us.
Q: Looking outside Engle Martin and into the marketplace, what happened this year? What do those events mean for 2023?
A: We saw continued strong growth in the Program space with some talent migrating from traditional carriers to Program Managers/Managing General Agents (MGA’s). This has led to a push toward underwriting specialization and the creation of new insurance programs and products. We also saw strong M&A activity across the distribution space in general. We think these trends will continue in to 2023. With this specialization, comes opportunities for adjusting and other insurance service firms to offer up specialized talent and tailor claims solutions to address their client’s needs.
Also, we saw additional compliance and regulatory demands from all areas of the market. We expect this trend to continue in 2023 and Engle Martin has invested heavily in building an infrastructure around compliance to support our partners with these evolving demands.
We see continued consolidation in the insurance services space with adjusting and other ancillary services bundled together. We operate in a dynamic space and with our relationships and position in the industry, Engle Martin is positioned to support our clients over the coming year.
Q: Let’s look at next year. What is it that you want the Engle Martin team to know about 2023 and how they can help make sure that it’s a successful year?
A: I think for us, every year is different but as we look forward, there’s a commitment from our leadership team to not “rest on our laurels” but to continue to look for ways to improve our business. As I mentioned, we want to double down on our core business and take advantage of our opportunities. Of course, this does not mean that we’re not going to continue to look to develop new services to meet client’s needs. It just means that we want to stay true to who we are as an organization and maximize our potential. What’s important to us is taking care of our clients every day with consistent quality work across our national footprint, our focus on service, and growing relationships.
Lastly, it’s important for everyone at Engle Martin to know we are truly a team and that we are all in this together. Each talented team member has a very important and unique role in making sure we’re successful as we continue to build an incredible future together.