—Premier Brokerage Services, Inc.
Steven Katz
Based in Jenkintown,
Pennsylvania, Premier
Brokerage Services, Inc...
the best meeting within the industry
in my opinion. It offers such a broad
view of everything that's going on
in our indu...
of 2

Nailba member Steve Katz and Premier Brokerage profile

Our very own Steven J. Katz, President and Chief Optimist of Premier Brokerage Services is featured in NAILBA Perspectives Magazine as their featured member profile
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Economy & Finance      

Transcripts - Nailba member Steve Katz and Premier Brokerage profile

  • 1. —Premier Brokerage Services, Inc. Steven Katz Based in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Premier Brokerage Services, Inc. has been a NAILBA member since 1993. Steven Katz, President and Chief Optimist, provided input for this article. 26 perspectives JANUARY 2016 About the Agency Premier Brokerage Services is a nationally acclaimed full—service brokerage firm headquartered near Philadelphia. Founded in 1995 by Steven Katz, the firm is celebrat- ing its 20th anniversary this year. For two decades, Premier Brokerage has provided comprehensive solu- tions to an array of clients across the globe, all while demonstrating unshakable commitment to both clients and local charitable orga- nizations. The firm is staffed by a team of 28 experienced industry professionals committed to help- ing producers build a more profit- able business. What makes your agency unique? We're in an extremely focused mar- ket, and we have not gone out and marketed in 10 years. We are 100 per- cent referral, and we don't have more than 100 producers at any given time. Our ratio of staff to clients is very small. We have always been an impaired risk specialist. That's our thing, and we do it well. We don't pretend to do everything. We serve a high—end marketplace with impaired risk andjumbo case marketing. My title is also somewhat unique: President and Chief Optimist. That is my official title in the state of Penn- sylvania under our incorporation. (They actually called me up to make sure it was real. ) My job is all about looking forward, not backwards, and keeping people motivated and pos- itive. Life is short, and I'm deter- mined to enjoy every minute of it and make sure my family and staff do the same. Chief Optimist, Steven Katz, tells Senior Case Design Specialist Peggy McEntee, "Yes, we can place that! " What kind of producer are you looking to attract? We are looking for a pretty high—end producer. We made a decision many years ago not to be in a high volume business but to pay attention to each individual case. Our average premium is significantly higher than the indus- try average, and that is by design. Where do you see your organization in the next 5 to 10 or even 20 years? This is such a hard question because everything is changing so rap- idly. Five years ago, who would've thought we'd be in this low inter- est rate environment? With product changes, companies buying each other, consolidation, and every- thing else that has happened in the last five years, who knows where we're going to be five years from now. There are carriers that no lon- ger exist that were here 18 months ago. There are just so many vari- ables. So you have to be extremely flexible but at the same time main- tain a level of loyalty and commit- ment. It's a difficult balancing act, but I think Premier is very good at balancing. We're learning from the past, but we're constantly looking forward in every respect. So, where are we going to be in 20 years? Who knows? To predict what's going to happen even in one or two years in this business is very difficult. How does being a NAILBA member benefit you and your business? I really love being a part of NAILBA because it gives me a lot of insight into the carriers and the direction of the industry, especially at the Annual Meeting. It's so helpful to lis- ten to the speakers and talk directly to senior staff at the companies and find out what they're thinking about the future. Based on that, we can decide where we're going in the next two years, five years, or even 10 years. The NAILBA Annual Meeting is
  • 2. the best meeting within the industry in my opinion. It offers such a broad view of everything that's going on in our industry—locally, nationally, and internationally. I was sort of born into it because my dad had a life insurance career shop. When I was in college, I would work part—time around the office and just learned the business by osmosis. In the late 1970s, I started with Sov- ereign Life of California, one of the very first brokerage companies. It was a tiny company specializing in impaired risk and term. I started selling to 30 guys in his office, and turned that into a very viable bro- kerage business. My father passed away at the young age of 53. He was one of my inspirations in life. The week he died, he said, "I don't want to die, but I've got to tell you—I've had an awesome 53 years. " He real- ly enjoyed every day. We wound up selling the agency in 1987, and I was offered a position with Chubb Sovereign. I worked there from 1987 to 1994. When Chubb was bought by Jefferson Pilot, I went out on my own and opened Premier. Inter- estingly, every single person that worked for Chubb with me came with me to open Premier. That was 20 years ago, and several of those people are still with me. I'm proud to say in 20 years, we've never had a single employee leave to go work for a competitor. My philosophy is that if I keep my employees happy, they'll keep our customers happy. And it seems to be working. I have an awesome staff; we actually like each other. I honestly believe with all my heart and soul that we are in a noble busi- ness. After 30-plus years in this business, I've never had a widow or widower tell me they have too much insurance. When I delivered the death benefit check to my mother when my father died and knew she wouldn't have to move in with me, I understood why I was in the insur- ance industry. Of course we're all concerned about governmentinvolvement in our busi- ness and taxation. I think regard- less of what happens, we are a very resilient and creative business. We'll weather the low interest rates, we'll weather the government intrusions and any other obstacles, and we will continue to create estates for peo- ple when they need it the most. Patience, hard work, focus. Don't try to do all things for all people, but focus on one thing and do it excep- tionally well. Be the expert in that particular field. Most importantly, enjoy what you do. It's an old cli- ché, but I believe it: If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. PREMIER BROKERAGE SERVICES INC. More about Steven Katz Steven has been a recognized leader in life insurance brokerage for more than 30 years. He started as a career agent and moved into the wholesale end of the business, building the brokerage division of Chubb Life from ground zero to a great success. A strong focus on impaired risk and the affluent marketplace gave Steven the foundation he needed to start Premier Brokerage Services in 1995. Steven currently sits on BRAMCO’s Board of Directors. A committed philanthropist, he also serves on several non—profit boards and is a frequent and enthusiastic volunteer. In one of his volunteer roles, Steven acts as a live auctioneer extraordinaire for various organizations and charities, including the NAILBA Charitable Foundation. Steven and his son host more than 50 charity auctions a year, raising more than $5 million for charities annually. Steven is NASD Series 6 and 63 registered, holds his Life and Health Insurance Licenses, and has acquired the prestigious Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations. Book he's currently reading: Vince Flynn's The Survivor (A Mitch Rapp Novel by Kyle Mills) Favorite movies: The Star Wars movies, The Godfather series Family: Wife of 36 years, seven children (four of his own and three who married into his family) and three awesome grandchildren Favorite vacation spot: Israel Hobbies: Travel (he's been to every state in the U. S. and 38 countries), fishing, die—hard Philadelphia sports fan, charity auctioneer Premier Brokerage staff assessing priority cases with their Chief Optimist. www. nai| ba. org 27

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