How a California E&S broker is bringing on new talent amidst drought

Hiring in the insurance industry when the average broker is 59-years-old is no joke – but a light-hearted approach has worked for one Southern California group

Insurance News


Hiring the next generation of insurance professionals continues to be a pressing industry challenge – after all, the average insurance broker is now 59-years-old.

Much ink has been spilled over the best way to court new talent, from visiting college campuses to hiring third-party recruiters, but one Southern California surplus lines broker has taken a more light-hearted approach.

In office branches throughout the region, employees at Monarch E&S Insurance Services sell excess and surplus insurance next to two full suits of armor in the lobby. When advertising season rolls around, they don the garb themselves.

The easily-recognizable advertisements and videos feature Monarch’s underwriters sporting lances, chainmail, and 14th-century gowns.

Though some may not always enjoy pulling on three- to five-pound chainmail—rented from a costume house in Hollywood—it’s all in service of a worthy cause. Since Monarch’s founding in 1986, its quirky branding has paved the way for business expansion across the Golden State and even beyond its borders.

According to Chief Operating Officer Mark Kaufman, Monarch is now the largest independently owned E&S line and wholesale brokerage in California, with an average $65m in gross written premiums and new offices in Arizona and Hawaii.

“It’s paid off very well,” said Kaufman, who joined Monarch in the early 1990s and stars in several videos. “I get probably one to four resumes a week from people who email me and say things like ‘We’ve seen your website or your video and we’d like to be a part of your family.’ We have very low turnover here.”

In fact, the company’s growth is so prolific, it opened a second San Diego County, California office earlier this month.

Based in San Marcos, the new office will hold five employees, led by branch manager Marisela Valencia, who also oversees the existing Mission Valley office.

“The San Diego market continues to be very important to us so we are pleased to have the opportunity to increase our presence to better serve our San Diego and Orange County retail agent customers,” said Derek Borisoff, president and CEO of Monarch.

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