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December 03
​Alliant Continues to Grow Inland Northwest Presence, Acquires Buck & Affiliates

Longtime Spokane insurance institution adds regional knowledge, broad reach, and long-term relationships to Alliant’s regional operation

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Longtime Spokane, WA insurance institution Buck & Affiliates has joined Alliant. With four decades of success in commercial and personal insurance, Buck & Affiliates adds an additional layer of regional knowledge and operational strength to Alliant as the firm continues to expand its presence in the Inland Northwest.

“The Buck & Affiliates name has long been synonymous with outstanding personal service and deep market knowledge, attributes that meld seamlessly with the Alliant way of doing business,” said Tom Corbett, Chairman and CEO of Alliant. “We remain highly committed to building a powerful regional service center in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, and Buck & Affiliates will play a key role in our ongoing growth and expansion.”

Founded in 1982, Buck & Affiliates provides a diverse suite of insurance solutions with a strong regional focus and customized approach. In addition to servicing commercial clients across a broad range of industries, Buck & Affiliates has built out a large presence in the health and fitness industry with a national portfolio of gyms and fitness studios. The firm also provides extensive risk management services to augment its insurance offerings.

“Buck & Affiliates has built its reputation on understanding our clients’ business, assessing their unique risks, and investing in their long-term viability,” said Gary Buck, President and CEO of Buck & Affiliates. “Joining forces with Alliant provides powerful access to the resources, people, and ideas necessary to take this commitment to a new level and to offer a truly unparalleled service experience to our clients.”

Buck, along with the entire Buck & Affiliates team, will join Alliant and continue serving clients from its Spokane headquarters. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

November 25
Alliant’s Larry McMahon Named 2019 “Good Scout of the Year”

Executive Vice President honored by San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Alliant Insurance Services is proud to announce that Executive Vice President Larry McMahon has been named 2019 “Good Scout of the Year” by the Boy Scouts of America, San Diego-Imperial Council. The award is presented annually to an industry leader that has made a significant impact in both business and the greater community.

“To be recognized as the Good Scout of the Year is a great honor. So many outstanding individuals have received this award, and I am humbled to be acknowledged alongside them,” said McMahon.

McMahon was honored at the organization’s 14th Annual Boy Scouts Construction and Building Industry Lunch-O-Ree at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego, CA. More than 440 people attended the event, which raised over $1.5 million to support the Boy Scouts of America.

McMahon has been in the surety industry for more than 30 years, providing surety and construction management advice to clients nationwide. He served as the President of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and was on the Executive Committee of the Engineering and General Contractors Association (EGCA) of San Diego and helped merge them into the Associated General Contractors of San Diego (AGCSD). McMahon is also an active member of both the NASBP and the AGCSD.

November 20
​Denver’s Corey Dunn Joins Alliant’s Employee Benefits Group

Consultant has multifaceted background in employee benefits, cost containment, human resources

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Denver’s Corey Dunn has joined Alliant’s Employee Benefits Group, offering the team a multifaceted background that spans employee benefits, cost containment, human resources, and general consulting. As Assistant Vice President, Dunn will work with a broad range of organizations, delivering high-impact benefits solutions that reduce healthcare costs, facilitate talent retention, and increase overall performance.

“Corey is a multitalented player who will offer a broad-based perspective to our team in Denver,” said Kevin Overbey, Senior Executive Vice President and Senior Managing Director, Alliant Employee Benefits. “He is well attuned to the changing needs of modern businesses and has been highly successful in delivering innovative and impactful benefits solutions.”

Dunn is highly regarded for his ability to design and deploy customized programs built around his clients’ unique business strategies. His proactive service model is predicated upon prediction and prevention, providing a built-in advantage in an environment of increasing healthcare costs.

Prior to joining Alliant, Dunn was an Employee Benefits Consultant with a national insurance and employee benefits consulting firm. He also has experience as a Human Capital Consultant, advising the C-suite on employee benefits, human resources, compliance, and talent retention. Dunn holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Oregon University and is an active volunteer in his community with Judi’s House and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado.

Dunn can be reached in the Greenwood Village office of Alliant at (303) 645-4709 or at Corey.Dunn@alliant.com.

November 14
​Alliant’s World Food Derby Yields Bountiful Harvest of Contributions in Support of World Food Day

National initiative generates more than $72,000 in combined cash and food donations

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Hundreds of Alliant employees from across the nation joined together to take a bite out of world hunger this past October in the first-ever World Food Derby. The companywide event, which centered upon World Food Day on October 16, saw employees take part in a broad range of volunteer and fundraising efforts to fight hunger on both a local and global level.

“The ongoing fight against world hunger is one of the cornerstones of Alliant’s philanthropic efforts, and World Food Day has always been a can’t-miss date on our calendar,” said Diana Kiehl, Chief Administrative Officer of Alliant and head of the company’s Philanthropy Program. “This October, we had the privilege of witnessing the power of people joining together in the name of service to turn this important day into an inspiring, month-long giving event. This typifies the spirit of #Alliant4Others, our company’s commitment to making a difference in business, community, and the world at large.”

The initiative, which was supported by employees across Alliant offices nationwide, yielded a bountiful harvest of contributions and produced the following results:

  • More than $72,000 in combined cash and food donations
  • Nearly 1,400 total volunteer hours completed or pledged for 2019
  • Hundreds of employees, along with friends and family, actively engaged in the event
  • More than 50 organizations were served

In providing each office and employee an opportunity to give back in their own unique way, the World Food Derby encompassed a broad array of activities, with employees holding food drives, serving at food banks, volunteering at shelters, and donating funds to food-based and other worthy organizations all to advance the global push for #ZeroHunger.

This marks the 11th year Alliant has participated in World Food Day. Plans are already underway to top these results in 2020.

November 11
Alliant Will Vigorously Defend Against Aon’s Lawsuit

Aon has unsuccessfully challenged hiring protocols in the past

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. (“Alliant”) will vigorously defend against Aon’s recently filed lawsuit in the U.S. district court in Illinois. On November 5, Aon sued Alliant and seven insurance professionals for claims arising from a departure of employees from Aon’s Construction Services Group. One of the former employees, Jamie Taylor, a California resident, sued Aon in California seeking to invalidate Aon’s covenants not to compete based on California’s fundamental public policy in favor of employee mobility.

Alliant has strict hiring protocols designed to ensure that new hires return all property and equipment to former employers and do not engage in any improper acquisition, use, or disclosure of confidential, proprietary, or trade secret information in connection with their employment at Alliant. Alliant also instructs prospective employees to act solely on behalf of their current employer until they resign and not to solicit any other employees to join Alliant. Aon has unsuccessfully challenged these protocols before.

Following departures from Aon’s offices in Fresno, Salinas, and Walnut Creek, California in February 2014, Aon pursued claims against ten producers and Alliant in New York and California. In a verified complaint, Aon falsely claimed that one of the former producer’s computer hard drive was “missing,” but it was later determined that Aon had removed the hard drive itself for forensic analysis. Aon’s executives also acknowledged in internal emails that the departures in 2014 were an “indictment” of Aon’s leadership and the firm as a whole. A jury in Baldwin v. Aon Risk Services Companies, Inc., et al., California Superior Court, County of Fresno, Case No. 14 CE CG 00572, entered a complete defense verdict in favor of Alliant and the producers after a two-month trial in early 2017. The California court also ruled that Aon’s covenants not to compete are void and unenforceable under California law and that Aon violated California’s Unfair Competition Law. Alliant’s producers were awarded $6.13 million in attorney’s fees as the prevailing party.

Aon was also unsuccessful in the action styled Heffernan v. Aon Risk Services Companies, Inc., et al., California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara, Case No. 16CV290777. Following a trial, the trial court ruled Aon’s covenants not to compete are void and unenforceable under California law. In a related action in federal court, Aon had falsely alleged in a pleading and declarations in support of a request for a temporary restraining order that there was an improper “download” of files by a former employee. Aon eventually admitted these allegations contained “wrong language” and should have stated “generated an access” instead of “download.”

November 08
​John Ludwig Named Co-Chief Operating Officer of Alliant Specialty

Energy & Marine leader tapped for pivotal operations role

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Alliant Insurance Services has announced that John Ludwig has been named Co-Chief Operating Officer of Alliant Specialty. Ludwig will work alongside Alliant Specialty Co-COO Michael Cusack to further Alliant’s proven strategy through strategic hires, continued organic growth, exceeding client expectations, and identifying potential acquisitions.

“The Energy & Marine group has excelled under John’s leadership. I have been continually impressed by the rapport John builds with employees and clients; however, even more impressive is his keen business acumen,” said Peter Arkley, President, Alliant Specialty. “With John’s influence, we will continue to achieve our goals and objectives for the future.”

Ludwig has been providing strategic risk management solutions for the energy and marine industry for more than 30 years. He previously served as President and CEO of EnRisk, an energy insurance and risk management broker acquired by Alliant in 2013. In addition to his new appointment, Ludwig will continue to lead the Alliant Specialty retail vertical for Energy & Marine.

Ludwig is succeeding Jeff Moench as Co-COO. Moench will remain in a leadership role within Alliant Specialty, redirecting his efforts in this current market cycle to broking and client services on the Alliant Real Estate & Hospitality and Public Entity platforms.

November 08
​Real Estate Leader Charles McDaniel Joins Alliant

Denver-based executive tapped for Alliant Specialty Real Estate & Hospitality

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Alliant Insurance Services has announced that Charles “Chuck” McDaniel has joined the company as Executive Vice President, Senior Managing Director. Based in Denver, McDaniel will lead the Alliant Specialty retail vertical for Real Estate & Hospitality.

“Chuck has excellent leadership skills. He is recognized throughout the real estate brokerage community as an expert in his field, and for his hands-on approach to business development, account service, and management. These qualities, combined with his knowledge of the real estate insurance market, make Chuck a perfect fit for this leadership role in our Specialty vertical,” said Peter Arkley, President, Alliant Specialty.

McDaniel has been providing strategic risk management solutions for large multinational accounts for the past 25 years. He was previously with one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokerage firms, serving as Regional President. At Alliant, McDaniel will focus on growing the Alliant Real Estate & Hospitality client base, revenue, and brokerage talent.

McDaniel is joined by extraordinarily talented leadership within Alliant’s Real Estate & Hospitality platform including Michael Heid in Los Angeles, Jeff Moench in Phoenix, and Al Tobin in New York.

He can be reached at (303) 902-3202 or Chuck.Mcdaniel@alliant.com.

November 06
​Midwest Talent Boom Continues for Alliant with Addition of Shaan Merchant

Illinois-based benefits expert’s diverse background and regional expertise adds additional strength to growing Midwest team

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Illinois-based employee benefits expert Shaan Merchant has joined Alliant as the company continues to add top-notch regional talent to its team. As First Vice President, Merchant will leverage his diverse background and longstanding regional expertise to service a growing client base throughout the Midwest.

“The addition of Shaan to our team is emblematic of Alliant’s continued growth and expansion both in Illinois and beyond,” said Kevin Overbey, Senior Executive Vice President and Senior Managing Director, Alliant Employee Benefits. “He understands the unique needs of employers in the region and has repeatedly proven himself to be an asset to clients across a range of industries.”

Merchant has a breadth of experience designing and delivering employee benefits solutions that lower healthcare costs while bolstering operational strength. This includes a background in cost-benefit analysis, funding, financial management, and forecasting. He also has expertise in strategic planning, process improvement, and operations.

Prior to joining Alliant, Merchant was a Senior Vice President with a national insurance and employee benefits consulting firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He can be reached in the Bannockburn, IL office of Alliant at (847) 444-2610 or at Shaan.Merchant@alliant.com.

October 23
​Chicagoland Insurance Veteran Bobette Puckett Joins Alliant

Chicago-based P&C expert will service a diverse regional client base

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Bobette Puckett, a Chicago-based property and casualty insurance veteran, has joined Alliant as Vice President. The longtime regional expert will service a diverse and growing client base throughout the Midwest. 

“Alliant remains committed to finding strong regional talent with a broad skill set and global perspective, and Bobette is a proven leader in this arena,” said Bob Bennetsen, Executive Vice President and Senior Managing Director with Alliant. “She adds additional strength to our Chicago team and further expands our reach and capabilities in this key market.”

Over a career spanning more than three decades, Puckett has combined deep industry knowledge with regional expertise and strong relationships to provide innovative insurance and risk management solutions that drive long-term profitability. She has broad industry expertise that spans public, private, and nonprofit organizations, including global corporations with overseas operations. 

Prior to joining Alliant, Puckett was Executive Vice President at a Chicago-based insurance and consulting firm, holding various leadership positions over a long career with the company. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in insurance and management science from the University of Iowa and also holds Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designations.

She can be reached in the Chicago office of Alliant at (312) 414-3971 or at Bobette.Puckett@alliant.com.

October 15
​Two Alliant Advisers Make Repeat Appearance on Financial Times FT 401 List

Jay Laschinger and Aaron Pottichen join the nation’s top financial advisers specializing in defined contribution (DC) plans on prestigious list

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Alliant Retirement Consulting, a division of Alliant Insurance Services, has announced that two of its advisers have been named Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Plan Advisers. The 2019 honorees are Senior Vice Presidents Jay Laschinger and Aaron Pottichen, both of whom are making repeat appearances on the list. The FT401 recognizes the top financial advisers specializing in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans.

“Alliant’s continued presence on this elite list illuminates the excellence in service and market knowledge provided by our team of advisers,” said Kevin Overbey, Senior Executive Vice President and Senior Managing Director, Alliant Employee Benefits.

Financial advisers from across the U.S. applied for consideration, with applicants required to advise on at least $75 million in DC plan assets and have at least 20 percent of client assets in DC plans to be eligible. The applicants were then graded on six criteria: DC assets under management (AUM), growth rate in DC plan business, specialization in the DC business, experience advising on DC plans, industry certifications, and compliance record. Alliant advisers have now been featured on this prestigious list for several consecutive years. 

The FT 401 list is produced independently by the Financial Times in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides business intelligence on asset management.

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