#MeToo Is An Opportunity For Introspection

Market Blueprint

As the #MeToo movement has so poignantly illustrated, nobody should ever be harassed or abused by those in power. What started as an entertainment industry issue has now shed light on the prevalence of workplace sexual abuse — and the institutional suppression of victims— in athletics, religious institutions, hospitality, gaming, finance, government and certainly commercial real estate.

High-profile allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in commercial real estate predate the #MeToo movement. Some more notable cases include an April, 2017 sexual harassment, gender discrimination and wrongful termination claim filed by a former female salesperson against the prominent Los Angeles brokerage NGKF, the firm’s former managing director Michael Arnold, and two other executives at the firm. One of the executives named in the suit is the firm’s director of operations to whom the plaintiff reported the issues and who responded “there was nothing he could do.” And in January, 2018, the Financial Times uncovered numerous counts of sexual harassment and exploitation at a London charity event, The President’s Club, heavily attended by executives in the UK commercial real estate business. Allegations of abuse and exploitation of women are also surfacing at top industry conventions including the International Council of Shopping Centers (“ICSC”) RECon Convention and the Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’Immobilier (“MIPIM”) conference.

In the decade from 2005-2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received about 85,000 sexual harassment complaints, 1,700 of which were from the real estate profession.

  • That’s 1,700 real estate professionals who felt their workplaces were hostile
  • That’s 1,700 companies and executive teams who had to hire attorneys, insurance professionals and public relations experts to investigate and address these claims
  • According to EEOC statistics, 80% of these claims were filed by women
  • Worse yet, 75% of claims were accompanied by some form of alleged retaliation by the employer/accused

Since the #MeToo movement took hold, Alper Services has received a large number of inquiries from Clients wanting to ensure their workplaces, leadership, and employees are not part of the next case. Drawing upon decades of experience, our answer is simple— use the movement to take an inward look at your company from top to bottom. Ask yourself if everyone is working to create a culture of openness, fairness and zero tolerance. Top leadership must also lead by example and all levels of management must identify and remedy issues before they arise while at the same time creating open communication channels and taking quick and fair disciplinary action whenever required.

Your Alper Services “Team of Experts” is here to ensure you have the right mix of legal, cultural, human resources and insurance protections to combat harassment and to ensure nobody in your organization will ever have to use the phrase #MeToo.

Think Manufacturers Aren’t Affected By The #MeToo Movement? Think Again…

As the #MeToo movement has so poignantly illustrated, nobody should ever be harassed or abused by those in power. What started as an entertainment industry issue has now shed light on the prevalence of workplace sexual abuse— and the institutional suppression of victims— in athletics, religious institutions, retail, restaurants, hospitality and gaming, finance, government and commercial real estate.

While the manufacturing industry has yet to have any high-profile #MeToo cases, this speaks more to the industry’s separation from the limelight, and is not an indicator of a lack of harassment cases. In fact, based on 10 years’ worth of sexual harassment claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC), the manufacturing industry has the third-highest number of cases—third only to the hospitality and retail industries. Out of 85,000 total claims made in that 10-year period, 10,200 (or 12%) were from those employed in manufacturing; and 80% of those claims were filed by women. Continue reading

We Did It Again!

Insurance Business America (IBA) released their Hot 100 list for 2018 which highlights the leading professionals in the US insurance industry. We’re excited to report that our President and CEO, David Macknin, was named to the list for the second year in a row.

Energetically leading his colleagues, David Macknin considers it a privilege to be the president and CEO of Alper Services. Now in its 52nd year, the firm continues to expand aggressively by consistently differentiating itself as a group of insurance architects serving its people, clients and the community by “Planning For Now Through When.” As one of the largest independents in the Midwest and having just moved into brand new offices in Chicago’s Wrigley Building, Alper Services’ contrarian culture is evident in every element.

Macknin, who serves as an officer or director of countless social service organizations area-wide, views himself as a “chief growth officer.” Whether they are his Alper colleagues, the firm itself, its clients, other volunteers in the non-profit space or the beneficiaries of such organizations, Macknin feels blessed to be able to dedicate his tireless efforts to helping others grow and thrive.

To see the full list, click here.

The Culture Of Emotional Wellbeing







Please join Brian Donnelly, Alper Services’ VP, Health and Benefits Practice Leader, and Ian Shea, CEO and Founder of I M Human, Inc., at a seminar to discuss why “Wellbeing” has replaced “Wellness” in the workplace.

We will provide actionable steps on how to implement and leverage a holistic wellbeing program at your company:
–  Improve your employees’ performance and engagement
–  Retain your top talent
–  Drive profitability
–  Stand out amongst your competition in attracting new talent.

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
410 N. Michigan Avenue, 12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Please RSVP to Beth Rooke at BRooke@AlperServices.com or 312-867-7307. 

Plan Ahead With ACA Reporting




Under the ACA, every applicable large employer (ALE) and every entity that provides minimum essential coverage, such as a health insurance issuer or sponsor of a self-funded plan, must comply with certain reporting requirements.

The ACA reporting rules require filing of an annual return with the IRS and furnishing of individual statements to certain employees. Take note:
•  Returns are due in early 2018 for health plan coverage offered or provided in 2017.
•  Returns for 2017 must be filed with the IRS by February 28 (or April 2 if filed electronically, since March 31 is a Saturday).
•  For the 2017 calendar year, written statements must be provided to employees no later than January 31.

Speak with the Alper Employee Benefits Team if you need any guidance on your 2017 filing requirements, EBTeam@AlperServices.com.

Michael Jones Awarded CAPI Designation By Wharton And Chubb

Left to Right: Fran O’Brien, SVP, Chubb Group Division President, North America Personal Risk Services; Michael Jones, Director of Alper’s Personal Lines Division; Chris Geczy, Academic Director of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative

We’re proud to announce that Michael Jones, Director of Alper’s Personal Lines Division, has been awarded a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance (CAPI) designation from the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Chubb.

Michael is among a group of only 38 agents this year to receive the certification after completing a one-year intensive educational program on understanding the lifestyle and risk management and insurance needs of successful individuals and families. Created by Wharton and Chubb in 2014, the CAPI program is the first of its kind to focus on a specific client segment in the personal insurance marketplace.

“The agents who have completed the CAPI program have proven that they have the highest level of skill and expertise required to understand the total family balance sheet and advise successful clients on their complex risk management and insurance needs,” said Annmarie Camp, Executive Vice President, Sales and Distribution Leader, Chubb Personal Risk Services.

“We are extremely proud that Michael has received the prestigious CAPI designation,” said David Macknin, President & CEO. “This shows his incredible dedication to the insurance industry as well as his ongoing commitment to serving successful individual and families, who have a unique set of property and liability exposures created by their assets and lifestyle.”

Courses are taught by Wharton faculty, Chubb subject matter experts and other professionals. Agents received instruction on the Wharton campus at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and through virtual classes, webcasts, reading assignments and other online activities throughout 2017.

Illinois Drivers Can Avoid A Ticket With The Click Of The Mouse


As many Illinois residents are aware, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has stopped sending out renewal notices for car license plates. However, the office will send renewal notices if you schedule an email reminder by registering at: CyberDriveIllinois.com.

Follow the link above, and you will see a license plate button reading EMAIL ME on the Cyber Drive Illinois homepage. By clicking it, you can register to receive the reminder email.

Owners need to have their registration ID and PIN number available. This information can be found on your current registration card (see image). If you don’t have a current registration card, contact the Public Inquiry Division at 1-800-252-8980 for assistance.

If you have any further questions regarding your automobile insurance coverage, please contact Alper Services Dir. of Personal Insurance, Michael Jones, at MJones@AlperServices.com.

A New Point Of View

We’ve moved to our new 19,800 square-foot office at 410 N. Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s historic Wrigley Building!

“When Howard Alper started this company back in 1966, he would have never envisioned the transformative changes the insurance industry has gone through today. Technology has changed the way we all do business. But with that change comes new opportunity, and with that opportunity comes growth,” said President and CEO David Macknin. “We have become more than just an insurance agent; we pride ourselves on being Insurance Architects because we provide each Client with the right foundations, support and personalization that should be expected. We are not a commodity, and neither are our Clients. We respect that every business is unique and approach solutions as such.”

The new space, orchestrated by OKW Architects, emphasizes dramatic Michigan Avenue views and ample natural light, with linear lighting and differential soffit heights throughout the space to create a sense of movement and energy.  More importantly, the new floor plan encourages teamwork and fosters collaboration.

A Brand New Alper Services

“Our new home and neighbors sit in the epicenter of everything that is great about Chicago,” Macknin said.  “Just look at the roster of companies who we now share an address with—it is a who’s who of technology companies, professional services organizations and financial institutions that will create Chicago’s future.”

Our new office coincides with our refreshed brand. The new standards, created by Chicago-based Swerve, are designed to reflect the differentiation we bring not only to our Clients, but the overall industry. “The landscape is changing, and the refreshed Alper Services brand is aligned with our core strengths of strategic thinking, customized planning and flexible support,“ said COO Leslie Morse.

The new space can accommodate over 75 people.  Macknin expects to continue our steady growth and expansion of our Team in 2018.

Our mailing address is:
410 N. Michigan Avenue, 12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

All email addresses and phone numbers remain the same.

Tips To Winterize Your Home


Is your home ready for winter? Freezing temperatures, ice, snow and wind can cause severe damage to your home and property. Water is the top preventable cause of damage to American homes- more than fire and theft. Approximately one in every 55 insured homes has a water/freezing claim each year. With proactive maintenance, you can reduce your risk of experiencing weather related damages to your home.

We recommend the following tips to assist you in preparing your property for unpredictable winter weather:

Build-Up of Ice and Snow on Your Roof
Ice and snow build-up can cause seepage, wall and ceiling cracking and even roof collapses. Safeguard your roof by:
• Clean your gutters before winter begins. This reduces potential snow and ice buildup.

• Keep the attic space cold. Properly seal exhaust ducts from bathrooms/kitchens/dryers to prevent hot air from leaking into the attic. Professionally insulate and vent attics to allow cold air to circulate under the roof. This decreases the likelihood of shingles getting warm.

• Keep your roof dry. Install a snow shield or ice melting system on the roof. The system should be installed at least two feet up from the exterior wall. This will help prevent moisture back up from ice dams and help snow flow off the roof. Continue reading