A Year Of Growth And Evolution







2018 was a year of Evolution and Growth.

Guided by our unwavering commitment to remaining independent and delivering big-brokerage resources with boutique-agency service, we invested significant time and resources to deepen our talent pool and hone our focus. And perhaps most importantly, we continued to be recognized as leaders in our field by our partners and industry visionaries.

Expanded Talent
We began the year settling into our new headquarters in the historic Wrigley Building. From the very first day in the new space, I noticed an entirely new level of collaboration and energy throughout the office. With room to expand, we hired 12 new Team Members who added significant breadth of experience to our Property & Casualty, Employee Benefits, Personal Lines and Claims Management divisions. We also promoted five other Team Members to ensure their talents were applied optimally in the service of our Clients.

Industry Accolades
As a testament to our focus on operational excellence, we were once again named a Best Practices Agency by Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America—the third consecutive year receiving this honor. We were also named a Chubb Cornerstone Agent for
Personal Lines and P&C for the third year running. This is a particularly important recognition as Chubb recognizes just 3% of their 15,000 agencies as those who deliver unparalleled service. And I’m especially proud we were voted one of the Top Insurance Workplaces in America for the first time by Insurance Business America (IBA). IBA asked industry employees to evaluate their company based on four attributes (Culture, Diversity, Compensation and Employee Development). Of the hundreds of insurance workplaces who entered, IBA named only 51 to this list.

Honed Focus & Strong Leadership
As you may have noticed, our Marketing Team launched a series of briefs, called “Market Blueprints,” each of which delivers insight and
recommendations for tackling current issues with profound business and risk implications. And to ensure every member of the Team—from the newest to the most tenured—continues to deliver the level of service and support that has differentiated Alper Services for
decades, we refreshed and rolled out our mission statement through a series of employee events. We then emblazoned the walls of each office and conference room with artwork to remind our Team Members, Clients and visitors of our key cornerstones that set us apart:
People, Communication, Premier Client Services, Technology and Growth.

In December, Howard Alper—after 52 years in the role—announced he had stepped down as Chairman, yet will continue to serve on the Board as a member and chairman emeritus and as well as continue to be an active member of the Alper Services Team. In his place, he and the Board of Directors appointed Liz Levy-Navarro as Chairman. Liz has served on the Board of Directors since 2017, and specializes in helping businesses evolve their service offerings to achieve profitable, long-term growth. In Howard’s words, this move will ensure Alper Services remains independently owned and operated so we may focus 100% of our attention on servicing you, our Clients, versus a corporate owner.

As we welcome 2019, Alper Services is better positioned than ever to help our Clients navigate an increasingly complicated and risky market while delivering service levels unimaginable from the largest brokerage firms.

I wish you and your teams a prosperous 2019.

David Macknin
CEO & President

Ridesharing: New Conveniences Create New Exposures







A Non-Owned Auto Liability policy is an alternative, less costly and broader coverage option to Rideshare insurance.
Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are changing the way we travel around cities, and many city dwellers who do not own personal vehicles rely on these app-based services as their primary mode of transportation. Often overlooked is the insurance for these modern conveniences. As a passenger, what is our true exposure when participating in ridesharing? With no personal primary auto insurance, can passengers rely on Uber and Lyft for medical coverage in the event of an accident? In an era of costly health insurance and high deductible plans, many are at risk for high out-of-pocket expenses from accidents completely out of their control as a passenger in a rideshare. Is there an easy and cost efficient way to protect you as a passenger?

For occasional Uber and Lyft riders [As of June 14, 2018] the answer is yes. SURE Insurance created the “Rideshare” app which provides passengers with the ability to purchase medical, accidental death and severe injury coverage on an episodic basis straight from their smart phone. The SURE application is linked directly to the Uber or Lyft app, and once activated, customers will receive automatic coverage for each ride taken during a 24 hour period at a rate of  $2.40 for $10,000 medical and $100,000 accidental death and dismemberment. SURE is underwritten by Chubb insurance, one of Alper’s leading carrier partners.

However, for a person who frequently needs ride share apps and borrows or rents cars, an alternative, less costly and broader coverage option would be to purchase your own non-owned auto policy.

Non-owned auto coverage is essentially a personal auto policy without owning the vehicle; providing primary liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, as well as medical payments and in some cases property damage coverage.

With an average annual premium of approximately $600 for $500,000 in liability coverage and $10,000 in medical coverage, this is a safe and cost effective route to transfer your risk and minimize your out of pocket expense.
For more information on personal insurance coverages, please contact Michel Jones, Alper’s Director of Personal Lines, at MJones@AlperServices.com or 312-867-7314. 

Alper Names New Chairman

After 52 years as Chairman for the Chicago-based insurance brokerage he founded, Howard Alper today announced he will step down as Chairman of Alper Services effective immediately. In his place, he and Alper’s Board of Directors have appointed Liz Levy-Navarro as Chairman. Howard will continue to serve as a Member of Alper Services’ Board.

“It is a great honor to assume the role of Chairman from Howard, who built a firm which delivers big-brokerage resources with boutique-agency service,” remarked Levy-Navarro. “As an independent insurance agency, Alper has the unique ability to chart our own course to best serve our clients. I look forward to working with the Board and executive team to ensure we keep a pulse on changing client needs and shifting market dynamics and continue to deliver the differentiated service that has made Alper such a long-standing, trusted partner for each of our clients.”

A member of Alper Services Board of Directors since 2017, Ms. Levy-Navarro is CEO and Managing Partner of Orrington Strategies, a management consulting firm dedicated to helping Fortune 500 clients achieve meaningful, profitable growth. She has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and has held executive and management consulting positions with A.T. Kearney, Capgemini and The Cambridge Group.

“Since founding Alper Services in 1966, my main objective has been to ensure the firm remains independently owned and operated so we may focus 100% of our attention on serving our clients,” explained Howard. “I am certain that with Liz Levy-Navarro as Chairman, and David Macknin continuing as CEO, the agency will continue to evolve and provide the best-possible service to our clients, instead of servicing a corporate owner.”

One of the largest remaining independent insurance brokerages in the U.S., and ranked a “Best Practices” firm by the Independent Insurance Agents of America for the third consecutive year, Alper builds multi-faceted risk management programs for a wide range of mid-market firms—a large portion of which are based in the Midwest.

Client Spotlight: Rapid Displays







Alper Services Offers More Than Your Typical Insurance Coverages When Helping Clients Plan For Now Through When.

If you have gone shopping for food and beverages, cosmetics, electronics or anything else where a product sits on a shelf, chances are you have seen the work of Rapid Displays. The company is in the business of creating point-of-purchase displays to showcase products and entice you to buy. Its engineers, designers and marketers are in the business of knowing what matters to a product’s customers, and how to help brands deliver what a customer wants and needs most.

Rapid Displays is in the business of knowing what matters to its clients and delivering what they need. With its Midwestern/Eastern headquarters located in Chicago’s Archer Heights neighborhood, Rapid Displays has been working with Alper Services for 20 years now. According to Chief Financial Officer Brian Greenburg, the ability for Alper Services to go deep into its business makes the Alper team a valuable partner.

“I came into this company as the CFO 16 years ago and was tasked with reviewing the Alper relationship and the program they had us engaged with. I was a bit perplexed having never been introduced to captive insurance plans before,” Greenburg recently explained. A captive insurance program’s primary objective is to insure the risks of its owners, and its insureds benefit from the captive insurer’s underwriting profits. Continue reading

Serving Others This Thanksgiving







For the tenth year we’re celebrating Thanksgiving with Chubb by preparing 52 Thanksgiving dinner boxes to donate to families in need. Weinstein Meats generously donates the turkeys, and Chub brings the traditional Thanksgiving sides. The boxes are picked up by two of our non-profit Clients, New Star and Sertoma Center, who will distribute to families whom they service.

We’re spreading the holiday love further by partnering again with Weinstein Meats to help them play Santa to the Austin neighborhood through their annual toy drive. Our donation will help put smiles on the faces of children at Leland Elementary School.

Alper Serves Activities







Our Alper Serves line-up of volunteer events has filled up our autumn calendar! Alper Serves are half day, Alper-sponsored volunteer projects that we invite our Team to partake in each year. We kicked things off with the Austin Special Chicago Tootsie Roll Drive on Friday, September 21st. Several teams of Alper volutneers took to the Mag Mile and the Loop to collect donations with the Knights of Columbus in exchange for tootsie rolls. The rain held out, and we were able to collect over $500 for the great work that Austin Special Chicago does to meet the needs of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in our community. Continue reading

Resiliency Is The New Sustainability







Firms that continually assess risk and adjust strategy will better weather impacts of climate change

The weather extremes that battered the planet in the Summer of 2018 – from the searing heat across Japan and Europe, to the fires in California, Portugal, Greece, to the Arctic Circle, and the historic flooding in Hawaii and India, are very real examples of a rapidly warming, increasingly energized atmosphere. In fact, as the Earth warms, the amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest one percent of storms has risen nearly 20 percent on average in the United States—almost three times the rate of increase in total precipitation between 1958 and 2007. And here in Chicago, according to the National Climate Assessment Report, the number of very heavy precipitation events since 1991 is 30% above the 1901-1960 average.

While companies have always navigated a changing business environment, they now face a changing natural environment that will impact facilities and operations, supply and distribution chains, electricity and water, communities where they are based, and their employees and customers.

In The Economist’s 2016 Global Resource Challenges Report, 66% of executives surveyed said climate change had already contributed to resource challenges – namely in the area of water scarcity. The report lauded Nestle for its implementation of a system to recover water vapor generated from milk processing at its plant in Mexico to reduce the facility’s overall water-use footprint and ensure ground water supplies weren’t over-drawn. In the same report, however, only 11% of executives said they had altered their resource management procedures, which suggests that those businesses that think ahead will gain a significant edge over their competitors.

The key to gaining this competitive edge will come from moving beyond sustainability alone to a holistic approach to climate resiliency. Climate resiliency is the capacity of a business to maintain function in the face of stresses imposed by climate change. It means continually evolving to withstand future climate impacts all the while taking advantage of new market opportunities tied to a changing climate.

Because it is difficult to know exactly how dramatic the effects of climate change will be, it is hard to know just how it will affect your business. So, what can you do to prepare your business to weather, and even prosper, in a more volatile climate? Here are some tips:

Recruit and hire people with skills to help your business become more resilient.

For example, when interviewing supply chain professionals, ask what experience they have in setting up emergency/alternate supply sources in the event a natural disaster takes out a key supplier. Or, ask building manager candidates to explain their philosophy for disaster preparedness. According to sustainability author Andrew Winston, “Everyone is going to need to understand climate change the same way you’d assume everyone in business needs to have some fluency in social media today.”

Partner with businesses that provide similar products/services on whom you can rely should you experience climate-related shutdowns of your operation.

For example, a Florida-coastal manufacturer might enter into a manufacturing agreement with a Midwestern-based company with similar capabilities to provide back-up supplies in the event a hurricane shuts down their coastal operation. The upside of these sorts of arrangements is you may also market them as extra capacity during times of peak demand, in addition to buffers against disruptive climate events.

Research and quantify climate change impacts and create strategies to mitigate risk.

A useful tool to help guide this process is the guidelines published by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Formed in 2015 by the G20, and chaired by Michael Bloomberg, the TCFD’s recommendations are designed to help companies disclose decision-useful information which will enable financial markets to better understand climate-related financial risks and opportunities.  At the same time, the process can help lead companies to adjust their strategies and processes to be more sustainable and resilient.

For example, as a result of its own assessment using the TCFD guidelines, Bloomberg increased the number of disaster recovery sites, enhanced network functionality to enable employees to work remotely, created full redundancy across data centers and moved out of a waterfront data center in New York City. The company also took proactive risk-mitigation measures including resource utilization reduction and renewable energy procurement.

With an eye toward “when,” instead of “if,” and a cross-functional dedication to climate resiliency across your entire operation, you will be better positioned to weather climate changes than your less-prepared competition.