His childhood experiences served him well, and today Power sits at the helm of a brokerage firm that is targeting $500 million in sales this year. His career has extended beyond wholesale brokerage, and he credits his time on the freight forwarding side as having had a “real impact”.
After graduating from university, Power built his insurance career with a number of insurance companies. However, it was his time at AIG that he remembers as a career-changing experience.
“Probably the most important defining moment of my career was in 1993 when I walked into an AIG office, applied for a job and was hired 24 hours later,” says Power. It was a time of growth and expansion at AIG and he had the opportunity to work with some of the industry’s leading minds.
After 26 years with AIG, Power made the difficult decision to retire as President of Lexington National office and Head of Wholesale Broker Engagement. It was then that he had the opportunity to found, establish and lead private equity-backed One80 agents.
One80 has become a recognized player in the wholesale and program business and is now a leading affinity broker in the US after a series of acquisitions, according to Power.
In founding the One80 brand, Power’s vision was to create a highly specialized platform that was niche and customer focused: A new direction in specialty insurance. Today, One80 is a market leader with five strategic pillars. These include wholesale brokerage, contract tying, specialty, program and affinity business.
In 2022 and beyond, One80 will continue to expand its infrastructure in key areas of expertise. “Retail brokers work with One80 because of our in-depth industry knowledge, our market-leading service and the quality of the programs and papers we represent. This applies to all of our specialties such as pleasure boating, last mile delivery, cannabis, travel/accident and health, warranty and affinity business,” says Power.
The company’s extraordinary growth has been fueled by an acquisition strategy and One80 has purchased 37 companies since 2020. “We have been very strategic and extremely selective in the acquisitions we have made,” says Power.
The goal was to “build a balanced portfolio with revenue streams that don’t necessarily correlate with each other,” rather than taking advantage of every opportunity that arose.
This means, according to Power, that if a market falls in one area of its business, revenue will continue to be generated from other areas.
“We are now deepening our balanced portfolio and moving more towards aggregation rather than building the foundation and infrastructure of the business,” he says.
“You will see in areas like affinity that we have completed three transactions [and] we will close a fourth transaction soon,” says Power, alluding to the brokerage firm’s purchase of NIA. “Additionally, we continue to develop and acquire new business in our warranties practice.”
What sets One80 apart as a brokerage firm for power is how it deals with talent. “Someone told me a long time ago that CEOs need to take care of three things: customers, employees, and owners,” says Power. “That has long been my opinion and a guiding principle in leading organizations. But I’ve come to believe that people really are at the forefront of this equation.” One80 has placed its people – and making them feel valued – at the heart of its strategy.
“When you have a group of employees who feel valued, they see a career path, they know management [always] has their back, they feel safe in the environment in which they work, they will do great work for you – and they will do great work for our customers, owners, shareholders and investors,” he emphasizes.
Insurance remains a family affair for Power, who has two daughters who work in the industry. The advice he would give to any aspiring leader is the same he gave them. “You have to find the leaders who inspire you, who can help guide you, and who you can learn from,” says Power.
Mentoring and mentoring can be a critical factor in achieving ambitious career goals, according to Power, who doesn’t believe in the concept of the self-made person. “I heard someone give a talk the other day and they advertised that they were a self-made person,” he says. “There is no such thing as a self-made man,” he continues. “It takes a whole village to reach its full potential. Counseling and mentoring are crucial for a successful career.”