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Bullseye: How one firm’s niche focus gives it wide appeal In the News

Employee Benefit Adviser, August 1, 2015
by Melissa A. Winn

When Michael Marcon, the CEO of Equity Risk Partners, a San Francisco-based benefit firm specializing in private equity clients, was asked whether or not the firm’s recent success would inspire him to expand their client base to another niche, he quipped, “Sure. Once we’ve worked on every private equity deal for every private equity firm.”

“His commitment to the market is unwavering,” says Kevin Blake, the firm’s vice president of employee benefits. “We are the only firm of our kind that is 100% focused on private equity. We still know there’s a fair amount of value we can provide and glean in this market.”

In a sea of benefit brokerages big and small, one way firms and benefit advisers are choosing to differentiate from the competition is to specialize in a niche market.

Susan Friedman, a niche marketing expert and author of Riches in Niches: How to Make It BIG in a Small Market, says targeting a niche market has several benefits, including the fact that marketing is less complicated and expensive when you target a niche or specific client profile, and that people pay more for services from perceived “experts” than generalists.

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Equity Risk Partners Adds Kirk Gilleland as Senior Vice President, Property & Casualty Press Release

San Francisco - May 7, 2015 - Equity Risk Partners, a global, full service insurance brokerage focused on private equity firms and alternative asset managers, has announced that Kirk Gilleland has joined the firm's San Francisco office as Senior Vice President, Property & Casualty.

A respected industry veteran, Mr. Gilleland brings more than 20 years of experience in M&A due diligence, risk assessment, cash flow analysis and property / casualty underwriting. Most recently, Mr. Gilleland served as Practice Leader, Mergers & Acquisitions Risk Management for AHM Financial Group.

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Equity Risk Partners Celebrates an Extraordinary 2014 Press Release

Equity Risk Partners is thrilled to have just completed another great year with robust deal flow across multiple industry groups.

  • Engaged on 119 U.S. transactions
  • Engaged on 11 transactions worldwide through Equity Risk Global
  • Engaged by 75 different firms
  • Double digit organic revenue growth
  • 3x growth in Transactional Risk placements
  • Multiple "Power Broker" designations from Risk & Insurance Magazine for 5th consecutive year

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to sprinting to new records together in 2015.

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Three Equity Risk Partners Professionals Selected as 2015 Power Brokers

San Francisco - March 1, 2015 - Equity Risk Partners, a full-service insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, announced today that Risk & Insurance has recognized three professionals of Equity Risk as 2015 Power Brokers.  Risk & Insurance bestows the prestigious Power Broker honor annually upon individuals who stand out among their contemporaries for exceptional client work, problem solving, and industry knowledge and advancement. These values and accomplishments are well represented across the Equity Risk Partners team and business model.

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Kirk Sanderson Joins Equity Risk Partners, Enhances Transactional Risk Practice Press Release

San Francisco and New York - September 5, 2014 - Equity Risk Partners, a global, full service insurance broker focused on private equity firms and alternative asset managers, has announced that Kirk Sanderson has joined the firm's New York office as a Vice President, Transactional Risk.

Mr. Sanderson brings more than 10 years of strategic financial services and transaction experience to his role at Equity Risk Partners, most recently as Vice President, Strategic and Transaction Solutions for Aon Risk Services. 

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Equity Risk Partners Adds Distinguished Insurance Industry Executive, Brian Cullen Press Release

San Francisco and New York — May 19, 2014 — Equity Risk Partners, the private equity focused full service insurance brokerage, has announced that Brian Cullen has joined the firm's New York office as Senior Vice President.

Mr. Cullen brings more than 20 years of insurance and risk management experience to his role at Equity Risk Partners, most recently as a senior executive focused on managing private equity firms and portfolio companies for Aon Risk Services.

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Equity Risk Partners Senior Vice President Josh Warren Announced as Winner of the 5th Annual “40 under 40” Recognition Awards Press Release

San Francisco, CA, May 5, 2014 - The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the “40 Under 40” Recognition Awards on Wednesday, April 30th.  Equity Risk Partners’ Josh Warren was named a winner for the Service Provider Category.

The M&A Advisor created the awards to promote mentorship and professional development amongst the emerging business leaders.

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Equity Risk Partners Launches Healthcare Risk Practice Press Release

San Francisco and Chicago — March 4, 2014 — As the Healthcare industry and its related supporting businesses continue to evolve in the wake of increased reform,  legislation and innovation, Equity Risk Partners is addressing the unique needs of the industry. The full-service insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm has created Healthcare Risk, a practice group offering specialized services to the healthcare and related industries. The new dedicated practice is committed to helping private equity firms, their portfolio companies and traditional healthcare related operations enhance returns through the development and implementation of competitive and cost-effective risk management and employee benefit programs that are aligned with the strategic and financial objectives of each constituency.

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Equity Risk Partners Adds Four Distinguished Insurance Industry Executives, Opens Los Angeles Office Press Release

San Francisco and Los Angeles — Dec. 9, 2013 — Equity Risk Partners, a full-service insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, has added four respected insurance industry executives to its world class team, while also establishing the firm’s physical presence in Southern California. The additions of Doug Akerson, Michael Cardenas, Gil Goetz and Rob Jevens further strengthens the firm’s commitment to its current clients while providing private equity firms and their portfolio companies with expanded industry due diligence capabilities and enhanced cost effective insurance solutions, inventive product and financing alternatives and exclusive client support in the energy, healthcare, transactional risk, employee benefits and property/casualty specializations.

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Worldwide Broker Network™ Formalizes Marketing Communications to Extend Growing Brand Awareness With Prospects, Carriers, Employees Press Release

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Equity Risk Partners and Sharebridge Private Equity Consolidated Create Industry Leading Executive Liability Partnership Press Release

San Francisco, Chicago and New York - Nov. 18, 2013 - Equity Risk Partners, the only full service insurance brokerage, risk management consulting, and employee benefits advisory firm focused exclusively on the needs of private equity firms and their portfolio companies, and Sharebridge Private Equity Consolidated, the only specialty insurance intermediary and program manager providing exclusive risk management solutions for private equity firms, alternative asset managers and their portfolio companies, announced today an industry leading partnership for their Executive Liability businesses.

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Equity Risk Partners Names Notable Private Equity and Insurance Industry Executives to Board of Directors Press Release

Equity Risk Partners, a full-service insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, is preparing for its next stage of growth by naming two renowned industry leaders to the firm’s Board of Directors. The additions of Dick Riley and Jim Quinn to the company’s Board, joining Founder and CEO Michael Marcon and Otter Capital Managing Member John Pasquesi, further enhances Equity Risk Partners’ experience and expertise across both the insurance and private equity markets.

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Equity Risk Partners Expands its DefCon Risk Group with Enhanced Aviation Specialization Press Release

Equity Risk Partners, a full-service insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, has joined forces with AirSure Limited, the largest independent aviation risk management consultant in the United States, to strengthen its DefCon Risk Group, a specialty practice focused on Defense, Aerospace and Government Services. With the partnership, Equity Risk Partners will more effectively provide aviation industry companies with specialized insurance knowledge and resources, delivering collaborative solutions that mitigate clients’ risk and reduce their overall insurance costs.

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Equity Risk Partners Celebrates: Risk & Insurance Selects Six of the Firm’s Professionals as 2013 Power Brokers Press Release

Equity Risk Partners, a full-service insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, announced today that Risk & Insurance has recognized six members of the Equity Risk management team as 2013 Power Brokers. Risk & Insurance bestows the prestigious Power Broker honor annually upon individuals who stand out among their peers for exceptional client work, problem solving, customer service and industry knowledge and advancement.

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Brokers Pay Special Attention to Specialized Government Contractor Segment In the News

The U.S. Department of State’s decision to take an open-market approach in fulfilling the Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance requirement for overseas government contract workers has led to more insurance companies entering the niche marketplace...

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Equity Risk Partners Launches Defense, Government Contractor Practice Group In the News

Equity Risk Partners, an insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, has launched a new practice group for defense, aerospace and government contractors.  DefCon Risk Group will focus on helping these entities improve...

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Equity Risk Partners Launches DefCon Risk Group to Provide Dedicated Services to Defense and Government Contractors Press Release

Equity Risk Partners, a full-service insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, announced today that it has launched a new practice group dedicated to serving the unique needs of defense, aerospace and government contractors.

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Equity Risk Partners Taps Kevin Blake to Lead Employee Benefits Practice Press Release

Equity Risk Partners, the only full service insurance brokerage and risk management consulting firm focused exclusively on the private equity industry, has named respected industry veteran Kevin Blake as vice president, employee benefits.

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Equity Risk Partners' Chris Veber Is Named To 2011 "Power Broker" List Press Release

Equity Risk Partners announced today that Chris Veber, Managing Director for the firm's Chicago office, has been recognized as a 2011 "Power Broker" by Risk & Insurance Magazine in the Financial Institutions category.

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Going Private In the News

Rough Notes, January 07, 2007

One deal after another, Equity Risk Partners builds its reputation catering to private equity firms.

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