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

Press Release

Appoints PR Veteran Howard Kalt to Direct Program

San Francisco – (February  1, 2014) - Worldwide Broker Network™ has established a formal marketing communications function designed to extend brand awareness of the world's largest fully integrated network of independent property and casualty brokers and employee benefits consultants. PR and insurance industry veteran Howard Kalt has been appointed to head the function, working with a newly created Marketing Communications Advisory Committee made up of representatives from each of WBN’s six regions.

“WBN is comprised of more than 100 independent partner firms with 17,000 employees in 79 countries writing nearly $30 billion in combined premiums. That’s a powerful distribution network that insurance carriers are coming to recognize and support, as illustrated by the number of  insurers providing tailored programs for WBN clients and co-sponsoring our semi-annual partner conferences,” said Bruce Basso, WBN’s chief executive officer.  

Equity Risk Partners, which joined WBN in 2012, was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles. The firm focuses on  private equity firms, alternative asset managers, family offices, hedge funds and their portfolio companies and provides insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting.

“As we prepare to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2014, it's appropriate that the WBN brand becomes even more visible to carriers and benefits resources, to clients and prospects, as well as to the professionals on career tracks within our partner firms. These firms remain totally independent in their respective marketplaces but together they provide increasing purchasing power and technology-driven, high quality service to clients expanding beyond their home borders,” Basso said.

“We pride ourselves on providing the best services possible to our clients,” said Michael Marcon, CEO, Equity Risk Partners. “As part of the Worldwide Broker Network, we have expanded our global reach, increased our product offerings, enhanced our service platform, and broadened our  access to up-to-date market information and  coverage details.”

Kalt is a 40-year public relations industry professional.  Early in his career he was Vice President Communications for Fred. S. James & Co. when it was still a publicly traded company.  He later headed communications for ISU, the insurance broker franchising company. He established a communications consulting firm in 1982, where he counted a variety of insurance-related companies, pools and associations among a diverse client base. He also was a founding director of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation which, since its inception in 1994, has contributed over $18 million in local community grants, over 155,000 hours of volunteer service, and leadership of over 25,000 industry volunteers for programs dealing with education, children at risk, health and safety, disaster preparedness, and the environment.

Founded in 1989 by nine European firms as the International Broker Network, the organization changed its name to Worldwide Broker Network in 1995.  WBN headquarters are located in San Mateo, California, midway between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.