Francis J. Huver, SVP, CFO
We occasionally get inquiries from firms interested in joining CHART. Why, they ask, does the organization charge annual dues to its membership? In order to answer that question, we need to take a closer look at CHART’s history, current situation, and future strategic plans.
The concept of CHART began in January of 2015. The idea: to launch an entity that would serve as the catalyst for expanding the U.S./London marketplace through the identification and pursuit of new business opportunities. We knew accomplishing this objective would require an innovative approach: establishing a forum through which Risk Takers and agencies with existing delegated underwriting authorities could personally interact with prospective Coverholders. This environment would be conducive to a free exchange of ideas about new coverage offerings, underserved market niches, and other potential program opportunities. The event held in Philadelphia PA last October provided a practical demonstration of the viability of CHART. The session attracted 330 syndicate, insurance agency, and vendor representatives. 152 separate appointments were set between risk takers and producers; these meetings generated over two dozen potential business opportunities. The vast majority of these proposals would have never been submitted to London without CHART.
Unfortunately, an event of this magnitude could not have been produced without a significant up-front financial commitment. Over $775,000 was invested from a small group of visionaries – CHART’s Earliest Adopters. These funds were required to reserve the meeting venue, secure adequate hotel accommodations, advertise the event, and establish a website. At some point, these entrepreneurs will need to be reimbursed their investment.
The success of the October meeting served as a validation of the concept. Based on this substantiation, the founding A d o p t e r s decided to turn CHART into a permanent memb e r s h i p organi zat ion. Additional funds were required to hire dedicated staff, retain legal/accounting professionals to establish the new entity, and market the group to our target audience.
Establishing a permanent organization also allowed us to move forward with the development of several member benefits. The Market Finder Facility helps align new product/ program ideas with Syndicates possessing the most compatible risk appetites. The Incubator Initiative provides a fast-track mechanism to expedite the launch of new business ideas into the marketplace. The CHART Mart provides m e m b e r s with access to alternative di s t r ibut ion channels for their products. Dues provide an income stream to cover the cost of day-to-day cost of organizational operations. It also allows us to reserve venues for our 2016 events, such as the recent CHART Goes To London (CGL) meeting or the Second Annual CHART meeting scheduled for October 3 – 5 in Baltimore, MD.
What CHART will look like in 2017 and beyond is largely up to the membership. They will decide on the exclusive benefits and features being offered to the group. Possibilities include scholarships, internships in London, and access to an array of products only available through CHART.
Of course, vetting and implementing these new benefits require funding. The steady stream of income derived from the payment of annual dues will allow CHART to continue to serve its membership.
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