Lyons Companies is a risk management firm serving middle-market businesses on the east coast. Founded in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1984, Lyons has more than 55 employees. The company’s philosophy is centered on relationship building, creating proactive solutions to reduce costs and improve profits through smart risk management.
Joe Valerio, an executive vice president with Lyons, has been in the business for 17 years. At Lyons, Valerio works with clients in the non-profit and social services sector, construction, private schools and education, financial services firms, banks, and manufacturing.
Taming risk = taking control
“Risk and insurance is more than just paying premiums and getting coverage,” says Valerio, “For companies, it’s more about taking control of a situation and being able to take more risks in order to move forward.”
Valerio is passionate about helping clients. “You hate to see a client leave money on the table when they can control their environment more effectively through good claims management, safety, culture, and changing the way they think,” he says, adding, “if you can get your clients to embrace that kind of thinking, you’re differentiating yourself.”
Captives are a natural for Valerio. “I’ve always gravitated toward alternative financing mechanisms,” he says, noting, “Some clients think that they’re too small for something like a captive, but it’s more of an education process, and once you show them that even if they’re smaller, they can still take advantage of an enterprise risk captive and gain more control over risk, even at their size, they’re really interested.”
“Insurance and risk management is a relationship business,” says Valerio. “At the end of the day, there are very few deliverables – you’re delivering on promises that if something bad happens, you are going to be there to make them whole again.”
Education through conversation
Valerio admits that the sales cycle on captives takes longer. “There is a lot of education involved. Most of our clients don’t necessarily think about captives because they haven’t hit that critical mass yet, he says. But when the time is right, he is glad to start the conversation, and often turns to Intuitive for help with specifics.
“There’s a lot of trust in this business, and you have to trust the people you’re working with. That’s why we like working with Intuitive,” says Valerio. “We have that feeling of trust with Intuitive, so we have no problem connecting them with our customers.”