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Insights

Happy Holidays from Cobbs Allen!

Posted by on December 23, 2015

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(Birmingham, AL)  Birmingham-based risk management and insurance brokerage, Cobbs Allen announced their recent addition of the private equity and family office practice group. In conjunction, the firm announced that Carl Hess joined Cobbs Allen as Vice President, Private Equity and Family Office Group. 

Hess comes to Cobbs Allen with a wealth of experience in the industry after spending the last seven years working as a chief investment officer for a closely held family office. In this position, he was responsible for the vetting and selecting of third party managers of equity, hedge fund, private equity, and real estate investments.

The firm's president and chief operating officer, Bruce Denson, Jr. said, "Carl is an excellent addition to Cobbs Allen as he brings both experience and enthusiasm for the private equity practice group. We have built a unique business plan focused on the enterprise risk of a private equity group and the unique service needs of a large family office. Carl's experience in both spaces is a valuable asset to our clients."

Hess joins Cobbs Allen as they continue their commitment to provide more experienced and knowledgeable industry-specific practice groups. He commented "I joined Cobbs Allen because it is a vibrant company with a solid reputation led by inspirational men and women. I am excited to partner with Bruce Denson, Jr. and the entire Cobbs Allen team to deliver unique capabilities to private equity firms and family offices. Together, we understand the opportunities and challenges specific to these markets."


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Small businesses have a false sense of security when it comes to cyber threats, revealed a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the computer security firm Symantec of 1,015 small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners and operators.[i] When asked how safe their company is from cyber-attacks, 76% of respondents said “very safe” or “somewhat safe.”

Yet, 87% said that they have no written Internet security (cyber liability) policy, and 69% said they don’t even have an informal Internet security policy. Furthermore, an astonishingly small 14% of those surveyed said their firm has a written plan in place for keeping the company secure from cyber-attacks.


Cobbs Allen Celebrates Veterans Day

Posted by on November 11, 2015

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Cobbs Allen honors the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces to allow each of us to enjoy the freedoms that have made this nation what it is today. Over 21 million veterans believed in our freedom and had the courage to act when duty called. We pay respect to those who embody bravery, dedication, patriotism, and altruism. Thank you for your service.


Broker v. Consultant: Who Can Drive Down Insurance Costs?

Posted by Matthew Weaver on November 6, 2015

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Behind payroll, group health insurance is the second largest line item for most companies in this country. The number one concern for CEOs in this country is attracting and retaining quality talent, and the cost of employee benefits plays a major role in that concern. HR professionals have overwhelmingly stated that managing health care costs is their greatest challenge when it comes to employee benefits. 

While health insurance costs continue to spiral out of control, most employee benefits brokers try to wow prospective clients with their expertise in service offerings such as benefits administration, ACA compliance and reporting, enrollment tools, HR administration, COBRA, FSA, payroll, etc.

Bottom line, it is impossible to be an expert at all of these services and still be an expert at helping your client bend their healthcare spend. Employers are asking for solutions to help drive down health insurance costs and their brokers are hitting them over the head with a smorgasbord of “value added” options but no viable spend management strategy. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the majority of employers say their benefits broker isn’t meeting their current expectations.


Cobbs Allen Named as "Best Practices Agency"

Posted by Grantland Rice, III on November 6, 2015

IIABA.jpgCobbs Allen was once again recognized as a “Best Practices Agency” this past year. Since 1993, the Best Practices Study has been conducted for agencies around the country to assist agency owners in understanding how their business performs when measured against the top performing agencies. Less than twenty percent of the participating agencies in the study qualified for the honor of being recognized as a top performing agency. Data collected and analyzed includes income statement analysis, expense distribution, top line growth, bottom line profitability, production and service staff productivity, IT structure and expense ratio, new investment in people and services, carrier representation and much more. Cobbs Allen uses the data to help us continue to increase service levels for our clients. Cobbs Allen is proud to have received this honor and will continue to seek for ways to improve and deliver the highest level of service possible.


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If you are anything like me, you probably have a love/hate (mainly hate) relationship with daylight saving time. I still scratch my head when someone refers to gaining or losing an hour. We “fall back,” yet “gain” an hour—it just doesn’t make sense. Add daylight saving time to the list of things I don’t understand right between quantum physics and fantasy football. Those of us who find it hard to wrap our head around the practice are not alone. According to Rasmussen Reports, 43 percent of Americans do not believe that pushing the clock forward is practical. 11 percent incorrectly answered whether they were supposed to “spring forward” or “fall back,” while 8 percent did not know what it meant at all. Believe it or not, daylight saving time has actually created a bit of controversy in the last century. Below are a few interesting facts about daylight saving time: