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Marsh & McLennan Agency Colleagues Give Back: 2017 Grant Recipient Volunteer Events

By Sara Bergmark, Communications Event Coordinator

clock November 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Each fall, Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) kicks off a season of giving through the Barney & Barney Foundation. The foundation awards grants to local non-profits, raising funds through the annual Rock the Foundation rock concert and golf tournaments in Orange County and the Bay Area. In addition to donating their time and resources at these events, our colleagues enjoy getting to know the grant recipients and the work they do by spending time volunteering. This year colleagues took advantage of volunteer opportunities at Home Start in San Diego, George Mark Children’s House in the Bay Area, and Laura’s House in Orange County.

Here’s a recap:

At Home Start

Home Start is dedicated to effectively preventing and treating child abuse. The team at Home Start provides a variety of services in the community to help eliminate the causes of abuse.  From their Maternity Shelter Program to parenting classes to child development specialists and so much more, children and their families depend on Home Start.  Key to their success is a focus on a variety of self-sufficiency programs which allow their clients to develop the skills needed to thrive.

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Topics: Community Outreach, Inside MMA

Big Brothers Big Sisters to Honor Bill Brennan as Person of the Year at Annual Gourmet Dinner

By Claudette Renault, Digital Media Specialist

clock September 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Now in its 55th year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County (BBBS) has served tens of thousands of youth through its much-loved and highly successful mentoring programs.  At Marsh & McLennan Agency, many of our colleagues are actively involved in the organization, with many participating in the Beyond School Walls program. Through Beyond School Walls, our colleagues are paired with youth for one-on-one mentoring in the professional workspace. We are honored to support such an incredible organization which helps change the lives of children in our community.

We are also proud to share that this year Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County will be honoring MMA Principal and incoming BBBS Chairman Bill Brennan as its Person of the Year.

MMA West Region CEO Paul Hering, who is also being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award this year, originally introduced Bill to Big Brothers Big Sisters at its Annual Gourmet Dinner. Inspired by their mission, Bill became a Big Brother in 2000. He joined the board several years later and has since served in many roles on nearly all of BBBS’ committees. As the incoming board chairman, Bill is eager to further the mission of mentoring children by focusing on BBBS’ great programs serving the San Diego area.

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Topics: Community Outreach, Culture, Inside MMA

8 Things to Get Excited About at Our 8th Annual Rock the Foundation Concert

By Lauren Brown, Communications & Events Specialist

clock September 12, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Spice up your Thursday night on September 28, 2017 by joining us for the Barney & Barney Foundation’s 8th annual Rock the Foundation benefit concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds! This year, our goal is to raise $250,000, which means every ticket purchase counts. Rock the Foundation proceeds will benefit four non-profits in San Diego County: Home Start, Foundation of the Children of the Californias, Access Youth Academy, and Alzheimer’s San Diego.  

MMA loves to give back to the community and we are so glad to have the support of our colleagues, carriers, clients, family, and friends to help us do just that. Never been to RTF or just want to know what’s in store this year?

Here are 8 things to get excited about at the 2017 Rock the Foundation concert.

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Topics: Community Outreach, Culture, Inside MMA

Opportunity for GROWth: Leadership Tips for Women in the Workplace

By Alison Levine, GROW Keynote Speaker

clock July 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Alison Levine, Team Captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition & New York Times bestselling author of On the Edge, shared her story of adventure and the lessons she learned on her high-risk journey to the top at our annual San Diego GROW Keynote event. Through education, mentoring and networking, GROW (Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women) strives to give women in the workplace the tools to become tomorrow's leaders. 

Waiting for that big promotion to a leadership role? NEWSFLASH: you’re already in a leadership position. Yeah – I’m talking to you! Leadership doesn’t start the day you’re given a particular title or have a certain amount of tenure. Leadership isn’t about how many people report to you or how large of a budget you oversee. Leadership is about realizing that every person on a team—at work, at home, or in your community—has a responsibility to help guide that team toward a goal. Here are four things you can do to obtain the mindset you need to help your team move forward starting NOW. 

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Topics: Culture, Inside MMA, Leadership

New Look, Same Great Team.

By Paul Hering, CEO, MMA West Region

clock July 10, 2017 at 9:30 AM


Some might argue that your brand is all about your name. Companies like Apple, Google and Coca-Cola come to mind. These are all firms where the name means everything and conjures immediate images in the minds of consumers. 

For other organizations, a company name does not necessarily define the company. In customer service industries, I would argue that your brand is more defined by your people, your expertise and the value you bring to your clients. 

Here at Barney & Barney, we are about to rebrand our company, so we have been thinking a great deal lately about branding and the impact of our brand in the marketplace and on our people. For us, this is a particularly interesting discussion, given our long history in San Diego. 

A 100-Year Legacy

Our company was founded over 108 years ago, back in 1909, by two brothers, Philip and Lorenz Barney. By about 1940, there were no longer any “Barneys” involved in the organization, but the name has lived on ever since. 

For most of our history, we were purely a San Diego-based company operating from one location. In 2007, we embarked upon a successful geographic expansion and now have offices throughout California and all the way to Anchorage, Alaska. 

While the name Barney & Barney has a tremendous amount of recognition in San Diego, this is not the case in some of our other locations, such as Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. We hired an outside branding consultant to do market research for us and their findings confirmed what we already knew.

Joining Marsh & McLennan

In 2014, we made the decision to become part of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), a Fortune 250, publicly traded company with more than 60,000 employees in 140 countries. To say that this was a huge decision for us would be a bit of an understatement. 

Our decision to join MMC was based on a variety of factors – all of which were intended to make us a better company and community partner. As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened, and we’re getting that positive feedback every day from our clients and our employees. 

In joining MMA, we were also offered the opportunity to be the leader of the West Region for Marsh & McLennan Agency, a subsidiary of MMC formed in 2008. The West Region includes a territory that encompasses California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.  So, Barney & Barney, once a rather small San Diego-based company is now the headquarters of the West Region for Marsh & McLennan Agency with close to $200 million in annual revenues and over 650 employees in one of the fastest-growing regions in the U.S., if not the world.

Our parent company did not impose a timetable on when the Barney & Barney name would be rebranded. This is purely our decision. What we have discovered in the more than 3 years since joining Marsh & McLennan Agency is that using different names in different markets and trying to explain the relationships of those names can be somewhat cumbersome and confusing. 

A New Era Begins

So, we have decided to completely rebrand the company to Marsh & McLennan Agency by the end of 2017. 

For some of us who have been part of Barney & Barney for many years (32 years for me personally), this change is not without some mixed emotions.  I know others feel the same.  One of the things that makes us truly unique is that we are a company that cares deeply about our employees and their collective well-being. As a result, we have many employees who have been with us for decades. So, it’s easy to understand how this rebrand can create a little melancholy. 

On the other hand, this also represents an exciting time for our company, as we continue to grow and prosper and expand into new markets. Becoming part of Marsh & McLennan Agency has served as rocket fuel for our engine. In fact, we have experienced double-digit growth every year since joining the MMC family. 

A Community Partner

One of our key core values as a company has always been to give back and do good work in the community. It’s this core value that motivated us to form the Barney & Barney Foundation in 2009, when we celebrated our Centennial. In hindsight, this was a really great decision. Even with our rebrand to Marsh & McLennan Agency, the Barney & Barney name will live on in the form of the “Barney & Barney Foundation” and the good work we will continue to do in our communities.

Looking ahead, we know we will always be defined not by our name, but by the quality of our people and the great work we do for clients.  

Those of us who have been around forever can take great pride in being part of an incredible legacy associated with the Barney & Barney name. We can find solace in knowing that our name will survive in our Foundation and will continue to contribute to the community.

And oh, by the way, when it comes to our new name, Marsh & McLennan Agency, we might also find some comfort in knowing that this is also a great brand with roots dating back more than 146 years.

So, onward and upward as Marsh & McLennan Agency, with a nod to the past and a wonderful legacy in Barney & Barney, a name that will live on forever.   

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Topics: Culture, Inside MMA

From One CFO to Another: Look for the Game-Changers

By Steve Berk, CFO, Marsh & McLennan Agency - West Region

clock May 15, 2017 at 10:00 AM

As a CFO, I understand the importance of vetting and selecting business partners to support the needs of a growing business. From accountants to law firms, commercial real estate brokers and banks, who you choose to do business with can have a significant impact on the bottom line, your workload and the level of risk to your organization.

When it comes to insurance, I have the benefit of understanding the business as well as the key traits CFOs should look for when evaluating and selecting a broker. The time you gain from partnering with the right insurance broker leaves you more time to focus on your core business strategies and growth opportunities for the future.

The No-Brainers

For most brokers these traits are a given, and for good reason they should be. If they aren’t core strengths, keep looking.

  • Reputation - A solid and long term reputation in your community and the industry often points to a track record of success.
  • Intellectual Capital – Experienced, seasoned and intelligent colleagues, who possess the technical insurance knowledge to guide you on what risks to cover and how best to cover them.
  • Industry Expertise – Depth of knowledge in your specific industry is key. Access to benchmarking data, trends, and industry changes are essential when evaluating your organization’s risk profile.
  • Insurer Relationships – Strong and deep relationships with insurance companies help provide the leverage you need to get the best coverage, best terms and best price available.

The Game-Changers

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Topics: Culture, Inside MMA, Leadership

Work Hard and Play Hard at Marsh & McLennan Agency

By Claudette Linzey, Communications Associate, Digital Media

clock January 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Brian McMann, Recruitment Manager at MMA since 2008, gives us the inside scoop on what he looks for in the next MMA associate and what new hires can expect once they become part of the team.

What do you look for in candidates?

For all of our open positions, I look for candidates that are career-oriented, professional, motivated, accountable and have the aptitude and excitement to learn. For sales roles, I would also add dynamic, focused, persistent, fearless, and being big-picture oriented. Those attributes are the differentiators for us. Don’t get me wrong - technical knowledge is important. But knowledge and expertise can always be acquired and developed. Possessing these key qualities as a foundation, however, generally makes a person a great fit for our team.

What makes Marsh & McLennan Agency unique?

The people are engaged and passionate, which creates a great working environment. There is also a ton of opportunity for growth and development. We have been growing steadily for years, which makes it possible to advance within the company, take on more responsibility and earn more money.

We also have a Personal Excellence Program (P.E.P.) led by our organizational learning team. Our associates have access to programs and resources which allow them to earn designations and certificates, go to association meetings, and attend seminars in an effort to continue to develop their expertise. Within a relatively short period of time, there’s no reason not to be better than when you started here.

What is the culture like at Marsh & McLennan Agency?

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Topics: Culture, Inside MMA

Intern Diaries: Providing Work That Matters to Retain Millennials

By Marie Wathen, Employee Benefits Communications Intern

clock August 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Marie Wathen is a junior at Hillsdale College studying History and Graphic Design. This summer, she worked at Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) as our Employee Benefits Communications Intern. This is part two of Marie Wathens 3-part blog series that provides tips on retaining Millennial employees.

You would think from watching movies like the Devil Wears Prada or Wall Street that Millennials are only interested in soul-sucking, drama-filled work. The truth is that we are drawn to diverse industries and locations and, while we are willing to pay our dues like the best of them, we want to know we have a future beyond making coffee and copies. First and foremost, we look for the opportunity to be part of something that matters.

Millennials want to work for companies that create positive societal change. The Deloitte Millennial Survey, which surveyed nearly 7,800 Millennials from 28 countries, found that “roughly three-quarters believe businesses have a positive overall impact on the wider society in which they operate.” Millennials are drawn to companies that will help them fulfill their potential by doing meaningful work.

Here are three ways you can engage Millennials in your company:

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Topics: Human Resources, Inside MMA

Leadership: Finding the Middle Ground

By Paul Hering, CEO & Managing Principal

clock August 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

This time of year I’m reminded of all the young adults going back to school. Reflecting on those milestone moments with my own children, I recall not wanting to miss the chance to share some of what I had learned through my own experiences.

As parents, sometimes we struggle with walking that fine line between guiding our children yet allowing them the chance to experience life and learn for themselves, hoping you have set a good example.  It can be a tough balance at times.

The same thing is true for leaders. While our colleagues and associates are obviously not our kids, there is some parallel due to what I think is a leader’s inherent responsibility -- to make a wise choice between giving specific direction versus setting an example and allowing things to unfold.

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Topics: Individuals, Inside MMA

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