IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of RBN & Associates

IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of RBN & Associates

January 18, 2018

The new year brings new beginnings, and the Illinois Venture Capital Association is doing their part by increasing their expanding membership. New members generate more opportunities for venture capital, private equity and their support industries to exchange ideas, express relevant issues and interact within the network. The latest new member is RBN & Associates Insurance Brokers, specializing in property, casualty and employee benefits insurance.
 
The following is a Q&A profile with RBM & Associates, which explores the firm’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.
 
New Member: RBN & Associates
Representative: Nick Scodro, Head of Strategy & Development
 
IVCA: What is a brief history and background of the RBN & Associates?
 
RBN & Associates: RBN was founded in 1993 by Bruce Scodro, our CEO, along with his late brother Rich. Since our inception, we have been specialists in high-risk commercial property and casualty insurance, and our footprint has spanned the country. Over the last 25 years, we have continued to grow and we are now a full service brokerage offering transaction diligence, P&C insurance services, employee benefits, and personal insurance to high net worth clients.
 
IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?
 
RBN & Associates: We believe we have a compelling service proposition for private equity firms and later stage venture investors, and we are excited about the opportunity to strengthen our relationships with members of the IVCA community. Additionally, we know that being an effective advisor in this space requires us to be informed and thoughtful about the types of opportunities and challenges our clients face, and we believe the IVCA is a good forum to help keep our knowledge current.
 
IVCA: As an insurance broker, what can you offer the Private Equity industry that can improve their way of doing business?
 
RBN & Associates: We have served the private equity industry for over 20 years and have worked on a wide variety of transaction structures with numerous firms. One thing that consistently proves true is that no two investors or transactions are alike. We pride ourselves on providing a bespoke diligence product that is customizable to our client’s needs and timeline. We focus solely on the lower and middle-market space, and we believe that our industry focus and years of experience differentiate us from some of our larger competitors.
 
IVCA: There are so many liabilities in today's business environments. How can a firm or business concern, in general, make sure they are prepared for outside forces pushing against them?
 
RBN & Associates: In today’s day and age, there is an insurance product for almost everything. Whether thinking about products like Rep & Warranty insurance, which has become increasingly popular, or Cyber Liability, which is something that we recommend all of our portfolio companies, in our role as a broker we can find something to address almost any type of liability. That said, the best way a portfolio company can mitigate risk is to make safety and loss prevention a top priority. Too often, portfolio companies without proper risk management programs cannot keep up with the growth and insurance claims are a result. This impacts not only premiums, but business performance as well. We work with our clients to understand their growth objectives and strategy, and we help them develop risk programs that are tailored to where they’re headed
 
IVCA: In your 25 years of brokering, what do you think has changed the most since those beginnings, both in your recommendations for coverage and your clients?
 
RBN & Associates: Like most industries, technology is playing a huge role in brokering and risk management. In private equity, it has expedited the diligence process and has made it much easier to assess the risk profile of a prospective target. The days of on-site diligence surveys and visits have been replaced with data rooms and dial-ins to make the whole process much quicker. In most instances this is positive, however the more expedited process means it’s easier to miss the types of risks that are hidden just under the surface, so the ability to bring true expertise to the table is critical for us as advisors.
 
IVCA: What does RBN & Associates hope to achieve in their interaction with the VC/PC community within the IVCA?
 
RBN & Associates: We want to keep our ear to the ground on what is happening in M&A and gain insight on developments in the industry. In return, we hope to provide the same insight to members of the IVCA who are interested in the changes that are taking place in the insurance industry, as well as new services and products that can better help them manage their business.
 
For more information on the RBN & Associates, go to www.rbn500.com