The Top 3 Tips MGAs and PAs Need for 2023 with Jon Stambaugh and Amy O’Brien

The new year is here and with it comes a new set of challenges and opportunities for MGAs and PAs. We sat down with Jon Stambaugh, SVP – Carrier Practice and Amy O’Brien, VP – Carrier Practice, to discuss the key priorities and focus areas for 2023.

The battle for talent continues to be an important topic in 2023. How can MGAs and PAs best position themselves in the marketplace to make sure they’ve not only got great talent but strong bench strength as well?

Amy O’Brien: It’s essential for MGAs and PAs to leverage partners who are experts in claims management and have on-staff recruiters who are constantly combing the market for talent. Ask your potential partners if they can track both current claims inventory and potential new business, as well as the quality assurance plans in place to maintain consistent service delivery with their staff.

Jon Stambaugh: I agree with the points Amy made. Furthermore, we are focusing on the new hire onboarding experience, training, and career pathing more than ever. From day one, it is important to communicate to new employees about all the opportunities and avenues within the organization, not just within the department they recently joined, to enhance engagement and retention.

Data and technology are also key points of differentiation across the Carrier Marketplace. Keeping pace with technology is critical for the success of MGAs and PAs but has proven to be both challenging and costly. What are the benefits of partnering with a third-party administrator (TPA) to offset these issues?

A: Year after year, our trading partners and regulatory agencies are only increasing the amount of data they want to see, and savvy partners know that good data improves analytics capability, forecasting, and outcomes. TPAs have to stay on top of the data requirements and must have an industry-wide expectation of ongoing investment in this area. MGAs and PAs could end up spending a lot of capital building out analytics infrastructure that has already been built and is maintained by a TPA partner.

J: TPA’s are often asked to provide a competitive advantage that will benefit their partners’ products and services in the marketplace. This includes cutting-edge decision-support tools at the desk level, such as mobile apps and RMIS reporting, that increase capabilities, enhance the policyholder experience, and drive superior outcomes. TPAs are 100% focused on claims management and their clients, thus their investments are concentrated on elevating their offering vs. being allocated to different business segments or internal functions.

It’s no news that the ever-changing marketplace is now more competitive than ever. For MGAs and PAs to differentiate themselves in the Carrier landscape, they need to start the year strong with effective strategies in place. What are some key tactics MGAs and PAs can use to stand out from the competition?

A: Having a clear marketing plan is very important. Tell the industry what you are doing that differentiates your program from everyone else’s and show them what you are doing. Social media is important to advertise your program (LinkedIn, Twitter, email marketing, industry newsfeeds, etc.). It is not enough to simply have a website and an occasional print ad. If an MGA/PA is marketing well, I should be able to know off-hand what types of programs they offer and what their edge is over competitors.

J: Dove-tailing off Amy’s comments regarding a strategic marketing plan, it takes experienced professionals to execute and bring an effective plan to life. Capable people and teams that deliver on their promises are at a premium these days, and those who have retained and recruited industry Centers of Influence are in a good position to grow. Additionally, there have been several sizeable personnel moves over the last many months, in particular, individuals leaving Carriers for MGA/PAs. I anticipate that the organizations that have invested in acquiring top talent will fare well over the next 12 months. 

Take a look back at the resources and tools we shared last year to help set you up for success in 2023:

Looking for more resources to start the year strong? Visit Strategic Growth for MGAs and PAs to help you overcome business challenges and achieve superior outcomes.

Amy O'Brien

Vice President - Carrier Practice Sales

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