Executive VP on his path to the top in insurance

Executive VP on his path to the top in insurance


Executive VP on his path to the top in insurance | Insurance Business America

“Work harder, work smarter, get ahead of it”

Insurance News


James Rozzi’s initial aspiration was to be an investment banker, but what sold him on a career in insurance was the opportunity to build authentic relationships while also selling. 

Rozzi (pictured), area executive vice president at Risk Placement Services (RPS), described his start at the Duffy Insurance Agency in Massachusetts as hands-on, involving direct interactions with customers and cold calls.

“I ran around to every auto dealership in town, told them to send every new customer my way,” Rozzi recalled. His next insurance career steps led him to AIG’s accelerated underwriter program and subsequently to Cooper Gay Risk Services.

Rozzi’s journey to RPS marked a significant shift in his career. There, he specializes in large, catastrophic-driven property insurance, focusing on hospitality, habitational risk, and national accounts. The challenges of the past few years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, tested Rozzi’s adaptability, but not enough to make him question the decision to go into insurance.

The insurance market, according to Rozzi, underwent significant shifts with years of soft market cycles followed by double-digit rate increases.

His strategy? “Work harder, work smarter, get ahead of it,” he said. “Insurance is mostly about communication.”

Further than that, Rozzi emphasized the critical nature of managing client expectations in insurance.

“Nobody likes surprises…if the expectations are being met and set in advance, everyone is on the same page,” he explained.

Rozzi also touched on the challenges in the market, like surprises in renewals and capacity shortages. Yet, he remains confident in his and his team’s ability to manage these effectively.

“Most folks that work with myself or my team walk away…knowing no stone was left unturned,” Rozzi added.

Discussing the broader market, Rozzi noted the impact of rate increases and changing investment trends on insurance, particularly in the development and real estate sectors. Despite these challenges, Rozzi sees opportunities in the market dynamics.

“Real estate is challenging right now but if you have some capital standing by, it’s a bit of a buyer’s market,” he said, pointing out the potential for strategic investments for various clients. 

And, at RPS, Rozzi started with a two-person team in 2010, growing it to 20 members. He takes pride in this growth and particularly in the development he provides.

“I get excited about mentoring…to grow their careers, maximize their potential,” Rozzi added. “If you get everybody you know moving in the right direction on your team, it becomes a bit of a freight train. Get people all working on moving the train in the right direction and good things will happen. Keeping the train on the tracks – that’s my job.”

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