Construction Insurance Shake-Up: Aon executives took staff and business with them to Alliant

According to ENR, when Peter Arkley and Michael Cusack left Aon, they took more than their personal belongings with them to California-base Alliant. Court documents show that within 72 hours of leaving Aon, around 50 employees followed. A number of clients followed as well. Cases are pending in three states.

Even in an industry wracked by recesson, smaller margins and fewer good clients, insurers battle for talent that brings in business from top construction-insurance and surety-brokerage accounts. In good times or bad, individual brokers or producers cultivate close relations with contractors and wield considerable market power even when employed by large brand-name brokerage firms. And if a company wants to build up fast a construction insurance unit there’s no faster way than to buy a company or bring over the rainmakers from an established competitor.

At the center of the current legal storm are two former Aon executives: Cusack, a managing director and longtime construction insurance expert, and Arkley, who since 2006 served as president and chief executive of Aon Construction Services Group and, prior to that, as a managing principal of Aon Risk Services Inc. Both had been with Aon 18 years.