Agency Profile: A Perfect Union

Pavese-McCormick Agency, Inc.

Monmouth Junction,
New Jersey
Founded: 1977
Employees: 18

In the early 1930s, Vincent J. Pavese and D. Carl McCormick founded eponymous agencies in New Jersey. In 1977, their sons merged the Perth Amboy and New Brunswick firms, and today, their grandsons are third-generation owners and operators.

Those grandsons, Ray Pavese and Michael McCormick, decided to build upon their fathers’ belief that joining forces makes for stronger businesses. In 2009, they united with two other independent agency principals to pool resources. Today, Agency Network Exchange has grown to encompass more than 50 member agencies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Client referrals bring in most new business at Pavese-McCormick. With three producers, the agency projects 2016 revenues at $2.7 million. Commercial lines dominate the business mix at 75%.

MICHAEL MCCORMICK, PRESIDENT, PAVESE-MCCORMICK
CHAIRMAN, AGENCY NETWORK EXCHANGE FINANCE COMMITTEE

Our strategic affiliation with Agency Network Exchange allows us to focus on growing our agency organically. Agency Network Exchange gives our agency the scale of a much larger agency, as well as greater influence with our carriers. Agencies of similar size cannot compete with us on market access. That expanded access allows us to write and retain more business. We simply have more quality choices for our clients as risks and market conditions change.

From top to bottom, our entire agency is client-focused. Every team member plays a role and understands how they contribute to the client experience and overall success of the agency. In addition to annual client-specific account reviews, we also fully engage in various trade associations to stay current on the challenges facing those clients.

RAYMOND PAVESE, VICE PRESIDENT, PAVESE-MCCORMICK
CHAIRMAN, AGENCY NETWORK EXCHANGE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

My business card states “by referral only,” because I believe in developing strong centers of influence and networking. A strong referral from a center of influence or networking associate immediately sets you apart—and sets the stage. LinkedIn is a highly beneficial tool when building centers of influence, but one must also be able and willing to reciprocate and, more important, be “the go-giver.” Our focus is on building our team of producers. It’s a big investment made easier because of our affiliation with Agency Network Exchange.

We work with MarshBerry through ANE to recruit, train and retain successful producers. Once our agents get past gatekeepers and reach decision makers, we find their biggest challenge is balancing their current pipelines. It is a learned skill that requires discipline. Successful producers realize that regardless of how full their pipeline is and how many accounts are in the quoting and closing phase, they have to be focused and set time aside to bring new opportunities in the top of the funnel.

Our successful producers also realize they need to trade down existing low-income generating accounts to agency service staff in order to free up their time to write larger revenue accounts, hence substantially increasing their personal income. The concept is counterintuitive initially, but it works.   

JOHN K. TIENE, CEO, AGENCY NETWORK EXCHANGE

Agency Network Exchange emerged when Pavese-McCormick and other agencies united to solve the looming problem of higher carrier demands and an increasingly competitive market. Their combined heft wins them better deals and allows them to compete with larger conglomerates while retaining independence. The distribution system is seeing its greatest change in a half a century—possibly ever. We are a big part of that change and will help agents leverage that to their significant advantage. We plan to expand Agency Network Exchange from Massachusetts to Virginia. 

Member agencies pool premiums into a master contract with a carrier company, allowing them to receive higher commission rates. Members can access ANE’s profit-sharing programs and receive protection from low profit-sharing performance years while increasing their profit share with the scale of their agency. Members also can access consultative support on a variety of fronts, including business and production planning, development of carrier relationships, additional standard markets, production incentives and utilization of ANE’s partnership with Vertafore.