I am a long time MCY agent and have been told that Rick Mccatheron left and some other key employees with him. I have been told by most of the employees that I know that he was the future, a young talented insurance exec. with a ton of underwriting and institutional knowledge. I know many CA agents that feel the same way. He seemed to be one of the few leaders in the Company. How could this happen, first Fitzpatrick now Mccatheron. Do they know something that we do not? I am going to find out where he went and buy stock in that company!
I represent Mercury in three states and he always tried to help me. He is a complete straight shooter. I remember the first time I heard him speak at the annual luncheon (10 years ago) I thought who is this kid, and then he blew away the agents (including me). I am just surprised he wasn't swallowed up by a national carrier years ago. This guy is going to lead insurance companies for another 30 years. Does anybody know where he went?
I understand that most of these people were from IT and that is not the strong part of this company. No-one has left from underwriting which is what has given Mercury a competitive edge for over 40 years.
The sky is not falling.
I think a seasoned underwriting manager went too. Brandt was the next marketing head, the call center manager also left and let us not forget that Rick was responsible for Mercury's underwriting standardization nationally in addition to his West VP role. In fact I think his core competency is underwriting.
I agree that Mercury has been very successful over the last 40 years; it is the next 40 that I worry about!
I don't mean to imply that the sky is falling at all. A company with thousands of employees can lose 10 or 15 and survive just fine. Having said that, there are some valuable people who have left, and their skills and business knowledge will take time to replace. It is clearly a bump in the road.
As for underwriting, as OC suggested, Rick managed underwriting branches prior to taking over as head of the Western Region. What is probably unclear is whether all of the people that are going with Rick have resigned. There may be more leaving. Also, keep in mind that Superior Access is basically a general agency. At this point, they may have very little need for underwriting talent. They are not the primary carrier, after all.
The question that I would be curious about, as an investor, is whether or not the stream of departing leaders is going to dry up or expand to a torrent. I expect it will dry up.
Stephanie did go with Rick. But careful with your assumptions...Rick was greedy and did not want to wait or be under Gabe Tirador's Leadership. George Joseph knows Gabe can handle it. Rick was a up and coming Exec. but was impatient.
Fitzpatrick had a golden parachute and did not want to go with the MCY plan. Hell, the company is now a mid-cap rating indicator and has been one of the only profitable insurance companies when the chips were down. I think GJ knows what he is doing, except with J. Sutton. That is one guy you gotta watch like a hawk.
BTW, If Rick is such a find, why Superior Access? There were a quite a few opportunities out there when he left and he took the easiest of the ones out there.
Wooo there OC...I think you are mistaken. Rick was assigned the task, he did not just take it upon himself. Not only was the real force Janet Norris, but she is quitely becoming the one to take Ken Kitz's place. She is a sharp lady and knows the MCY style.
Brandt was looking for $ and saw a place to make a name for himself quickly. Oh, and there was no way in hell he was next in line for Rich Wolack's job.
As for the call center head leaving...not a huge loss. The complaints were cut in half after the departing and now it is just an issue of consistant training and personal in TX.
Your opinions are interesting, but the insider facts are clear to those in the know...
Let me get this straight. Rick leaves and a marketing rep leaves. Now the company is in trouble and the sky is falling? The agent force is as strong as ever and only the old codgers that sit around and remember to good old days are the ones who are "quite disillusioned."
I have to admit, the marketing dept does have a crappy idea of what the branding method should be and the ad campain sucks. Fix that and you would see a big change in income.