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Mercury General Corporation Message Board

  • autoinsuranceagent autoinsuranceagent Aug 9, 2007 1:24 PM Flag

    Mercury talent gone

    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!

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    • Interesting.....Rick is no longer with Superior Access and they look like they are going to fold.

    • Wow you must really be an insider!

      Rick greedy? Do you even know the guy? I was told that he left for less money, not more. Doesn't sound greedy to me! As for impatient, every good exec that I know is. The successful ones have a since of urgency and want things to move forward. Why did he leave? Is it possible that he wanted to broaden his experience on the brokerage side, or possibly private equity experience, or gain an insight as to what other carriers are doing? Sup Access represents some 60 carriers so I suspect he is learning a lot more at Sup Access than he would ever learn at MCY. Or is it possible that he and Gabe are similar in age and thought that his long-term prospects are better elsewhere? Rick told me that he left to turn Sup Access around and to build something great.

      I have spoken to many of the people that served under him and they all say that he has not bad mouthed MCY at all; in fact they all said that he and Gabe had a good relationship and he is pro Mercury.

      What about those that went with him? Those that did and even those that did not all say he is an excellent leader and people want to work with him. I think that is why some 20 people went with him to Sup Access, not just the two that you addressed. As far as the marketing guy going back, I was told by him directly that it was not a good fit; he is a carrier guy and not a small company guy. He too has nothing but great things to say about Sup Access and Rick.

      I represent MCY and have for years and he was one of the good guys there, reliable, dependable and visionary. I like Janet Norris, nice lady, but the next UW VP? Let's not get ahead of ourselves! Maybe she can develop into that role.

      I appreciate your insight, but based on all that I have heard, and other postings on this board, I think you have missed the mark on Rick and his departure.

    • By the way, the marketing rep, Brandt Minnich, is back.

    • 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.

    • 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...

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 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.

    • It is true that all of those mentioned have gone with Rick.

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