This year’s Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference will be sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of ACG on April 6, 2017. This special event brings together C-level executives and other senior business leaders, investors and service providers from across the east coast to network, discuss business best practices, and share lessons learned about how to improve and grow their enterprises.
In anticipation of this exciting annual event, Corporate Growth, Capital Style will be publishing a series of interviews with the speakers, attendees and organizers of the conference. In our first of these Q&A interviews, we sat down with Marc Marlin, a Co-Founder and Managing Director at investment bank, KippsDeSanto. In the next article in our series, we sit down with Ryan Duffy, a Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference organizer that is also a Vice President and Producer at Lockton Companies.
Lockton is the world’s largest privately owned, independent insurance brokerage firm. In his work for Lockton, Mr. Duffy is responsible for the ongoing stewardship of new and existing clients across the technology, government contracting, financial institution, and real estate industries.
During our discussion, Mr. Duffy discussed the recent change in presidential administrations and how that change is impacting businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region. He also discussed some of the unique technology challenges facing companies today, and why executives in this region should attend the upcoming conference. Here is what he had to say:
Corporate Growth, Capital Style (CGCS): This year – 2017 – has already been eventful, and it’s only February. We have a new President and administration that is making sweeping changes. Have any of these changes directly impacted business at Lockton Companies? How so?
Mr. Duffy: Lockton continues to focus on providing clarity and support to our clients as new changes come their way. As Congress and President Trump continue their efforts toward repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Lockton remains committed to ensuring our clients and their employees continue to enjoy the tax and other valuable advantages of their employer-sponsored group health insurance plans. Employer-based group insurance covers more than half of all Americans and it is important to do no harm.
Additionally, employer healthcare cost continues to increase at an unsustainable level. There is more increased interest around data that will help identify key cost drivers in an employer’s plan and ways to address them. There is also a heightened awareness of the effect specialty drugs have (and will continue to have) on cost increases.
We continue to work with employers to identify creative strategies to engage employees as they use their healthcare dollars. As consumer-driven healthcare plans have become commonplace in the market, employers are looking at pricing transparency tools, telemedicine, and population health management tools to help employees get and stay healthy.
CGCS: What predictions or expectations do you have for businesses within the National Capital region in 2017 and beyond?
Mr. Duffy: Continued M&A activity and the potential return of a vibrant IPO market, will certainly impact the National Capital region in 2017. From a risk management standpoint: due diligence efforts, transactional risk solutions- such as Representations & Warranty Insurance, along with board level strategy/consulting to address Directors & Officers Liability and Cyber Liability are key issues we assisting our clients with.
CGCS: What major trends do you see impacting technology and government contracting markets? How will they be impacted?
Mr. Duffy: Businesses are experiencing cyber-attacks that impact their operations and their customers, this is especially true in the National Capital Region. Cybersecurity is no longer an issue for just the Information Technology department: it has become one of governance. Prevention is very difficult. It is important to build resilience across the organization because it isn’t a matter of if you get hit, but a matter of when.
Many companies misinterpret cyber as a risk that only involves handling an individuals’ personal information. While this is a big risk, theft of a company’s intellectual property and cyber espionage are key examples of cyber risk unrelated to personal information.
What’s even more important is to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology. Our Cyber Risk Practice Group is working on solving pressing cyber risk issues for companies.
CGCS: We’re rapidly approaching the annual Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference. In your experience, what are the biggest benefits to attendance at the MAGC? Who should try to attend the MAGC, and what will they get out of attendance?
Mr. Duffy: This year’s conference features a wide range of experienced executives and market leaders. For the C-suite and senior level finance and legal executives, this is a chance to hear from your peers about what their experience has been over the past year, and what they see coming around the corner. If M&A, funding or Capital markets are part of a company’s vision- this will be a must attend conference.