Nationwide Acclaim for “Spreading the Risks”

2006 IMCA Golden Torch Award
2004 Risk Management Book of the Year
2003 Washington Book Publishers’ Award

“This overview engages the reader in a remarkable epic struggle. Filled with personal narratives and anecdotes of heroes and villains, Spreading the Risks, reveals the sometimes fragile financial defense system created by an industry striving to protect millions of individuals. Every American should know this story.”

–Emory Elliott, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Ideas and Society, University of California

“With telling detail, the authors explain how the concept of risk has evolved in the 20th century from the initial need to protect property from fire and weather-related losses through the industrial revolution to the current computer-driven age…will be of great interest to agents and brokers as well as to insurance company executives.”

–Meg Fletcher, Business Insurance

“Beautifully rendered, researched and annotated…the most complete account to date of the history of insurance brokerage in America and places that history into proper context…[its] contemporary insights and views of the future are solid…an excellent book.”

–Hugh Stewart, GARP Risk Review, Global Association of Risk Professionals

One of “the top ten risk management books” of 2004. It “draws on vast experience to explore the role of major 20th century insurance brokers. We hear so much these days about the evils of contingent commissions and broker consolidations that historical perspective is useful. The authors offer valuable insights…an astute chronicle.”

–Kevin Quinley, Claims

“The word that comes to mind when describing the volume is ‘classy’…This history of insurance is treated from ancient days through the modern era, with particular attention to the brokerage system…A cogent discussion of the long- developing problems at Lloyd’s and the efforts made to reestablish it as a viable market flows smoothly…Not only is the book an excellent read, it will serve…as a reference source.”

–Jean E. Lucey, CLEWS, CPCU Society

“A complete account of how the insurance agency and brokerage business evolved through disasters and economic transformations into the 21st century.”

–Dennis Pillsbury, Rough Notes

Spreading the Risks…results from a 13-year research & writing effort…provides an overview of the commercial insurance business from Colonial times to the modern era.”

–Barbara Bowers, Associate Editor, Best Week

“How fascinating is this exhaustive story of American insurance, from the very beginning, the colonial period to the present. This book invites us to better understand the American insurance industry’s expansion, evolved as a counterpoint to major American social and economic events.”

–Rémi Moreau, Editor-in-chief, Assurances et Gestion des Risques, (Montréal)

Spreading the Risks: Insuring the American Experience provides an overview of the formation and growth of Alexander & Alexander, against the backdrop of the nation’s rapidly evolving commercial insurance industry. This history draws largely on a variety of primary sources-company archives, personal recollections, and extensive research on the development of the commercial insurance marketplace. While the book reflects the writer’s view and may be controversial, it provides a wealth of information about the evolution of the U. S. insurance brokerage business. Spreading the Risks enables readers to better appreciate the vital and indispensable role brokers play in managing and financing risks faced by American businesses.”

–Dr. Ellen Thrower, Executive Director and Professor, School of Risk Management, St. John’s University

“Unique in the annals of insurance histories because of its perspective…The book does not attempt to paint the business nor the brokerage firms in glowing terms although it is clearly laudatory about the great accomplishments…[It] provides details of the low points, including the ‘chaotic seventies’ the rash of mergers and ‘chicanery and conflict’…There are also significant observations about Lloyd’s and its periods of crises. This is a magnificently crafted history, written so well that it is even easy for non-insurance readers to follow.”

–Emanuel Levy, Editor, Insurance Advocate

“An account of the history and development of commercial property and casualty insurance in America…relates history to today’s insurance professionals.”

–Risk Management

“Rich with detail, cross references and personalities…will prove fascinating to historians who have long sought a definitive timeline of how our industry evolved.”

–Independant Agent

“A long overdue account, which provides numerous examples of brokers’ creative responses to their clients’ needs…offers valuable lessons for insurance and business professionals, professors, students, and the general reader…a must-read.”

–Ken A. Crerar, President, The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers

“A comprehensive [view]… which spans the marketplace starting with ancient Greek and Roman civilizations…to Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House in the late 1600s…to the 21st century with…the terrorist attacks of 9/11…leaves no stone unturned in documenting the cyclical industry.”

–Cynthia Beisiegel, Insurance Journal

“Traces the origins and growth of insurance, from the Code of Hammurabi to the recent tribulations of Lloyd’s of London, from the Great New York Fire of 1835 to the World Trade Center disaster in 2001…[its] investigation into how the insurance industry has evolved in response to natural and manmade disasters makes for compelling reading.”

–Steven Sullivan, Editor, Contingencies, American Academy of Actuaries

“Built on exhaustive research-rich in detail-the book provides unique insight into the origins and dramatic evolution of the nation’s risk management industry.”

–John T. Hompe, Managing Director, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc.

Spreading the Risks “offers a landmark account of the insurance industry’s pivotal role in American business development.”

–CPCU News

Spreading the Risks makes the insurance business come alive and helped me see how it fits into our country’s history.”

–D. G. Martin, “North Carolina Bookwatch,” UNC-TV

“A landmark history…an inside look at how the U.S. property/casualty sector has grown from humble beginnings…Spreading the Risks chronicles the American insurance industry’s progress, from colonial times until today, against a changing backdrop of social, political and economic imperatives…a canny mix of crisp writing and short sidebars, with well chosen illustrations…a readable window into the past.”

—Roger Crombie, The Mid-Ocean News (Bermuda)

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