J. Bruce Cochrane, President of Renaissance Alliance, was honored as the 2018 Insurance Professional of the Year Award
It was another sell-out crowd this year for the annual Insurance Professional of the Year Awards Luncheon. The Luncheon, which took place on Friday, October 5th, 2018 saw nearly 500 members of the Massachusetts insurance industry come out to toast the recipient of the 17th Annual Insurance Professional of the Year Winner.
Held in the Imperial Ballroom at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, this year’s luncheon honored J. Bruce Cochrane, President of Renaissance Alliance.
In commenting on this year’s event, Erin Cummings, President of the Board of Trustees of the Insurance Library Association of Boston said,
“The Library extends a big thank you to our industry partners who once again showed up in solidarity to celebrate Bruce’s tremendous contributions.”
Established in 2002 by the Richard Simches Fund, the Insurance Professional of the Year Award is presented each year by The Insurance Library Association of Boston to “…a person who demonstrates leadership and exemplifies those qualities that engender understanding of and respect for the insurance industry.” The selection process is conducted by a cross-section of the insurance industry and as such carries with it that added significance.
The Awards Ceremony
The day began with a cocktail hour and silent auction giving everyone a chance to hobnob and catch up with colleagues old and new from both agencies and insurance carriers alike.
According to the Insurance Library, this year saw the largest number of silent auction donations of any year as well as record returns on the silent auction items.
As for those in attendance to honor Mr. Cochrane, they included last year’s honoree Mr. Timothy Hegarty along with other past IPYA winners including Charles Brophy, President, and CEO of Hub International of New England, who was the 2016 IPYA Award Winner, the 2015 IPYA Award Winner John Myers, Chairman of Associated Industries of
Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Companies (A.I.M. Mutual). Also in attendance was the 2014 IPYA Award winner and former MAIA President & CEO Francis A. Mancini, the 2013 winner and Vice Chairman of Arbella, Francis X. Bellotti, and Eastern Insurance’s President and CEO, Hope A. Aldrich, 2012 Insurance Professional of the Year Award Winner.
Apart from the former IPYA winners, attendees included Patrick McDonald, MAPFRE’s Northeast Region CEO, John Donohue, President & CEO of Arbella and Ely Kaplansky, of Kaplansky Insurance to name a few.
A biography of this year’s winner
While many in the Massachusetts insurance industry know Mr. Cochrane well, the following is his official biography provided courtesy of the Insurance Library Association:
Bruce Cochrane is President of Renaissance Group, one of the fastest growing insurance organizations in New England. His career has been marked by innovation, creativity, business success, and service to the agent and insurance industry community.
Bruce has successfully pioneered several insurance innovations, including some of the first group property/liability programs in New England, risk funding alternatives including group captives, rent-a-captives, self-insured groups and a break-through collaboration model for local independent agencies.
Before launching Renaissance Group, for nearly two decades, Bruce served as the principal of Cochrane and Porter Insurance Agency, Inc, a highly successful independent agency founded by his father in the 1950s. Today, the agency continues as one of the member companies in Renaissance Group.
In the late 1980s, he pioneered workers’ compensation group self-insurance in Massachusetts and formed and managed a successful self-insurance group (SIG) for Massachusetts union contractors. In 1991 he was instrumental in the passage of the landmark Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 1991, which served as a nationwide model for workers’ compensation reform. He also assisted the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance in the establishment of SIG regulations.
Bruce created The Renaissance Plan in 1994, a fully insured workers’ compensation program serving more than 300 sub-brokers with $30 million in written premium throughout New England. In 1996 he formed and served as President of Minuteman Insurance Company, LTD, a Bermuda based reinsurer to the Renaissance Plan owned by 30 New England independent agents.
In 1999, he launched Renaissance Alliance, a major agency aggregation venture to revolutionize and enhance the manner in which the independent agency system typically conducts business. Today, Renaissance Alliance consists of more than 90 agencies writing more than $600 million in premium. The Renaissance Alliance business model is a one-of-its-kind organization nationwide.
Bruce is past President of the Boston Board of Fire Underwriters and past President of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, having served on its board for 12 years. He served on the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Fraud Bureau for ten years, the Massachusetts Workers Compensation Advisory Council for 14 years, and the Governing Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts for 28 years, including five terms as Chairman.
Bruce is a graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst and holds the professional designation of Certified Insurance Counselor.
For those interested in learning more about Mr. Cochrane as well as the Renaissance Alliance, please refer to our May 2018 Agency Interview with Mr. Cochrane entitled, “Renaissance Man: Renaissance Alliance’s Bruce Cochrane & His Career In the Massachusetts Insurance Industry.”
View a slideshow of this year’s event
Thanks to the Insurance Library and its photographer Robert Castagna for once again providing us with such great photos for a recap of this year’s event. Enjoy!