A San Diego independent insurance brokerage is on a growth spurt, expanding to include a broadened construction and surety division with the addition of four industry veterans to head the new business.
“Construction is at the heart of America’s economy and in San Diego, it’s booming. It made sense to go after this industry next,” said Jamie Reid, co-founder and board chairman of C3 Risk & Insurance Services.
“We’re formalizing our construction and surety divisions so we continue enhancing our capabilities to service an array of risks,” Reid said.
Based in Mission Valley with offices in Carlsbad, Orange County and Sacramento, C3 was founded four years ago by Reid and Gabe Erie with 22 employees and $3.5 million, Reid said.
It’s been a fun four years,” Reid said. “Fun is a big part of what we are.”
Since its founding, Reid said the company has grown to have a staff of 100 with revenue projected to reach $20 million by the end of 2021 and more than 5,000 clients.
“Our theory was if we could create an environment that people wanted to work with, we would grow,” Reid said. “Within the first month from when we opened, people just started calling, ‘This is what we want to be part of.’”
Among other things, C3 offers employees flexible work hours.
“They can move their hours around and make work fit around their lives,” Reid said.
Reid said his goal is for C3 to reach an annual revenue of $50 million, which he said could make the company the largest independent insurance brokerage in California.
“I want to create something that can be a legacy, that stands the test of time in San Diego,” Reid said, adding that there’s been a trend for independent insurance brokerages to be acquired by national firms.
“Over the past decade, probably 30 or 40 acquisitions have happened of locally held, private brokerages,” Reid said.
He said he intends for C3 to remain privately held and “is here for the long haul.”
The company’s goals include “disrupting the insurance industry,” according to Reid, by developing presentations to insurance underwriters aimed at lowering premium costs.
The company produces video commercials that explain a client’s business.
“When they can open a video and hear directly from the owners of a company who they are, what they do to control risks. It impacts their decision making on price,” Reid said. “We’ve seen it impact insurance premiums as much as 30% or 40%, which is a lot for our market segment.”
Heading the construction insurance division as managing director is Paul Heideman, with a background of more than 25 years in the insurance brokerage business including risk management and brokerage services for medium and large construction companies, environmental and remediation contractors, homebuilders and developers.
Heideman was principal and construction practice leader with Barney and Barney and is a former senior vice president of John Burnham Insurance Services, Inc.
Rick Hallett joined C3 as director of surety. Hallett is responsible of managing C3’s contract and commercial surety practice.
With a career spanning more than 25 years, Hallett has underwritten and managed surety programs of more than $750 million. He is the former director of surety with Marsh & McLennan Agency-West and executive underwriter with Arch Insurance Group.
Teri Porlas, a former client executive with Marsh & McLennan Agency-West with more than 35 years in the insurance industry, became C3’s client consultant executive.
Doug Shea is construction practice leader. He is president-elect of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of San Diego and former client executive in the construction, solar/clean air technology and real estate practice of Marsh & McLennan Agency-West.
“We’re confident with the addition of these four specialty insurance experts, this new division will not only have a different approach to the toughest insurance challenges, but also meet clients’ needs with sophisticated expertise and intimate knowledge of the industry,” Reid said.
C3 Risk & Insurance Services
Co-founders: Jamie Reid and Gabe Erie
Headquarters: Mission Valley
Business: insurance brokerage
Revenue: $20 million 2021
Notable: C3 was chosen agency of the year in 2020 by NU Property Casualty360, an insurance industry association