When Captive Resources was established over 35 years ago, the company’s founders sought to answer a simple question: how could they reinvent commercial insurance to benefit policyholders rather than insurers?
Businesses that relied on commercial insurance programs were – and still are – plagued with challenges such as a lack of control over premiums and little emphasis on reducing the cost of risk.
Captive Resources, which obtained the Ranking #1 among midsize employers on Tribune’s 2022 list Best Workplaces, as measured by consulting firm Energage in Exton, Pennsylvania, decided to try a new approach. It has developed a member-owned captive group model that allows companies to become stakeholders in their own insurance company. For captive group members, the result is better control over insurance coverage, premiums based on actual loss experience, a safer workplace, and the opportunity to earn dividends for better loss performance. provided that.
“As a general rule, when buying traditional commercial insurance, the cost is often guaranteed, which means that whatever my losses are and the company (who) pays for them, I have no chance of recovering. silver – no investment income on silver, Captive Resources CEO Nick Hentges said, “We take the opposite approach.”
“We allow the people who participate, the insurance buyers, to participate in the risk, and most of their losses are lower than expected,” Hentges said.
Through effective risk control programs, Captive Resources provides group members with purpose and direction. Professional consultants partner with the member and Captive Resources. Services include an assessment of industry best practices in risk control, an action plan to prevent and control losses, hazard investigations, training, and more.
Along with Mike Foley, Co-CEO and President, Hentges is responsible for the Itasca-based company’s overall representation to its customers and shares direct responsibility for the company’s strategic planning and day-to-day operations – including production, marketing and marketing. administration, risk control, claims, human resources, finance, legal, information services and travel.
Captive Resources owns and occupies a six-story building, but the pandemic has put flexible working arrangements, especially working from home, in the spotlight. “We have a nice place where everyone can work, and then COVID hit, and we immediately went to work remotely or work from home,” Hentges said. “We went back to two days a week in the office and three days a week working from home. If people want to work more from the office, they can. We don’t limit anyone’s time in the office.
The company requires employees to be in the office on Mondays for team meetings and in-person interactions.
“We allow them to pick another day when they’re in the office,” Hentges said. “We are trying to make this second day a consistent day so we can know when people are coming and going to help schedule additional in-person meetings if needed. But there is also some flexibility to this.
He added: “This routine seems to be working really well for our people, and we just haven’t seen any slowdown in service to our customers or in the performance of our colleagues. So we’re pretty happy with it. We are able to attract very good people who want to spend more time at home, but we are also able to retain our culture. We think it’s important for people to see each other, get to know each other and make those connections as well.
Human Resources Director Rose Frieri said Captive Resources fosters an open and transparent culture. “We keep our colleagues informed about our overall company performance and important initiatives, and we openly ask for opinions, ideas and concerns,” she said. “We recognize new ideas and always respond in a timely manner.”
Frieri explained that the company’s business model requires candid and ongoing communication to help ensure the highest level of service to customers. “We believe we owe the same frequent and open communication to our colleagues,” she said. “It starts in the interview process, and all colleagues are continuously encouraged to express their opinions and especially their ideas.”
Sandra Springer, senior vice president of marketing, added, “It’s our collective intellect that helps distinguish Captive Resources as the leader in group captives. That said, we have created and nurtured a culture that embraces this fundamental principle of openness and communication. And once new colleagues are immersed in that culture, they feel comfortable talking about it.
Attracting, retaining and motivating top talent starts with providing great compensation, exceptional benefits and flexibility to attract, reward and motivate colleagues.
“We also think recognition is key,” Frieri said. “We let our colleagues know how important they are to the success of our customers and our business, and that they are truly appreciated. Each colleague knows that he is a very important member of our team and therefore feels personally connected, not only to the company, but also to each other.
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She emphasized that the company strives to provide fair compensation, noting that employee compensation is fair and above average. “We evaluate regularly to ensure our increases meet or exceed the industry,” Frieri said. “We have many positions that include incentive compensation and in recent years we have offered many bonus opportunities to our colleagues to share in our success.”
Captive Resources regularly sponsors charities and participates in initiatives such as an annual food drive to benefit the Itasca Community Food Pantry, to help those at risk of hunger. The company participates in area blood drives to help others when they need it most.
He also supports the Grabowski Scramble Golf Tournament, an annual event that helps fund innovative research in the fight against brain cancer.
Colleagues have teamed up on several occasions to help the non-profit organization Feed My Starving Children, providing around 50,000 nutritious meals to children around the world. Captive Resources was also part of the Unified Illinois Across America Relay for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Other charitable activities include making fleece blankets and collecting donations for care packages donated to cancer patients by Phil’s friends, and raising over $100,000 for the Northern Food Bank from Illinois to help those struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Colleagues also donated 125 pounds of candy to Operation Gratitude for distribution to deployed troops, local military units, veterans and first responders.
Brenda Richardson is a freelance writer.