Diana Twadell, Principal, Small Business Division, Barney & Barney, LLC
What is your position at Barney & Barney, LLC?
I lead Barney & Barney’s Small Business Division (SBD). While Barney & Barney is recognized as one of the leading insurance brokers in California. I often find that there is a perception that we cater only to large businesses. However, we currently provide service to over 3,000 small businesses in Southern California alone. Because our clients are small business owners who typically wear many hats – Sales, Finance, HR, Payroll, etc. –we saw a need for a more “user-friendly” insurance model that integrates both a client’s property and casualty needs with its employee benefits needs. We created the Small Business Division to provide that “one-stop” insurance solution for small business owners. My job is to get the word out that Barney & Barney loves small business!
What is your background?
I have been in the insurance field for over 25 years, getting my start as an administrative assistant for a small local brokerage when I was in college. Over the years, I have worked for a large life insurance company, a securities broker-dealer and even worked in the bond department of a local commercial insurance company. I joined Barney & Barney in 1997 in an entry level position in the Benefits Department. Over the next ten years, I progressed into Account Management and Sales and was invited to join the ownership group in 2007.
What sets your company apart from others in its industry?
Privately Owned and Independent: I am one of 37 Principals here at Barney & Barney. We are active in daily operations and committed to maintaining steady, organic growth. Remaining private allows us to be accountable only to our clients, not stockholders or a distant corporate headquarters. It also allows clients direct access to our owners, assuring client focus and relationship stability.
Specialization and Expertise: To provide our clients with the most accurate coverage for their needs, we dedicate industry teams to various market sectors. Team members leverage their knowledge and experience to create customized benefit and risk management programs.
These areas of expertise include:
- Small Business
- Community Associations
- Construction/Real Estate
- Health & Fitness
- Life Sciences
- Non Profit/Public Entities
Resources: Our in-house legal team, actuarial team, wellness team, Risk & Loss Advisors and Compensation Consulting practice enable us to provide comprehensive expert insurance solutions for our clients.
What challenges is your industry facing right now?
That one is easy – it’s Health Care Reform. When President Obama signed the Health Care Reform Bill into law on March 23, 2010, the new law outlined where the Administration wanted health care to go, but didn’t contain all of the details on how to get there. The result has been a constantly changing health insurance environment that must shift as the government issues guidance on how to comply with the new law. The broker’s role as “trusted advisor” has now expanded to include “compliance expert”. Because non-compliance with new guidelines can actually result in fines to the employer, our clients depend on us more than ever to provide them with the guidance they need to navigate this new healthcare landscape.