The good news: The commercial/casualty insurance industry hauled in nearly $259 billion in premium in 1995. The even better news is the formation of Sable Insurance Co., a San Francisco-based black-owned firm that will reap some of the benefits of this highly competitive market.
“If African Americans are going to compete in the economic mainstream, we’ve got to be int he financial areas of banking and insurance,” declares Aaron Richardson, president and CEO of Sable. “That’s where the money is.” Richardson is also chairman of the board and majority shareholder of the company he formed in partnership with Reliance National of New York City.
Sable will offer various types of insurance, including properly, general liability, accident, directors’ and officers’ liability and bonding. It will market to other black-owned businesses as well s public utilities and Fortune 1000 companies that are committed to doing business with minority firms.
“It’s a huge industry,” says Dennis A. Busti, president and CEO of Reliance, which will act as Sable’s reinsurer. “There’s always room for quality players. I’m sure there are lots of other Aarons out there.” The $6 million that Reliance put to seal the deal in exchange for a 49% share of the company is a testament to its confidence in Richardson, a 30-year industry veteran. Richardson, owner of his own insurance brokerage firm, put up $204,000 of his own money to launch Sable. He and Busti forecast that Sable will sell $25 million in premiums in its first year.