Founder, President of Renaissance Alliance Bruce Cochrane recognized for innovation, pushing the industry forward
J. Bruce Cochrane, founder and President of Renaissance Alliance, the region’s premier network of independent agencies, insurers and service providers, was named to the “Hot 100” for 2015 by Insurance Business America. Cochrane is one of only 9 New-England based insurance executives named to the list.
Mike Shipley, CEO of Insurance Business America, stated that the purpose of the list is “to shine the spotlight on the biggest, most influential insurance figures and influencers” and to highlight “the faces pushing the industry forward.” The prestigious annual list of power players is nominated by peers and then selected by IBA’s editorial board, which looks for the innovators “making waves in the insurance industry.”
Cochrane was recognized for founding and leading:
“…one of the fastest-growing networks in the country. Cochrane launched Renaissance Alliance in 1999. Today, the company consists of more than 90 agencies writing more than $465 million in premium. And Renaissance Alliance isn’t the only insurance innovation Cochrane has pioneered: He also built some of the first group property/liability programs in New England, as well as risk funding alternatives that include group captives, rent-a-captives and self-insured groups.”
On being notified, Bruce said he was honored and humbled to be included in such a distinguished list. “It’s an insurance professional’s dream to be included in a roster with the CEO of Lloyds of London, the President of NAIC, and the CEOs of Berkshire Hathaway, Chubb, Hanover, AIG and Hub International, to cite just a few of my fellow honorees. I’m very proud to represent the independent agency sector!”
Bruce said he shares the honor with the hundreds of Renaissance Alliance agency principals, producers and staff, insurer representatives and service partners who continue to collaborate, innovate, and reinvent the independent agency system, all with a purpose of delivering superlative service to tens of thousands of personal and commercial insurance customers throughout New England.
The distinguished career of an insurance industry pacesetter
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.
Prior to 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 $25 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 $465 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 (MAIA), having served on its board for 12 years. MAIA awarded him its most prestigious honor by naming him “Pacesetter of the Year” in 2006. He served on the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Fraud Bureau for 10 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 22 years, including four terms as Chairman.
Bruce is a graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst and holds the professional designation of Certified Insurance Counselor.