November 11, 2022

Toan Huynh

In this Podcast Episode, Toan Huynh talks about building and scaling companies

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Toan Huynh, Partner at Baylane Capital, joins Broker Buddha CEO Jason Keck for a conversation about she became a builder, fueled by her experience escaping the war in Vietnam.

You can also hear the interview on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcasting applications.

Find more about Toan

Jason Keck: We just wrapped up another episode of The Enlightened Agent podcast. We had a different guest today on the show, Toan Hyunh, an Angel Investor in Broker Buddha, and a board member across fintechs and the banking industry. Toan has been a great person for me to know and get to know in the industry, and she's even got a new venture of her own that she's going to talk about on the show. So with that, we'll get right into it.

Hi, welcome to another episode of The Enlightened Agent, the podcast that brings you conversations, top insurance professionals, and industry leaders. My name is Jason Keck,  and I'm joined today by Toan Hyunh. Toan, welcome to The Enlightened Agent. 

Toan Hyunh: Thanks, Jason. Happy to be here. 

JK: Thanks for coming. To kick things off, you and I have gotten to know each other pretty well through the industry community, but our listeners may not know you so well. For those that maybe haven't come across your story, can you tell everybody who Toan is and what you do? 

TH: Sure. I am a builder of companies, I like to say, by helping investing, scaling, working alongside my founder partners across the spectrum of things like go-to-market, partnerships, pricing, etc. But along that thread, I work with a team of former big co-executives to provide scale and operational support to venture-backed companies, narrowly in the B2B space and IT services. 

JK: Awesome. It sounds like you do a lot of interesting, different things. What is it you love most about what you do, or are there particular parts of those projects that you enjoy most?

TH: I'm a former founder. I have scars from having done that.

JK: Stars or scars?

TH: Scars.

JK: Hopefully, some stars as well.

TH: Yeah. I'll also say dead bodies, but those dead bodies translate into actual, executable tactics that are very helpful for the founder partners with who I work with.

I love that I can make a greater impact than just going back and being a sole founder again. I'm able to help companies grow and make a greater space for the kind of work that we all need. I'm happy that I can do that. And that's probably one of the things that I love the most about it.

JK: Nice. Building things is fun, right? It's always fun to create new things.

TH: Building scale and making it sustainable, right? Actually, my six-year-old, the other day, asked me what I did because she was really confused. And I said, 'Well, mommy helps baby companies.' And she was like, 'Oh, okay, that makes sense. I get it.'

JK: 'I get it.' That's cute. 

TH: Anything with the word baby is great for her. 

JK: Right, they understand 'baby,' for sure. I grew up very math and science-oriented and didn't really consider myself to be a creative person. Creatives, in my mind, were artists and painters and writers and things like that. It wasn't until I learned how to build software and technology that I felt like I really got to tap into a creative interest of mine, which is solving problems with technology, or frankly, solving problems with knowledge. 

It sounds like you've been down that road, both as a founder, as an advisor, and as a board member. That's an exciting thing to do - to be able to take that knowledge and share it or contribute it and then see things come out of nowhere. That's just as creative as painting or drawing a picture.

TH: Absolutely, in fact, I think it's fair to say it doesn't just use your visual senses. It uses all the senses you have: mental, visual, emotional, auditory, inner relationships, and this whole cross-disciplinary. And I think that's why, Jason, you've been so successful at Broker Buddha because you're using all of those intertwined disciplinarian points of view that have informed your prior careers. I think that's what a lot of folks who end up really excelling at a field do; that's what they use. They draw back on experiences that, somehow, weren't meaningful at the time but then come up and tie together at the end very nicely. 

JK: I'm fairly addicted to learning, too, so it was fun jumping into a new industry - out of digital media and into insurance. I thought, wow, there's a lot to understand and learn here! It's fascinating, and you get into the nooks and crannies of it to solve problems. It's super fun. 

I'm glad we have something in common on the builder front. My background, as I mentioned: I came from technology, from digital media now and insurance, everybody's career has its own unique story. I'm curious if you have any events from your career that stand out in your mind that developing entrepreneurs or builders might be able to learn from. 

TH: Yeah, I love that question. I came from a family of builders. My family was chased by wars, and I think a lot of entrepreneurial and self-starter types of individuals seem to have a similar foundation where they really had to rebuild from nothing.

We rebuilt in three different continents; by the time we got to the US, I think my family had moved five times - in this case, driven by the Vietnam war. 

In any event, it wasn't unusual, and it certainly wasn't surprising when I started to break off. I had gone into consulting and banking from an early part of my career. Then I decided at that time that technology was very interesting to me. 

I made the decision to stay in New York. I had a job offer, and this is just one inflection point, but, of course, in any career, there are all kinds of inflection points. This was in 2007, 2006 and I had an opportunity to go overseas to run product dev for a big EdTech company out of Shanghai. And I thought, wow. I'm young; I have no responsibility. I just want to go and do something really cool and bring that knowledge back one day. 

I had packed my bags, sublet my apartment in the East Village of New York City, and I had my visas - I had everything ready to go. Then I go in to resign from my current job. We were working with a boutique firm called Pirie. It was early days for SaaS and Salesforce. This was back in the day when all the banks and insurance companies were worried about the cloud and storing data anywhere else but under your desk or in a data center.

But I went to resign, and at the time, my boss said, 'Why are you going?' 

I said, 'I really want to do something different. I want to build something, and I can build something there.' 

'Why do you have to go overseas? Stay here and help me build this.' 

So that was the beginning of GlobalOne, which I started with nine people in the Philippines and me in New York City. 

Jason, I don't think I ever told you this, but that's how we started. And for the first year- 

JK: No, this is the first time I've heard this story.

TH: Yeah. For the first year, it was cloud computing, early days SaaS. This was not something that banks or insurance companies ever even thought of, but we sold dislodged Siebel - if you remember that software -

JK: Yeah, I remember it.

TH: - from Merrill Lynch, a private, ultra-high net worth division at the time. It was 25,000 seats, so it was the biggest amount of Salesforce seats you could have sold. That started my career in cloud and startup and scaling. 

I can point to that exact moment - if I had gone to China, my life would probably have been extremely different. I don't know how.

JK: There's no question. It would probably have been a very different path, right?

TH: Yeah - I wouldn't be in New York. I wouldn't be married to who I am.

JK: What was it about that opportunity? I mean, both were good opportunities, right? It sounds like by going over to China, you had a chance to build something in both places.

TH: Yeah. The one in China was a global EdTech company - the European base headquarters to build out the very first virtual classroom products at the time. We were starting to see things like Blackboard in the US, but in Asia, this wasn't a thing yet. But there was already a team in place. I would come in and report to a very senior person, and I really would have loved it. I remember they had this really cool upside-down glass office in Shanghai. 

JK: Upside-down glass office?

TH: Yeah, it was like the Marquis - the iconic conference room because it was all glass. You had to take a special staircase to go up to have a meeting in this conference room. It was right in the middle of this four-story building, and all the other offices were down below. I thought, wow, I'm going to fall. It was mind-bending.

JK: I just cut an article. In London, somebody just built a see-through pool connecting two skyscrapers. I thought, wow, that's wild! 

TH: Yes. I remember we saw it. I was like, wow, that's crazy. But you know, in Singapore they have that pool. 

New York was an opportunity to really build from scratch. It had the global team that I really wanted to work with and, in a really cutting edge way, an innovative business model that wasn't yet taking hold, which was the SaaS. Software as a Service construction. It was a decision that I made based on gut. I didn't really have any data at that point, other than my own practicing with the technology. 

JK: There was something about SaaS when it came out that just made so much sense. For those who weren't around for enterprise software days, new software installations cost a quarter of a million, half a million, million-dollar-plus for setup, and then you'd have these ongoing maintenance fees versus the SaaS model, where you came in, which was cloud-based. 

Software was 50 or 75 bucks a month that you could start with five users instead of having the RLI, which was very different. All of a sudden, it just made technology accessible, and it was so exciting. Now almost all software products are SaaS-based - you rarely get this kind of enterprise model. 

TH: It really flattened the playing field for a lot of companies. 

JK: Totally.

TH: Actually, the cost of starting up a company, as you know, is also drastically lower now because of cloud. 

JK: Wow. I feel like I'm talking to one of the founders of SaaS here all of a sudden. This is awesome. 

TH: I just helped with the adoption - let's put it that way - and that's actually real work!

JK: Yeah. That's hard to do - crossing the chasm, getting through those early days. It's non-trivial work. Good for you. Okay. So let's take the conversation in the SaaS technology direction. You've been an active insurtech/fintech investor for a while now. That's how we met.

TH: Over a decade.

JK: Okay - since the early days of SaaS. Obviously, insurtech is an area that is near and dear to my heart. What are you seeing lately? What's happened since the pandemic? Are there any trends that people should be following? You've got the inside scoop here. 

TH: Well, I have a point of view - I'm not the only one. But, I think-

JK: First of all, what stages do you feel-? I guess you see it across the board. Because you do some angel investing, but then in your board work, you're seeing things at the corporate level.

TH: Right. I have this interesting purview with my sons, which I'll talk about at the end a little bit. It's for women, home operators, bankers, lawyers, and we look at more C to A sizes. And of course, we met through-

JK: ARC Angels. 

TH: ARC Angels. I've been involved with them for seven years - a long time. On the board seat, you see all the corporate-level types of innovations that are required. With CloudSherpers, as we swam upstream, we were setting up digital offices and model offices for a big global carrier. I was in it all along the way. 

I think what's really changed in the last six to 12 months is this acceleration of the desire to digitize. And I know I'm saying it, and I know that a lot of people are going, 'Yeah, we've heard this for decades.' And you know what? It's absolutely true now. There's no more, 'Well, we can do it after we have fixed the course systems,' or 'We can do it after we get our data clean.' 

All of these embedded heritage systems that cost millions of dollars - the ROI of saying, 'Look, we've spent it, we need to actually get something out of it.' It's out the window. Now it's, 'Okay, we spent it, we made a mistake. Let's move on.' That acceleration of spend is new, which is why it's exciting to be invested in this space. 

Insurance is going to follow financial services and banking. I spent a lot of years in banking, as well as city ventures and a few other places. The banking world adopted a little bit earlier than their insurance brethren, we know that. But I believe, in the next five to seven years, insurance carriers and incumbents will have a unique opportunity to partner, to find meaningful partnerships and to get digital, and get to the speed of value a lot quicker.

This was not the case five years ago, as you know. It was always, 'Oh, you're competing with me.' Well, now it's not the case. I think that's one big thing. 

The other is unbundling and rebundling. You see this unbundling of the assurance value and now you have lots of segmentation under the insured. I think at the end of the day, the carrier or company that understands financial wellness as a whole, including insurance for the individual, for his businesses, for his health, for his family, for his state, all of that: the company that gets that will have a very good chance of dominating how the next generation thinks about financial wellness, health, insurance and banking. Sorry, I'm pulling it all together. 

JK: Yeah. It sounds like you're on the bundling train right now versus the unbundling train a little bit. 

TH: I think if you're going to work with the incumbents you have to. The best of breed, you know this because you're a technologist, there's always that argument, best of breed versus full-stack. The cost of full-stack versus the cost of best rate; that can be a little difficult, but then again, with the best of breed, you have the open-source. Sorry - I'm getting a little techie, or you have to open source. In theory, it should be pretty easy, but that's why you still need IT services. I think it's just a journey that people have to go through.

JK: It's easy to ask the question: what's the trend or what's the one thing happening? But this is a trillion-dollar industry. So there are lots of big niches out there of opportunity. 

TH: Correct, and to add one more, Jason, I still think distribution is king. I say that because I still think that carriers struggle to find where the customers are. They just struggle. And the newer insurtechs have figured it out. 

JK: Yeah. That's why Assurance sold for 3 billion and why Lemonade went public. These companies have figured out a way to acquire customers. There are lots of questions about Lemonade's loss ratios and liability, but that's not what people are betting on. They're betting on their ability to acquire customers and figure out the economics in the future. Next partnering with Amazon is interesting from a distribution perspective. That's super powerful there. 

TH: That's exactly right. Any company, any fintech or insurtech that can help with distribution is still very much in demand.

JK: If I had to take a step back and look at what's out there, the companies that get the most visibility are the vertically integrated ones. Those are the ones that consumers hear about. Nobody hears about the enterprise software companies that are crushing it, selling to insurance carriers - unless you're in the industry. You've got companies like Unqork who are doing really well. The average consumer's not going to know who Unqork is, but a lot of people know who Lemonade is. 

TH: Yeah.

JK: Some people might know who Next is if they're buying small business insurance - you might get a different network there. I think the best of breed players probably don't get enough visibility just because, frankly, they're just not brand names. But they're still doing a great job. 

TH: They are, and the market for them, the TAM for them, is much greater from an investable TAM standpoint than just the B2B to C or B to C kind of models. 

But you're right; it's all about consumer focus: recognition of a brand versus the actual backend - all the non-sexy stuff. I mean, that's what I like too. 

JK: Non-sexy is good business. I learned that when I switched from music to insurance, and I thought, This is awesome. This is great business. A lot of problems to solve, a lot of opportunities. 

TH: Can I just say? You switched from music to insurance. I find that fascinating, but I don't find that odd - at all. 

JK: I did when I did it; I thought, this is weird. But then, I found that the consumer internet and digital media perspective, plus my technical and business problem-solving skills: those skills coming together as an insurtech, ended up being an asset in the end rather than something else. I didn't realize that at the beginning; I felt very much like an imposter for the first year, but now I feel well-established and like I've got a different perspective that's appreciated.

There are some parallels between the marketplace world of digital media and the marketplace of insurance. That model makes sense and I'm familiar with it. It's a different space for me, but fun, and I'm enjoying it. 

TH: I love it. That's great. 

JK: Speaking of the insurtechs and some of the enablers out there, you've got some pretty good visibility at the enterprise level. Are there any examples you know of, of companies having success with insurtechs partnering that may be the best of breed examples rather than the full-stack?

TH: I'll speak firstly about how, in the last decade, a lot of insurance companies, especially the global ones, have had teams focusing on the new, next-generation insurance offerings and what that looks like. They've had a harder time because of the politics of it internally. Everyone knows the way decisions are made. How can you fund a growing idea when it doesn't make any money when the rest of your enterprise is making more money? There the intention flows, to the deepest hole, if you will. 

So over the last five years, everyone's gained ground; and I have been particularly impressed with some of the neutrals and what they're doing in the space. I think it's probably because they’re a little bit nimbler; they're a little smaller than the global carriers. We're not talking a lot, but I'm saying just in terms of how it's working. AmFam and their connections with Hover, that's just genius. 

Recently, integrating back to the core and with CoreLogic - with the property management and measure deep 3D technology within a Hover. That's the great melding of two minds, and they're doing really well. I'm sure you've heard about their acquisition with their investment into Bold Penguin and RiskGenius. Some of this is going really into the backend a little bit. 

JK: That's all right. I'm curious. I am not familiar with Hover; what are they doing? I don't know that everybody is, can you- 

TH: Hover is relatively new - five or seven years, but they do property 3D and like dimension measuring using certain technologies like drawing, AI and photo imagery, but also using satellite imagery, Google and other sources of physical image.

They take that and they allow insurance carriers to look at the dimensions of a house without having to be physically on the property. They can use that data for underwriting purposes and for claims. There are a few others that are doing it but Hover was probably an early player in this space. I think that's very exciting. And then - you've heard of RiskGenius, I'm sure. 

JK: Yes, I know RiskGenius and I know Bold Penguin. I know those guys: interesting players in the small commercial space. 

TH: Really interesting. Exactly. I remember working with a big carrier in 2011, 2013 that had a very large commercial insurance policy. But for the SMB commercial space, they couldn't underwrite it at a profit because the systems were not set up for it. That's why this product is genius. 

There are a few more. New York Life's doing some really cool stuff with through data. As you know, as we get more IoT data and all data around the smart home, smart businesses, people, all these things - they're all going to help-

JK: Yeah, the AI and the data players are super valuable for the underwriting side of things. That one's very specific to carriers, MGA's, and that kind of underwriting world. It’s definitely not one that gets as much sort of public visibility, but there's a lot of opportunity there, for sure. 

You made the comment about Bold Penguin, the small commercial underwriting. There's been a ton of energy in that space, like Digital Raiders. I get it as a carrier. If I can program the logic to do this, I'd rather have technology do the underwriting than a person. There's been a lot of activity there. We've intentionally stayed out of there. There's actually not much happening in the middle market, which is where we see a lot of opportunities. So there's a lot of energy. 

The middle market doesn't want real-time underwriting; they want streamlined workflows. So, when everybody's flocked to small, we recognized the really interesting world in the middle where data and data delivery is critical. There's a lot of really good opportunity there.

It's a good example of this being a big space and people paying attention to one thing that gets a lot of attention, not realizing there's certainly opportunity elsewhere as well. 

TH: You're in a good space because you're right in that particular mid-market segment that is not always served as well as it could be.

JK: And there's a lot of money there. A lot of money is being spent.

TH: Yeah, I was going to say - it’s a really great market. For a lot of the big carriers, they want to swim downstream a little bit, but not too downstream. For smaller carriers, you want to swim upstream a little bit. So you're in a good place to optimize on both kinds of opportunities there.

JK: We talked a little bit about carriers trying to innovate. This is a hard area. When I came into the space, in my mind, a product was a piece of software, and an insurance product was an insurance product, which was different. It was only when I got to my second and third iteration of understanding the industry that I appreciated how hard it is to develop a new insurance product.

That is a unique and challenging thing to do. At a minimum, as you said earlier, how, as a company, do I put resources towards something that you know is speculatory and you can't really measure- not the value of it? 

You can measure the growth of it quickly. You can sell anything, but you can't necessarily measure the profitability of a product until potentially years down the road. 

TH: That's exactly right. 

JK: And it's a fascinating problem for me as a problem solver. We had a guest on the show from a company called Assurely. He was an ex-agent who's now building up a digital MGA, but they're innovating on product. They're coming up with insurance products that fit markets and ways to underwrite them. They're then going to carriers and saying, 'Hey, look, we've got problem. We've got solution. We've got distribution.' And they get backing from them. 

I think that's a super interesting space because there are carriers with a ton of money, a lot of appetite for new, but not a lot of appetite for taking a risk. So anybody who can figure that out is solving a huge problem for them. 

TH: That's the 'product as a service' model insurance product.

If I follow the trends again, banking had that - it's still going on. The whole idea of outsourcing the manufacturing, the rest of distribution, and then just backing them up with capital. That's great. 

JK: It's not a bad model. Then they acquire; if it makes sense.

TH: Yeah. Or sign an exclusive - forever. 

JK: Exclusive forever [laughing].

TH: I'm not going to say that - I take that back.

JK: Everybody just makes the right decision for them. It's bundling and unbundling. If the company decides they want to start bundling, they're going to start acquiring and vertically integrating and going upstream. If they want to unbundle, they'll spin it out. And go a different way. 

TH: There's another thing - because you brought up this example, which I think is spot on. Let's say you don't do that route with Assurely, but you try to manufacture your own. It's much harder, as you say. The whole idea of agile product development and distribution management; that's hard for an insurance company to do. There's actually a whole 'as a service model' that's sprung up as well- 

JK: It’s almost like a service model to help carriers develop new products.

TH: Develop new products, handle the calls, the sales, the servicing, everything, and actually even the capital. It's weird. And then you do a Rev-share. It's an interesting new model. I'm actually looking at it for a couple of reasons, and it's been interesting to watch. 

JK: With your banking background, you probably understand the capital side of it a little bit better than I would. I can't quite get my head around that yet, but that feels like iteration number four for me. It just keeps going deeper and deeper, and there's so much more to learn in this space. 

TH: It sucks you in, and you never let go! You connect for life, Jason, at this point. 

JK: It's so fascinating. 

TH: Yeah, I know. To your point about the way that we consume information: the way we consume products of any kind is just so different now. I can't believe it. I really can't. Sometimes I think, wow! What happened to talking to people? I can Google everything! 

JK: Yeah, the idea of going into a strip mall to talk to an insurance agent to get help for something. It's like, what? There's gotta be a better way. I do everything I can to avoid physically having to go into a store or doing anything with paper. If you send me something in the mail, I batch my mail once a month. I open it, and it gives me a lot of stress - things I have to respond to physically. I don't go to the post office anymore. I don't even know where I can send mail around here. Every now and then, I get something that has to be done on paper, and it makes me really uncomfortable. 

TH: Yeah. I hear you. I still like books, but you're right. That's different. That's enjoyment. Yeah, workwise, you want the most seamless-

JK: Self-service, on my time. I want to do it asynchronously. I want to multitask. I want to get stuff done. I only want to have to talk to somebody when it's really important, and there's a dollar threshold. 

TH: That's right.

JK: Toan, this has been a slightly different version of the podcast. We're often talking to agents and carriers about the industry. I always ask them for stories or I look for stories about people who've helped other companies or helped protect companies or enlightened moments. We talked a little bit before the podcast about an experience you've had with a friend. Enlightenment is defined as the state of having knowledge or understanding. And the podcast is about Enlightened Agents, enlightened stories, and things that the industry has done to really protect people. I was wondering if you could share a little bit about the story we talked about earlier for our listeners and let them know what happened.

TH: Yeah, absolutely. It was in 2017, I believe, that Texas experienced one of its most terrible hurricanes. It seems like those things come fast and furious every year, but that one, in particular, Harvey, did terrible damage all around Galveston, Houston, San Antonio area.

I have family there, so I knew firsthand. They lost power for six weeks. A good friend of mine, I've known her since she was five, called, and, oh my God. Her family had a restaurant that was doing extremely well. It got decimated and the stools were literally falling away, the kitchen, everything was extremely damaged. They ended up having to shut down for nine months, which is a death sentence for some of these businesses. 

JK: Without all the disaster support we've been getting for COVID, right?  

TH: Right - this was before. There was no government aid or anything like that at that time. But thank goodness, they did have a business policy. They had continuity business coverage; they had flood insurance. They had all the right coverages. I think they talked to a great agent who recommended it, knowing that particular area, their particular situation, and said, 'Look, I know you don't want to think about it, but in the event, this is how you recover.'

They were able to actually keep a fair amount of their staff on, on leave, paid with some kind of comp, they were able to recover any bills. I believe the carrier was either Nationwide or AmFam. I don't know, but it's a community-oriented carrier local to the area, working with one of the agents that are there.

They're now back. Even with COVID closing, they're doing very well. They've transitioned everything online, so they're doing a lot of deliveries. That's what she told me. 

JK: Talk about digital transformation, right? There's no more digital transformation than going from in-store to all online. Wow, that's amazing. 

TH: Yeah. And I'm sure at some point when Texas really does reopen completely, they'll be back to normal. That was that family's lifeline; they're first-generation immigrants here, this was their business. They had nothing else. I'm so grateful for her and her family that they had this coverage. I mean, you don't think about it until you need it. 

JK: Too many people treat insurance as a necessary evil, and they don't- 

TH: It's not; it's actually a lifesaver; you have to look at it that way.

I will say this, on a less severe note. I'm in innovation. I have the most pressing tech edge that I could have, gadgets and stuff. My husband's on a Blackberry. He's had it since the nineties, and he won't give it up. He does all kinds of things to it. Plus, it's a Blackberry that, obviously, they don't support anymore because the RIM company's gone. 

Every time he goes to buy a new phone, it's a Blackberry phone, and the Salesforce say, do you want product warranty insurance? I say, yes, just take it. And do you know what? We have used it to its fullest extent every time. So, you never know until you-

JK: They're gonna start canceling - They're gonna stop offering that to you. The loss ratios on you just don't add up, so we're cutting you off. It's funny. 

You're gambling if you don't have it -that's the point. For the people who had insurance and needed it and used it, wow. What a life saver. It’s so amazing. 

Thank you for sharing that story. This has been fun and a different take on the show. I'm really glad you've been with us and were able to share your time and stories.

Before we wrap up here, is there anything you'd like to share with our listeners? 

TH: I mentioned earlier a little bit about Alinea Venture. My team of women: operator, bankers, founders. We'd love it if you're an insurtech, just as cool as Jason's and Broker Buddha and any other financial services tech or B2B SaaS; please give us a ring. We'd love to talk to you. We want to be the first smart capital that brings a diverse opinion. There's my little airtime commercial. Thank you for helping me do that. 

JK: That's great! It's fantastic. What's the name of the firm? 

Alinea Venture. I'll tell you; this is the first time I'm talking about it. Wow. We haven't even launched our site, but we are deploying capital already. We do Seed Bridge to Pre A A. That's the sweet spot. We're working with some great LPs, and I'm so excited about them. Some of them are in the corporate space, it’s amazing. 

JK: How do people get in touch with you? What's the best way for them to find you? 


JK: Okay, great. Or they can find you on LinkedIn as well.

TH: Oh yeah, that's right! That's even better - find me on LinkedIn. That's probably much easier. TOAN HUYNH. 

JK: Great. If anybody out there's got a crazy idea that they want to talk with Toan about, or even a developed idea that needs capital or funding and in the fintech, insurtech, or SaaS space - is it across the board there?

TH: Yeah, logistics, energy, and also healthcare. There are four women, and we are all experts in different areas, which is awesome.

JK: Great. Nothing would make me happier than sourcing your next lead for your next investment. If anybody out there is interested, please get in touch with Toan or find me, and I'll pass along the intro. Great. Toan, this has been fun. Thanks again for your time. And I look forward to seeing you in person soon.

TH: Right, same here. Thanks, Jason. 

JK: Take care.

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Dec 17, 2021
Mike Volk

Broker Buddha CEO, Jason Keck is joined by Mike Volk, Sr. Manager of Cyber Insurance at Optiv

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Dec 7, 2021
John Darr

Broker Buddha CEO, Jason Keck, is joined by John Darr, CEO and Agent at Darr Schackow Insurance

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Nov 29, 2021
Andrew Krantz

Broker Buddha CEO, Jason Keck, is joined by Sr. Vice President and Principal at York International, Andrew Krantz

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Nov 16, 2021
Tim Gaspar

Broker Buddha CEO, Jason Keck, is joined by Tim Gaspar, Founder and CEO of Gaspar Insurance Services

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Oct 21, 2021
Scott Henman

Broker Buddha CEO Jason Keck is joined by Scott Henman, commercial insurance agent at Michigan Insurance & Financial Services. Scott talks about his love for the trumpet and joy of being a dad in addition to his career in insurance that started 2 days after graduating from college. Scott talks about his longevity in the industry and the growth he has seen over the course of his career. His advice to other agents is to lead with authenticity when engaging with potential and existing clients.

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Sep 3, 2021
Bill Pieroni

Broker Buddha CEO Jason Keck is joined by Bill Pieroni, President & CEO of ACORD. In this episode, Bill talks about how ACORD, after 50 years, is more relevant than ever in the Insurance industry.

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Jul 5, 2021
Ed Page

Ed Page is an agency president who prioritized culture above all else.

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Jun 21, 2021
Jeremy Perlman

Jeremy Perlman is a Vice President at CBIZ Borden Perlman and talks on this podcast about how he used a layup endorsement to help a transportation company stay in business during the pandemic.

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May 24, 2021
Brad Hosket

Brad Hosket of Columbus-based Hosket Ulen talks about entering the insurance industry after a career in real estate and why the pandemic offered an opportunity to upgrade agency operations.

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May 18, 2021
Jason Angus

Jason Angus of VA-based The Hilb Group believes that when people grow, companies grow. Providing the resources that help teams do great work leads to success, and using technology to reduce the administrative workload is essential.

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May 9, 2021
Christina Kelley

Christina Kelley is a process improvement guru who unabashedly believes there is always a better way to do things. With a professional career that includes previous roles with the Indianapolis Museum of Art and KPMG, she wants to keep improving the customer experience for G&A clients.

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May 3, 2021
Greg Gamble

Greg Gamble is the Vice President for Client, Brokerage & Data Operations at Alliant Insurance Services. During his time in the industry, he has worked across the entire spectrum—agency, underwriter, carrier—and gives us his candid New Yorker take on all of it.

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Apr 25, 2021
Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan is the Chairman, President and CEO of St. Louis-based HM Risk. An industry veteran with an entrepreneurial streak, Mike shares his thoughts on how the business has changed and some of the critical moments in his career.

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Apr 19, 2021
Patrick Kinney

Patrick Kinney is the Executive Vice President, Enterprise Distribution Management, at Travelers. He combines decades of experience with a passion for finding ways to make the insurance process seamless for agents, customers, and carriers.

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Apr 12, 2021
Jeffrey Gallimore

Jeff Gallimore is the Chief Operating Officer, US National Accounts, at Zurich North America. He has a track record of building successful teams by empowering people and providing the tools that help them succeed. He shares his thoughts on how the industry has changed, and what changes still need to happen.

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Apr 5, 2021
David Carpentier

Enlightened agents are innovative. In this episode, we talk to David Carpentier of Assurely. His company is introducing new insurance products to meet the challenges of emerging and next-gen business models.

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Mar 25, 2021
Benji Markoff

In the debut episode of The Enlightened Agent podcast, Broker Buddha CEO Jason Keck is joined by the CEO of Founder Shield, Benji Markoff. Listen to find out why Markoff and his company try to make insurance fun—seriously—and how they leverage technology to improve the customer experience.

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