Palmer and Cay, an Atlanta-based insurance broker, has opened an office in New York City to start its planned expansion into the Northeast.
John C. Smith will be vice chairman and member of the board of directors of the New York-based, privately held firm.
Smith, an insurance executive, has 30 years’ experience in senior leadership at leading brokerage firms including his most recent position as executive vice president at Crystal & Co. and time spent in senior positions at Marsh Inc. and Johnson & Higgins for over two decades.
“It became apparent to me that Palmer & Cay had many similarities with the original Johnson & Higgins culture which was highly successful in its day,” Smith said. “Like J&H, Palmer & Cay places equal emphasis on clients and colleagues, aligning the success of both as a single and inseparable goal. Clients buy culture and the best colleagues in the industry are seeking a positive culture in which to work and succeed. The focus on culture, quality services and long-term client relationships has long since disappeared from the national insurance brokerage field due to mega-mergers and public offerings, and this void creates an increasing demand for client-focused brokerage firms such as Palmer & Cay.”
Smith will focus on building Palmer & Cay’s presence in the Northeast, especially in the New York City area, with middle market and large commercial companies especially prospective private equity clients.
“John’s decision to join our firm is exhilarating,” Jack Cay, fifth-generation president of Palmer and Cay, said. “He shares our cultural values, believes in the Palmer & Cay vision, and brings an immense amount of experience and insight to our team. His energy and enthusiasm for building superior teams, solving risk-related problems for clients and helping our firm expand will be a major asset going forward.”