Industry the June 2024 issue

Happy 20th, Leader’s Edge!

Here are a few thoughts from the founder on this platinum anniversary.
By Ken Crerar Posted on May 26, 2024

The occasion is especially meaningful to me, as it offers a clear example of what is possible when you start with an idea, find the people who can make it happen, and then sit back and let it grow, offering guidance but not getting in the way.

I envisioned a magazine that was completely about insurance brokers—their life interests, business dynamics, and all the things that make them human and special. Brokers embody a combination of top-notch business strategy and genuine service. I see it over and over again in The Council members I meet and work with. They are smart and savvy, the front line of defense for clients in distress, and generous contributors to their entire communities.

With Leader’s Edge, we wanted to reflect the full life of a broker. Yes, that meant reporting on global business and insurance trends. But it also meant supporting their lifestyle—travel, cuisine, good books to curl up with. We included a business ticker to track the comings and goings of industry executives so you can see what your colleagues are up to. We all know brokerage is a business of relationships above everything else, and we wanted to be there when you’re building those relationships—an interesting piece of news to share with a client, a tip for a great golf getaway, and everything in-between.

It needed to be unique, but at the same time, it needed to have wide appeal. Because anytime you see Leader’s Edge sitting on a table, you should want to pick it up, whoever you are. It has to draw you in, make you wonder what it is and why you aren’t in on it.

And once you flip it open, it has to keep your interest. The tone must be informative and confident, smooth in its prose, and deep in its research, leading the discussion of key issues important to business leaders but as entertaining as a coffee table book.

In that vein, I think Leader’s Edge has accomplished what it set out to do—establish itself as a place for debate and commentary about the business and the life and times of insurance brokers and the larger community within which they work.

Twenty years later, the magazine is a surprise to me because the need for it has only gotten bigger. That’s because the issues we face, as an industry and a global community, have gotten bigger. Over the past decade Leader’s Edge has grappled with the oncoming effects of climate change, the role of insurance in preventing school shootings, how to define cyber war, the rise of artificial intelligence, racial and gender equity in insurance, the social determinants of health, pharmaceutical costs, and, of course, the widespread effects of a global pandemic.

The magazine itself has evolved, beginning as a truly print-first publication, to a more balanced approach between print and digital offerings. At the same time, it’s one of the few print magazines that has actually increased circulation in recent years. We also successfully navigated the magazine’s first leadership transition, from founding editor in chief Rick Pullen, who oversaw Leader’s Edge from its inception in 2004 until handing it over to current editor in chief Sandy Laycox in 2018.

Our team is fully aware of the challenges ahead—in covering complex issues with no clear solutions, in navigating a changing reader profile without alienating our core, in operating in an environment of great distrust of the media. But I am confident in their ability to persevere, because the roots of this product are strong. I hope you will celebrate this 20th anniversary with us and enjoy Leader’s Edge for years to come.

Ken Crerar CEO, The Council Read More

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