Five decades as West Michigan’s trusted insurance adviser

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Jodie DeVries, office head for Marsh. Courtesy Marsh

Grand Rapids businesses have seen their fair share of change. Economic swings have buoyed and sunk profit margins. Changing political headwinds have led to new and complex regulations. Technological revolutions have fueled innovation while creating new threats. And globalization has led to dramatic changes in business models.

Through all those ups and downs, one company has been there: Marsh, the world’s leading insurance and risk adviser, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in Grand Rapids this year.

“For five decades, Marsh has been a trusted adviser for the Grand Rapids business community, helping companies of all sizes and across all industries identify and manage their critical risks,” said Jodie DeVries, Grand Rapids office head for Marsh. “And as another decade gets underway, we’re helping businesses in West Michigan grow, change and be ready to face what’s next.”

Creative people, innovative solutions

Since its Grand Rapids office was first established in 1970, Marsh has been committed to meeting the insurance and risk management needs of local businesses. That commitment starts with Marsh’s people.

“Our colleagues represent our best asset,” DeVries said. “We’ve invested in finding the best local talent — people who not only have experience and relationships with key insurers but who are also innovative and naturally curious. That’s how we can help businesses not only manage their day-to-day insurance program management needs but also build long-term risk management strategies.”

That forward-thinking approach is especially crucial now with businesses in Grand Rapids and elsewhere facing significant, often complex challenges. That includes rising commercial insurance prices and the need for buyers to consider new approaches to risk financing.

“More than ever, businesses — especially those looking to grow — need to weigh all of their risk management options,” DeVries said. “When the market is more challenging and you need advice on the pros and cons of captives, alternative financing and other solutions you may have never looked at before, you need advice from someone who has done this before. And that’s why you need an adviser with deep bench strength, like Marsh, in your corner.”

Supporting a diverse business community

With colleagues and clients located in more than 100 countries, Marsh’s focus is on providing local service to companies across all industries, from food and beverage and health care to retail and consumer goods to manufacturing and automotive. And that includes a host of Marsh clients in Grand Rapids without full-time, dedicated risk managers.

“We understand the needs of West Michigan businesses, many of which are looking to grow but may not have someone in-house who lives and breathes insurance every day,” DeVries said. “We can help those companies manage their growing pains, augmenting their teams with our own colleagues and delivering proven tools to help them spot risks early, limit losses, and control insurance and risk management costs.”

Where we live and work

But Marsh’s commitment to West Michigan isn’t limited to serving its clients. It also extends to supporting local organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, JDRF’s Michigan and Northwestern Ohio Chapter, and Kids’ Food Basket that make Grand Rapids even better.

“We want to connect colleagues with our communities, to give back in meaningful ways to the places where we live and work,” said DeVries, who serves on JDRF’s board. “We’ve been proud to be a part of the community here in Grand Rapids for the last half-century and plan to be here for the next half-century and beyond.”

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