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Fort Hays State University

Brandon Mitchell

FIN 467 A

IMA Financial Group

8200 E 32nd St N, Wichita, KS 67226

6/1/17 8/4/17
Table of Contents

1. Introduction.........................................................2

2. Progress Report (Midterm Report) . 3

3. Organizational Structure and Characteristics. 5

4. Relationships and Interactions of Organization 7

5. Internship activities.. 8

6. Recommendations. 9

7. Photographs of Facility. 10

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1. Introduction

This past summer was unexpected. It all began around mid-March when I decided to take a trip
to the local career fair. To my surprise, my brothers best friend from elementary school
happened to be attending the fair with his employer IMA Financial Group. The two of us got
to talking, and I had an interview before I could comprehend what just happened.

Interviewing with this company was a gruesome process. One large interview that consisted of
approximately six smaller interviews. Executives, to Processing Managers, and everything in
between got a chance to pick my brain. The interview ended up lasting a little under three
hours. My mouth was dry, eyes bloodshot, and brain was almost asleep, but to my surprise, I
made it through.

The next four weeks were very stressful. I had not heard back from the company. I actually
had not even heard back from my brothers friend. Then one morning while I was landscaping
for an elderly man, my phone began to ring. Reluctant to answer the phone from an unknown
number, I acted on a leap of faith and decided to answer the call. Hey Brandon, this is IMA
Financial Group. My heart began to beat out of my chest, but I was able to keep my
composure; calmly replying to their introduction.

Long story short, I got the job! I couldnt believe what I was hearing. Considering that most
internships have already been snatched up by April, this was a blessing from God. So, that is
how it all started. One connection lead to another and before I knew it, Brandon Mitchell was
going to be interning at a highly respected Commercial Lines Insurance Broker in Wichita,
Kansas.

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2. Progress Report (Midterm Report)

IMA is a privately-owned insurance broker. They service many parts of the nation with a variety
of insurance policies, and I have been positioned in the Commercial Lines Department. My
responsibilities are numerous. To start, my main responsibility is to shadow as many Account
Executives as possible. This is where I learn most of the material, and it gives me the
opportunity to soak in the dynamic of the industry as a whole. My secondary responsibility
consists of very simple, important projects.

Like I stated, my main job activity is shadowing Account Executives, but that responsibility is
self-explanatory. The activities that I have personally completed are Premium Breakdowns,
Entity Breakdowns, and Benchmarking. A Premium Breakdown breaks down a companys
premium per location, so the company can bill the locations appropriately. An Entity
Breakdown breaks down a parent companys premium per entity, so the company can bill the
entities appropriately. Lastly, Benchmarking is used to create an average for certain areas of
business. For example, I am currently in the middle of Restaurant Benchmarking. This consists
of inserting necessary information into a spread sheet, then averaging out the whole line of
business to have a better idea of what is suitable for IMA as a company. Benchmarking makes
the companys work easier in a few different ways. It gives IMA a better idea of what size of
companies we should be taking in for business. Also, giving us a much better idea of what
premiums should be charged depending on their size of business. I could get much more into
the specifics, but I just provided an overview.

My internship sponsor has assisted my learning experience by scheduling days for me to


shadow Account Executives. Account Executives have assisted me in learning about the various
ways to finish the same job. They are very personable, but they are also quite
technical(analytical) when it comes to the insurance industry. Often times, I will attend renewal
meetings with the different AEs, and that gives me many hours to soak up all the information
that I can.

The biggest surprise to me regarding the professional practice of my internship sponsor has
been their level of relaxation. My mental image of a corporate office was high speed, and
annoyingly determined to constantly stay busy. It could be that I got lucky, but the speed of the
office as a whole is much slower than I expected. That is not to say work does not get
completed, but there is not as much emphasis on deadlines as I had expected. The people I
work with are very understanding, and that surprised me immensely.

There is nothing more that I would personally ask of this internship. IMA has done a great job
of getting me in front of the largest names in the business, as well as, some of the largest
clients of the business. I have met with numerous amounts of CEOs, CFOs, and Executive
Directors. All in all, this internship is everything I could have wanted, and I could not ask for
more. And yes, I have discussed this with my supervisor.

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My professional strengths and weaknesses have both been presented to me by my supervisor.
My strengths are many, but so are my weaknesses. Some of my strengths include: easy to talk
to, very respectful, great sense of humor, and easily relatable. As for my weaknesses: my
energy level seems low, my body language is poor, and my listening skills can be improved.
Thankfully, my supervisor held a midterm meeting to evaluate my performance. After the
meeting, I have been better suited to work on my weaknesses.

Based on my internship experiences thus far, I would like to learn more about the insurance
industry in my remaining time at Fort Hays State University. A new interest has been sparked,
and I will be looking at beginning a career in insurance upon graduation. Any extra technical
skills that I could gain in my remaining time at Fort Hays would help immensely.

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3. Organizational Structure and Characteristics of the Business

IMA Financial Group has four major offices. Denver, Wichita, Dallas, and Kansas City. Wichita is
where it began, but they have expanded immensely since then. The Wichita location is in a
business park near the intersection of 29th and Rock Rd. An individual office building that
houses around 200 employees. The building is three stories high. The first floor is kept for
high-up executives, and TrueNorth. The second story is limited to Signiture Select, some
communications personnel, and the President of the Wichita Branch. The whole third floor
consists of Commercial Lines. Third floor is where my cubical was located.

The business began as a partnership between a couple different agencies. IMA Partnership was
formed in 1973, but dissolved in 1974 forming IMA. Between 1974 and 1992, IMA purchased
offices in a couple different cities. So in 1992, IMA was reorganized into IMA of Colorado, IMA
of Topeka, and IMA of Wichita. In 1997, the Dallas branch began to form, and in 1999,
TrueNorth was created. TrueNorth is a wealth management firm inside of IMA. IMA
reorganized their name under IMA Financial Group, Inc. in 2000, and the Kansas City office
opened in 2005. Dallas IMA office opened in 2005, then Signature Select LLC was formed in
2009. Signature Select is insurance for small sized companies (usually companies with $10,000
or less in premium). In 2014, once all was said and done; Eyedent Insurance Services LLC was
formed and added to IMA Financial Group as their newest subsidiary.

I will not name all of the staff individually, but I will touch on a few. The CFO, Luke Proctor, is
out of the Wichita office. Also, out of the Wichita office is Kyle Orndorff. He is the Wichita
Branch President. Stationed in Denver, is the CEO, Robert L. Cohen. Another staff member
stationed in Denver is Bob Reiter, the President of IMA, Inc.

Staff benefits are extravagant. The most influential benefits would be employee ownership,
unlimited paid time off, and sabbatical. IMA is completely employee owned. Nobody can own
more than 12% of the total shares available, and the stock value has doubled consecutively for
the past couple years. Unlimited paid time off is a benefit that I am very unfamiliar with, but it
seems to work very well for this company. You would think people would take advantage of
this system, but it is actually just the opposite. Lastly, sabbatical is offered to 15 year
employees, and again to 25 year employees. When someone has been an IMA employee for 15
years, they are given a month off of work with full pay. They are forced to disconnect their
email from their home devices, and turn off all work communications for that whole month.

The organizational flow chart is pretty simple. The entry level positions are Account
Representatives, and Account Techs. After that position, they move up to Processing Account
Mangers (PAM), or Servicing Account Mangers (SAM). You will most likely be in these positions
for a few years each, but the top of the food chain is Account Executives (AE). This is how
business is organized once it is brought into the company. The position required to bring
business into the company is called Producers. Producers can come from any of the other
facets, but most of the time, they have some sales and insurance experience before they come
to IMA.

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The companys philosophy regarding their business is also quite simple. Protect assets, and
make a difference and do it better than anybody else in the business. Protecting assets is
what we do, making a difference is who we are. It is pretty self-explanatory.

IMA Financial Group provides many services. To begin with, they provide a wealth
management option for employees and clients. Benefits is another important section of IMAs
business. Benefits works with employers and assists them in finding the best options in
benefits for their employees. Signature Select assists individuals/companies in finding
insurance, and IMA Inc. assists large companies in finding insurance at the best possible price
for the most applicable amount of coverage.

Short range objectives are to keep clients coming in the door, and treating every client with the
upmost customer service; ensuring that every client gets an unprecedented experience when
dealing with IMA or any of its subsidiaries. Long range objectives are to double the stock value
every five to six years. This would equate to around a 17% gain year after year.

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4. Relationships and Interactions of Organization

The relationship aspect of this business is almost half the business. People enjoy doing business
with people they trust, so IMAs main goal is to develop that trust with their clients. IMA has a
95% retention rate with their clients. The main block standing in their way is getting clients to
come to IMA from a broker they have been working with for years. Most relationships with
clients are cultivated in order to build the trust, and make the client most comfortable. The
funny aspect of this industry is how much the insurers attempt to cultivate their relationship
with IMA. Insurers need IMA to bring them decent business, so the insurer will spoil IMA as a
company just for a chance to get information on a certain accounts competition.

Client profile is quite a wide range. In commercial lines, there are a few different departments
that IMA specialized. Oil/gas, aviation, restaurants, and construction are IMAs specialties. For
the companies that do not fit in any of those categories, there is a diversified group that holds
accounts for companies that are few and far between.

The policies for dealing with clients at IMA is quite simple. The largest stepping stone would be
the amount of premium a certain company will be paying every year. Too large, and IMA is
incapable too small, and IMA has better things to do. Premium amount and risk level are the
two policies that IMA pays the most attention to when dealing with their clients.

Handling complaints at IMA is the responsibility of one or two people. Jeff Jameson, and
Maranda Pike handle the issues anytime an issue may arise. Both of these individuals interact
with high levels of logic; making the largest issues very easy to handle. They are good at what
they do, and are very respected throughout the whole office.

When it comes to relationships with other professionals, I am unsure how deep this part of the
business goes. I do know that IMA has on-site CPAs, and they keep an attorney on hand incase
an Errors and Omissions case develops. Other than that, I am uninformed as to how deep those
relationships run.

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5. Internship Activities

My internship activities were many. The four main activities were two separate cookouts, a trip
to Kansas City, and a day with Risk Control. IMA holds cookouts for its clients just to emphasize
that broker/client relationship, so I was able to attend two of those cookouts. Near the middle
of the summer, Jeff Jameson took the interns up to Kansas City for a Royals Game and many
meetings with insurance providers. We met with RT Specialty, CNA, Travelers, and the
Hanover. This gave us a broad range of experiences with people from all different facets of the
insurance industry.

In this internship, I learned too many topics to discuss. The main takeaway was how
relationship centered this industry can be. For this reason, I will be pursuing a career in the
insurance industry upon graduation.

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6. Recommendations

The strengths of the internship experience were many, and my recommendations to improve
are few and far between. Through this internship, I was able to see the inner workings of
factories, meet with CEOs on many occasions, and have beers with too many underwriters to
name. Everything about this internship experience was a strength.

Aside from the fun activities I was a part of, I was able to dive into the industry of commercial
lines insurance and learn more in two months than I ever would have learned in a classroom
setting. The material that I was exposed to was everything from entity breakdowns, to
benchmarks; and I am certain that there are many topics that I have not mentioned due to
forgetfulness.

I highly recommend this internship. The people that IMA employs are incredibly helpful, and
they simply just want you to succeed. Every employee will do whatever it takes to ensure you
understand every part of not only the business, but the industry as a whole. My reviews of this
internship will forever go with me. I was treated like an actual part of the business, and not just
an extra piece of help around the office. The CEO, CFO, and President all know who I am. It is
very rare to find an internship that provides an individual with the amount of experiences I was
able to experience. I am forever grateful for this opportunity, and I recommend this internship
to anybody interested in a riveting industry with great people!

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7. Photographs of Facility

IMA Denver Office

Royals Game with my superiors

My cubicle at the Wichita office

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All office meeting at The Boat House

Puppies and beer on the IMA Wichita office front


lawn

Wichita Childrens Home Cookout

Lee Aerospace Cookout

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