Bob was Founder and CEO of Dubraski & Associates, a leading national specialty brokerage focused on the health care industry, merged with Risk Strategies in 2015
In the time leading up to my decision to become part of Risk Strategies, I was actually hypersensitive to not ever selling the company. I built the first brokerage business sold it to Aon and then spent four years there. I left and started Dubraski & Associates to build an entrepreneurial, specialized and independent insurance broker.
After 10 years of success making Dubraski & Associates into one of the largest independent health care specialty brokerages, I felt we could go further with the right resources and some additional capital. Selling was not on my radar.
In talking with private equity firm Kohlberg & Company about investing in Dubraski & Associates, however, they suggested meeting Risk Strategies’ Founder and CEO Mike Christian. Kohlberg had recently invested in Risk Strategies, allowing them to make some strategic acquisitions. Combining firms, Kohlberg thought, could be a path to building a leading specialty brokerage firm. That really got my attention.
Meeting with Mike, discussing his vision and comparing our respective goals, it became apparent this could be a great business partnership. I saw a way to build not only the best, and one of the biggest, health care specialty practices in the country, but also having a hand in creating one of the premiere specialty broker-driven firms in the country. Private equity backing would let us compete at scale and retain operational control, preserving the entrepreneurial magic that powered our success. It was clear to me that this would be a powerful combination that would benefit clients and employees.
Seeing this potential is what got me excited about merging the firm with Risk Strategies.
After Dubraski & Associates became part of Risk Strategies, its entrepreneurial culture was an invitation to pitch in any way I could. Building businesses – developing strategies, driving sales, recruiting talent, those sorts of things – has been my historical strength. So, in addition to leading and growing the National Health Care Practice, I was tapped for a number of key initiatives, including sitting on the Executive Committee to help guide the firm’s direction.
In 2019, Mike became Executive Chairman, and John Mina, CEO. The firm focused on business efficacy and propagating best practices for growth firm-wide. Chief Growth Officer was a natural role for me. In this position I’m a player-coach, constantly evolving efforts to drive collaboration and growth – from regular national sales calls and annual sales meetings, to sales training and internal capabilities education. But I’m not a management figurehead just telling people what to do. I’ve done it myself and continue to as a Practice leader. I live in their world every day.
For firms coming into the Risk Strategies family, I’m in a similar player-coach role. Again, I’ve been there. There’s so much on tap, it can be overwhelming. So, I’m available to help them navigate the terrain, connect the dots and see the things that can help them collaborate, grow and meet their goals. It’s the same approach I take when working with leaders and producers, but with acquisitions early on it’s more a guide to a new and exciting terrain of possibility.