Q&A with Todd McLean, President, BOK Financial Insurance
Tell us about BOK Financial Insurance.
BOK Financial Insurance (BOKFI) comprises two divisions – employee benefits and risk management. Employee benefits will be our initial focus area as we grow our presence here. Our team is bringing exceptional healthcare analytics, contemporary digital technologies, multi-year strategies and a real passion for helping employers provide benefits to their employees in Oklahoma City.
The risk management division provides consulting and brokerage services for critical lines of coverage such as directors and officers insurance, errors and omissions insurance, cyber liability, property and casualty, and workers compensation. Similar to employee benefits, incorporating multi-year planning, strong data analytics and a team that knows how to review insuring language is very important in a state like Oklahoma with risks ranging from tornadoes and flooding to international businesses that are subject to unstable currency valuations and potentially changing regimes.
What prompted the expansion beyond CO and AZ?
BOKFI has supported clients for over a decade in most states, in fact we provide employee benefits to expatriates in 16 countries. BOK Financial has a long history in Oklahoma City with clients that have trusted the organization for years. This expansion is intended to provide those business clients with broader access to the full slate of BOK Financial offerings.
We have an expert team that’s anxious to provide industry insights for business leaders in the OKC metro. Leading that charge will be Jessica McCool, regional operations consultant based in Oklahoma City. Jessica is an Oklahoma native who began her career in a pharmacy benefit account management role and most recently worked as a benefit consultant focusing primarily on large, self-funded accounts.
How did you choose OKC as the launching point for the expansion?
BOK Financial has a significant presence in Oklahoma City so we look forward to connecting with existing bank and wealth management clients as we broaden our reach here. We believe that the vibrancy of the business community represents a great opportunity to share our brand of services. This region also offers a large pool of talented individuals that we can continue to pull from as we build our local team. Future growth plans for BOKFI are focused on the Oklahoma and Texas markets.
What trends are you seeing in the employee benefit space that OKC Chamber members should know about?
- Employee benefits are more complicated than ever with five generations in the workforce today. Companies need to offer a variety of choices to their people beyond a basic benefit plan to accommodate a wide range of life stages.
- Low unemployment is a challenge for recruitment and retention of good people. Strong employee benefits can help differentiate your company in a tight labor market.
- Healthcare benefits are among the top four highest expenses for most companies and they’re often among the top three highest costs for employees/families. Wages aren’t keeping up with increases in overall benefit costs. The only way to address this challenge is with relevant data used by partners who know how to make sense of it. Multi-year planning plus a real commitment to employer health and well-being programs will be crucial going forward.
- If you don’t look at the results of your company’s programs, you can’t make informed decisions. But, if you find the right insurance partner and design plans that are embraced by senior leaders along with a structured approach to well-being , you can fight the upward trends of healthcare costs.
What is the BOKFI approach to employee wellness and how is it different from other companies?
Our team is focused on education. Well-being is not a marketing strategy for us – it’s the most important component of any benefit plan. A purposeful well-being plan design helps companies create healthier individuals who are, in turn, more productive employees.
We’re working to change the way employers and employees look at their benefits. They should be viewed as services you use to keep employees healthy and well, with benefit use as a last resort. For example, we had a client with an employee who lost 65 pounds because he was focused on wellness and improving his own health. This individual was able to go off the diabetic registry, which in turn positively impacted his company’s bottom line by reducing their pharmaceutical cost. When employees are able to change health trends like that, we can work with the company and the carrier to implement strategies that have measurable financial impact in the future.
Learn more about BOK Financial Insurance at Bokfinancial.com/employeebenefits.