Risk & Business Magazine California Risk & Business Magazine Summer 2017 | Page 25

Rudy Garcia: Man On A Mission REINVENTING THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AGENCY E arlier this year, Rudy Garcia, founder and president of Los Angeles–based Qandun Insurance Agency, was presented with the prestigious 2017 Reinvention Award by the Association for Insurance Leadership “in recognition of your impressive efforts in the reinvention of your agency as a NextGeneration Benefits Firm that can provide a superior and more cost-effective benefits plan for employers and enhanced benefits for employees.” In 2016, Garcia and Qandun earned the National Association of Health Underwriter’s Soaring Eagle Award which is that organization’s “highest honor given . . . for demonstrating exceptional professional knowledge and outstanding client service.” compensation structure as brokers were also benefitting financially from rising premiums. Risk & Business set out to discover just what Garcia and his team have accomplished that has attracted so much attention and such accolades from the industry. Early on in his career, as an employee of Kaiser Permanente, Garcia saw many opportunities to help his clients by exploring other types of insurance products and services, but this type of work was beyond the scope of his position. “Kaiser Permanente was a great company and I was proud to work there,” Garcia says in retrospect, “but it couldn’t give me the latitude to interact with businesses in ways I felt I could truly help them. I was able to see better business solutions, but my hands were tied.” Garcia set out to change course and, in 2012, established > FROM CARRIER TO AGENCY When Rudy Garcia started in the insurance industry over twenty years ago, there was only one way to transact business: companies bought insurance policies through brokers to cover their employees’ health needs and the brokers were paid commissions as a percentage of premiums. Rudy was dissatisfied with this 25