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2015 40 Under 40 Broker Awards: Gregory C. Sibilio

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Vice president

Iron Cove Partners L.L.C.

Age: 32

Having worked as a lawyer, Gregory C. Sibilio, vice president of Iron Cove Partners L.L.C. in Garden City, New York, knows that “perception is reality.”

“At the end of the day, if you do a great job with the claim or a terrible job with the claim, perception is reality,” Mr. Sibilio said. “If (clients) get all the money they were supposed to get and they feel like they didn't have their hand held throughout the process, maybe they have an unfavorable view.”

On the other hand, a client who doesn't get the full limit of liability but feels like “their hand was held the whole time” might have a more positive experience, he said.

Mr. Sibilio who counts passing the bar exam in Connecticut among his greatest accomplishments, said he still wears his “legal hat” when pre-underwriting accounts and interacting with clients at the insurance brokerage.

His legal background allows him to interpret or write contracts for clients pro bono, and standing up in front of a judge multiple times a day taught him to think on his feet, he said.

It can be hard to attract top-level talent, but it makes sense that a lawyer would succeed in the insurance industry, said Louis D'Agostino, senior vice president and financial institution practice leader at Iron Cove.

“Insurance policies are contracts themselves, so (Mr. Sibilio's) ability to really get an understanding for how these things are constructed helps us give our clients a different level of expertise,” Mr. D'Agostino said. “We want to become folks' trusted advisers, and it definitely helps.”

However, it's Mr. Sibilio's work ethic and ability to develop strong relationships with clients and underwriters that truly set him apart, Mr. D'Agostino said, adding that “his skill set and where he is now (professionally) exceeds many of the people I've trained over the last 10 years.”