By CYRIL TUOHY, managing editor of Risk & Insurance®
Tom Slattery, the former "Brokerage" columnist for Risk & Insurance®, has died of respiratory failure. He was 68.
Slattery began contributing to Risk & Insurance® as a freelance writer in 2004, and then worked on the column from January 2006 until last year.
"When I came on, I brought him on right away," said Jack Roberts, former Risk & Insurance®
editor-in-chief. "He never lacked for an opinion."
Roberts recalled Slattery as an "old-time news guy," who covered the insurance industry fairly and thoroughly.
Slattery became managing director of Slattery-Esterkamp Communications in 2001 in Baldwin, N.Y. His freelance career included writing articles and columns, and editing books.
"He'd been a freelancer, and we asked about doing a column. And he said, 'Sure,' " Roberts recalled.
Never at a loss for an opinion on an industry with which he was so familiar, Slattery was known for his stance on issues ranging from contingent commissions to the industry's gender gap to the need for more disclosure.
In several columns, Slattery took the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. (RIMS) to task for not coming out more quickly and forcefully against the practice of insurance brokers accepting contingent commissions.
In a column published on Aug. 1, 2007, titled "The Mouse (Finally!) Squeaks," for example, Slattery wrote:
"We can only hope that RIMS' heretofore puny voice will now grow in volume and frequency, and that the association will at long last justify its existence on behalf of its 10,000 members."
Slattery also liked to poke fun at the goings-on (or lack thereof) at the industry's most well-attended meet-and-greets, the Big I, the PCI and the CIAB.
"He was pretty blunt sometimes," Roberts said.
Slattery's last columns in the print edition of Risk & Insurance® appeared in 2008. His final columns appeared last year on riskandinsurance.com.
(Read a collection of Tom's "Brokerage" columns here.)
Slattery first began working for The National Underwriter Co. in March 1967 as a staff writer, rising to managing editor and eventually publisher of National Underwriter Life & Health. He eventually left the company in 2001.
"He did a good job with National Underwriter, and he was there during its heyday," Roberts added.
Slattery was also a member of the editorial committee of American Business Press. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from Fordham University.
May 18, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications