Our founder, W. Harold Petersen, made a storied career in the disability insurance industry. He began his practice of developing and implementing novel income protection programs for American workers through traditional carrier channels, mostly by access through the life and health markets of the 1960’s and 1970’s. But he always had special concern for his high-net-worth clientele for whom he repetitiously struggled finding appropriate sources of disability coverage. He found it nearly impossible to acquire sufficient benefit amounts for physicians and executives without stacking DI policy after DI policy without much equality or continuity between each plan.
His frustrations continued to weigh heavily, so he began a great search for more practical high-limit disability options. After years, his journey finally ended at the famous Lloyd’s of London insurance market in the U.K. Through his collected contacts with U.S. reinsurance carriers over the years, Harold gained several introductions into the Lloyd’s marketplace. One such contact was a senior underwriter named Ray Smart. Ray was enjoying a successful career in the personal accident sector of the Lloyd’s market. He and Harold became fast friends and their business relationship paved the way in opening up the Lloyd’s accident/disability business to the American insurance industry. Ray was pivotal in Petersen International becoming a Lloyd’s Coverholder in 1982.
Even in retirement, the two have remained close. Recently, Harold and Ray (pictured) and their wives reunited in the lovely California seaside town of Carmel where they spent a weekend together, reminiscing about the old days and the legacies they have left. To this day, Ray’s son Malcom Smart still works closely with Harold’s sons in the Lloyd’s market.
Petersen International is proud to celebrate the many accomplishments and the foundations left by these two great pioneers.