November-December 2012 | ENSURING SUCCESS

Steven Robinson, Area President and Phil Feldman, Owner - RPS ISG International



From property, casualty and risk management to human resources and cyber liability, RPS ISG International has the expertise to protect your interests

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

During that soul-searching period most twentysomethings go through as they try to find their place in the world, I’d tried my hand at the insurance industry. I worked as a commercial-lines account executive for a couple of different agencies in those few years and had interacted with many more. I learned a lot, to be sure, but nothing so much as this: Just as with physicians, attorneys and certain other professionals, insurance agents are absolutely not all alike — and it can be an exceptionally painful mistake to believe otherwise. Sure, virtually all of them are equipped to handle such basic coverage needs as personal auto, homeowners and small-business package policies, but there are others who offer a level of expertise and sophistication so profound in terms of risk analysis and coverage provision, they ultimately become as far removed from the pack as the Mona Lisa is from Dogs Playing Poker.
Recently, I had the privilege of encountering such an agency in idyllic Cambridge. It’s called RPS ISG International, and they’re doing things over in that sleepy bayside community that rivals anything going on at any agency, anywhere.
The company is the creation of Philip Feldman, who’d established himself as a pioneer, even a visionary, early on. Whereas most insurance agents or brokers are more than content to merely provide coverage for their clients, Feldman did what 
few agents have done in the history of the industry: He actually invented coverage.
Back in 1992, Feldman created the first-ever professional liability, or errors-and-omissions, policy specifically for writers of software products. The unprecedented “E&O” policy was underwritten by the venerable Chubb & Son Insurance Company, and Phil Feldman was the only agent authorized to sell it. Having spread through the industry like wildfire, the program was necessarily expanded to address computer consulting and Internet-related risks of all kinds, culminating with the comprehensive division known as cyber liability. To his delight, Feldman has found his perfect complement in company president Steven Robinson, whose charge it is to take this already elite institution to even greater heights.
“I can truly say that Steve is one of the nation’s foremost experts in cyber liability,” said Feldman, “and his team is chiefly responsible for why this agency continues to lead the field.”
A Salisbury native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Robinson points out that cyber liability is almost certainly the single greatest uninsured exposure facing businesses today.
“This includes any business with a network or that does e-commerce, has custody of customer or employee personal 
information or otherwise communicates in any way in the contemporary digital environment,” Robinson advised. “You’re basically talking about the majority of today’s American businesses that are at risk and yet are currently uninsured.”
Appropriately, savvy executives, managers and administrators — representing entities both public and private — are 
rapidly getting with the program. That’s why RPS ISG International provides cyber liability coverage not only for large 
regional medical centers and national hotel groups but also for numerous county, city and even U.S. state governments.
Deftly leveraging this peerless experience and buttressed by their impeccable reputation as national experts, RPS ISG International has also been trusted to provide complete property-and-casualty coverage, sophisticated risk-management advice, real-world employee-benefits solutions and/or state-of-the-art human-resources techniques to such esteemed and progressive local businesses as Draper Holdings/WBOC, Mr. Go Glass, Vantage Point Solutions Group and The Salisbury School in addition to many others. 
The setting for all this cutting-edge business activity is an elegant 7,250 sq. ft. two-story modern office building overlooking the Choptank River. From its well-buffed reception area to the executive offices on the upper floor to the parade of friendly smiles that greet you as you navigate its corridors, the 36-person company flaunts dignity and class throughout. The vibe is affable yet sophisticated, which is yet another product of Feldman’s design.
“I’m sorry to demythologize the issue for you, but the main reason we’ve been so successful over the years is actually very simple,” Feldman said with a lighthearted chuckle. “It’s just because we hire only the best and the brightest people, then we make sure we treat them really well so that they stay with us a long time and are happy at their jobs. The result is that each member of the senior leadership team, for example, has been with the company for an average of 20 years. That level of contentment and continuity make all the difference in the final product.”
No doubt that happy employees make for happy clients, but there are other reasons RPS ISG International has emerged as one of the largest insurance agencies in the entire mid-Atlantic region, and a lot of that has to do with basic integrity. 
“We maintain 100 percent compensation transparency here,” Robinson said, “which means that all of our clients know precisely how much we make and how we intend to earn it. That practice is extremely unique for this area, but we feel it 
engenders the kind of trust and reliance that comes from totally aboveboard and transparent business practices.”
Another important thing I’d discovered during my odyssey in the insurance industry is that there is an impulse among many to be somewhat leery — if not flat-out cynical — about all things insurance. But while that impulse is not altogether unjustified, it’s agencies like RPS ISG International that will deconstruct the cliché.
410.228.6464; 800.336.5659   

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