John Akers says he lives his father’s advice to “selfishly put the interests of your clients first, and your reward will come.”
The younger Akers says it’s panned out well, namely in the longevity of client relationships.
“In practicing that philosophy, my clients have rewarded me with their continued loyalty, as I’ve served many of them for over two decades,” he says.
That mindset continues as vice president of benefits for Ollis/Akers/Arney, a role he took on after merging his firm Akers & Arney with Ollis & Co. in 2015.
He embraces the new role, which freed up time for him to focus more on client-specific strategic planning, producer offerings and value-added services.
“Alongside me are tactical advisers and account managers with exceptional follow-up and follow-through skills to make sure we’re following our written service plans and to handle day-to-day service,” Akers says. “Having such a diverse, talented and specialized team in place makes Ollis/Akers/Arney an invaluable resource and a trusted adviser for our clients.”
Akers’ work has extended into disaster situations.
On Leap Day in 2012, a tornado that came off Table Rock Lake headed down the strip in Branson, causing mass damage.
He and other members of his agency were “put to the test in a way most never faces in their careers” as they began their morning at 4 a.m. reassuring clients and surveying damages.
“After tens of millions in claim payments, we had no legal actions or disputes and all of our clients who wanted to get back into business did,” Akers says. “Not everyone in Branson was able to do so, but our attention to detail, professional development and doing things right paid off.”
Akers says his goal is to provide stability for his clients. To that end, he’s developed a proprietary claims benchmark and analysis program that seeks to control costs.
“We can’t stop large, unpredictable claims for cancer or car wrecks, but our clients as a whole regularly beat the industry benchmarks for utilization for controllable costs, due to our analysis and employee education efforts around it,” he says.
“Our clients save significant dollars, allowing them to provide a better benefits package than they otherwise could have.”
Akers has taken his experience in the insurance industry to membership in multiple trade organizations, including the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, Missouri Employers Mutual State Agents Council and the Columbia Insurance Group Missouri Agents Council.
He’s also a board member for Ollis/Akers/Arney’s employee stock ownership plan.
In the community, he’s been a board member for more than 15 years with the Taney County Crisis Center and a member of the Branson/Hollister Rotary Club since 1992, among other roles.
SBJ survey data is used to analyze the flow of money.
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