PorAssuranceStancil Starnes, Chairman and CEO of ProAssurance Corporation, told students on October 23, 2012 in the combined undergraduate capstone and MBA class “Strategic leadership through the eyes of the C-Suite” to expect change throughout their careers and suggested they deal with change through “3 Es:” Enthusiasm, Effectiveness and Efficiency.

ProAssurance is the only publicly-traded company that can be considered a “pure play” in healthcare professional liability insurance. The company was founded in Birmingham in 1975 as a mutual insurance company owned by its insureds, physicians who found that there were no insurance carriers willing to provide professional liability insurance to physicians in Alabama. Today the company has a market capitalization of $2.8 billion and operates throughout the United States. It continues to be headquartered in Birmingham.

Students in this strategy class have studied the importance of values in the successful implementation of a strategy: assumptions, beliefs and expectations that are shared by all employees about how an organization will succeed. For example, Southwest Airlines clearly values strong customer service.

In the case of ProAssurance, Mr. Starnes described the company’s emphasis on its value “Treated Fairly,” which accompanies the company’s name in most written communications. He noted that this value applies to the company’s treatment of insureds, who appreciate that ProAssurance will not settle a claim against them just for financial expediency.

Starnes also said that “Treated Fairly” extends to the way it discloses its financial condition to shareholders and to the way it treats employees.

A group of students presented their own analysis of ProAssurance’s strategy to Mr. Starnes following his remarks. They also made recommendations to Mr. Starnes including that the company consider a loyalty program for those making referrals to the company for insurance.

“Strategic Leadership Through the Eyes of the C-Suite” is taught by School of Business professor Stephen Yoder and by UAB Vice Provost Harlan Sands, and features visits from members of the executive suites of public or other large complex organizations who discuss their organizations’ strategies and how they are developed and implemented.

Pictured left to right: Russell Wade, School of Business Interim Dean Dr. Eric Jack, Mr. Starnes, Linda Roley, Kyndle Huey, Alyssa Manhart, Jit Patel, Bilal Khan