Henry Schlactus starts H. Schlactus, Inc., a small (general brokerage) agency in downtown Manhattan.
This property casualty agency would help fulfill his vision of building an insurance brokerage that would grow through the decades.
Howard Schlactus joined the agency with his father, Henry. During this period, the small New York Property & Casualty insurance agency had just two fulltime employees. Father and son worked to grow the roots of the agency over the next several years.
H. Schlactus recalls in those early days the clientele revolved around insuring local foot messengers, whose job was to deliver envelopes on the streets of Manhattan. Soon after, the advent of fax machines would all but eliminate the need for envelope delivery.
By this time, same day delivery was quickly catching on, rapidly evolving and a new era of insurance products was born to keep pace with the burgeoning package delivery demand.
In 1969, H. Schlactus, Inc. merged with a neighboring insurance firm (also a father and son agency), Kuh, Billik & Kuh to form Kuh, Billik and Schlactus.
Next several years...
Eventually, the advent of fax machines would all but eliminate the need for envelope delivery.
After a year in operation under the name, Kuh, Billik & Schlactus, the growing firm was renamed KBS International. Co-owner Howard Schlactus recalls the reason behind company renaming:
“No one could pronounce (Kuh, Billik & Kuh), and no one could spell it either, so that’s when we decided KBS had a better ring to it!”
Envelopes on the streets of Manhattan. Soon after, the advent of fax machines would all but eliminate the need for envelope delivery.
Insurance veteran, Jeff Ice, began carving out his courier niche in 1988 while working at Oswald Companies as a minority shareholder. After learning more about the industry, he convinced a few select carriers to underwrite new specialty courier coverage. This type of coverage was previously too expensive and difficult to place.
This move would pave the way for J. Ice to open his own courier-focused insurance agency, Kandrin, Ice & Krieger (KIK).
The same day delivery landscape was rapidly changing and a new era of insurance products was born to keep pace with the burgeoning package delivery demand.
After purchasing his courier book of business back from Oswald Logistics, Jeff Ice formed a new company, Kandrin, Ice & Krieger, formally known as KIK. Longtime Oswald Logistics Associate, Laura Krieger became a fully vested partner alongside Jeff Ice, which set the stage for more rapid growth.
“I saw the courier insurance risk as a misunderstood and underserviced sector, so I proceeded to learn all I could about the industry. I began devoting more time to understanding this niche market and decided to start my own agency.” — Jeff Ice, Brightstone Managing Director.
In 2003, Jeff Ice brought on his son, Bryan Ice, as well as Bryan’s boyhood friend, Brian Jungeberg, to help drive new business for KIK at the time. Both B. Ice and Jungeberg would infuse the company with energy, ideas and leadership that would help anchor sales in the coming years.
B. Ice and Jungeberg spearheaded company growth through innovative selling and out-of-the-box risk programs for courier businesses around the county.
With their robust growth in the dedicated same-day industry, KIK was acquired by the Oswald Companies. With this acquisition, Jeff Ice became the practice leader of the transportation division of Oswald.
“We grew significantly in a short period of time and that’s when Oswald approached me about teaming up again. We worked out a deal shortly thereafter.” — Jeff Ice, Brightstone Managing Director.
To further facilitate growth, Jeff Ice moved to hire, Bryan Paulozzi to help lead sales efforts for Oswald Logistics. Thriving in another family business at the time, Paulozzi’s background, leadership and managing style fit the mold that J. Ice was trying to create.
Paulozzi would complete the sales leader trifecta, including Bryan Ice and Brian Jungeberg, brought onboard in 2003. The 3Bs, as they are known, would become the sales engine for future company growth.
Brightstone Insurance Services was born when New York’s KBS International and Jeff Ice, after reacquiring his book of business from Oswald Companies, agreed to consolidate. The strategic merger of these two companies was the result of shared values and a desire to offer better solutions for clients.
For more than a decade, KBS and J. Ice’s Ohio insurance business (KIK and later Oswald Logistics), established themselves as leaders in the courier and same day transportation industry. Both companies shared similar core values and a vision to evolve the rapidly growing courier industry.
Ultimately, KBS leaders Howard and Peter Schlactus and Oswald Logistics Chief, J. Ice, knew that combining forces made sense for both agencies.
As a rapidly growing courier insurance company, coupled with increased customer and product demand, Brightstone expanded operations beyond our primary offices in New York and Ohio.
Teaming up with courier industry expert, Michelle Mattoni of Mattoni Management, Inc., Brightstone opened satellite offices in Los Angeles and Seattle. We late launched a third satellite office in Florida to meet East Coast customer demand.
Brightstone Insurance Services’ roots date back to the 1940s. Our company’s foundation has helped position us as a national leader in risk management solutions and specialty insurance programs for couriers and same day delivery companies. We also offer tailored solutions and products in loss control, financial services and wealth management for businesses, families and individuals.
With more than 150 years of combined professional experience, we’ve grown from a two-person office on a New York street corner, to offices in New York, Ohio, Florida, California and Washington State. We serve more than 1,500 same day delivery service customers across the United States.
“Whether our client is a company or a family, we offer access to a wealth of quality of choices with access to virtually every market, program and coverage available.” — Jeff Ice, Brightstone Managing Director.
“Our goal is to focus on professionally-minded firms and give them what we like to call our ‘unfair advantage.’ The ability to control a major cost item like insurance is truly invaluable for our clients.” — Peter Schlactus, Brightstone Managing Director
Brightstone joins Risk Strategies Company, a top-20 specialty broker with offices across the country. The firm now offers sophisticated risk management advice as well as insurance placement for property & casualty and employee benefits. Risk Strategies serves companies, non-profits, public entities and individuals, and can access all major insurance markets.
“As our target industries have grown, it’s become more important to have the reach and resources of a national level firm,” said Peter Schlactus, Managing Director at Brightstone. “Risk Strategies was our choice because it really understands how to convert the power of specialty expertise to our clients’ advantage.”
“Being a specialist has been an incredible edge for us,” said Jeff Ice, Managing Director. “Being part of Risk Strategies will extend the range of specialty capabilities our clients can count on.”
“Risk Strategies is building a company of true specialists,” explains Michael Christian, Founder and CEO of Risk Strategies Company. “Brightstone has exemplified the type of specialty capability that makes it a great fit for us.”