National network focuses on making a positive impact on the independent agency channel

Just over a quarter century ago, SAN Group was entering its second decade of serving independent insurance agencies in northern New England. SIAA was an idea that was starting to germinate, and Matt Masiello, AAI, was readying for his career path, which he thought might involve the marine business but rather would eventually lead him to his current role as chief executive officer of agency network SIAA.

“I’m a water guy,” says Matt, explaining the pleasure he derives, with his family, living near the tip of New Hampshire’s 18 miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline. “My wife, three boys and I are outdoors as much as possible. We hike year-round, and in the summertime we fish and cruise.”

Fortunately, Matt’s a frozen-water guy, too – living just south of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. “In the winter, we downhill and cross-country ski and snowshoe,” he explains. “Of course, we do these when we’re not attending the kids’ sporting events and other activities.”

For a time, Matt contemplated a water-related career, which are plentiful locally. “Like many people you encounter in our industry, I didn’t see myself in insurance,” he recalls, “even though my father started and owned a retail agency and had started SAN Group in 1983. But as I looked at SAN Group and the business model that was being built, I realized very quickly how much the insurance business had to offer. I jumped in with both feet, ready to give it a 200% effort.” (Even Matt’s metaphors are water related.)

SIAA is a national agency network started in 1995 by Jim Masiello, Matt’s dad, who came up with the concept of a master agency. Master agencies are larger, regional, like-minded entrepreneurial agencies that partner with SIAA to help build and serve small agencies in distinct geographic areas.

Today, SIAA is made up of 48 master agencies operating in exclusive territories around the country. High-population states may have a handful of them; in less populated areas, a master agency may operate in a few states. SAN Group, the original master agency, fueled the creation of SIAA.

Read the full article, published in the October 2019 issue of Rough Notes Magazine.