Who We Are
Established in 1868, J. Smith Lanier & Co. is one of the nation’s leading insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firms.
Through a network of offices spanning across five southeastern states, our employee-shareholders provide an unmatched commitment and responsiveness to everyone we serve.
For nearly 150 years, J. Smith Lanier & Co. has been delivering the expertise, trust and advocacy our clients have depended on to help manage risk in their lives and businesses. And, while we have grown to become the sixth largest privately-held insurance broker in the United States, we have never forgotten that our success lies in the guiding principles of service and integrity that this company was built upon.
While retaining the best characteristics of our past, JSL delivers service through state-of-the art technology, a flat and responsive organizational structure, personal accountability, and a business anchored in the local communities in which we live. All supported by long-standing relationships with vendors, intermediaries, customers and insurance carriers.
Message from the CEO
We are pleased to announce J. Smith Lanier & Co.(JSL) officially joined Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management. We’re thrilled about the opportunities this combination of great companies will bring to our clients
Beginning February 1, JSL will operate as MMA’s Southeast regional hub under the leadership of JSL’s Chief Executive, D. Gaines Lanier, and Chief Operating Officer, Gary Ivey. All of JSL’s employees will join MMA.
For nearly 150 years, J. Smith Lanier & Co. has been delivering the expertise, trust, and advocacy our clients have depended on to help manage risk in their lives and businesses. This unique opportunity will allow us the ability to maintain our leadership, culture, and service model, while ensuring new opportunities for our colleagues and more resources for our clients.
As a customer, the changes you will see will be very positive. No positions are being eliminated as a result of the transaction, so you can expect to continue to work with the same dedicated JSL team, receiving the same local, proactive service you’ve come to know.
J. Smith Lanier & Co. has been delivering the expertise, advocacy, and results our clients have depended on to help manage risk in their lives and businesses since 1868. As part of Marsh & McLennan Agency, we look forward to delivering additional solutions for our clients and providing new opportunities for our colleagues.
We are committed to maintaining the service model you have grown to expect and building additional client services in the future to ensure we surpass your expectations. Our management team is pleased with combining our forces and the strength it offers our customers by having access to any services or products available through MMA. We now have a broader geographical footprint with offices throughout the United States and in Canada.
If you have any questions or if we can be of assistance in any way, please let us know. Thank you for your continued and valued business.
Our Mission and Vision
Our mission at J. Smith Lanier & Co. is to glorify God by providing exceptional value, absolute integrity, and excellence to:
Our Customers: Through innovative leadership in providing products and services, while establishing our value to them in a long-term relationship.
Our Employees/Shareholders: Through opportunities for every individual to set and achieve goals that fulfill their unique purpose while they contribute to the long term financial stability of J. Smith Lanier & Co.
Our Suppliers: Through access to our customers and information in the development and marketing of their products and services.
Our Community: Through corporate and personal participation in each of the communities we serve by providing our time, our talents, and our treasure for the betterment of life.
D. Gaines Lanier – CEO
Gaines joined J. Smith Lanier & Co. in 1976, became President and COO in 1986, became CEO in 1999, and became CEO and Chairman of the Board in 2003. During his leadership tenure, the company has grown from a small local insurance agency with 20 employees and $10 million in premium volume into the 18th largest insurance brokerage in the U.S. and the 6th largest privately owned broker in the U.S.During his career he has served on numerous insurance advisory boards including most recently as a member of the prestigious IIABA Roundtable for large brokers (from 2003 to 2005). Other notations and held offices in his career include serving as Young Agents of Georgia Chairman (1987-1988), elected to Auburn University Board of Trustees, Past President of West Georgia Insurance Agents Association, First Chairman of Chattahoochee Insurance Company Limited, Hartford – VIP Agent, Agency Solutions International, Inc. Board Member, President’s Council for Safeco Property/Casualty, and State Auto – Inner Circle designation.
Gary E. Ivey – President and COO
Gary serves on the Board of Directors and is in charge of Commercial Insurance Products for the company. He is responsible for new product development, market development and perpetuation. Gary obtained a BS degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College and began his career in the insurance industry in 1981 as an adjuster. He has remained a student of the insurance industry obtaining the professional designation of AAI, CLU, AIC, ARM, and CPCU.
Frank E. Plan ‐ Chief Financial Officer
Frank has over fifteen years of experience in the insurance industry and he has been with J. Smith Lanier & Co. since 1996. Prior to joining J. Smith Lanier & Co., Frank was a Senior Manager in Ernst & Young's Southeast Region Insurance Services Group. As J. Smith Lanier & Co.'s Chief Financial Officer, Frank is responsible for all aspects of the Company's financial management, financial reporting and mergers and acquisition activity. He is an active member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Alabama Society of CPAs. Frank is a 1987 graduate of the University of Alabama - Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.