Palmer & Cay Expands to NYC, Smith Named Vice Chairman

Insurance Broker Palmer & Cay Expands in Northeast

Prominent Insurance Executive John C. Smith Named Vice Chairman

ATLANTA, Ga. (October 3, 2016) – – Atlanta-based insurance broker Palmer & Cay has expanded in the Northeast region with the opening of an office in New York City and the appointment of insurance executive John C. Smith to serve as vice chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the privately-held firm. Smith brings more than 30 years of senior leadership experience with the industry’s leading brokerage firms to his new position with Palmer & Cay. He most recently served as executive vice president with New York-based Crystal &
Company and held senior positions with Marsh, Inc. and Johnson & Higgins for more than two decades.

Established in 1868, Palmer & Cay recently expanded its footprint to include offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Watchung, New Jersey, in addition to existing offices in Atlanta, Savannah and Charleston. During his tenure at Marsh, Smith held a number of senior management roles, including managing director of Marsh’s Northeast Zone where he was responsible for seven regional offices and more than 350 insurance professionals. In recognition of his extensive management experience and industry insight, Smith was also appointed to serve on Marsh’s
Executive Leadership and MMC Global Leadership Committees.

Palmer & Cay’s commitment to growing and maintaining its unique culture attracted Smith to the 148 year old firm. “It became apparent to me that Palmer & Cay had many similarities with the original Johnson & Higgins culture which was highly successful in its day. Like J&H, Palmer & Cay places equal emphasis on clients and colleagues, aligning the success of both as a single and inseparable goal. Clients buy culture and the best colleagues in the industry are seeking a positive culture in which to work and succeed,” Smith said.

“The focus on culture, quality services and long-term client relationships has long since disappeared from the national insurance brokerage field due to mega-mergers and public offerings, and this void creates an increasing demand for client-focused brokerage firms such as Palmer & Cay. I see extraordinary accomplishments ahead for Palmer & Cay, its clients and its colleagues, and I’m excited to now be a part of this growing organization,” Smith observed.

In his role as vice chairman, board member and partner at Palmer & Cay, Smith will play a pivotal role in developing the firm’s long-range strategy and expanding its focus on specialty industry niches and risk management services. Smith’s initial focus will be to build Palmer & Cay’s presence in New York and the northeast region where the firm will focus on middle market and large commercial companies, with a particular emphasis on the private equity sector. Combining Smith’s extensive experience in the private equity field with Palmer & Cay’s existing due diligence expertise will create immediate synergistic value for current and prospective private equity clients.

For company executives, Smith’s move is further validation of the Palmer & Cay business model. “John’s decision to join our firm is exhilarating. He shares our cultural values, believes in the Palmer & Cay vision, and brings an immense amount of experience and insight to our team,” stated Jack Cay, president and fifth generation of his family to lead the firm. “His energy and enthusiasm for building superior teams, solving risk-related problems for clients and helping our firm expand will be a major asset going forward,” Cay said.

Palmer & Cay is a specialty brokerage firm providing property and casualty insurance and risk management consulting services to middle market and large corporate clients throughout the United States, including clients with international operations. The firm specializes in niche industry sectors requiring intensive service and highly technical insurance and risk management knowledge. The firm has gained a reputation for excelling in a range of industries, including private equity, construction and social services.

Palmer & Cay’s newest office is located at 717 Fifth Avenue, Floor 12A, New York, New York 10022. John C. Smith can be reached at 646-374-1868 and For more information regarding Palmer & Cay, visit

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.