Skip to Content

Employee Spotlight: Brian O’Neil

Parker, Smith and Feek Employee Spotlight, Brian O'Neil

How would you describe your role at PS&F?

My role is partly business development, and partly client management. I go out into the community and discuss Parker, Smith & Feek’s value proposition and how it can benefit prospective clients. I also collaborate with our teams and the insurance market to ensure that we organize and deliver the best results possible for our clients.

What inspired you to start a career in insurance

I discovered the P&C brokerage world by chance and thought it was a great opportunity to build my own business within a business. Right after college I was bartending at Sahalee Country Club, and a member asked me what I wanted to do for a career. I told her I wanted to be a commercial insurance broker and she laughed and asked me if someone put me up to it. I was confused and said no, and she replied that her husband, who was sitting next to her, owns an insurance brokerage business. That by-chance encounter led to several other introductions within the industry, and about six months later I started with a local insurance brokerage firm focused on construction, marine, and real estate.

You attended undergrad at WSU and graduate school at UW. Which do you have a stronger allegiance to?

I am a Coug at heart, but I really enjoyed my MBA experience at UW’s Foster School of Business. Most of my close friends are Cougs, so rooting for UW sports is out of the picture, but I strongly recommend UW Foster to anyone that wants to pursue an MBA. It was a world-class business school experience.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I have a young family – we have a 1½-year-old and a 3-year-old at home. So my life and world is extremely small outside of home. My wife and I have lived in Edmonds for the last four years or so, so we spend a lot of time at parks and…anything else you can do with two small children.

I like to golf and recently joined Bear Creek Country Club. I’m looking forward to golfing more.

Tell me a bit more about your family?

I met my wife, Michelle, in 2013 during Apple Cup, at The Duchess Tavern in Seattle. Considering she’s also a Coug, it was pretty ironic for us to meet in an old Husky bar. We got married in 2017, moved from Seattle to Edmonds, and started growing our little family. Now we have Mackenzie, our 3-year-old, and Kendall, our 1½-year-old. Both of our kids are running around, developing their personalities, and we thoroughly enjoy chasing them all over the place.

There is a lot! Inflation, labor shortages, local strikes, and materials delays to name a few. But related to the insurance industry, it appears we are coming out of a multi-year hard market. Cyber and frame builder’s risk placements remain very challenging, but recently we have been successful in negotiating some positive renewals. This is a new and welcome result after the last two-plus years of challenging increases. Additionally, captives have been and continue to grow in popularity with our contractor clientele as well.

What is the quality you admire most in other people?

The ability to communicate well. I’ve taken on a new appreciation for this skill in recent years. A person who can communicate well with different people in different forms and articulate their goal and rally people around it…that is something I’ve got a strong respect for.

What’s made you so passionate about working in risk management?

I like negotiating, so it provides me a great opportunity to do that. I enjoy every part of the process…pursuing a new opportunity, cutting a deal, the art of the entire thing, and acting as a client’s trusted advisor and resource. I like delivering value to clients and prospects, and I get to do a lot of that here.

We talk a lot about the PS&F difference. How do you make a difference?

I have experience working on the client side as a risk manager for a large holding company, and as a business manager for a construction company. So that gives me a good perspective on the client side of the table. I understand what the stakes are and how challenging it can be to run a successful business. I use this experience and put it into action in how a work as an insurance broker today.


Where are you from? Redmond, WA

Favorite vacation spot? Arizona or Southern California – anywhere warm and sunny

Favorite television show? Game of Thrones, The Wire, and The Newsroom

Edmonds favorites? The local community feeling – it’s a five-minute walk to downtown, and close to Seattle and Bellevue without being overdeveloped or crowded.

Childhood sports hero? Phil Mickelson – left-handed golfer like me.

Return to Blog index