This Father’s Day, Greenwich Moms is celebrating Greenwich Dads with a special Meet a Dad series. Please meet Patrick Kerney, a former NFL defensive end (he played for both the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks) who founded Kerney Insurance in Greenwich! (For more on his wife Lisa, also a former star athlete and career broadcaster, click here.)
Can you please describe your family and where you live?
We’ve lived off the Indian Head Road stretch of Riverside for just over 7 years now. We moved here with only a 9 month old daughter. We’ve since added another daughter and paternal twins. I like to say we made the switch from “man” to “zone” the hard way!
Ha! How did you choose Greenwich?
I’m originally from Yardley, PA and spent my summers down in Cape May, NJ. I really appreciate how Eastern Greenwich replicates Yardley’s “village” feel while my beach memories from the Jersey Shore can be given to our kids at Tods Point. I’ve lived in some fantastic places but find the country/village/beach mix that is Greenwich to be tough to beat. Business school drew Lisa and I back East after we met in Seattle and, despite how much we love the Pacific Northwest, are very happy it eventually drew us to raise our family in Greenwich.
Can you please tell us a bit about your business?
I founded Kerney Insurance on the bases of transparency and proactivity. My personal experience with agencies seemed to have neither of these key values that give a client the confidence they’re receiving the best value. We want clients to see side by side comparisons of the offers our carriers put forth and to do so every year. We’re intent on adding value to the lives of our clients not just at the inception of the relationship, but year after year.
How did your career in football prepare you for owning your own company?
My career in football drove home the philosophy that you’re only as good as your last performance. Whether that performance was in the weight room, the meeting room, the practice field or on gameday, it was under constant evaluation. I always felt the pressure to put forth optimal performance at all times. I keep a similar pressure on myself when I punch the clock for our company. I want to feel like all stakeholders would agree that I’m earning any upside this company brings my way.
What inspired you to go into this area?
I’ve been an informal student of Warren Buffett ever since my playing days. I read his biographies, annual letters and the books recommended within his annual letters. He was a big reason I chose Columbia Business School! He makes no secret of how well the insurance industry has affected the value of his conglomerate. Due to this I came to understand the industry and became a shareholder in and board member of a couple of private Property & Casualty insurance carriers. As my real life education deepened my insurance knowledge I thought it made sense to be on the agency side as well.
What’s the best part of your job? And hardest?
By far my favorite part of the job is delivering value to clients. Whether it’s from a level of proactivity or transparency the customer isn’t used to or finding them equal contracts for lower costs/better contracts for the same costs, I love bettering our clients’ situations.
My least favorite part is when we can’t produce a win for our clients. It’s rare, but there has been a few occasions where I’ve had to tell potential clients that they’re just as well off staying with their current agent. It’s a pretty good “least favorite part” because I get to know they’re being well looked after.
Where do you stand on letting your boys play football?
Not for safety reasons but for athletic development reasons, I’m a proponent of flag football until 7th grade. My son (age 4) can beg and plead all he wants, but I’ll stand firm that the pads don’t go on until then. After that he can have at it if he wants.
What’s one thing you wish you could share with parents who want their kids to excel in sports?
Try your best not to give in to the pressure of coaches who want your kid to play their sport 9+ months every year. It’s not good for their athletic development or their long term health.
Focus on keeping them active in multiple sports and have them train appropriately (as an example, football players shouldn’t go jogging…the game is about sprinting). Playing soccer in the fall will make them better lacrosse players. Playing tennis in the summer will make them better hockey players. There’s plenty of carryover between sports as so much of athletic growth is about nervous system development.
What are your favorite places in the area to:
Grab a drink with friends: Bistro Versailles has become a good spot to grab a drink for us. The bartenders we’ve had there have been great.
Have a date night: Tods Point picnic
Spend time together as a family indoors/outdoors: I love taking our kids to both Tods Point and the Audubon.
Grab coffee: Sweet Pea’s has become a solid meeting place for both business and casual caffeination.
Workout: Particularly in the summer I can be found with friends, medicine balls, monster bands and dumbbells on the Greenwich High practice turf. 5:45am. It’s “fun”…
It’s almost Father’s Day. What do you hope to get this year?
Last year I learned what the greatest gift a father of 4 can get over the Father’s Day weekend: Four 1 on 1 meals with each of the kids. They each pick the spot. It’s awesome to me because we get to connect far better than we do when surrounded by the mayhem of three siblings.
We are an independent insurance company headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. Our clients are highly successful individuals and corporations with intricate and unique risk exposures. With access to best-in-class carriers, we pride ourselves on proactively seeking the highest value propositions for the commercial and personal needs of our clients. Let us put to work our technology, creativity and experience to ensure adequate protection for all you have worked to create.