Marc Sparks History – Chapter 2

In 1989 Marc Sparks started yet another highly successful endeavor in the construction surety bonding industry which ultimately morphed into the property and casualty insurance industry. Sparks acquired his local recording agent’s insurance license, a surplus lines license and a managing general agent’s license. Over the next ten years, Sparks focused on the goal of fully integrating the insurance industry. This vision meant not only selling an insurance policy to a consumer but included servicing the policy, fully managing the claim, financing the premiums, and even taking a portion of the risk. To finally fulfill the vision, in 1996, Sparks and a minority partner purchased a distressed property & casualty insurance company in an arrangement with the Texas Department of Insurance and thereafter received “Form A” approval – which is the state’s blessing to own and operate a full-fledged insurance company.

This was a proud milestone for Marc Sparks, and was also the beginning of one of the biggest and most emotional phases of his life. Since starting with a staff of 10 in 1989, Sparks grew the company to a successful insurance holding corporation over the next 10 years. With a focus on business development and quality customer service, by 1999, the company was generating over $160 million in annual premium, with a staff of over 500, 171 retail agency offices in three states, two premium finance companies, several general agencies (wholesale), and an M.G.A. all backed by eleven A and A+ (AM Best) rated reinsurers. The company became public in 1998 and was listed on the American Stock Exchange. There appeared to be no limits to its growth, and it was Marc Sparks’ entrepreneurial dream come true…success, tremendous growth opportunity, happy staff and good health.

At the very peak of its success, the walls started crashing down. The company’s stock started falling fast, and before Sparks and his management team could find a reason for the drop, the Stock Exchange halted trading and the rumors started to fly. Soon thereafter, the coveted A+ rated list of reinsurers stopped backing the insurance policies that were being sold, and Sparks lost the company that had been his passion for 10 years, as well as his business relationships, his stellar reputation, many friends and a wonderful staff.

Over the following years, the lawsuits and the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation were amicably resolved. It was an emotionally painful, financially expensive and very personal experience for Sparks. Ultimately, the experience awards a kind of “badge of honor” for an entrepreneur. Sparks allowed himself less than a month to grieve, and wasted no time in looking for his next venture. Sparks knew one thing for sure; he’d built many successful businesses before and would do it again. He knew that his God-given entrepreneurial talent could never be taken away from him.

About Marc Sparks

Marc A Sparks is a leading Dallas Texas start up entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Submit an application for seed funding to Marc Sparks – the Dallas entrepreneur only at www.whoismarcsparks.com.