In the mid 1990’s, I worked in an office next to Peter Lynch; we were part of the underwriting staff with Reliance Surety Company in the San Francisco Office.
We discussed, on more than one occasion the large commission checks we were sending out to our agents. He suggested that if we were going to be part of the surety bond industry, we might as well be on the receiving end of all this: a group of us should form our own brokerage.
A high percentage of the San Francisco staff had Irish surnames and he suggested Shamrock Surety to be the name of this brokerage. We worked for a great company, so this all seemed a good laugh at the time but a few years later the company was no more – Reliance filed bankruptcy and Peter had already since moved back to Ireland.
After some time with a few companies and brokerages, I decided to open my own agency and the Shamrock name, that originally seemed not-really-serious, now had moved to the top of my list. Moreover, the dot com expansion in San Francisco provided credibility to less traditional start up names. Shamrock Bonding Services was born a few years after the sock puppet’s demise.
I understand Peter is happily living in Dublin with his family and I can only hope he approves of what I have done with his water cooler idea.
PS: Thanks, Peter, but the overhead is high and the big commission checks require a ton of work…wish you were here.